After I had cancelled my cable, I thought that I wouldn’t have to deal with too many more fees with Time Warner Cable. I guess I was being naive. The other day, I got the mail and found a little postcard from Time Warner. I didn’t think much of it because they have been trying to win me back since I only have internet through them. I was about to throw it away, but decided to flip it over to see what it said.
To my dismay, I noticed that Time Warner was planning on charging me $3.95 for a modem lease fee. It made me laugh and get upset at the same time. I had my Motorola modem from TWC for well over 6 years. Time Warner did not “charge” me officially during that time to lease this modem, but now they decided it was a good business decision. Funny thing is, I am pretty sure that my bill well covered the cost of that modem for the past 6 years. This was just another ploy to suck more money out of people.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Once I digested the thought of my bill going up, I just put it in my mind that I would just go out and buy a new modem. After doing the research, I realized why Time Warner is doing what they are. Not only do modems cost a lot of money, about $140 for one that would handle the speed I am receiving, but there is no support for one that you purchase on your own. If TWC decides to change something and your modem stops working, it is not their problem. You would have to get support from the modem manufacturer or go purchase another one. If you continue to “lease” the modem from TWC, then they would not only support it, but also replace it if there is a defect.
This scenario really made me get upset. I have been tired of paying outrageous prices for a simple service. Now, with the addition of a new fee, my monthly bill would just creep up a little more. I wasn’t sure how to handle this problem. Then I started thinking about the break-even point. After some quick math, I stopped thinking about purchasing my own modem. Here is the breakdown.
TWC Modem Lease Fee: $3.95/month
Modem Purchase: $140
Break-Even Point: 35.44 months
Yes, you are reading that correctly. It would take almost 35 1/2 months to recoup the cost of the modem if I were to purchase it on my own. I realized that it just wouldn’t make sense to go out on my own and try my luck. The one thing I can do is constantly call them to lower my bill when my promotional period expires. This is something that I practice with services like Time Warner, so it wouldn’t be anything new. At the end of my promotional period, I can just renegotiate my rate down and be able to save that initial $3.95 lease fee. Though it will still be on my bill, my end bill will be lower. Shame, Shame Time Warner Cable.
There are other cable companies out there that have always charged a modem lease fee, but when you have grown accustom to not having one, it makes you angry when it appears. I know people are getting fed up with Time Warner and the other cable companies out there, especially when they play this game. I have wondered lately about Time Warner’s performance and this little indicator might be why they are starting to charge more.
Third Quarter U.S. net change subscriber count: -140,000
Source: The Wall Street Journal
That is correct, Time Warner Cable lost 140,000 subscribers during their 3rd quarter. This is a bad indication on what is going on with cable subscribers. People are getting fed up with high bills, bad customer service, and lack of choice. The total subscriber change across all cable providers is -292,000. That is a bad net loss and hopefully it might perk the ears of the heads of these organizations. You can only push consumers around so much before they start to revolt.
If you have been charged more fees for less choice, then think about cutting the cord. I have done it and so have millions of people.
Did you receive Time Warner’s postcard about their new modem lease fee?