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Charter Starts Renting a $100 Router for $40 Down, $3 a Month
by Karl Bode 09:08AM Friday Jul 26 2013
While most cable operators are now offering users the option to rent a DOCSIS 3.0 and Wi-Fi hotspot gateway, Charter Communications has launched a decidedly old-school option. The company this week announced that they're offering users a customized "Charter high-performance Wi-Fi router" for the rock-bottom price of $40 down, $3 a month -- forever. The router in question (based on the Charter website) appears to be the Netgear WNDR3800, which you'd be far better off buying online at any of several retailers for around $100 (actually there's better and cheaper routers to be had as well). "We’re confident this solution provides an optimal Wi-Fi experience to our customers," insists the company.

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cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Charter is dumber than a box of rocks!

Charter must think their customers are as dumb as they are, or something!!

Man,
Has their business model gone down the toilet since that numb nut Rutledge took over!

Then there's that commercial about customer satisfaction being the highest ever!! Yeah, right!
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Majestik
World Traveler
Premium
join:2001-05-11
Tulsa, OK

Re: Charter is dumber than a box of rocks!

Charter seem pretty smart to me. They know customers want things now,don't save,or do the math.
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The adventure continues...Sanctuary....
dra6o0n

join:2011-08-15
Mississauga, ON

Re: Charter is dumber than a box of rocks!

Correct, not all consumers know math.

Lev84550

@cox.net
People want to rent rather than pay another 150-200 bucks up front for a router and a modem. Also, if it goes bad, it gets replaced by Time Warner with whatever the latest and greatest is in their inventory. Simply put, these options are usually customer driven and I know that ISPs would rather the customer purchase and manage their own equipment because of all the warehousing and logistics associated with inventory. So again, this is likely customer demand.
dra6o0n

join:2011-08-15
Mississauga, ON
Reviews:
·ITalkBB

Re: Charter is dumber than a box of rocks!

Think about this, if you paid $3 a month for a silly modem/router, imagine paying $3 a month for several other things, and watch your bill stack up!

If you owned said modem/router, after a period of time you do not have to pay up anyways.

So the issue is much deeper than renting vs buying.

Also, if they bother to save money over a period of a month, they can surely afford the ~200 dollars upfront for the hardware costs.

As for ISPs wanting consumers to own their own modems, it's not always true, if they can trap you to use their own devices, they can load up firmwares and 'updates' to mess with your internet rates or features on the modem/router.

I don't get why people get frustrated and end up being traumatized by the budgeting and hardcore mathematics in accountability for finance.
And it is exactly because of that mindset, that corporations takes advantage of people.

Don't like financing? Don't wanna bother learning? No worries, pay someone $50 a year to do it for you!
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

The ignorance of customers

Charter is banking on the ignorance of customers, and they're probably right. In addition, there is a segment of the population that is so financially stretched that they may not be able to afford a $100 purchase. Wait, let me modify that. They may be able to afford it on something that they consider important enough, but, for many folks, a router doesn't fit that category, so they take the path of least resistance. It's kind of like a friend of mine who has a 10-year-old computer that she won't replace because she spends all her money going to the beach multiple times a summer. She has said many times that a computer simply isn't a priority for her. Of course, she has, in the past, asked me to "clean it up" so it'll run faster. I did this once or twice, then I somehow convinced her to let me max out the RAM, which helped some. Now, the thing is so old that I refuse to touch it.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Re: The ignorance of customers

said by ISurfTooMuch:

Now, the thing is so old that I refuse to touch it.

The friend or the computer?
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ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: The ignorance of customers

Both!
dra6o0n

join:2011-08-15
Mississauga, ON
Reviews:
·ITalkBB
Old computer parts is actually still around for a pretty good price, so it's still possible to improve them to slightly better standards now.
Of course that's only if the owner is willing to part up to ~100 dollars in upgrades...

About the computer vs beach part. People compare objects to their peace of mind. If said object doesn't bring a peace of mind, they consider it to be less important.

