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Like most internet companies, Spectrum increases your cable bill anywhere from 18–60% after the first year of service.

As a result, long-term Spectrum customers often pay upwards of $168 for internet and TV each month, unable to access the “introductory” pricing advertised for new customers.

This can be frustrating, especially when you’re also paying activation fees, WiFi fees and sports fees on top of it.

On June 2nd, most Charter Spectrum customers will start to see monthly price increases and rising fees on their bills. Customers can expect to see a rise in the following, just to name a few: broadcast TV fee, the TV Select, Silver, and Gold packages, and equipment fees for set-top boxes. The rise for each will be about $2–$8.

If you came here looking for an “existing customer deal,” the good news is that they do exist… they are just difficult to access.

Aside from discounts, there are several ways to lower your bill — including services like Billshark that will simply do it for you.

How to reduce your Spectrum bill

In this post, I'll show you how to reduce your Spectrum bill as an existing customer. This will require you to complete some or all of the following:

Don't skip number five, it's a solid last-ditch option if you have a spouse or roommate.

Want to see some success stories?Skip to the bottom to hear about reader experiences calling in to Spectrum to negotiate lower rates themselves.

Don't have a free afternoon to spend on the phone? Consider a bill reduction app or service. You just upload a bill and they take it from there, negotiating down the bill on your behalf in exchange for a percent of the savings.

As a former call center company worker myself, I know a thing or two about navigating Spectrum’s signup process and finding hidden deals. It takes time, but they do exist.

Before we start, be aware that this is a time-consuming process. It’s not guaranteed to work. In fact, about 3/4 of the mail I get about this post is people reporting that they couldn’t get a deal, even after several calls.

But if you’ve got some free time today and you want to save $120 or more over the next year — keep reading.

Here are some quick fixes to get you started:

Most methods of lowering your Spectrum bill will require at least one full afternoon of effort. Polling of our readers shows an average of 1.5 hours of wait time per call.

If you want results faster, you can Upload your bill to BillShark, and they'll negotiate a lower rate with Spectrum for you. (Estimated annual savings: $240+)

I've written up Step-by-step instructions below to make it simple.

Upload your bill

AT&T Fiber has been expanding and now offers speeds in the 100–1,000 Mbps range for equivalent or lower pricing than Spectrum. You can check your address for service and sign up completely online.

I've written up the details on AT&T vs Spectrum and how to switch providers without losing WiFi below. (Estimated annual savings: $300+).

View Plans and Pricing

Prerequisite: Understand How Spectrum Works

Before we start, you need some basic information about how Spectrum operates.

Like most cable companies, Spectrum uses a tactic called “introductory pricing” to sell internet service. This means that the price they advertise is not the actual cost of service — it’s a promotional rate for the first 12 months or so.

Because their sales agents are incentivized to sell as much as possible, this fact is often downplayed when customers sign up. In fact, if you ask a Spectrum agent what the final price is, their script requires them to say: “the standard rate at the time your promotion expires.”

No matter how you ask, they will never reveal the standard rate. And this is why so many customers are surprised when their bill suddenly jumps 40%.

The final pricing eventually shows up on bills, so I’ve been able to track down the current rates. The plans are regional, generally divided between their “upgrade” service areas (cities like Los Angeles and the standard Spectrum service area (mostly suburbs). The pricing is the same for each of the three tiers of service; the only difference is the internet speed. While this site is focused on California, Spectrum pricing is more or less the same nationally:

Plan NameSpeed Down/UpPromo PriceStandard Rate
Spectrum Internet100/10 Mbps$49.99/mo$69.99
Spectrum Internet Ultra400/20 Mbps$69.99/mo$94.99
Spectrum Internet GIG940/35 Mbps$109.99/mo$129.99

As you can see, you’re looking at anywhere from 10–80% price hikes, depending on the promotion you signed up on (these change a few times a year).

This is the primary reason that customer bills go up over time — although there are also instances where Spectrum’s “current rate” will go up for your subscription tier, or where extra fees or services might be added to your bill due to clerical errors or changing policies at Spectrum.

In order to get your bill back down, you’ll need to remove services, reduce equipment costs, call to negotiate the rate down, and/or re-qualify for a promotional rate. I’ll share some details specific to Spectrum in this article, but similar tactics work well with other cable companies like Cox and Xfinity.

You may also want to try and qualify for a subsidized plan, although those plans have much slower speeds and no TV options.

Let’s get started:

Call and Negotiate a Lower Rate

As covered above, Spectrum bills always go up after the first 12 months, and then creep up from there as regional price changes and fees get tacked on over time.

The solution: call Spectrum and negotiate a lower rate.

Customers who were with Time Warner Cable before Spectrum bought them out in 2016 will remember this as a tried-and-true method for reducing costs. Time Warner was very generous with promotional rates, to the point that practically every customer had a unique price for their account thanks to haggling with the TMC call center.

Spectrum has cleaned that up, by enforcing minimum prices and refusing to grant 'new customer' pricing for existing customers.

However, you can still reduce the rate by calling, and not just by shaving off TV packages. Here's a step-by-step walkthrough of how to lower your Spectrum bill:

Step 1: Prepare your account information

Before you call, have a bill handy so you can give them your account number and any other necessary information to identify the account.

Speaking of accounts, make sure you’ve paid your most recent bill. They won’t reduce the price for you if you don’t have an account in good standing.

