Sunday, October 21, 2012

Did you get a Time Warner postcard this week?

Oh, Time Warner it's not enough that you stick us with slow download speeds, constant rate hikes and reductions in service, now we get the pleasure of forking over another $3.95 a month for the privilege of leasing their Internet modem which many of us have been using (lease free) for the past decade or so. 

I assume many users will just grumble a bit and say, "Well, I need the Internet what am I going to do?".  Thankfully, Time Warner gave us an option and I think my audience is a little smarter than the average bear so I hope you'll seize this opportunity.

If you visit this website, you'll see list of approved modems for our area.

If you are a turbo/extreme user (ie, overpaying for service but that's another story) you can get the

at Amazon for about $130.  Given that the rental fee is going to cost about $50/year (assuming it never goes up) it would take about 2 - 3 years before you're in the the black.  You can find refurbished models for around $100 on eBay, so that might be an option.

However, I presume that the vast majority of users are on a basic/standard plan which can be served quite well by the


which goes for $65 on Amazon.  However, it might be even better to buy the more advanced SB5101U for a very reasonable $55.

At that price you will be in the black in roughly 14 months.  So, you can agree to hand over $4/mth for the rest of your life to Time Warner for the right to "lease" their modem or you can declare a little cable independence by buying your own modem for about $55.

Let me know if you decide to move buy your own in the comments!


PS - thanks to all of the readers that have stopped by my new venture in the mall -  Classes are filling up but we're always making room for new students.  Stop by or send me note with any questions.

Quotes from students this past weekend:

"I told my Mom we were working with Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate at NNY Math."

"I extinguished a candle with CO2 and everyone thought it was a magic trick!"


Anonymous said...

Time Warner is another up and coming scumbag company. You can get a brand new Motorola modem on ebay for 39 bucks. One year of rental fee's would pay for your own modem.

I cant wait till Google Fiber becomes national wide and we can finally tell all these horrible internet access companies to stick up their asses.

The Artful Blogger said...

It's a good point re: ebay. I actually saw a couple of large lots of Motorola modems on Ebay that would get the cost down to about $20 per unit. I expect some enterprising person will figure this out and buy a few thousand of these modems and resell them to time warner customers throughout the Northeast.

I've been drooling over the google fiber data I've seen. I think it makes Kansas City kind of interesting if I were looking to launch an internet start-up.

Anonymous said...

I bought a refurbished SB5101U for $24/shipped.

I contacted Time Warner customer service on October 12th to activate the modem (you have to give them the MAC address), and they still haven't activated it. I called again on the 19th, and was told that they are still working on it and that it may be another week or two.

I can see it now. They not going to activate my modem before November 1st, and there will be a charge on my bill. Then I'll have to waste more time with customer service to have the charge removed.

Anonymous said...

You can't buy your own though if you also get phone service with TW.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you all stop trying to find ways around it. Unfortunately, they're going to f*ck you whether you do or don't "lease" one from them.

The thing that sets me on fire is that 4 months ago, I agreed to a 1 year "Price Lock". Here I am 4 months later getting bent over the table and railed with more fees. F*ck Time Warner Cable!!! I will stomach bad U-Verse service to leave TWC.