I've been a customer of NewWave Communications as my home internet provider in Sour Lake, Texas for 10+ years. We are in a rural area and don't have many options in providers, so I'm pretty much stuck with who I have. I'm set up on auto-draft and have never missed a payment, and we have never had an interruption in service. We are happy with our internet speed, and do not need anything faster.

About a year and a half ago, they tried to tell me the plan I'm on is no longer available and they wanted to charge me slightly more and move me to one of their new plans. I declined their "faster and more reliable internet" (because it already is fast and reliable) and they told me they would keep my service and my bill the same ($42.74/mo). They said that as long as I don't change my plan, I'm grandfathered-in at the price and service I'm getting, and that there was nothing they could do about it.

Yesterday, I received a letter in the mail (from NewWave) stating, "The internet service I subscribe to is being discontinued, and my service is being moved to a comparable service or plan." Same thing they tried to tell me before. That comparable plan takes me from 1000 GB Data Plan ($42.74/mo) to a lower 300GB plan ($55.00/mo) and if I go over the 300GB, they will charge me an EXTRA $10/mo for every 100GB I go over. They note that my actual monthly data usage for the Oct-Dec months has been 701GB. In what world is that a comparable plan?

I called the number on the letter, and they said that NewWave Communications is being bought out by Cable ONE, and that this new company is going to charge me TWICE the amount for a "new" plan that I've always had because this new company says my plan doesn't exist. Look, my internet is just fine the way it is. Nobody is coming out to my house and re-wiring anything, and I'm not asking for anything more other than to leave me and my bill alone. Shouldn't this "new" company honor the price that I've had for years? I mean, AT&T and Verizon don't offer unlimited plans to people anymore, but the people who got on those plans before they changed what they offer weren't forced to get another plan, right? They are grandfathered-in. When Cable ONE acquires NewWave, don't they have to honor the previous agreements of the people that had them before they bought the company?

I understand that this new company structures their plans differently. Fine. When they get new customers, that's what they'll have to pay, but I am NOT a new customer. I am the same customer, paying the same price (with apparently slower service than the rest of the world even though we can't tell and don't care to to know the difference), and I'm getting the same service I have always gotten. Just because Company A sold to Company B, what gives them the right to all of a sudden charge me double? I didn't ask for any of this, and as an honorable customer in good standing, I do not appreciate being treated like this. I feel like they are trying to steal from me and telling me I don't have a choice.

What gives them the right to do this to me?

  • The “right” is probably because you are not in a contracted period with Company A, so they can change the plan details and/or increase the amount you are paying with due notice. You have the “right” to accept and continue receiving service or decline and stop receiving service. – Moo Feb 15 at 3:34
  • Can you confirm if you are in a contracted period with Company A or not? – Moo Feb 15 at 3:35
  • There was never a written contract with this company. You call over the phone and sign up for a plan. You commit to a service via the phone and you're locked into that service until you change it. When you call them, they say all calls are recorded so I suspect that's how they can hold you to it if you ever were to opt not to pay. I've never had an issue because they told me 1.5 years ago that I was grandfathered into the old offer, and that as long as I didn't change anything on my plan, they couldn't make me upgrade. – Allen Robertson Feb 15 at 6:58
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    The grandfathering comment doesn’t mean anything, it just meant at that time they would keep you on that plan but not offer it to new customers - it doesn’t mean they have to offer it to you for the rest of eternity. – Moo Feb 15 at 8:16

What does your contract say?

If it says (as I suspect) that they can cancel the plan after some period of notice, then they can cancel the plan after some period of notice.

You can shop around for a new ISP but no business can be forced to sell you services in 2020 at 2010 rates.

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  • Thing is, they've told me before that if I don't change my plan, I'm grandfathered in with what I have and they couldn't make me change. I've been able to keep this plan that they say "hasn't existed" or been offered to any new customers in 1.5 years. When they tried to upgrade me 1.5 years ago, I declined. If the plan I'm on didn't exist for the past 1.5 years, then how have I been on it? If it doesn't exist now, then how have I been on it? If I don't want anything new and want to keep the same service I have (which is so they say slower than everyone else) don't I have that right? – Allen Robertson Feb 15 at 6:06
  • And to my point about AT&T and Verizon's unlimited cell plans - They don't have to offer it anymore, but the people that were on it and never left get to keep it. What's the difference? I have what I have. I like it. I don't want any change in service. I don't want to pay double for something that I already have at the price that was agreed to. They can't force me to change, right? They should honor company A's agreement with me as long as I don't make any changes to my service. – Allen Robertson Feb 15 at 6:10
  • If I'm buying a car from Bank A for $30K and Bank B buys bank A, Bank B can't tell me they bought Bank A and that I have to buy that same car for $60K because Bank A doesn't exist anymore. – Allen Robertson Feb 15 at 6:19
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    @AllenRobertson you are buying a service, not a single item - you pay monthly, the service is delivered monthly. Either party has the right to end the relationship according to the contract, which it sounds like in your case is payment by payment (a rolling service contract, you pay for a month and they deliver you a months service), so either you or the service supplier can walk away with a months notice. That’s what’s happening here - you can’t force the company to provide you a service on your terms for the rest of your life, because that’s not what the contract between you says. – Moo Feb 15 at 8:09
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    And yes, they can force you to change, unless your contract with them says otherwise. – Moo Feb 15 at 8:11

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