Also ensure that you have information on competing offers for internet service in your neighborhood — especially if it’s a fiber service like AT&T Fiber, which Spectrum has more incentive to undercut on pricing. These can be helpful for convincing Spectrum that you mean business about canceling.

Before the call, collect:

  • Copy of most recent Spectrum bill (paid to date)
  • Case number for any past disputes you've had with Spectrum
  • Price and speed for competing internet/cable offers in your neighborhood.
  • The promo rate you signed up for (you'll be asking them to match this).

Step 2: Call Spectrum customer service at (855) 707-7328

When you call Spectrum, your goal is to:

  1. Convince them that you’re going to cancel if they don’t give you a better rate.
  2. Navigate their call center correctly so you find an agent who can grant price reductions.
  3. Be polite to them personally, but express frustration about Spectrum the company.
  4. Be exceedingly polite. If you worked in a call center, who would you give promos to: rude customers, or friendly ones? Nice guys finish first in this process.

Finding the right agent is easier said than done.

When you first call, you’ll be given prompts to route your call to the right department. You can either go directly to the cancellation department, or go to general customer service.

I recommend that you start with customer service, because they’re more likely to transfer you to an agent with pricing power than if you go directly to cancellation.

This part is very important: you need to talk to the customer service or billing agent for at least five minutes before they transfer you.

This ensures that they send you to “retention,” rather than simply giving you cancellation information on the spot.

Retention is where you want to be ultimately, because these agents have the best promotional offers and the most power to lower customer pricing. However, sometimes the customer service agent can grant your request on the spot — it depends on the current promotions, and where you call from.

Step 3: Explain your request to Spectrum customer service

Quick Tip

Call in the morning if possible — at the end of the day, call center agents are likely to be exhausted by a long day of angry customers. They may also be given a limited amount of coupons per agent to placate customers, similar to how grocery store employees are often allowed to discount a certain amount of produce each day to keep customers happy.

Start by asking how their day is going and being friendly. Then, start in with the issue:

I’m calling because I’d like to get some help with my bill – my price recently went up quite a bit, and it’s more than I can afford. I’ve been a customer of Spectrum for a long time, and it’s frustrating to see that my neighbors get the same service for a much lower rate. Can you tell me about your current promotions, or any other ways that I can reduce the bill?

At this point, their script should require them to try to sell you a bigger TV package, Spectrum mobile, or even home phone service. Hear them out but politely decline to add additional services or increase your internet speed.

Thank you for that, it’s helpful to know all the options. Part of the reason I’m calling is because another internet provider is offering me a new customer rate to switch to them. That said, I’ve been happy with Spectrum and as you can see I’ve been paying my bill on time for a long time now. Is there a discount you could attach to my internet price to recover the introductory price I was paying? I’d be happy to sign up for automatic billing if there’s a bonus for that.

At this point, they will do one of two things:

  1. Tell you there’s nothing they can do.
  2. Offer to revert your account to “intermediate pricing,” which is currently around $54.99/month for the base internet plan.

For the base 200 Mbps internet-only plan, it’s common to be able to argue it down to around $55. The $54.99 price point is an “intermediate” price for entry level plan in some areas.

This is likely to be the best discount you’ll get on an internet-only plan, so I recommend you go ahead and accept it if they offer it.

Step 4: Escalate to a manager to check for promo offers

If they can’t reduce it, ask to speak to a manager, and politely repeat the above script.

Remember, you are frustrated at Spectrumnot the call center employees.

For the manager, try expressing frustration about the “bait and switch,” and say that you weren’t made aware of the standard rate when you signed up. This may trigger them to offer a discount, if they believe you are going to submit an FCC complaint.

Step 5: Escalate to retention by requesting to cancel service

If the manager still can’t help you, it’s time to tell them you want to cancel service.

Telling them you want to cancel — after spending five or more minutes on the phone — should trigger their script to require a transfer to the retention department.

They’ll transfer you to a new agent, who ostensibly is going to help cancel your service. However, this agent has access to “retention offers,” and will make one last attempt to convince you to bundle more services instead of canceling.

Once again, you need to politely decline, and make one final request:

I understand the introductory rate is for new customers, but if I could at least get closer to it, I’d happily just stay with Spectrum instead of going through all this trouble to switch. Do you have any kind of coupon or promotion you can attach to my account?

This is where it comes down to luck. Some agents, on some days, will have the power to attach a discount. But the default is for them to simply allow you to cancel.

If you have the nerves, or are truly willing to switch to a competing provider, go ahead and follow the rest of the cancelation process. In some cases, they will “find” a promotion in their script the last second before clicking cancel — similar to how Adobe Photoshop offers you three free months, but only if you go through 4 of the 5 steps required to cancel.

Step 6: Hang up and try again later if no discounts are offered

Since promotions and coupons seem to come and go in the Spectrum call center, you’ll likely need to repeat this charade a couple times to get a result.

If you have no luck with the script above, try calling in the next day, or the next week.

Send your bill to a negotiation service

If 3+ hours of your time and frustration on the phone is worth more than $10–40 per month in savings, I recommend uploading your bill to a negotiation service like BillShark, who can handle the calls for you.

Mobile apps like Truebill are also able to negotiate your rate, and charge equivalent rates based on a percentage of what they save you. Truebill also offers bill monitoring and a variety of other services, mostly free.

