Time Warner New Modem Policy

Here in Rochester, NY, Time Warner, Inc. has just issued post cards to customers to notify us that November 1, 2012 they will be charging us a $3.95 modem lease charge if we continue to use their internet Modem to access their service that we so over pay them for anyway. One of my customers contacted me last week to ask what to do. (I just got my card yesterday... thank you for all that warning TW!) It includes a site where one can get information regarding supported modems that can be bought.

http://www.timewarnercable.com/en/residential-home/support/topics/intern...

I found a number of things interesting about the recommended list. First, a stock recommendation. Buy Motorola! Only Motorola modems are supported. Second, The Best Buys here in Rochester only carry two of the supported modems, one for the fast service and one for the standard and slower services. So unless Average Joe goes in for buying online or getting help from mygeekshopper, then there really is no mystery about what to buy. Third, it's a little confusing what to do if you have phone service with Time Warner too. So I got on a chat to get some help so I could be completely sure of what to recommend for my customers.

The answer to 3 is... If you have phone service, you just need to get a new modem for internet only, split the cable and once your new modem is activated, you keep their modem for the phone service with no charge. So you have 2 devices to do the same thing their one could do, but you will not be charged the monthly fee.

This answer did not come without a significant investment (see transcript at the end of this blog). It took almost an hour of miscommunication that honestly, I think would have been avoided if TW would just hire support techs that can read. This of course is just an opinion. Read the transcript. Have a good chuckle, then you decide.

I requested an email copy of the transcript, but it never arrived. In TWs defense, it might have gotten lost in filters. I thankfully copied the transcript before I closed the chat window, just so I could share this edifying experience with my readers. Given that I had to scrape the chat text, I missed the initial problem explanation that I sent with my chat request. It read something like:

"I am a consultant. I have a number of customers who use Time Warner Road Runner service. I have a question about the new modem policies here in Rochester, NY. If my customers with TW phone service put in a new internet modem, they will have to keep the TW modem for the phone service. Will they be charged the monthly fee regardless and therefore, they really have no choice but to pay the fee?"

I think even the nongeek can appreciate the ridiculous that follows. I almost left about half way through my conversation with Chuck, but then I thought... Someone really needs to hear this guy out and demonstrate how to talk to these folks in an insistent way until they make sense. No wonder people say they hate calling for support from the cable companies. This is completely unedited, I swear!

Chuck>

Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable. At the end of our chat you will be given the option of taking a brief survey. My name is Chuck. Please give me a moment while I access your account.

Anne_>

Read my question Chuck, you really don't need my account information.

Chuck>

Let me check that for you.

Anne_>

Thanks.

Chuck>

I understand you are concern about modem charges.

Chuck>

Am I correct?

Anne_>

Did you get a copy of my question with my request for chat? Just curious... It always seems like I am starting from scratch with these session.. Yes. If someone has phone service and has combined TW modem, do they get charged fee?

Anne_>

If they get their own internet modem, then do we still leave the TW equipment in for the phone and there is no fee or are they still charged the fee.

Chuck>

I will be glad to give you the required information.

Chuck>

Let me inform you. you need by a modem in which you can cannotct both the

Chuck>

Connect both Internet and phone.

Chuck>

However you can keep the TWC modem and you will be charged $3.95.

Anne_>

Which of the Motorola modems on the recommended list http://www.timewarnercable.com/en/residential-home/support/topics/intern... support phone service?

Chuck>

Yes.

Chuck>

The approved modem list is compatible for phone as well.

Anne_>

That is not a yes or no question. Which one supports phone?

Chuck>

All the modem support for phone.

Chuck>

All the modems support phone service.

Chuck>

Sorry for typing mistake.

Anne_>

There is no phone jack on the SBG6580. Are you sure?

Chuck>

Yes.because same port on the modem works for Internet and phone.

Anne_>

So where do I plug my RJ11 wire in order to connect my phone in an RJ45?

Chuck>

Please plugged directly into the TEL1 or TEL 1/2 Port.

Anne_>

Would you have someone with a little more experience handy? Your responses are not making sense. On the SBG6580 there are not ports labelled tel1 or tel 1/2. There are no telephone ports.

