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Time Warner Cable insists you’ll love data caps, no matter how often you say ‘no’

Published Nov 3rd, 2014 10:30PM EST
Time Warner Cable Data Caps

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Like the sleazy guy in the infamous “10 Hours Walking in NYC as a Woman” video who followed a woman down the street and couldn’t take a hint that she wasn’t interested, Time Warner Cable is going to keep trying to sweet talk you into accepting data caps. DSLReports notices that Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus told investors during a recent earnings call that the company is gong to keep pushing capped data plans onto consumers, who so far have told the company that they want absolutely nothing to do with such plans.

RELATED: Time Warner Cable customers reject offer of cheaper service with data caps

“The way we’ve approached usage-based pricing is to offer it as an option for customers who prefer to pay less because they tend to use less,” he explained. “And we’ve made those available at 5 gigabytes per month and 30 gigabytes per month levels. And given that our median usage of broadband is in the 35 gigabytes per month zone, the 30 gigabyte tier is actually, if you are purely acting on economic rationality, a pretty compelling offering for a certain segment of our population. It’s true that not many customers have taken it… We’ve got it, and if customers want it, we’re happy to sell it to them.”

There’s actually nothing “irrational” about preferring unlimited usage even if a capped plan offers you a lower monthly rate than what you’re paying for your current plan. The reason is that people just do not want to have to worry about how much data they use every month. They don’t want to have to stop a Netflix movie in mid-stream because finishing it would mean getting hit with overage fees. Most people just want to pay a flat rate for data each month and not have to worry about calculating how many more YouTube videos they can squeeze into a given month before hitting their limit.

TWC understands this perfectly well, of course — it’s just that it wants to implement data caps so, so badly that it can’t voluntarily give up the dream, no matter how many times people tell it they won’t make it come true.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.