Time Warner Cable Sued Over Modem Rental Fee
Two New Lawsuits Take Aim at $4 Fee
by Karl Bode 06:55PM Tuesday Nov 13 2012 Tipped by bbeesley
Time Warner Cable is facing two new lawsuits for their recent decision to impose a $4 cable modem rental fee on their customers. The lawsuits, filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey and the Supreme Court of New York, insist that Time Warner Cable violated their own terms of service by not giving customers better advanced warning about the new fees. The lawsuits also allege that Time Warner Cable failed to adequately inform users that certain services, like the company's digital voice services, wouldn't work with a rented modem
"It's a massive hi-tech consumer fraud accomplished by low-tech methods," attorney Steven L. Wittels said in a statement said in a prepared statement to the press. "Send customers confusing notice of the fee in a junk mail postcard they’ll throw in the garbage, sock them with a $500 million dollar a year rate hike, then announce on your website that customer satisfaction is your #1 priority. That’s some way to deliver satisfaction."
The company announced the modem to significant criticism last month month
, then added insult to injury by failing to adequately support users
looking to buy their own modems, who often found themselves facing long hold times and lines in order to get their new modems connected. Time Warner Cable then stumbled painfully on the PR front
, when asked to justify the price hike on the company's already pricey service.
Whether these lawsuits gain any traction remains unclear, as Time Warner Cable is one of dozens of ISPs to now include language in their TOS banning class actions, instead forcing subscribers with complaints to participate in binding arbitration, where a company hired by the ISP rules in the ISPs' favor more often than not.
Got a 1 day notice Card showed up on 10/31. Bill came due on 11/1.
Though, I did already know about it thanks to BBR.
| |Camelot OnePremium,MVM
Re: Got a 1 day notice
said by compuguybna:Here in Austin, if you are an internet only TW customer, auto-pay is mandatory.
LESSON LEARNED > > > Never pay any bills with auto-bill.
said by flycuban:
Thats one bad side of auto-bill....They can charge you whatever, you won't see it, and is a pain in the ass to get them to refund anything once they have your money on their side... Many people don't even look at their bills to see exactly what they are being charged...
| |Camelot OnePremium,MVM
Re: Got a 1 day notice
said by dalion :And you are able to manually pay your bill each month?
not true, i am in austin and use only internet with twc
Support TWC Mid-Ohio/Midwest has notified their customers (when activating new modems or even calling to ask about support) that you will not receive the same level of support that you do with a rented modem. You are told that you are provided the same level of support as if you were using your own router and would not remove it when in need of support. They do a very brief troubleshooting session and then that is it if they can see your modem. Mid-Ohio/Mid-West also informs their customers that they reserve to charge a $50 truck roll fee (which has been in place since Columbus/Central Ohio merged with WOH to create Mid-Ohio) if the problem is found to be on your end and not theirs. Most of this is buried in the terms of service and AUPs. Also TWC and RoadRunner operate from TWO different policies for both. RR has their own and then TWC has their own. the RoadRunner policy also states they have an invisible cap and can enforce it without TWC as RR is the ISP.
| That is 100% baloney. If the modem is on the supported list (and even if it is not) you will receive the same service as the person that shells out $4/month for a device lease. The $4 is not a warranty or service contract, and there is a BIG difference--its a device lease. That is what that extra $7 they are concocting is for.|
All level 1 does anyways is minimal troubleshooting, so lets not stop the presses.
In the 10 years I had TWC I ALWAYS owned my cable modem (remember when they were free with signup guys -- REALLY , and not once EVER did they not diagnose the issue. In fact the first thing they do is pull data from the CM. Every service call ended up being some hack contractor not running the cable from the tap properly and you know Buffalo winters kill anything with metal (thankfully I have fiber now).
Of course they reserve the right to charge $50 for a truck roll, and they find out your CM is the culprit, it doesn't mean they will. But the chances of that happening are SO slim. Most of the issues are signal and maybe device firmware, which if the CM is on the supported list, they can push from the comfort of their fingertip.
Now maybe your area is some commie CMA of TWC (through acquisition), but in WNY no such issues exist.
My point is buy the cable modem, save yourself from putting money under some executives bed, and sleep well at night. No boogeyman is coming.
Re: What can you buy with 4 bucks?
said by Rekrul:$4 is actually one of the lower modem rental fees that I know of. said by Snakeoil:
6 pack of beer?
A pack of smokes?
A meal at a fast food joint?
Maybe a gallon of gas or a little more?
A movie rental?
What can you buy with $48? Because that's how much you're paying a year to rent the modem from TWC.
Besides, the fee is $4 a month, now
. When have you ever known a cable company not to raise rates? A couple years from now, it might be $5, then $6. Before you know it, people are being charged $10 a month for the modem.
Most of them are some stupid number like $7 or $9!! Total freaking ripoff and I hope they get their a**es sued off, even if I'm not a one of their customers!
The Firefox alternative.
not unexpected This should come as no surprise. TWC, like all MSOs are in business to make money; with rising costs of operations and the huge overhead that was taken-on by upgrading most (if not all) areas to DOCSIS-3 (both at the Head End and at the user end) that cost needs to be offset... by charging a modem lease fee. TWC has been discarding DOCSIS-1 and DOCSIS-2 modems at an astounding rate and is only purchasing new DOCSIS-3 modems.
TWC customers pay STB lease fees and now there is a modem lease fee; unlike STBs, modems can be purchased to have the lease fee waived.
Regarding any service issues, for Customer-Owned modems, TWC will ensure that the downstream/upstream RF signal going to the modem is good and usable, beyond that is a customer-owned issue, just like customer-owned routers (the lease fee pays for support of troubleshooting/replacing the leased modem as Home Networking fees pay for support of wireless networking).
Regarding what modems are supported, TWC's corporate website has a list of supported modems and will likely support that their customers can purchase the same modems that they lease-out.
Regarding TWC's Digital Home Phone VoIP service, there is no fee for the use of a TWC-provided eMTA, however, TWC does not support customer-owned eMTAs for the use of VoIP service (all VoIP customers will be provided with eMTA free of charge).
TWC is a business, not public service, not a charity; TWC is in business to make money. Cable, Internet and Phone are premium luxury services and therefore to any business providing them, a premium fee is due, just like your cell phone.