Chuck>

Let me check that for you.

Chuck>

When you have both Internet and Phone with us, we provide you with a special modem called an Internet/eMTA which provides both Internet and Phone service through one device.

Anne_>

Will that also be subject to the $3.95/month fee?

Chuck>

Yes.

Anne_>

So customers with phone have no choice. They must pay the fee.

Chuck>

No please dont worry EMTA modems are available in market.

Chuck>

You can buy EMTA modem for both Internet and phone.

Anne_>

But there are none on your recommended list. How am I to make sure that it will work with TW.

Chuck>

Alright!

Chuck>

In this case.

Chuck>

I will transfer this chat to Internet support team and they will let your know the list of EMTA modem.

Chuck>

Is that fine with you?

Anne_>

I look forward to seeing it. Thank you.

Chuck>

Pleas allow me some moment while I transfer this chat.

Chuck>Please wait, while the problem is escalated to another analyst
Jason Reed>

Hello! Thank you for choosing Road Runner Internet Technical Chat Support. My name is Jason, I will help you.

Jason Reed>

Hi, Anne.

Anne_>

Hi Jason... So you can see the chat that is results of the last 20 minutes of my life, right?

Jason Reed>

In order to connect phone and computer to same modem device, you need to get an MTA device.

Jason Reed>

MTA will allow you to connect computer and phone to the same device, just like a modem.

Anne_>

I know that much. There are on MTA modems on the recommended list.

Anne_>

Correction... There are no MTA on the list.

Jason Reed>

I am sorry for the inconvenience caused.

Jason Reed>

Let me get the approved models.

Jason Reed>

Approved models : Ambit U10C017/34/22

Jason Reed>

Arris : TG852G/862G

Jason Reed>

Arris TM402/502/602

Jason Reed>

Motorola SBV5121/5220/5222

Jason Reed>

UBEE DVW3200/DVW3201B

Jason Reed>

All of the above models are Docsis 2.0 and above.

Anne_>

OK... Are these going to be added to the list at http://www.timewarnercable.com/en/residential-home/support/topics/intern... or are you folks just going to hope everyone is as persistent as I am?

Jason Reed>

They are supported too but they are not MTA devices.

Anne_>

Ya... That's not my point. If you read the instructions at the site you will find that it says I need to split my service and continue to use the TW equipment for phone. So phone customers are likely to put in a new modem for internet and you folks are still going to charge them $3.95 for modem for phone. The site is misleading at best. I would even say it's deceptive.

Jason Reed>

As you are already aware, the charge is for internet activated modems only. But I am unable to see your phone service on the account.

Jason Reed>

You can call 800-756-7956 for precise information.

Anne_>

As I said at the beginning, I serve a number of customers with TW services and I am trying to get the straight scoop for them... So if the internet port on the phone modem is not activated and I have a separate modem for that, then I am not charged for the modem. Is that correct? That was my first question in the chat. Did anyone read it?

Jason Reed>

You are correct, the charge is for internet modems only. If they can support phone services only, there wont be any charge.

Anne_>

Thank you...

Anne_>

It's been interesting... bye

Jason Reed>

You are welcome.

Jason Reed>

I see that there is an offer on your account regarding an upgrade in your speed plan. Would you like me to provide you the details on the offer?

Anne_>

Seriously! OMG... No thank you.

Jason Reed>

Okay, I was just trying to make sure you have the offer information.

Jason Reed>

You can upgrade to RR Turbo from current for which will double your speed [20Mbps]. You can upgrade to it and enjoy seamless browsing with just an extra of $10 per month.

Jason Reed>

Do you have any other questions for me?

Anne_>

no.

Jason Reed>

It is my pleasure assisting you.

Jason Reed>

Thank you for contacting Road Runner Technical Chat Support, again my name is Jason, we value you as a customer. Have a nice day!

Jason Reed>

For more information about the products and services offered by Road Runner, you can visit this link anytime to get more help and knowledge : http://help.rr.com and check for online tutorials, FAQs and more details about Road Runner features.

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