Thousands of Time Warner Cable customers are about to face a new fee.
Customers have received post cards over the past few weeks informing them that beginning on their next bill, they will see a $3.95 monthly cable modem fee.
TWC covered the costs until now, but a spokesman says that increasing expenses forced them to pass the cost on to customers – 500,000 in the Triangle alone.
The monthly fee, the company says, covers repairs, replacements and future upgrades.
The fee does not affect Signature Home Customers or those with a price-lock guarantee.
Some customers, however, are calling it a price increase in disguise, especially since it only applies to modems for Internet use.
Customers can opt out by buying their own cable modems and use a compatible modem listed on TWC's website.
Whether it's worth to buy one or pay the fee depends on the user.
With the average cost around $90, it could pay for itself in about two years.
But there are also disadvantages.
If the modem fails, TWC won't be responsible for repair or replacement. If the company upgrades its services and requires new equipment, customers would have to pay for a new modem.