This Time Warner Cable Letter Epitomizes What's Wrong With Cable Industry

Do you think Ford would ever send you a letter suggesting you give Toyota a try? Or would McDonald’s ever shoot you an e-mail telling you to check out the lovely Burger Kings in your new neighborhood? Of course not. So why would the cable industry not care which company you choose?

Consumerist reader Mike recently moved out of an area where he had no choice for cable TV other than Time Warner Cable to a town where Comcast is the only option.

As if to reinforce the fact that his choices are severely limited, he gets the above mailer from Time Warner suggesting he give Comcast a shot.

“I’ve been inundated with other mail from seemingly every retailer in the region,” writes Mike. “They all tout how great they are and how much I’ll save. But the TWC letter is just like ‘nice to know ya… try Comcast.’ Shouldn’t cable companies be fumbling over each other to sign up the guy who just moved into the neighborhood?”

Alas, because many cable providers have regional monopolies, there’s virtually no competition. And as the people of Boston have found out over the last few years, market dominance by one cable provider can lead to soaring cable rates. It also means that your cable company has little to no motivation to provide you quality service. After all, when you only have one option, you can’t exactly threaten them with switching to a competitor.

“What makes me even angrier is that they spent money printing and mailing this letter that only serves to remind me that I don’t have any choice!” writes Mike, who says he’s decided to call DirecTV and Dish.