Telecom Timeout

Apr 10 2009   4:15PM GMT

Thinking of going to metered service? Got backup?

WPeterson William Peterson Profile: WPeterson

Time Warner Cable has been experimenting with metered service in select markets, and recently decided to expand into four more markets after tweaking some policies, BusinessWeek reported.

Unfortunately for Time Warner, policies aren’t the only thing being tweaked. summarizes much of the backlash from customers, press, and even legislators:

Earlier this week [Time Warner Cable CEO Landel Hobbs] insisted consumers wanted metered billing, despite obvious indicators to the contrary. In the [New York] Times he’s lost in sort of a public relations purgatory, trying to soothe investor worries by saying finances are fine, yet at the same time trying to tell consumers that they have to pay by the byte because the entire billing model the company is currently built on is utterly unsound. At no time is supporting data (network or fiscal) introduced.

That Time Warner Cable’s business model is unsound may be absolutely true, given the drastic drop in the price-per-bit, but Time Warner is drinking its own Kool-Ade if it thinks customers will happily move to a metered billing plan. Time Warner would better spend its time to think of another plan or watch its customers go elsewhere. Maybe Time Warner is on the bleeding edge of this trend, but in this case, it won’t be good for business.

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