For bill negotiation, Billshark and Truebill both charge a 40% commission off the savings. However, since they know the process for negotiating well, they get a higher overall savings in most cases. It's especially worth using them if you already tried and failed to get a discount yourself.

Note that this is not the option you should take if you have $0 in your bank account, because they do charge a commission.

Truebill and Billshark are what's called 'found money' startups, meaning they specialize in recovering money for consumers who otherwise would let it go due to inconvenience.

They can also tackle your mobile phone bill, home security bill, and any other monthly subscription with variable pricing issues. If you have a lot of bills piling up that are too high, it's worth submitting a few all together and seeing what they can get you.

Here are the instructions for working with Billshark to reduce your Spectrum bill:

How to upload your bill for Billshark

  1. Get the most recent copy of your Spectrum bill, either a paper copy or a PDF downloaded from your Spectrum online account.
  2. You can download a PDF copy of your Spectrum bill by logging into your account at and selecting BILLING, then scrolling down to PREVIOUS STATEMENTS (seem screenshot below).

Once you have a copy of your bill, you can upload it to Billshark and they’ll start calling Spectrum on your behalf to negotiate the price down:

  1. Go to the Billshark upload page and select “Charter Spectrum” and “Internet.”
  2. You’ll be prompted to create a Billshark account by entering your name, email, and creating a password.
  3. Next, you’ll be prompted to upload your bill. You can use the most recent PDF copy from your online account, or simply send a smartphone snapshot of you paper bill.
  4. They ask for a PIN, but you can leave it blank — Spectrum does not require pin numbers for internet and TV accounts.
  5. Click “submit” and Billshark will contact you once they’ve secured a discount for you.

They ask for seven days so they can conduct multiple calls, but most readers here report that it’s done within two days.

Remove Unnecessary Services

The easiest way to reduce your Spectrum bill is to “cut the cord” and remove extra services like cable TV packages and home phone service.

Take a look at your bill and you should see line items for each extra service on top of internet, plus fees and equipment.

Between the DVR, receivers, and sports fees, the cost of Spectrum TV adds up really fast. Some customers pay more than $200/month for what amounts to a handful of premium channels. In this day and age, that’s crazy. (Spectrum Sports packages start at $84.98 including the Sports Pack add-on, and go all the way up to $188+ before fees and the incrimental cost of internet service in the bundle!)

If you want to cut the cord from Spectrum TV, the best replacement that ticks all the same boxes for sports access and live programming is FuboTV. They are currently offering a free trial so Spectrum customers can sample the service. It's similar to Netflix, but with a focus on sports and live TV and pricing starting at $33–60 per month.

FuboTV Free Trial

The primary reason people stay with Spectrum is the sports packages. However, getting sports over the internet is easier than ever. In addition to league passes and direct subscriptions, there are a variety of streamings services dedicated to live TV and sports, with FuboTV being the top player in 2021.

As for premium channels like Starz, just Google “streaming” and the name of the channels you actually watch. Chances are you can get them “over the top” via a direct subscription and drop your TV costs dramatically.

Pro Tip: Don't change your package within the first twelve months, it causes Spectrum to void your promotional rate, so you are no longer considered to be a new customer eligible for sign-up discounts.

Also take a look at Roku, Firestick, and other streaming platforms. These sometimes have special deals and make it really easy to view sports on your widescreen TV, regardless of who you are buying the sports content from.

Reduce Equipment Fees

One of the biggest hidden costs on Spectrum plans is the WiFi router fee.

I’ve written a full guide to dealing with Spectrum’s WiFi equipment fee here, but here’s a quick summary:

When you sign up for Spectrum, they offer you a “free modem.” This is true… but a bit misleading.

The modem only “translates” your internet connection for your home devices. You need a WiFi router in order to connect via WiFi. No router, no WiFi.

The catch: the WiFi router costs money to lease from Spectrum, currently around $5 per month ($60 per year) on all plans except the most expensive “GIG” plan.

So sure, the equipment is “free” with Spectrum — but only if you don’t mind only using the internet from one device, plugged into the modem with an ethernet cable (like in the nineties).

…Obviously, this is a no-go for virtually everyone.

Charter Special Offer

The solution is to return the leased Spectrum WiFi router you’re using, and buy your own.

Aside from increasing your internet performance, using your own router will save you $60/year on Spectrum internet. Considering that a decent modem and router will run you $120 or less, that’s a savings of $180 over five years of service.

It also keeps you safe from equipment rental fee increases, which have certainly happened before with big cable companies.

Spectrum-compatible WiFi router recommendations

For most people, where ease of use is the priority, I recommend the Arris Surfboard modem + WiFi router.

The Surfboard is very easy to use — you just plug it into the cable jack in your house, call Spectrum customer service to tell them the MAC address written on the back, and you’re done. It pays for itself after the first year in saved leasing fees. (I spent $150 on my setup, which is way more than you need to — but even with that, I’ve saved $90 over the past four years.)

If you want to save even more money, you can hold onto the 'free' Spectrum modem and buy just the WiFi router. The TP-Link AC1750 WiFi router is a good pick for all non-gigabit plans, and is compatible with the free Spectrum modem they provide.

However, I think most customers will be happier just owning all the hardware themselves, since it saves you the hassle of returns or disputes with Spectrum when you move or change service.

If you’re more of a “techie,” I recommend that you spend more and get the modem and WiFi router as seperate devices, to keep the setup modular and make it easy to add switches, smart home doo-dads, etc. Spectrum maintains a page of modems that they are compatible with.

