How I was able to get a Bulk CableTV + Internet agreement for my HOA for $35/mo

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I live in an condo/townhouse development with 47 units and we have never had a contract for the entire Home Owners Association.

My monthly rates were well over $120 per month with a cable card (for my personal Tivo) and internet and I own my cable/modem too with Spectrum (TWC). 
I decided to cut the cable and this is the link on that subject. 

I decided to see about getting a bulk cable and internet agreement for our 47 units.  I contacted WOW cable (in my city) and found the "account executive for community solutions" which is a struggle to get to the right person who handles bulk agreements.  They told me that it would not be worth it to run a line into our development as it would be too costly.

I then contracted ATT/U-Verse and they said that the lines were in the ground in our development and they they would not upgrade that to give us better internet service than the max of 6mb down speeds which is quite slow and 7mb down is the minimum speed suggested to be used for streaming like Netflix.  I knew enough that a minimum of 15mb down would be needed for most of our development.

So with the those two choices gone I knew that Time Warner Cable (Charter/Spectrum) would be the only one I could work with.  I was hoping to pit two or more companies against each other to get the best rate, but that was not an option for us.  I was able to find the "account executive for community solutions" person and she put together a proposal for 3 years $47/mo, 5 years $42/mo,  and 6 years for $35/mo for Cable Tv and Internet combined.

This is the package they will give us including installation-
Cable: 70+ Channels (I think with the local channels it's more like 125 channels) Spectrum Select Channel Lineup, 2 Cable boxes or 2 Cable Cards or 1 and 1.  I asked for the cable card option to be added to the contract as that is what I use and it doesn't cost any more to add it and it may help others in the development.
Internet: 30/5mb internet speeds with a free modem (no wifi), 2 cable boxes, the online viewing app to be used on smart tvs and devices in the home.  I believe for simplicity of the whole association I will probably ask to change the contract to include a free wifi router for a few dollars more even though it's smarter to have your own in my opinion.  I just want the older people to have simplicity in one number to call about all their internet issues.

Extra services would be billed to the individual.   Examples are - DVR, HBO, On-demand movies, Higher Internet Speeds and more cable channels.

We will have a single contact number to Spectrum for all service issues for the individual owner to contact instead of bothering the board.  If we approve the 6 year contract as stated it would be 47 units x $35 = $1645/mo + tax which would then increase our monthly fees by $47 +Tax to the HOA.  So the bill to the HOA would stay the same every month and they max they can increase the rate is 5% from year to year.  If at any point we would like to cancel we would be able to with no cancellation fees, which really surprised me.   The hitch is that 100% of the units would be paying towards this even if they decided to keep Dish or DirecTV.  They would be double paying buy they would be allowed to keep their current supplier if they wish.  I can tell you that the non-promotional rate for just cable tv for the select package is $65/mo and does not include internet.  I was blown away by the discount they offered us and all that they are giving.  The key is to talk directly to the cable company and not use a third party as they may work in a high commission for their services.  I am not on the board, but I did submit it to them as I know they have other concerns.  The board and all the members attending were quite interested and we hope to have a vote in March on getting this done.  I hope this helps a few people to assist their HOA with saving money every month.

Feel free to ask more questions or add your own stories.
 

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1) Are you on the Board of the HOA?
2) If you are, then your management company should know this already.
3) Did you get approval of all 47 units to increase their rate this much?

And the price of $35 is YMMV, it all depends on if they already have service, they can handle a full load like that, or if they even want to.

forbin4040 said:   1) Are you on the Board of the HOA?
2) If you are, then your management company should know this already.
3) Did you get approval of all 47 units to increase their rate this much?

And the price of $35 is YMMV, it all depends on if they already have service, they can handle a full load like that, or if they even want to.

  1.  No, and I represented myself to Spectrum as a resident and not on the board.  I only wanted the information to submit to the board
  2.  We have a board of 5 people and then a management company which does some things for us also.
  3.  This has not been implemented yet.  This is a proposal at this point.  We would need a 75% of homes to vote for it for it to pass I believe.  That is for the board to decide.

