Time Warner Cable Tells Me It’s Charging $3.95 Fee At Same Time It Reduces Bill By $3.95

TWC taketh and TWC giveth

While lots of Time Warner Cable customers are upset about the new modem rental fee — to the point of filing lawsuits about them — Consumerist reader Barry recently received this bit of good news/bad news.

While the first part of the no-frills postcard is TWC’s now-standard announcement about the impending $3.95 fee, the second portion reads:

Effective on the same date, based upon your current service level and monthly rate, your Standard Internet Service price will be reduced by $3.95 per month.

Since the note doesn’t specify exactly what it is about his plan that makes him eligible for the $3.95 discount, Barry can only speculate that it’s because he’s an Internet-only customer (no TV) with the basic $50/month connection.

But that would seem to contradict TWC’s previous statements, which had claimed that the fee was “for use of the Internet portion of the modem.” So if Barry is only using the Internet and not making TWC any more money by subscribing to a cable or phone package, then shouldn’t he be exactly the type of customer the fee targets?

We’ve asked TWC HQ for an explanation and will update if we receive one.

We also spoke to Tony, another Albany-area TWC customer, who says that he hasn’t even received one of these handy postcards yet. He’s assuming that it’s because he has the company’s phone service, which requires the modem. However, customers in NYC have been told that they still have to buy their own modem — but still keep the old one free of charge — in order to avoid the fee.