Larger homes can also consider mesh WiFi setups like Eero or Google Nest. These basically come with extendors so the WiFi is distributed more evenly in your home, without the need to hard-wire a bunch of access points. it’s not as good as hard-wiring, but if you’re renting, that’s out of the question anyway.

Qualify as a new customer

Quick Tip

If you cancel your Spectrum service for 30 days or more, you should be able to sign up again for a new customer rate with the same account login, address, name, and phone number. I've only done this once personally, I'm not sure how many times it can be repeated before they bother to chase you about it.

If all of the above fails you, another way to get the new customer rate is to take advantage of loopholes in the Spectrum corporate process that allow you to become “a new customer” again.

There are four ways to do this:

1. Sign up under a spouse or roommates name.

This is the simplest approach, and is sometimes even recommended by Spectrum agents if you go to one of their store locations.

All you have to do is cancel service, then have your spouse/roommate call and sign up under their name, phone number, and email.

If you lease Spectrum’s modem/router, you’ll need to return this first. If you use your own, you’ll just need to act like it was “left by previous tenant” when you call to give the MAC address on the back of the modem (this is how they activate new service if you have your own modem).

2. Sign up with a new phone number and email address through a reseller.

Spectrum may notice you have the same name if you attempt to sign up with them directly at the same address. However, if you go through one of their many “authorized resellers,” you’ll get the same promo rate as signing up with Spectrum directly — but it’ll be harder for them to cancel the order or notice that you’re an existing customer.

The catch is that you must use a new phone number and email address. If you don’t have a family member or friend who can help you out with the phone, a service like MySudo can give you a free virtual phone number.

Getting a second email is easy — just make a new account with Google, Yahoo, or the email provider of your choice.

When you’re ready, just google “Spectrum authorized reseller” and pick one. You’ll recognize them because there will be text saying “authorize reseller” under the Spectrum logo on their web pages. All you have to do is cancel your existing service, then call the reseller.

3. Claim account issues in a Spectrum store.

If you’re having issues with any of the above, or have already exhausted them by claiming a promo rate for many years in a row, another method that works is to create issues with your online account that force them to create a new one for you.

Again, resellers are a good way to do this. If you submit multiple orders through resellers under your existing name and email, it will likely cause an issue with your account. Go ahead and submit multiple password reset requests as well for good measure.

Then, go into the Spectrum store and claim that you had been trying to switch service, but changed your mind and want to go back to Spectrum. The problem is that your account has locked you out now, and the reset isn’t in your spam folder.

After this complicated story, ask the agent in the store if they can create a new account tied to your phone number instead of your email. I’ve personally been able to unlock a new account and extra 12 months of promotional rate service by using this trick. (Your mileage may vary, it depends on the mood of the store employee.)


4. Cancel and wait 30 days.

Finally, an inconvenient method of getting a new customer rate is to cancel for 30 days. After that, they consider you a new customer and you can sign up for the promo rate in a Spectrum store or via phone.

If you can survive on a hotspot or mobile tethering for a month, this is probably the simplest method.

Switch to a different internet provider

Possibly the simplest way to get a “new customer rate” for internet is to sign up as a new customer… with another internet provider entirely.

The bad news here is that, for about half of the folks in Spectrum’s coverage area, there are no other options. Spectrum has a de-facto monopoly in much of the US, thanks to long-standing city franchise agreements.

The good news is that AT&T and a bunch of other companies have actually expanded fiber internet coverage pretty dramatically in the past couple years. So, if it’s been a while since you last checked, now is a good time to do so.

The most common Spectrum alternative is AT&T Fiber (unless you're in New York, in which case Verizon Fios is more common).

Best Spectrum Internet alternative: AT&T Fiber 300

AT&T's Fiber 300 plan is the best equivalent to Spectrum internet. It provides 300 Mbps download and upload speeds for $55 per month, including fees.

For reference, that's three times the download speed and almost nine times the upload speed. They have a 100 Mbps plan that's even cheaper at only $45 per month, including fees. (Spectrum's 100–200 Mbps plan is $49.99, and that has a $5 WiFi fee on top.)

The upload speed increase actually makes a big difference if you're doing a lot of Zoom and work from home activities, because it provides more bandwidth for streaming video up to the internet, instead of just down from Netflix/Hulu/etc.

Check Availability

Switching to AT&T Fiber or another provider of your choice is easy:

  1. Confirm options: Check your address with AT&T, or check for other options using the FCC provider search tool (look for results labeled “fiber”).
  2. Schedule install: Order online or call to schedule an install date. Choose an install day in the week before your current month with Spectrum ends. (you can check the billing date on your bill or account.) For AT&T, I recommend the AT&T Fiber 300 plan for most homes.
  3. Cancel Spectrum: Wait until you’ve confirmed the AT&T install, then go ahead and schedule a Spectrum cancellation. (Make sure the cancellation date is after AT&T’s install, but before they auto-bill you for the next month. They don’t prorate bills.)
  4. Test it out: AT&T has a 15 day guarantee and no contract requirements. So, if the service doesn’t live up to their promise, you can sign up for Spectrum again as a “new customer” after 30 days.

Qualify for a low-income subsidy

Finally, Spectrum has low-income plan options. I don’t recommend these because they have dramatically reduced speeds compared to their normal service.

