Letter: Optimum in Lakewood

Dear Lakewood Scoop.

Once again optimum has raised their rates again for the internet service. Back in mid-2017, my bill for internet was about $59.95, but since Altice has purchased the company, the increases have been out of control.

First they started charging a $10 rental for the cablemodem, then they added a modem $3.50 enhancement fee, and in February 2020 they just increased the rates by about $14. So now the bill is about $90 for what is essentially a necessity for anybody who has a home office. Is anybody regulating them?

Switch to FIOS? In many parts of Lakewood FIOS is not available, so Optimum is essentially operating in monopolistic environment and threatening to cancel doesn’t seem to move them in anyway.

It’s particularly frustrating when you see their promotions for new customers $65 “for life” for 400 mbps (4x my speed) and knowing you are funding their marketing budget.

Anybody have any ideas?

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  1. Become a new customer by switching to your spouses name , that’s what I did and locked in the price for life.
    I agree that it’s disgusting that they give a better price to a new customer than a customer that has been with them for years. I’ve spoken to customer service a few times and they could care less about customer loyalty.

  2. That is normal practice for most utility companies. They offer a discounted/promotional rate to get you in the door and then raise the rate after the promotion is over.
    Call the retention department and ask them to continue your promotional rate.
    Only that the department is able to do it

  3. Simply the worst!
    They are on track to lose nearly 30% of their customers this year as people “Cut the Cord”.
    Of course in Lakewood there is NO Competition or Alternative.
    My daughter in Marlboro now Streams everything via Fios on 3 HD Flat Screens for less than I pay the now French Owned Optimum.
    BTW….That Worked of theirs is a Horror Show and a Con Job.

  4. 1) Buy your own modem, just make sure it is compatible with Optimum
    2) Call their retention department at 877-936-4778 to get your bill lowered. I am currently paying $50 a month and have been a customer of Optimum for almost 7 years.
    FYI You may have to call up the retention department once a year to keep your low rate going.
    3) Last time I called they said something about getting a $5 statement credit every month for going paperless. I have no idea if that is still going on, but I’d definitely recommend asking about it. (I was told that it will even work if you switch from paperless to regular and then back)
    Hope this helps!!

  5. I didn’t notice the “rental” charge for the modem, only after a year of paying $10 per month, I fast ordered one from Amazon for $40.
    I was able to get a cheaper rate for 2 years when I complained that the new customers are paying much cheaper.

  6. Guess what? Optimum is no better in Brooklyn! And FIOS is not an option everywhere (yet). Raising rates at their whim… Just opened my email to a surprise $94.99 “raise”. With a few adjustments and credits, it’s still over $90/month! Yikes!!!

  7. Started at around 40, now up to 90+ or 110+, I lost track already.

    Meanwhile their website was showing a lower speed plan which I tried to switch to- guess what, it’s advertised but not available lol.

    How do you get cheaper internet +phone?

  8. First of all you can buy your own modem. I got mine for around $40 on ebay.

    If you call up and say you want to cancel service, they will offer a better deal for a year.

    If you have unlimited hotspot on your cell plan you can use it instead of having a landline.
    There is a company called Visible owned by Verizon that offers unlimited hotspot. The speed is capped at 5mps which is good enough for basic usage. It’s $40 a month ot\r $25 per line if you get 4 cell lines.

  9. Optimum is a monopoly and as suchis regulated by the the state utilities board. Every time they increase their price, the state has to approve of it.

    To get around this, Optimum/Altice, has introdused a myriad of additional fees, and not just the rental fee.

    The state absolutely should step in and do something about their massive price increase (there is a reason monopolies are regulated). My rates have gone up over 40% in the last 4 years.

    The reason why Altice keeps raising the rates, is because the parent company bought a whole bunch of teleco’s via leveraged buyouts.They purchased these companies by loading them up with debt, using very little of their own cash, and now, need to raise rates to cover debt finance.

    The sale never should have been approved as the only way for it to be viable was massively raising rates (utilities sales need approval).

    The rate increases are not to make up for cord cutters, it is to enable them to make debt payments that resulted from the purchase. Earnings from Optimum now helps Altice cover a lot of debt from their other purchases that are under-water

  10. The problem is that modems develop problems over time. I would typically need a new modem every year so cost savings for owning might not be very significant (optimum would swap it, I have always used theirs for this reason). If you buy a $50 modem and make sure you use a credit card that gives you an extra year of warranty (and actually file for that warranty) then you will have a hassle, but at least your modem will last you at least 2 years (the cc usually just refunds you the price you paid if it dies under warranty, and then you effectively have free).

  11. I have called up every time they raised my rate by saying,” since i’m a long time member i deserve a discount. I also mention if they can give me a deal since I don’t need thier tv..”. so some representatives gave me a deal with a cheaper price, which I accepted. The ones that couldn’t do anything, I just hung up and called back to get a different representative to finally get a discount. It basically seems which person answers the call.
    But hatzlacha raba to keep on calling.

  12. I called Verizon yesterday and ordered service. Today I called Optimum them either you meet there price or I’m switching next week to Verizon. My monthly went from $136 to $68 including paperless billing and auto pay

  13. Just did this:
    I called and asked to cancel. When they asked why, I said it is too expensive, and they dropped my rate to $60 a month. Also found a modem on ebay for $25, open box condition, and it works perfectly (Arris SB6183). Just note you will have to call Optimum tech support to activate your new modem, and you will need to send back your old one. Make sure to ask them for a free shipping label when you activate your new modem.

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