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Time Warner Charges You $0.23 For The Coupons Included In Your Bill (consumerist.com)
504 points posted 1 day ago by keen75

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antifolkhero 37 points 1 day ago

Yet another corporate ass raping of the American people.

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rollingdivision 7 points 20 hours ago

Competition is the answer. But, if your community is like most, your local politicians are in bed with the local cable company. Not that there's anything wrong with that. They give the cable company exclusive rights to install a system and sell in your community in trade for "franchise fees". Franchise fees are a tax, paid by all the community through the cable company. So, you get to pay for the lack of competition twice! First in higher bills and second by being charged for the cable company cost of the franchise fess. What a country!!! Without competition the consumer doesn't have a chance.

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martoo 5 points 19 hours ago *

Competition isn't the answer, enforcement is the answer. What they are doing is deceptive trade practice. If we hadn't let consumer protection enforcement fall apart in this country over the past thirty years they wouldn't have had the balls to try it.

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lowspeed 1 point 16 hours ago

I agree, but competition does help.

Where my parents live, they have to pay $50 a month for internet cable service... There's no Alternative... so they can charge what they want...

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jaycliche 3 points 6 hours ago

That is what this kind of 'deregulation' caused...zero competition. Maybe when the magical 'free-market' allows total consolidation without regulation, we can look towards very low prices and zero government influence.

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nosoupforyou 1 point 1 hour ago

You mean when we had regulation, we had competition? Not around me. It was still only one provider.

The interesting thing is that even now, it's the village council that has the deal with the cable company.

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rollingdivision 0 points 5 hours ago

De-regulation? Who proposed de-regulation?

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jaycliche 1 point 3 hours ago

I think a comment was deleted or something...

I'm pro-government that is of the people and serves people before powerful financial interests (for the record).

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jaycliche 2 points 6 hours ago

"If we hadn't let consumer protection enforcement fall apart in this count"

Yeah, well when people get in government who are actually loyal to their company over thier country...what kind of enforcement will there be?

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tony28 5 points 18 hours ago

uh yeah.. no govt. oversight --> corporation abusing the community.

how do we resolve this? 'competition'.

??

i'm sorry but free-market economics doesn't work this is just another example of why you need govt. regulations.

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1smartass 5 points 16 hours ago *

In my town a company called Antelope Valley Rubbish had a free market battle with newly arrived Waste Management. Little A.V. Rubbish would answer a cheaper offer from Waste Management, with an offer that was still lower. This went on for a few weeks until local government stepped in. A.V. Rubbish was given one area, and Waste Management was given another. The price for my commercial pick up went from 75 dollars a month to 125 in 10 years, thanks to the government stepping in.

You keep wishing for government regulation, I'll wish for a justice system that is efficient enough to take care of disputes in a fair and timely manner. Every time our court system fails us, politicians offer a bureaucracy to over see and suckers like you suck it up.

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tony28 5 points 12 hours ago

yes.. because the u.s corporatist government is somehow indicative of the entire world..

when the government regulated the telstra phone monopoly in australia it allowed for more competition, lower prices and a healthier market..

and you know how the european union have 'totally failed' in regulating anti-competitive and monopolistic corporations.

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jaycliche 2 points 6 hours ago

Where my family is, there is only one ISP which is the phone company which is the cable company. Some free market. This was what happened after the "free market" merged back into a monopoly in there area. That company is AT&T, one I would never want to do business with. Her one alternative is satellite...the one owned my Rupert Murdoch. I really don't see a fixed market that uses governments to outsource cost and further consolidate is better for society as a whole. Looking back at economic history, a hundred years ago, you would think we would have learned something.

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salvadors 1 point 2 hours ago

The price for my commercial pick up went from 75 dollars a month to 125 in 10 years, thanks to the government stepping in.

Wow! A whole 5% increase per year ! The bastards!

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mangleon 5 points 13 hours ago

Clearly this example is representative of economies as a whole and can be applied to all situations.

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whiskeytango 0 points 8 hours ago

so in 10 years the price went up 50 dollars?

