Spectrum pros and cons
The best thing about Spectrum is its no-contracts policy. It doesn’t lock you into service for years and charge hefty termination fees if you want to leave, so you’re free to come and go.
In fact, Spectrum is so anti-contract that it will even buy out your contract with another internet provider when you switch (as long as you get a qualifying Spectrum bundle).
Spectrum does have its downsides though. Even though there’s not a contract, there’s still a price hike after your first year of service. That’s not a rare practice for a cable company, but we still don’t like it. Even so, Spectrum’s cons aren’t absolute deal-breakers.
- No contracts
- No internet data caps
- Inexpensive mobile service on Verizon network
- Wide availability
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Limited savings on bundles
- Lackluster DVR
- Price hikes after first year for TV and internet
Spectrum contract buyout
If you switch from a comparable service to one of Spectrum’s qualifying Double or Triple Play bundles, Spectrum will reimburse your early termination fee (ETF) up to $500.* You just have to fill out a form and send Spectrum a copy of the bill that states your ETF.
This is cool because some companies make you sign a contract to get TV or internet service. It’s usually fine, but things get tricky if you want to switch services or move before the end of your contract. You’ll usually get hit with a hefty ETF, which often costs $20 or more per each month left of your contract.
* To qualify for the contract buyout program, a customer must order and install a qualifying Triple Play or limited Double Play promotion; offers not available in all areas. Offer available to qualifying customers only who have no outstanding obligations to Charter. Check amount will be determined by the early termination fee on the final bill from the previous provider, not to exceed $500. For contract buyout qualifications, go to Spectrum.com/buyout.
Spectrum internet, TV, mobile, and bundling
Data as of 11/5/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Spectrum offers Double and Triple Play bundles for TV, internet, and home phone. Oddly enough, you can’t bundle Spectrum Mobile with your other services because you have to be an existing Spectrum internet customer to sign up for its cellphone service.
What you can bundle is Spectrum Voice, which is the company’s home phone service. It costs $9.99 per month and is available only when you bundle it with at least one other service.
Spectrum has internet plans starting at 100 Mbps and going up to 940 Mbps. We like that Spectrum doesn’t have internet data caps, and its fastest speed tiers are available in most of its service areas. Read our full Spectrum Internet review for details on pricing, availability, and plan features.
Spectrum TV gives you options, from traditional cable service to streaming-only service with cloud DVR. We particularly like the Spectrum TV Silver plan because it costs only $20 more than the Select tier but gives you at least $30 worth of premium channels. Check out our Spectrum TV review for our full analysis.
If you’re already a Spectrum internet customer, you can take advantage of Spectrum Mobile. It’s an inexpensive cell service that works on the Verizon Wireless nationwide network and Spectrum’s network of Wi-Fi hotspots. You can read more about the service’s inexpensive and flexible plans in our in-depth Spectrum Mobile review.
Though Spectrum doesn’t give you much of a discount for bundling services, getting your TV, home phone, and internet all in one place is at least convenient. And you can throw together any combination of TV, home phone, or internet services into Double Play or Triple Play bundles. Read our review of Spectrum bundles for recommendations and tips on how to get the best deal.
Find a Spectrum store near you.
Spectrum fees and charges
Shout-out to Spectrum for making it easy to find info about its prices, fees, and charges. You can check your area’s specific costs for service calls, late fees, equipment costs, and other charges using Spectrum’s online rate card. Having the list of charges might not make paying them any easier, but at least you know what to expect.
We looked at the fees for at least seven cities across the US, and things look pretty normal for a cable company. A few items popped up that merit some side-eye, though, like the $5.00 processing fee for paying over the phone or the $9.99 Wi-Fi activation fee (on top of the installation fee).
On the other hand, Spectrum’s no-contract plans mean no early termination fees (ETF). And it has a forgiving 30-day grace period before hitting you with a late fee, so we’d say the pros and cons of the fee structure are pretty balanced. Fees are still fees, but in this case we wouldn’t say Spectrum’s fees are a deal-breaker.
Learn more about Spectrum.
Choose Spectrum for no-contract service and fast internet speeds. Skip it if you’re not interested in Spectrum internet. Two of Spectrums most promising features—Spectrum Mobile and its live TV streaming service—are available only to Spectrum internet customers. Spectrum’s TV service is fine on its own, but you can find more channels and better DVR options elsewhere.