Readers React: The relentless TV and internet price increases that monopolies enable

Spectrum trucks are parked at a customer center in Orlando, Fla., in September.
Spectrum trucks are parked at a customer center in Orlando, Fla., in September.
(John Raoux / AP)

To the editor: My internet service from Charter cost $29 per month when I got it more than 15 years ago, and now it’s $65 with the larger successor company Spectrum. I’ve added nothing new to my service. (“How much does a cable box really cost? The industry would prefer you don’t ask,” Oct. 30)

DirecTV gouges me for more than $160 monthly for regular programming plus HBO. It refuses to come to my house when I call about a problem; instead, I have to spend at least an hour while I am told to try different things with my equipment.

When I canceled service for one of my boxes, I spent an hour looking for numbers on the equipment. Why doesn’t DirecTV have this information? I was told to mail the box back to the company; my reply was that I had paid for the box for 10 years, so at that point why wasn’t it mine?

I was never sent a mailing package, so the box is still here, wasting space at home. If only the cable and TV companies didn’t have monopolies.


Cheryl Clark, Long Beach


To the editor: Bravo to David Lazarus for this investigation of why it costs so much for customers to rent the ubiquitous black cable boxes that open the doors to TV land. His unanswered questions on the continuous rate increases by executives from Spectrum and other companies are an example of why a free press is essential.

Keep asking the questions, Mr. Lazarus. You may get answers for us and help keep cable box rental fees from rising.

Stephen Pouliot, Venice

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