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jacekplacek 3 points 12 hours ago

free-market economics doesn't work this is just another example of why you need govt. regulations

So, let me get it right: Government gives Time Warner a monopoly on service in certain area. Government regulates this service. Time Warner charges you extra $0.23 for something you don't need. And this is an example how free market doesn't work and how government is helping you with your class struggle...?!

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jaycliche 2 points 6 hours ago

"And this is an example how free market doesn't work "

Funny how you called it a free market. It is such a meme...a totally consolidated industry with little competition, massive government lobbying, former employees in high level government positions (who are supposed to regulate you), is somehow a free market.

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jacekplacek 1 point 4 hours ago

Funny how you called it a free market.

I did? Perhaps you should reread...

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jaycliche 1 point 3 hours ago

Sorry, I think that was meant for who you were responding to :)

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rollingdivision -3 points 8 hours ago

First, I didn't suggest the elimination of government oversight. Second, the cable television industry currently is highly regulated. Third, with this regulation they still have high prices and mediocre service. Forth, the regulations are set up to limit competition and in fact grant monopolies. So, your answer is more of the same. Government regulation don't work as well as the free market. Read Milton Friedman, "Free to Choose".

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jaycliche 2 points 6 hours ago *

" is highly regulated."

Regulated is one thing. Consolidation is another. Someone argue for the benifits of Clear Channel. In fact, when there was a disaster in a small N. Dakota town, there was no way to access the local Clear Channel station because the key holders lived hundreds of miles away, and the station was totally automatic. There was no way to broadcast warnings to stay inside to avoid the dangerous chemical spill.

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antifolkhero 1 point 17 hours ago

And if you remove government oversight all together, all the cable providers in the area can get together and decide to charge you a thousand dollars a month for service. Who's going to force the price down? They'll have no incentive NOT to fuck you.

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rujith 1 point 4 hours ago

Right, except that one of them would then give you a $10 discount, to ensure that you choose them.

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antifolkhero 1 point 4 hours ago

Yeah, that about sums up the current state of affairs in America.

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nosoupforyou 14 points 23 hours ago

I wouldn't call it a raping. It's just a little bloodletting, that's all. They just want a bite or two.

Raping is what happened to that guy that ordered phone, long distance, cable tv, and internet access from the cable co, and 6 months later he still doesn't have any of it although he's still getting charged.

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jamesbritt -4 points 15 hours ago

You equate that to rape?

Interesting.

Know any rape victims?

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nosoupforyou 1 point 1 hour ago

It's a lot closer to rape than the other example.

And yes, I know a few rape victims, or at least women that claimed to have been raped.

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nosoupforyou 1 point 1 hour ago

It's a lot closer to rape than the other example.

And yes, I know a few rape victims, or at least women that claimed to have been raped.

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urusai 26 points 23 hours ago

It's death by a thousand cuts.

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coresnake 7 points 20 hours ago

Chews on carrot Nyaaaaaah, whats the hubub..bub?

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john_b 11 points 23 hours ago

How is this even legal?

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raldi 3 points 16 hours ago *

The law wasn't stopping companies from doing this. Competition was. But when you have a monopoly...

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brainburger 1 point 8 hours ago

I doubt that it is legal in any part of the US for any company to charge for unsolicited goods. This would mean that the law just needs to be enforced. Competition would just mean more than one company vying to rip people off.

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raldi 2 points 7 hours ago *

The fine print of the contract can make it legal (though hardly noble).

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JackPallance 13 points 21 hours ago

It's not legal. But that has never stopped them before...

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SashaNein 6 points 21 hours ago

Screw the rules, they have money.

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b34nz 23 points 23 hours ago

I hope Google puts all these assholes out of business some day soon.

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neilplatform1 8 points 23 hours ago

I've wondered before if we could persuade Google to start a spam division that would put all the dodgy spammers out of business by sheer force of intellect and give the profits to charity or something. Unfortunately it might well end up as something of a Frankenstein scenario.