Here are the basic plan details for their subsidy plan for verified low-income households:

Plan NameSpeed Down/UpMonthly PriceWiFi Fee
Spectrum Internet Assist30/4 Mbps$17.99/mo $5/mo

How to Qualify for Spectrum's Low-Income Plan

You are supposed to only be able to get Spectrum 'Internet Assist' plans if you already participate in one of the following public assistance programs:

  • National School Lunch Program
  • Community Eligibility Provision of the NSLP
  • Supplemental Security Income (must be 65+)

However, there is a bit of a loophole for qualifying that still works for some locations in 2020. In 2016, Spectrum merged with Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse Networks, two other large cable providers in the US. This merger was a bit controversial at the time, as watchdogs viewed it as anti-competative for the broadband market.

As a result, Spectrum agreed to a variety of terms in order to get the merger approved by the FCC: 1

  1. Provide department and they gave a $20 credit for internet only for next 12 months. Was very easy! General customer service department did not offer that.Nick N., Feb 2021

    I just used my own adaptation of these scripts and it worked out. Thank you, Lord! Ultimately, they lowered my bill (for just internet, nothing extra) from $79.99 to $59.99 per month.

    Originally I spoke to a customer service rep who tried to get me to bundle internet with new services to “save me money,” but all of her options increased my bill and she couldn’t do anything to actually lower it. I politely declined and asked for a supervisor. She transferred me. I explained my situation to the supervisor (i.e. that I enjoyed having Spectrum but couldn’t afford the $15/month increase) and she said she couldn’t do anything for me. I then told her I understood and asked her if she could help me cancel my account with them. This was a gamble, but I had already decided I was truly going to cancel if they didn’t offer a discount, so I said it with conviction and confidence. She said she couldn’t help me cancel but she could transfer me to someone who could. That got me to the retention department. The person I spoke to tried to get me to add speed/services in order to “give me options” and I heard him out, but politely declined all the extras. We eventually settled on the same internet speed, with no service additions for a “promotional price” of $59.99/month for 12 months.

    My bill has steadily increased from the new customer price of $49.99 to $79.99 over two years. That seems almost criminal to charge me $30/month MORE for the same services when I’ve been a loyal, pay-on-time customer for years. Especially now, during the hard times with COVID-19 lay offs/remote learning.

    Anyways, I’m happy for their retention department and I’m happy about the $20/month savings I’ll be getting. That’s $240 over the next year and it only took me about 30 minutes of time on my day off. Thanks for this article - it really helped!

    Gabrielle G., Jan 2021

    Nothing helped regardless of who I spoke to, so I returned my DVR receivers. If enough individuals would cancel service Spectrum they would reduce prices. I just saw a promotion (January 2021) where Spectrum would pay up to $500.00 to buy out a contract so new customers could switch. By turning in my cable receivers for 30 days I now qualify for new customer rates. Not only by doing this Spectrum will lose one month of income, but now they are giving me the reduced rate that they originally refused. Of course I have to do this every year. If you choose to turn in your receivers, I recommend giving up cable in December. Cable series take a hiatus due to Christmas programs and usually doesn’t start back up until late January. Whatever you decide, good luck!

    Gayle L., Jan 2021

    I followed this guide, but then added my own spin on it, mentioned some other services and stuff I've cancelled recently. Talked to a general CS rep first, no dice, asked for manager, no dice, she transferred me to retention department after I mentioned considering switching to AT&T. Then 20 minute queue time to get transferred to that department. And just a few minutes later of talking she said she'd put me back on my $59.99 rate (just increased to $74.99). So a savings of $180 a year for 40 minutes of my time.

    Jason CK., Jan 2021

    Just used your advice to lower my internet bill $20! I'll be getting another year of a promo rate - thanks!

    Becca K., Jan 2021

    This is amazing, just WOW. I am calling today wirh my new-found knowledge and confidence! December 2019 I got Spectrum internet at my beach house. I went there 2 times before Covid hit and have not been there since February.

    Susi F., Jan 2021

    Just got mine lowered from $74.99 to $59.99 using this script. Thanks!

    Anonymous., Dec 2020

    Tried to get my mothers Spectrum bill down from $131.00 to a reasonable sum due to her very low income. She is 93 & living on $700 a month. Most they would do is a lousy 20.00 a month. Pathetic. Even Directv will offer new customer packages for a limited time to Existing 93 yr old customers. Poor customer service.

    Anonymous., Dec 2020

    You can’t downgrade from normal internet to internet assist you’d have to disconnect for 30 days. However there is a lower speed option for the same price that you can downgrade to called everyday low price or elp.

    Anonymous., Dec 2020

    Wanted to share my experience trying the negotiation route. I called their direct line (866.892.0019) and the first rep said “hell no.” So I asked for a manager like you recommended. The manager said the same thing. So, I said fine, let’s cancel my service. Bam: retention transfer. The lady in retention said no problem at all, we can adjust the bill back to $50. (I was paying close to $70!!!) She was super nice and I’ll definitely do the same next year. Thanks for the tips!

    Dan W., 2020

    Hey, read your article five times before making my call. Thanks for all the tips.. I got my bill for TV/cable and internet down to $99.55, it actually only took one call. I was paying $172 before. They put me on a plan that just has my favorite channels and some local stuff I wanted.

    Jimmy A., 2020

    I didn’t expect much calling but the agent actually helped me get a $30 deal for internet and phone without extra costs on top. They said if you can prove SSI it’s not problem. I was calling for my mom. She’s using Netflix and 20mb internet now and very happy to save the $60 per month she was paying!

