Time Warner Cable Would Rather Give Me $360 Off Than Waive Modem Rental Fee

Many Time Warner Cable customers are getting their first bills with the new monthly rental fee for using a TWC modem, which of course means that some TWC subscribers are going to do their best to get out of it. But as one Consumerist reader found, it’s easier to score a substantial discount on his cable bill than it is to get the rental fee waived.

Paul not only got hit with the $3.95 rental fee but his 1-year promotional discount rate expires this month. So he figured it was worth a shot to call up Time Warner to see if anything could be done to save money.

“I was told not only is the rental fee non-negotiable, but my discounts were no longer valid and the ‘best offer’ they could make was around $20 more expensive than my current bill,” he tells Consumerist.

But he was persistent and after being bounced around from customer service to retentions to a retentions supervisor, Paul finally got TWC to agree to another year of his promotional rate — but there was absolutely no budging on the rental fee.

“My discounts total $30 ($15 for basic cable and $15 for Roadrunner internet),” he explains. “So they would rather eat $360 over this next year than waive my $3.95 monthly rental fee.”

Paul, who has experience as a customer service rep, believes — and we tend to agree — that this is likely a top-down directive. TWC would not want to set the precedent that you can get out of this brand new, mandatory fee simply by calling. Customers like Paul who are undeterred by an initial “no” and willing to slog through layers of customer service to score the big retention discounts are few and far between. And in the end, once that discount is up, he’ll be paying a normal rate and that fee will still be there. Unless he cuts the cord.