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dtjb 4 points 22 hours ago *

And then what? Do you really think Google is that different? They are a corporation like any other .

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themusicgod1 1 point 15 hours ago

I disagree. I hope AT&T serves some day as competition to keep Google from becomming the AT&T of the future. AT&T could, you know, be crushed into a local company, maybe serving 1,000 customers or so...

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topper123 20 points 21 hours ago *

That's nothing. I got a $218 trillion ($218,000,000,000,000) phone bill and was ordered to pay up within 10 days or face prosecution. http://www.google.com/search?q=218+trillion+phone+bill

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mosox 7 points 11 hours ago

That's nothing. I got a $ 500 trillion bill from my wife's manicurist and paid it. My wife left me anyway for a richer guy.

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topper123 12 points 9 hours ago

That's nothing. I'm your wife's manicurist.

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mosox 7 points 7 hours ago

That's nothing. I'm your wife.

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encinarus 20 points 23 hours ago

But... those coupons are worth 1/10 of one cent according to the back! How dare they charge me $0.23 for it!

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sn0re 9 points 22 hours ago

If you return it, will they send you a check for 23 cents?

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washcapsfan37 5 points 19 hours ago

Even if they do, it'll cost you $0.41 to send it back. But then it would cost them some nearly-equivalent amount (they weigh their mail so it wouldn't be the full charge) to send the refund. I'd do it just to inconvenience them.

Reminds me of a time I got a bill for $0.23. It cost them $0.32 in postage to mail it to me. What a bunch of morons.

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discountviagra 1 point 15 hours ago

Nooo -It's real busines! Just you not in theme! ;)

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neilplatform1 3 points 23 hours ago

Whoops, I assume this was entered with the wrong category code, and was supposed to be billed to the advertiser. If enough people don't complain though it'll become standard practice. Get your billing moved online it really cuts down on that junk mail.

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ketralnis 6 points 23 hours ago *

Yes, but I doubt the contents of the bill change. So then they'll be charging you for adverts that you won't even receive.

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neilplatform1 1 point 19 hours ago

Agreed, though the advertisers should spot that sooner or later.

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miparasito 2 points 20 hours ago

Oh man! There's also a 911 charge on there. Now you're BILLING ME for being attacked by terrorists?!

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shaunc 1 point 2 hours ago

Funniest shit I've read all week - thanks :)

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911was_an_inside_job -5 points 18 hours ago [comment score below threshold] show comment
bravetoaster 4 points 16 hours ago

We needed a new troll.

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911wasnotaninsidejob -1 points 16 hours ago *

No it wasn't, go to sleep, peopleep!

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sebnukem 1 point 4 hours ago

"ADSHN fee" shtands for ADdiSHuNal fee. duh.

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deadsy 1 point 5 hours ago

Newsflash! Profitable company passes on all of its expenses to its customers!

Time Warner broke it out as a separate item on the bill, which probably says more about its internal accounting process than its desire to be transparent with its customers.

Bottom Line - if you don't like the deal find a better one. You don't have a right to be happy. You have the right to pursue a state in which you are minimally pissed off.

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Dark-Star 1 point 7 hours ago

Much like the auto industry (among others) advertising "MASSIVE SALES THESE DAYS ONLY!" - and not telling you they raised the base price the day before.

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EternalNY1 10 points 22 hours ago

I love how they don't have any problem admitting that they charge for the ad, but they usually just hide it in some other charge.

Isn't the whole reason the ad is there in the first place is because they were paid to put it in there? And then they charge the consumer for that "privilege"?

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giga -2 points 22 hours ago *

$0.23 cents

I hate when people write this. That's 23% of a penny not 23 cents. The Consumerist should know better :|

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washcapsfan37 5 points 18 hours ago

No, it would be 23 cents cents (which makes no sense, no pun intended), not 0.23 * 23 cents.

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NoMoreNicksLeft -1 points 18 hours ago

I'm pretty sure that's "adhesion", which is some term whose meaning I forget. It's not the HSN coupon. For fuck's sake, people.

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