    John R., 2020

    So, we’re snowbirds and obviously this is a “pain in the b**” for internet service. I called to complain and just got the regular schpeel about our promo price being out of date. They charge us $15 per month for seasonal hold which I think is crazy, but whatever. Comcast at our other home is even worse. Finally got through to retention after two calls this morning and they gave us a $65.99 price (was $69.99 before). Not sure if that’s worth the time but wanted to share our experience.

    Dan & Angela., 2020

    Reader not-so-success stories

    Here are some write-ins I’ve had about this post that aren’t success stories, but nonetheless contain useful information:

    Well several phone calls to Spectrum have been useless. After our 3rd increase in as many months we had had just about enough of this. All I have is Internet and their streaming service (which stinks by the way) that does not include any 'premium' content. My latest increase pushed me over $115. The first agent was actually quite rude, the second was very pleasant, but unfortunately could not do anything and connected me with a manager. Again the response was essentially too bad, things go up. When I said that I was going to cancel and go back to ATT, the response was pretty much go ahead.

    Bob L., Dec 2020

    Spectrum was charging me $196.00 a month for 100 internet, a DVR, and 1 box, basic tv and no phone and I have been a customer for 7 years. I called and told them that I couldn’t afford it anymore and cancelled everything but the internet. So what did they do, upped my internet to $69 a month for the 100 speed and did not offer me anything lower, but to add cell phones. I did not want to change my cell phone service, so to punish me and my husband, two elderly disabled people, they raised my internet. So, I am hearing my neighbors say, they didn’t do that to us, they gave us lower rates to keep us. What kind of company punishes elderly people who can’t afford your outrageous rates for basic service. So now I’m left to shop for another internet company, because I’m not going to pay more for 100 speed than people are paying for the 200 speed. [redacted personal information.]

    Bob L., Dec 2020

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why can’t I get the $49.99 Spectrum price as an existing customer?

    Spectrum only offers the $49.99 per month internet plan for new customers, meaning customers who have not had Spectrum service in the last 30+ days. Once you’ve been a customer for 12 months, you are no longer eligible for the $49.99 price, which is a promotional rate used to attract new customers. You may be able to extend the promotional rate, or at least reduce your current bill, by calling Spectrum’s retention department and comparing the price to another offer in your neighborhood.

    Does Spectrum offer discounts for seniors or veterans?

    Spectrum does not have discount programs or promotions for veterans or seniors at this time, but they sometimes treat these demographics more favorably on the phone when evaluating the need to dispense a retention offer. As with other customers, the key is remaining calm and emphasizing competing offers from other internet providers.

    Is it possible to lower my spectrum bill?

    It is possible to lower your Spectrum bill by either removing services, calling and requesting a new promotion, or bundling additional services to bring down the overall cost per-service. You may also be able to qualify for subsidized plans for low-income households, or temporarily reduce the monthly cost while out of town by placing the account on hold.

    Does Spectrum offer deals for existing customers?

    Spectrum offers a variety of deals for existing customers, but they are all incentives to add additional services like TV, phone, or mobile service. These deals are only cheaper if you were already purchasing the extra service from another provider at a higher price, in which case consolidating all services under Spectrum can save money. Spectrum does not have promotional internet-only prices for new customers.

    1. ↩

Charter Spectrum is a no-contract cable TV provider with three package options: Select, Silver, and Gold. At the highest tier, it has 200+ channels. Is it worth the subscription? Read on to find out.

Call 855-436-5187

Overall Score










Pros and Cons

  • Premium networks included early
  • No contract
  • Plenty of HD channels
  • Extra charges
  • Average DVR service
  • Average customer service

Bottom Line

/ran-online-installer-free-download-full-version/. No contract cable TV provider with premium networks

Charter Spectrum TV is available in 42 states across the US, and does not require a contract. It also includes premium channels like HBO, Showtime and CINEMAX in its middle-tier Silver package.

However, it's also more expensive compared to other TV providers. We break down Spectrum's TV service, so you'll know what you get before subscribing.


Charter Spectrum TV is a telecommunications company that also provides internet and home voice services. You can bundle these with your TV service, or pick the TV service a la carte. Bundling lowers the price of your TV subscription, but comes with a bunch of extra fees as well.

To sign up, call (855) 436-5187. Choose a package, and set an appointment for installation. A technician will then come on the date to install the service in your home.

Now that you know the basics, let's go over Charter Spectrum's pros and cons.