Putting investments in something versus spending or splurging it all on your own way of life, which is more important?
One is logic, the other is social.

Also, '(di)stress' is not bad, it keeps you in shape and makes you more resistant to it's negative effect.
It's like a person coming in contact with stress by social means vs someone who locks themselves up in a house for days.
The former is more resistant, the latter is more vulnerable.

In the end though it comes down to how you balance everything... But most people don't bother with a 'balanced' lifestyle because it doesn't fit with them.
ADL

join:2000-12-20
USA

Good Value

Let's not forget Charter will not help you troubleshoot a hardware configuration issue if they don't supply the hardware. So $3 bucks a month to be able to call someone and get help with a connectivity issue seems fair.

Obviously this is not aimed at individuals who buy their own routers/APs.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: Good Value

I feel sorry for anyone who has to rely on a cable company for phone support. You might get lucky and get someone who knows what they're talking about, but the odds are against it.

Ditto for the Geek Squad. I cringe every time I hear that abomination mentioned.

David
I start new work on
Premium,VIP
join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·AT&T Midwest
·magicjack.com
·Google Voice

Re: Good Value

said by ISurfTooMuch:

Ditto for the Geek Squad. I cringe every time I hear that abomination mentioned.

You are not the only one that cringes at that. I have seen some of their "repairs" first hand.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: Good Value

Fortunately, I've managed to steer folks away from them, at least so far. At this point in my life, I'm usually too busy to do much freelance work anymore, so I'll try to steer the person toward a reputable local shop.

I'm still waiting for a bunch of geeks (I am proudly a member of that group) to march on Best Buy, torches and pitchforks in hand, demanding that they change the name of that...uh..."service". Having "geek" in the name is an insult to geeks everywhere.

RRedline
Rated R
Premium
join:2002-05-15
Attleboro, MA
said by ADL:

Let's not forget Charter will not help you troubleshoot a hardware configuration issue if they don't supply the hardware. So $3 bucks a month to be able to call someone and get help with a connectivity issue seems fair.

Obviously this is not aimed at individuals who buy their own routers/APs.

Then they should provide a list of "supported" hardware, and then give you support for that hardware regardless whether you rent it from them or if you bought it on your own.
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dragonman300

join:2011-03-02
Anaheim, CA
kudos:1
I agree with you! Hell, At&t Uverse charge Wireless G gateway for 6 dollars a month.

kpfx

join:2005-10-28
San Antonio, TX

1 recommendation

Where are you getting this for $100

I'm probably going to cause some irk by saying this, but it really is a good idea. Most people who don't have $120 lying around will go to your big box store and pick up the cheapest piece of junk router they can find, then complain how terrible their Internet service is when it doesn't work.

Do the math and you'll see the price is very fair. At $3 a month, that comes out to over 2 years before you come out behind on the costs. Afterwords, I'd just return the thing and pick up the latest & greatest model and start again.

aaronwt
Premium
join:2004-11-07
Woodbridge, VA

Re: Where are you getting this for $100

said by kpfx:

I'm probably going to cause some irk by saying this, but it really is a good idea. Most people who don't have $120 lying around will go to your big box store and pick up the cheapest piece of junk router they can find, then complain how terrible their Internet service is when it doesn't work.

Do the math and you'll see the price is very fair. At $3 a month, that comes out to over 2 years before you come out behind on the costs. Afterwords, I'd just return the thing and pick up the latest & greatest model and start again.

Newegg has it for $100 and Amazon has it for under $105.

mikedz4

join:2003-04-14
Weirton, WV
you can get a good router for $50. I got my netgear for $45 or $50 a year ago and it works just fine.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Re: Where are you getting this for $100

said by mikedz4:

you can get a good router for $50. I got my netgear for $45 or $50 a year ago and it works just fine.

Exactly!

I wouldn't think of spending $100 for a router, which must mean Charter also thinks people are to stupid to shop around for one!

