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Time Warner Cable Swamped Due to New Modem Fee
Customers Reporting Support Delays, 3-Day Install Headaches
by Karl Bode 06:33PM Monday Oct 08 2012
Last week I noted how Time Warner Cable has joined a growing list of companies who are charging cable broadband customers an additional fee to rent their cable modem. That's usually not a good value proposition given the relatively low cost of buying a modem versus Time Warner Cable's $4 fee. Unfortunately, people who have decided to buy their own modem aren't having a good time as Time Warner Cable buckles under the support load.

Writing for The Street, Gary Krakow dealt with long store lines to return his modem and annoying phone support. Stop the Cap has also been chronicling the delays in getting new modems activated:
Many Time Warner Cable customers are choosing to purchase their own cable modems to avoid the fee, but the cable operator is making that as hard as possible. Customers are complaining about the very limited selection of “approved modems,” incredibly long hold times and delays activating new equipment, and impossibly long lines at the company’s store to return old equipment. "I called seven times last week, always being left on hold for more than 30 minutes, trying to get my new Motorola 6141 modem activated,” Weinberg says. “When someone finally answers, it sounds like they are working out of a home and don’t understand what I am asking."
In other words, if you're looking to buy a modem, you may want to wait until the chaos dies down a little bit.

While some argue Time Warner Cable is being malicious and making it as hard as possible to buy a modem in the hopes people give up, the more likely explanation is that the company simply wasn't prepared on the support side to deal with the flood of people eager to avoid the new $4 fee. That fee is estimated to net Time Warner Cable between $300 and $500 million more annually; perhaps that can go toward people who can answer the phone.

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