A few things I have picked up from our readers over the years that will save some hassles:
1) After your TWC broadband promotion is due to expire, you will receive a postcard or letter offering to continue service for a less-discounted rate, but lower than the rack price. This is the $38.99 rate mentioned above. In 2011, TWC began implementing a price-sensitive promotion adjustment program that gradually reprices service coming off promotions in an effort to reduce bill shock. So while an expiring $29.99 monthly rate used to head to $50, provoking customers to explore their options, a gradual increase of $9 a month, then $19 and so on is much more likely to be received by customers with a shrug.
2) Earthlink service is literally just a choice on a TWC employee's screen. The service transition is seamless (excepting no Powerboost and no rr.com e-mail account). It is much faster to call TWC to establish service with Earthlink than to place on order on Earthlink's web page (they will tell you to call TWC anyway if you already have TWC broadband). Earthlink's service qualifier has gotten buggy over the last year and may declare no service at your address, even though there is. Also, as of late, Earthlink has been pushing customers to the more expensive 15Mbps tier on their site. Don't bother. TWC and Earthlink speeds move in tandem. When TWC upgrades all Standard accounts to at least 15Mbps within the next 45 days, Earthlink speeds will match.
3) Once on an Earthlink promo, when it ends, you can approach TWC as a new broadband customer and secure new customer promotional pricing. The only exception is if you are on one of TWC's price protection contracts or if the regional TWC operation in insistent on limiting one promotional package to every 12-18 months. A talk with a supervisor and a threat to leave always gets you an override, however.
4) Local CSRs are not always able to access every TWC promotion. If you want to go back to TWC after an Earthlink promo and TWC says there are no promos available, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and see if they can locate something for you, or sign up through one of the third party offers available when you Google Time Warner Cable.--
Phillip M. Dampier
Editor, Stop the Cap!