As far as Charter supporting them, the day I have to call them to ask anything about why my router isn't working after simply rebooting it, is the day I go buy another one, for LESS than $100 also!
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Ctech

join:2013-07-27
Charter has been offering these since the beginning of the month. I usually dont have any left by the end of the week.
prairiesky

join:2008-12-08
canada
kudos:2

probably not a terrible deal

If you can buy it for $100. and they want 40 down, that means you're paying off $60 @ 3/mth. So it takes just under 2 years to pay it back. Depending on their replacement policy, it could be a pretty decent deal. If it breaks, take it down to any charter store, or call them up and get a new one for the same $3/mth. Now compare that to purchasing your own.... If it's within the 1 year warranty, you have to deal with it. IF it's outside the 1 year warranty, you're out another $100 for another new router, in which case the rental program is FAR ahead of the purchase outright.
toro

join:2006-01-27
Scarborough, ON
kudos:7

.

Maybe they buy them in bulk for $40 and the rest is just profit
krommulent

join:2010-04-07
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: .

that sounds closer, they just recently started offering wifi again and i don't believe they really want to. for 40 50 bucks you can buy your own and charter doesnt have to deal with it at any level. if you cant do it yourself you're gonna have to pay for it.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

So what?

Many consumers prefer the rental model.

So long as it is optional, what's the problem?
watts3000

join:2002-01-21

Re: So what?

This will be a hit a lot of customers especially non technical ones will go for this.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Bizarre

That they are using regular consumer hardware. Comcast has a router that's customer made for them with the modem, wifi, and two phone lines all built into one piece of hardware. You'd think Charter would want to do the same thing...

actor90
Never a dull moment
Premium
join:2003-07-21
Jackson, NJ

Re: Bizarre

Why? When they can rip off the customers for 40 bucks upfront and 3 dollar a month fees? Charter really bites it seems. Cablevision gives out routers for free on most of their packages, and so does Comcast.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Bizarre

said by actor90:

Why? When they can rip off the customers for 40 bucks upfront and 3 dollar a month fees? Charter really bites it seems. Cablevision gives out routers for free on most of their packages, and so does Comcast.

No one is being ripped off. Charter does not require that you use their router thus it is a CHOICE. Charter doesn't get it's routers for free and using their router also entitles you to tech support. If one is too lazy to educate themselves about setting up a home network they deserve to be "ripped off" to use your term.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
Comcast charges $10/mo for theirs. Maybe they give it out for free for Triple Play or something...

rexbear57

@comcast.net

charter router

was wondering why I was having so much trouble with my internet wifi speed and connection. It was the router. Getting the idea that charter is "gearing" for the netgear router and won't work well with the slower routers. Tried two linksys routers, the n300 and an n600. Both having cutouts and slowdowns when using the wifi. things are not well in charterland. Noticing the same thing with my home comcast routers. This sucks. Now will have to buy or "rent" a new router every time our provider decides to upgrade their system to weed out all us po suckers out there with older(however under a year) routers. Forced upgrades...wow, that sounds very familiar!

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: charter router

Please. I have a Netgear WNDR3400 that I bought in Feb 2011 and it wasn't exactly new then. Works just fine. Please stop smelling conspiracies where none exist. Linksys was bought out by Cisco years ago and let the brand slide then sold to Belkin and you wonder why their routers suck?

Probitas

@teksavvy.com

preying on the uninformed

Some companies have no soul at all. You can buy great routers for under 70 dollars. They should be ashamed of themselves. This is the great water heater scam in another name. Sure, rent the heater, if it breaks get a new one. Thing is, if it does break, it's 10 years down the road after you've paid for 3 or 4 of them. Same thing with rental fees on modems and routers, they don't break down at the drop of a hat unless they are VERY poorly made. My router is going on 6 years old, is clearly out dated, and still works just fine, and I only paid once for it. Same with the modem, going on 5 years and working strong. People should do research before falling for those rental schemes. All they do is pad profit margins and increase your bill.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY

$50

You can find N300 - N600 gigabit routers for under $50 these days. The fancy multi antenna routers that go all the way upto n1400 and 802.11ac are $175+ NO need for those yet.