Midco billing conversion coming soon; some internet, cable and phone customers to see price increase
photo by: Journal-World Illustration
About a year after Midco took over internet, cable and phone service, from WOW, the bills of Lawrence area customers will be updated to Midco plans and prices.
Midco Vice President of Customer Experience Cory Limberg said the median change in cost for Lawrence area internet, cable and phone customers will be between $5 and $6 more per month. However, he said some customers could see a larger increase or a decrease in price, depending on when they originally signed up for services.
When Midco took over from WOW, monthly prices were generally transferred over as they were. Limberg said the upcoming billing changes for the Lawrence area are the final step in the conversion to Midco, which also provides service in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
“It’s following through on what we had committed when we came into the market,” Limberg said. “We realize that change can sometimes be unsettling, even if you’re on the other end of it, and so we kept things the same. And now after what is essentially over a year, we are getting in line with the rest of the Midco rates across all the markets we serve.”
The main communications company in Lawrence has gone through a host of different acquisitions recently, going from Sunflower Broadband to Knology to WOW in fewer than 10 years. Midco bought WOW’s Lawrence location and took over in June 2017.
The variability of the price changes has to do with the variance in former plans, Limberg said. He said that through those acquisitions, plans and prices were not synced up, resulting in current Midco customers paying different amounts for the same service. He said that includes customers that were “frozen in” at special discount rates — perhaps $20 or $30 under regular rates — originally meant to be temporary, as well those that were being overcharged.
“There is such a variety of changes, because we are trying to get everybody aligned,” Limberg said. “And so it kind of swings from one end of the pendulum to the other.”
As of July 19, Limberg said Midco is also offering gigabit internet for about $100 per month. Other internet companies already offer similar high-speed internet connections in certain areas of town, but the Midco service makes the service available citywide for the first time.
Since coming to the area, Limberg said Midco has also been increasing internet speeds and eliminating some service fees charged by prior companies, such as WOW’s $5 per month service protection fee. He said those upgrades and changes mean that some customers will actually pay slightly less for faster internet service.
According to Midco’s website, all four of the Midco internet plans are getting a bump in speed. For instance, one plan is changing from 30 mbps downloads to 50 mbps downloads. Another goes from 110 to 150 mbps. Limberg said the alignment of cable and phone plans will also include some minor changes, and that the specifics of the new plans are available on Midco’s website.
As part of the conversion from WOW, Midco took on about 30,000 internet, cable and phone customers in northeast Kansas. In addition to the city of Lawrence, Midco serves customers in Basehor, Eudora, Tonganoxie, Bonner Springs and Linwood, according to its website.
Limberg said Midco is continuing to send out letters to customers informing them of the billing changes. He said the billing changeover will be staggered because there are multiple billing cycles, with the first changeover occurring Aug. 19.