Videotron wants more money

I got a letter in the mail today from Videotron saying that they’re upping the basic digital cable price by $1 a month (plus taxes) as of March 15. I wouldn’t have minded it so much (hey, times are tough, right?) if my bill hadn’t already gone up by $1 a month (plus taxes) when Videotron decided to cancel one of my channels and then charged me a new, higher rate when I changed my lineup (because it was a “new” service).

So why are they charging more now? Well, all the investments they’re making in infrastructure (that won’t affect me), including all those jobs they’re creating in Quebec.

And those investments have made a difference, after all (emphasis mine):

Customer surveys indicate that our customers’ satisfaction level remains high; indeeed we are in the top league of suppliers of cable TV products in Québec.

Well, if Videotron is one of Quebec’s top cable TV providers, then it must be good, right? And if customer surveys reveal high satisfaction, I’d be stupid if I wasn’t satisfied too. I mean, it’s not like Videotron has an absolute monopoly over digital cable TV in this area and is abusing that to suck as much money out of customers as possible, knowing full well that their only other option is another customer service nightmare with Bell’s satellite TV.

Taking a look at parent company Quebecor’s latest quarterly financial report (PDF), I see that Videotron made $579 million in profit in the first nine months of 2008. Mind you, most of that money was taken up by amortization and capital costs, which left a paltry $150 million of actual profit from Videotron’s 1.7 million customers (which works out to about $100 profit per subscriber over nine months).

So I can really see how that extra $1 a month is vital to the future operation of Videotron’s services.

UPDATE: Rogers is also raising its cable/internet rates. Coincidence?

16 thoughts on “Videotron wants more money

  1. BruB

    I got the same letter, I don’t really mind the 1$ really. But, when I read it, the first thought that came to mind was. If they haven’t spent 0.75$ for the enveloppe and 0.52$ on the postage.
    They could have raise it only 0.88$ per month. Than I recycle the paper and felt better.

  2. Deya Bautista

    I also received that letter. Good thing I only have my internet connection with them and nothing else. Would they charge $3 if I’d had the trio package?
    While gas prices are down, videotron fees are going up. Ce la vie.

    1. Houston

      They increase my bill $1 in February for local community cable improvement tax or some BS, then another $2 in March … do not know what to do ….

      1. Jean Naimard

        Call, and say you want to unsubcribe, because it’s too expensive.

        They’ll transfer-you to the snake-oil brigade and will cut a cheaper deal with you.

  3. Shawn

    The part that I still don’t get is why Videotron charged you more after switching away from Peachtree. That was not my experience. What “new” service did you switch to?

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Apparently in early 2008 Videotron increased the package fee for one of my packages, but only for new subscribers to the package. Since I changed my channel lineup online, their vast intelligent computer decided that I was adding a new service (even though I wasn’t) and charged me the new rate, which was $1 more a month.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Well rabbit ears won’t work for U.S. stations in about 10 hours, so there’s a problem there too. I’m not crazy about being boxed in to whatever CTV and Global decide I want to watch.

  4. Jean Naimard

    Do you really need Vidéoétron?

    Do you need 3049554 channels of utter debilitating neuron-killing, artery-hardening crap?

    Do you need all that drivel piped to your home daily?

    Embrace bit-torrent, get what you really want for free, and at the same time do your little part to kill those huge media conglomerates with death by a thousand paper cuts.

    And if you think about your job, you’re just a tool used by them that will be discarded whenever you have run out of usefulness.

  5. Dumitru Erhan

    Don’t forget that the increase in rates gives you the right to cancel your contract without an early cancellation fee (if your cable service was subject to a contract, of course).

  6. Christian

    If Vidéotron’s receivers would allow us to hide the gazillion channels we’re not subscribed to (like Bell’s channel lists), I would give them an extra buck.

  7. ANON

    Move to Bell

    They are giving great discounts if you leave Videotron

    Videotron much like Hydro – Quebec will keep raising their prices to satisfy QUEBEC INC. fat pockets

  8. Harry

    I just got a DTV converter for my analog TV, to get the now all-digital WCAX, WVNY, WPTZ, WCFE, VPT, and CIVM (yes, Tele-Quebec is digital). The picture and sound is crystal clear, and totally FREE as public airwaves should be. Hydro is a utility, cable doesn’t have to be.

  9. Robert Mondoux

    Hello Harry,

    Read your comment about buying a dtv converter. I live in Montreal.
    Can you recommend a model?
    It seems everyone in the stores KNOWS what I’m talking about and has been asked about it alot – but they have NO CONVERTERS. What gives?

    Please help if you have a store tip. Thank you so much –

  10. Harry

    Hi Robert,

    I bought a Tivax ATSC converter at my local La Source store. The Tivax works well so far, not stellar in terms of response times or user interface, but good enough. I had to pre-pay at La Source to reserve a unit, they fly off the shelves as soon as they come into the store. They’re also available online at (here’s the Tivax specific page


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