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Time Warner's Cable Modem Fiasco

"But wait!" I exclaimed. "Your postcard had me go to your Web site, where I followed the instructions - installed the new modem - and called you to turn it on." Monica's response: "Put back the old modem".

Listen, I get it. Time Warner is making a lot of customers do the same thing in a very short period of time. And the poor guy at some keyboard, somewhere, who has to type in the codes for our new modems, is probably swamped. But, Time Warner should have thought about that before instituting two weeks' notice.

It also would have been nice if they had thought ahead to giver callers an automated option to get to the right department without having to be put through the ringer.

But, as it turns out, the people I spoke with felt bad about the three day wait. They left a message for me saying they decided to provision my new modem right then and there. It took me close to an hour to get them back on the phone. But, true to their word, they had me up and running within five minutes.

Interestingly, I can report that the new Motorola model SB6141 modem is actually slightly faster than the old one. In my not-so-scientific tests using Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices, the new modem is 10% faster handling downloads and nearly 20% faster with uploads. A nice surprise.

Finally, I went to the big Time Warner store on Manhattan's Upper West Side to return the old modem as per the company's instructions. The line was out the door. I was told there was a one hour wait to "get a number and wait some more." I'll try to brave that storm later this week.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:
Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.
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