Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- NewsChannel 9 has gotten plenty of calls and emails from viewers concerned about changes in their Time Warner Cable service.
One of the biggest issues we’re hearing about is the plan to start charging you for the modem to access the Internet. It’ll cost you about $50 per year to rent one from Time Warner or you can just go out and buy your own, but which is the best deal?
Time Warner tells NewsChannel 9 that the fee will be used to enhance Internet services, but if you have digital voice service with Time Warner, there are certain modems on the “approved list” you won’t be able to use without special equipment.
Starting on November 1, Time Warner Cable customers will see an added $3.95 charge on their bill if they use one of the company’s modems. If not, you can buy a modem from Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon or HH Gregg. After checking with those retailers, we found that consumers have to make sure the modem they buy is compatible with all their Time Warner Services.
“We don’t have modems that will support Time Warner’s voice services, so basically any customer that has that bundle either has to make the decision to get rid of that service or deal with paying for that service every month,” said Best Buy employee Drew Cacciola.
If you want to keep you phone service, you’ll need a Time Warner Cable provided eMTA (current customers should already have an eMTA), which is a combination cable modem and telephone adapter. With a Time Warner modem you end up paying a total of about $47 extra per year. If you buy your own for a basic service plan, the cheapest modem we found was $60.
“If they’re buying their own, especially if they have the bundled one, if it’s a router and a modem all in one, really the biggest difference is it’s not an old refurbished model. It’s a new one in the box and if it breaks down you can get a new one you don’t have to send it back to them and you won’t get another refurbished one – you get a new one,” said Cacciola.
You need to select a modem and review the step-by-step instructions are on the website. To activate the modem, you must call customer care at 1- 800-822-2536. Make sure you have the cable modem ID handy, which is usually at the bottom of the modem.
NewsChannel 9 also asked Time Warner about the longer than normal wait times, or busy signals you get when you call. They said they’ve been experiencing higher than normal call volumes, but they have new people in place to handle that. They said there are longer wait times on Monday and Friday and around morning and dinner time.