Marketing

Mock Bill Shock: Mag Takes Stock Of Fees (A Crock)

4/04/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

The latest issue of The New Yorker (April 4), in its “Shouts & Murmurs”
column, takes an April Fool’s
Day-inspired look at a Time Warner (Cable)
bill. The parentheses are because
the piece identifies it as “Time Warner”
in the headline and body copy, which,
if The Wire’s experience is any gauge,
should have drawn a call from a Time
Warner Inc. PR person pointing out that
the two are separate companies and
please add the “Cable” next time. (In
fact, a Time Warner source confirms the
company did just that.)

Among the 50 line items on the mock
bill were the following:

$3.45: Singapore Nuclear Defense
Fund

$11.45: HDTV You Forget to Use Because
It’s Channel 700-Something

$1.35: Random Charge That’s Too Small
to Waste Your Time Contesting

$1.82: Time Warner Appreciation Fee

$1.35: Somehow This Goes to Goldman
Sachs

$9.95: Starz You Forgot Was a Channel

$40.20: Watching a Non-New York
Football Game Betrayal Surcharge

$2.15: Piers Morgan’s Dental Plan

$7.08: Time Warner Keychain

$104.23: Keychain Restocking Fee

TWC took a pass on offering its own
list, but missing from the New Yorker tally
were “mandatory suspect USF charge”
and “retrans fee to watch free TV.”

The total bill (which the magazine did
not tally) came out to $888.18 per month
by our calculation, if the 99 cents per day
for “Adoption of Eritrean boy named Kulu
(photo attached)” is calculated on an average
of 30 days per month.

‘SWAMP’ INVASION

The Wire can attest to interest raised
last week by History’s Manhattan street
campaign promoting the season-two
debut of Swamp People (March 31).
Crowds gathered at places like the outside
of Penn Station to sample Cajun cuisine,
and cell phone cameras snapped
at faux gators crawling out of fake manholes
on sidewalk locales.

September