  1. No contract: One of Spectrum TV's biggest strength is that it has no contract. You can subscribe month-to-month without worrying about early termination fees. If you don't like commitments, Spectrum TV is for you.
    In a contract? Spectrum will buy it out - up to $500. Call (855) 436-5187.
  2. Good availability: Spectrum TV is currently available in 42 states, although not all areas are covered. You can check its availability by entering your zip code on their website.
  3. You want bundling options: Charter Spectrum also provides internet and home phone. If you're looking to bundle, you can get their TV service cheaper. Each bundling option comes with 100Mbps internet and home voice service.
  4. Premium channels included early: Spectrum TV includes premium channels early on in their package tier. You get HBO, CINEMAX and Showtime in their middle-tier Silver TV package. Other providers usually offer these only at their highest tier. At Spectrum TV's highest tier, you also get STARZ, STARZ Encore, and The Movie Channel.
  5. Weather proof reception: Satellite TV services like DIRECTV are prone to service interruptions due to the weather. Spectrum TV's service is more reliable, since cables aren't affected.
  6. Spectrum TV app: Spectrum also has its own TV app. It lets you watch over 170 Live TV channels while at home, as well as On Demand content. While you're on the go, it has 60 available networks to choose from. You can also browse TV listings, schedule your DVR recordings, and watch TV on your tablet, smartphone or other portable devices through the app.
  7. Plenty of HD channels: Spectrum TV has 200+ channels in HD, and provides them for free in their TV packages. They also have 1,500+ options in their HD On Demand, including movies in 3D.
  8. You prefer simple packages with no extras: Spectrum TV only has three packages, making it easy to choose from. It's a no-nonsense packaging, without extras or unnecessary channels. If you know which channels you want and don't like channel surfing, pick Spectrum TV.
  9. You'd like to try it before buying: Spectrum TV has a 30-day money back guarantee for its service. If you don't like it for whatever reason, you can cancel its service within 30 days and get a refund.
  10. You want a smooth installation service: Spectrum TV also guarantees that their contractor will arrive on time. If the contractor doesn't arrive within the arrival window, you'll get a $20 credit.


  • Extra charges: For a provider with no contract, Spectrum TV packages seem reasonably priced at first glance. However, be on the lookout for extra charges. The DVR, for example, will cost you $12.99/month. Even if you don't want a DVR unit, you'll still need the HD box, which costs $7/month. Also, you'll need to get additional receivers if you have more than one TV in your home.
  • Average customer service: The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) rated Spectrum TV as 63, which is quite low. While it ranked higher than Comcast, it's still lower than providers such as Verizon Fios, AT&T's U-verse, DIRECTV, DISH, and Optimum.
  • Average DVR service: Spectrum TV's standard HD DVR box can record up to 80 hours of SD and 35 hours of HD. Their enhanced DVR is a little better - it records up to six shows at once, and stores up to 150 hours of HD. Still, it's not as good as DIRECTV's Genie or DISH's Hopper 3.

Alternatives to Spectrum

Sling TV: If it's no-contract you're after, Sling TV is a good alternative. It's one of the cheapest live TV streaming services, and it's compatible with most devices. Its cloud DVR service is limited, but since there aren't any equipment or rental fees, it's still a value-for-money choice. It's also a lot more flexible since no equipment or installation is required. For a truly flexible subscription, Sling TV is one of the best choices.

Charter Spectrum

Sling TV

Charter Spectrum Deals
Stream Live TV - Learn More

Benefits and Features

DVRTwo DVR models, Motorola and Cisco/SA. Motorola can record and store up to 21 HD hours. Cisco/SA with 80 GB hard drive can record and store between 30 and 50 hours. Models with a 160 GB hard drive can store up to 90 hours of SD. Records up to 2 channels simultaneously. One box needed per TV. Connects up to 8 TVs.Sling TV's cloud DVR can record any number of shows, although it's not available on all channels. 50 hours of cloud storage for $5/month. Cloud DVR beta users have 100 hours of cloud storage.
PackagesTV Select ($64.99/month): 125+ channels
TV Silver ($84.99/month): 175+ channels, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Digital Tier 1.
TV Gold ($104.99/month): 200+ channels, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Starz, Starz Encore, Digital Tier 1, Digital Tier 2
Sling Orange ($25/month): 25+ channels Sling Blue ($25/month): 40+ channels Sling Orange + Blue ($40/month): 50+ channels
CancellationNo early termination fees. All equipments must be returned upon termination. Unreturned equipment fees apply.No early termination fees. No refunds for prepaid or partial months of service.
ContractNo contract.No contract.
InstallationStandard professional installation included for up to 6 rooms. Additional installations cost extra.App-based TV service, can be installed on most smart devices.
AutopaySign up for autopay feature online through TWC's account portal.Payments are automatically deducted from debit or credit card on file.
Receiver FeeSpectrum Receiver & Remote ($5.99/month), DVR Service for 1 DVR receiver ($12.99/month). Additional DVR receivers up to 4 ($19.99/month). CableCARD ($1/month). Secure Connection per CableCARD ($1/month).No equipment rental fee.
Regional Sports FeeNo regional sports fee.No regional sports fee.

Charter Spectrum: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length was obtained on April 12, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

DIRECTV: DIRECTV may have a two-year contract, but it's a solid TV service. It's available throughout the US, and has great DVR capabilities. Prices do hike in the second year, but it delivers in terms of DVR technology, channel selection, and sports content.