There may be 2 or 3 homes that do not want this deal and my thoughts are that in the proposal to the residents maybe we should increase our monthly cable dues to include 3-5 units that may not want to pay for this service so they are not charged, but I don't know the legality of doing this according to our documents and it could be an accounting nightmare for the volunteer board member that keeps track of the money for our association.   All of the home owners I have spoken with have Spectrum or are willing to switch to Spectrum under this rate.  I would say 90% of our association already uses Spectrum service as it's the only option for Cable Tv without a satellite and there are only 3 dishes on the property and they may not even be hooked up.

The issues as you are not on the board is easements.
Where is the lines installed
How much extra work, etc
You could go to your board and say, hey can you consider putting in cable to all 47 units, but don't expect them to be all that receptive to it.

Putting cable in all units is usually done in a new install OR when an HOA has a lot of unsold units to entice. That's about it.

forbin4040 said:   The issues as you are not on the board is easements.
Where is the lines installed
How much extra work, etc
You could go to your board and say, hey can you consider putting in cable to all 47 units, but don't expect them to be all that receptive to it.

Putting cable in all units is usually done in a new install OR when an HOA has a lot of unsold units to entice. That's about it.

  
There are no easements as the lines have been installed underground since 1994 for service from Spectrum (TWC). 
There are currently drops throughout the property that can service every home with no new wiring. Each home has cable wired and if they do not have Spectrum it is disconnected at the drop.
I think I may have not explained it properly that we already have Spectrum service available for every home since 1994, this would just change it from an individual billing to a group billing process.

Wow cable would have meant new service drops which they were not willing to run into our development off the main street.
U-Verse was really never an option without high speed internet and they would not upgrade our lines underground to give cable tv over the internet.
ATT with Directv was an option buy with a satellite Dish and slow internet speed over current copper wire which would not be fast enough for many of our residents.

Ok so the only point of mine that applies is the last one.
What's the reason you think your HOA board will approve this?

And if all the tenants don't opt in, then the others have to pay an increased amount to cover it? That might not work.

forbin4040 said:   Ok so the only point of mine that applies is the last one.
What's the reason you think your HOA board will approve this?

And if all the tenants don't opt in, then the others have to pay an increased amount to cover it? That might not work.

  The HOA board will probably approve to put it to a vote because almost all in our development (including everyone on the board) is paying over $100 a month for cable and internet through Spectrum already.  If there is enough interest they will put it to a vote to all the association in which we need 75% of all the homes to vote yes for it to be approved.  One person who has direct tv says he is not happy with his current rates and he would be happy to have the new plan also.  I did not poll everyone in out association.   I only proposed it.  So far everyone that I have spoken with has said they would like to have the bulk rate.

For those who do not opt in - Currently the wording has not been finalized so I am totally guessing but every home will have to be paid for by the board.  If someone opts out usually in most HOA associations they will still be paying towards the cable and internet they are not using.  I am suggesting that maybe we could allow us each to pay $2-3 more to allow about 10% of the people to opt out on a first come first serve basis. 

This may be the same type of thing if your HOA association asked all members to vote to put in a community pool and some people didn't want it.  Everyone pays towards it and you personally choose to use it or not.  It would be put to a vote by all homes in the HOA and the board can not do it on their own without a 75% vote of all homes to change the documents.  Everybody would need to pay the additional fees if you used it or not.

Maybe there is a different way the board can write the proposal.  I do not know all that as it involves legal council which only they have access to.  If well over 90% or more of our association can lower their cable bill from over $100 down to $35-$40 I think it is worth it.  It will in the end be up to the people voting for this change.  The reason I started this was to give boards and individuals insight on how to get a fair rate for bulk cable.  I am not advising or suggesting that I have all the answers on how to word this in your documents or how to put it to a vote.  For that I would suggest you contact your own HOA or HOA management company.

Good luck with that, OP.

I worked in an apartment bldg where the owner got Directtv to hookup the place for signing a 5 yr contract. After they were done I scored plenty of hdmi cables component, composite and a few remotes the techs tossed in with the boxes they put in the recycling dumpster. Charter wholesale was double Direct tv charged.



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