CLEVELAND, Ohio — WOW! Customers across Greater Cleveland will be getting new bills, email addresses and cloud-based TV as Breezeline, the company that bought WOW!’s operations, starts to transition customers in May.
Breezeline, formerly Atlantic Broadband, acquired WOW!’s operations in Cleveland and Columbus in September. Breezeline President Frank van der Post said the company has been working to beef up the existing network in Ohio and get it ready to offer better internet speeds and TV and phone services.
The former WOW! doesn’t operate in Cleveland but has a large presence in Cuyahoga County and stretches into Lorain and Medina counties. The area coverage includes South Euclid, Shaker Heights, Parma, Berea, Westlake, Brunswick, Avon Lake and Vermillion, among other cities.
The transition will start May 9, and while some things will be instant, other changes will not take effect until the fall.
Here’s what former WOW!, soon to be Breezeline, customers need to know:
The billing system will change for Breezeline customers starting in May. Customers will get a new Breezeline bill with a new account number to use for payments and self-service options.
Customers with autopay already set up will be transitioned to Breezeline. But if a person pays through a bank account or credit card, they’ll need to set up their payments with the new account number.
People who received bills electronically will get one paper bill at the beginning of the transition.
Customers who have a wowway.com or wideopenwest.com email address will receive a new Breezeline email address, @breezelineohio.net. The existing WOW password will work.
Over the next six months Breezeline will migrate the email accounts, and emails sent to wowway.com addresses will be forwarded to the breezelineohio.net account. But after about six months, emails sent to the wowway.com addresses won’t be forwarded.
Customers will be notified when their account is migrated, and those without a wowway.com email address will be set up with a new breezelineohio.net account.
The email and password will also be used for account access and for the TV-platform Breezeline is introducing.
Phone numbers staying
People with home phones from WOW! will be able to keep their phone numbers and won’t have to change equipment.
However, they will get migrated to a Breezeline voicemail box, so saved voicemails will not be transferred. Customers also have to update their voicemail box setting, like the message on their answering machine.
Changes to TV
Most customers won’t see changes to their TVs right away, and channel lineups will stay the same. But Breezeline will introduce a new TV product sometime in the fall.
Customers who have Ultra TV will stay on it until the fall. People who had WOW TV+ will use Ultra TV until the fall. Because of the transition, WOW! Customers will be without pay-per view until the new TV product is ready.
Once it’s ready, customers will be offered Breezeline Stream TV, a cloud-based service that combines live TV, DVR, On Demand TV and streaming apps. The new TV service uses the homes WiFi network.
As Breezeline gets customers onto the new cloud-based TV, it will phase out the traditional TV service WOW! offered.
The service runs on a box the size of a smart phone, and plugs into a TV through the HDMI cable. Customers can use the service on their other TVs and other devices like phones through Breezeline Stream TV app.
However, the new cloud-based TV runs off the home’s WiFi. So if a customer doesn’t have internet currently, they would need to buy it to purchase a TV package.
Spokesperson Andrew Walton said the existing video service will be phased out and fully replaced at some point to be determined.
When WOW! Transitions to Breezeline, customers modems and routers will be reset remotely.
Customers will be transitioned to Breezeline’s “WiFi Your Way” system, which the company said will have enhanced speeds and more reliability. Breezeline said it can offer speeds up to 1 gigabit, or 1,000 megabits per second.
New app and website
Customers will have to use breezeline.com, instead of wowway.com, to access account information, channel lineups and other information.
There will also be a My Breezeline app where customers can manage billing, manage their modems and access other information.
Will prices change?
Former WOW! Customers won’t see price increases on their services during the transition, van der Post said. When products like Breezeline Stream TV are introduced in the fall, there will be a new pricing structure.
He said the company tries to have transparent pricing, where customers can start with a basic TV package and pay for what they want to add on. He said there is a discount for new customers, but that people won’t see surprising price increases every six months or year, something common in the cable TV industry.
Breezeline said it’s going to reach out to former WOW! customers through billing statements, letters and emails. Customers can get more information from breezeline.com/wow-faq.