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All about Spectrum services: Your ultimate guide

Lisa Iscrupe

May 4, 2020 — 5 min read

Thinking about switching to Spectrum service? Find out what it’s really like to be a Spectrum customer, from moving to equipment costs and everything in between.

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Are you moving to a Spectrum area or considering switching to Spectrum at your current home? There are plenty of websites to tell you about promotional Spectrum prices and plans, but what is it really like to have the service? From placing your order to setting up equipment to being a long-term Spectrum customer, we’ll tell you the secrets of Spectrum services.

Signing up for Spectrum

There are three ways to sign up for Spectrum service — online, over the phone or by going into a local Spectrum store. After confirming that Spectrum is available in your area, you can select your internet, TV or phone plan, along with any extras, such as premium channels or sports packs. 

What else does signing up for Spectrum involve? You may need to run a credit check to get new Spectrum service. And, when you sign up for a Spectrum home internet plan, you can typically choose between self- or professional-installation options. 

  • Spectrum professional installation — If you choose professional install*, your appointment will be scheduled and the technician will typically come to your home within two to five days, depending on availability. Sometimes, next-day appointments are available. Spectrum will send a reminder of your scheduled appointment a day ahead of time.  *Note: Professional installation is currently suspended due to COVID-19. Read about your other Spectrum install options.
  • Spectrum self-installation — For those who prefer self-installation, your equipment will be shipped to you within two to three business days via FedEx.

Getting your first Spectrum bill

You may be wondering what Spectrum really ends up costing and what to expect on your first Spectrum bill. Like other internet service providers (ISPs), Spectrum bills for state taxes and other charges, such as FCC fees. Depending on your Spectrum package, you could see amounts for installation or equipment. 

Be aware that fees such as shipping costs (for equipment), installation or the entire first-month bill may be required upfront when you place your order, or delayed until your first billing cycle.

Getting your Spectrum equipment

You will receive the necessary equipment depending on the plan you choose. The Spectrum equipment you need will either be shipped directly to your home or brought by the technician during your professional installation appointment. 

Spectrum internet equipment

If you opt for standalone internet and self-installation, you will receive a modem with Spectrum self-install instructions in the mail. Spectrum provides the internet modem for free, but there is a charge for Wi-Fi service, so most customers opt for the Spectrum equipment, and provide their own Wi-Fi router. You can also elect to provide a Spectrum-compatible modem.

Spectrum TV equipment

Spectrum TV plans come with a DVR and set-top boxes. You select how many rooms you want to have TV service connected, and if you want DVR service in more than one room. Based on your order, the technician knows the correct number of TV boxes to bring on their truck. 

With Spectrum DVR service, you can record up to six shows at once. You can either have set-top boxes in your auxiliary rooms, which would allow you to watch all the channels Spectrum offers in your chosen TV plan, or you can upgrade to DVR service for the other rooms as well. 

Not sure what you need? Think about where you will primarily be watching TV, because those are the room(s) where you will likely want the ability to record, pause and rewind TV.

What’s the best way to move your Spectrum service? 

Spectrum makes it easy to move your service to a new home. If you are moving within a Spectrum region and want to move your Spectrum service with you as-is, you can simply log in to your Spectrum account and arrange the move service date. Depending on location, you may be able to take your modem to your new residence, connect it and be online, all without needing a technician. On a Reddit thread regarding moving Spectrum services, one customer said, “Moved to a new apartment, hooked up my modem and called and within 20 minutes it was working.”

What if you’re moving but want to change your Spectrum plan? For instance, if you are moving to a larger home and will need TV service in more rooms, then be sure to call or go to a Spectrum retail store to make the appropriate changes to your account prior to your move-in date. It’s important to make changes to your plan ahead of time so that you have the equipment you need upon arriving at your new residence. 

If you are moving outside of a Spectrum region and need to end your Spectrum service, you will not have an early termination fee (ETF), but according to Spectrum’s cancellation policy, you’ll be charged for the remainder of your current billing cycle. Our suggestion? Choose an end-service date that coincides with the end of your billing month.

What’s it like to be a long-term Spectrum customer?

There are certainly some benefits to being a Spectrum customer. Spectrum does not have contracts, which sets them apart from many other ISPs. This makes it relatively easy to change plans, move or end service completely, if needed. Spectrum plans do still have promotional rates that last for varying periods of time, typically 12 months. 

Spectrum deals and promotional rates

For new customers, once the 12-month promotional period is over, the monthly price will increase approximately $20/mo.*, on average. When you sign up for service, ask what the non-promotional price will be so that you know what to expect a year down the line. However, be aware that Spectrum price increases can occur, and since there are no contracts, your non-promotional rate may change more than once. 

On the flip side, since there are no contracts with Spectrum, you can also upgrade or downgrade your plan if you find you need faster internet speeds, prefer a different TV package or just want to lower your monthly bill. But remember, if you change your plan while you are still in a promotional period, you risk losing your current reduced rate. 

How to get a better Spectrum deal

If you are no longer in a promotion and become dissatisfied with the cost of your plan, you can reach out to Spectrum customer service to try and negotiate a new deal. In a recent Reddit thread, one Spectrum customer tried this method and said, “My bill went from $70 to $50, with a slight increase in speed and a modem upgrade that I could do myself, so no service call fee.”

Spectrum customer service is available via phone, on-line chat or by visiting a local Spectrum store. While you may be unlikely to get the new-customer promotional rate, many long-term Spectrum customers have had success in getting their monthly bill reduced. 

Want other tips on signing up or moving your home internet service? Check back at the Resource Center or follow our experts on Facebook and Twitter.