Charter Spectrum


Charter Spectrum Deals
Compare DIRECTV Packages - Learn More

Benefits and Features

DVRTwo DVR models, Motorola and Cisco/SA. Motorola can record and store up to 21 HD hours. Cisco/SA with 80 GB hard drive can record and store between 30 and 50 hours. Models with a 160 GB hard drive can store up to 90 hours of SD. Records up to 2 channels simultaneously. One box needed per TV. Connects up to 8 TVs.Genie HD-DVR can record up to 5 simultaneous recordings. 1 TB storage space for 200 hours of HD or 800 hours of SD recording. Paired with receivers (Mini Genie) to connect up to 8 TV sets, however only 4 active viewings at one time.
PackagesTV Select ($64.99/month): 125+ channels
TV Silver ($84.99/month): 175+ channels, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Digital Tier 1.
TV Gold ($104.99/month): 200+ channels, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Starz, Starz Encore, Digital Tier 1, Digital Tier 2
Select ($49.99/month): 150+ channels.
Entertainment ($54.99/month): 155+ channels.
Choice ($59.99/month): 185+ channels, NFL Sunday Ticket.
Xtra ($69.99/month): 230+ channels, NFL Sunday Ticket.
Ultimate ($74.99/month): 245+ channels, NFL Sunday Ticket.
Premier ($124.99/month): 325+ channels, NFL Sunday Ticket, DIRECTV Sports Pack.
CancellationNo early termination fees. All equipments must be returned upon termination. Unreturned equipment fees apply.Early termination fees are $20 for each remaining month left in contract. All equipment is leased and must be returned, unreturned equipment fees apply.
ContractNo contract.User agreement requires a base TV package of $29.99/month for a 24-month contract minimum. Promotional pricing only applies for first 12 months; regular pricing applies after.
InstallationStandard professional installation included for up to 6 rooms. Additional installations cost extra.Standard professional installation included in up to 4 rooms only; additional installations cost extra.
AutopaySign up for autopay feature online through TWC's account portal.$5/month discount for the first 12 months if you sign up for DIRECTV autopay feature. Autopay can be setup with bank account, debit card, or credit card.
Receiver FeeSpectrum Receiver & Remote ($5.99/month), DVR Service for 1 DVR receiver ($12.99/month). Additional DVR receivers up to 4 ($19.99/month). CableCARD ($1/month). Secure Connection per CableCARD ($1/month).Equipment rental fee of $7/month for each receiver on account.
Regional Sports FeeNo regional sports fee.Up to $7.29/month may apply (varies depending on location)

Charter Spectrum: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length was obtained on April 12, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

DIRECTV: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length was obtained on December 6, 2017 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Verizon Fios: Although its availability is limited, Verizon Fios is one of the better service providers out there. Like Spectrum TV, it also has no contracts, but it delivers great customer service as well. Fios has consistently been top-of-the-charts on the ACSI rankings since 2014. The Custom TV package lets you customize your channels somewhat, minimizing the monthly TV costs.

Charter Spectrum

Verizon Fios

Charter Spectrum Deals
Verizon Online Only: Waive Set-Up Fee. $99.99 Value - Learn More

Benefits and Features

DVRTwo DVR models, Motorola and Cisco/SA. Motorola can record and store up to 21 HD hours. Cisco/SA with 80 GB hard drive can record and store between 30 and 50 hours. Models with a 160 GB hard drive can store up to 90 hours of SD. Records up to 2 channels simultaneously. One box needed per TV. Connects up to 8 TVs.Three DVR options available. Single Room DVR records 2 shows at a time, with 20 hours HD recording, for $12/month. You can only watch recordings on the main TV. Enhanced Multi Room DVR service records 6 shows at a time, and has 100 hours of HD storage. It costs $20/month. Their Premium Service records up to 12 shows at a time, and has up to 200 hours of HD recordings. It costs $30/month.
PackagesTV Select ($64.99/month): 125+ channels
TV Silver ($84.99/month): 175+ channels, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Digital Tier 1.
TV Gold ($104.99/month): 200+ channels, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Starz, Starz Encore, Digital Tier 1, Digital Tier 2
Local TV ($10/month): 10 channels
Custom TV ($64.99/month): 155+ channels
Preferred TV HD ($74.99/month): 255+ channels
Extreme TV HD ($79.99/month): 330+ channels
Ultimate TV HD ($89.99/month): 425+ channels
CancellationNo early termination fees. All equipments must be returned upon termination. Unreturned equipment fees apply.No early termination fees. All equipments must be returned within 30 days. Unreturned equipment fees apply.
ContractNo contract.No contract.
InstallationStandard professional installation included for up to 6 rooms. Additional installations cost extra.Standard professional installation $99.99.
AutopaySign up for autopay feature online through TWC's account portal.Sign up for autopay feature via the My Fios app or My Verizon account online. Accepts bank account, debit and credit card.
Receiver FeeSpectrum Receiver & Remote ($5.99/month), DVR Service for 1 DVR receiver ($12.99/month). Additional DVR receivers up to 4 ($19.99/month). CableCARD ($1/month). Secure Connection per CableCARD ($1/month).Set-Top Box ($12/month) per TV, Fios Wireless Router ($10/month)
Regional Sports FeeNo regional sports fee.Regional Sports Network Fee (up to $6.39/month, varies depending on location)

Charter Spectrum: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length was obtained on April 12, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Verizon Fios: Pricing information from published website as of 2/7/2018.


In a nutshell, Spectrum TV is a simple, no-nonsense TV provider. We like that it has no contract, and that there are only three package options to choose from. We also like that the premium channels are included from the Silver TV package onwards, which is a plus for those who know which channels they want.

Still, for its price, we would have liked to see better DVR capabilities and customer service. Although there's no contract, the monthly fees are quite high. With the added monthly DVR/equipment costs, it's almost the same as other providers. In fact, it could be more expensive when you factor in multiple TV sets.

Spectrum TV is great for viewers who live alone and don't mind paying a little extra. Having no contract gives flexibility, and if you're just about the premium channels, then Spectrum TV is for you. However, if you have a bigger household, or want a long-term TV service, we suggest going with another provider.

Write to Khairie A at [email protected] Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.


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