Evidently, Time Warner Cable is experiencing the post-Christmas crush of customers trying to upgrade or get new HDTV cable boxes to go with their new televisions. A call this morning the local customer service phone number produced an automated voice warning that I could expect a wait of 20-25 minutes before getting a live person.
So I did what a lot of people are doing — unhooked the old cable box and took it to the Atlantic Avenue customer care center, where I encountered a Post Office-like scene: about 15 people in line and two customer service people on duty. One sign indicated that new remotes were out of stock; TWC had only refurbished ones. Sorry for the inconvenience. There was also a sign indicating that new boxes with HDMI hookup (digital audio and video through a single cable) were out of stock. Lucky me. I got the last one there, I was told by a very pleasant and helpful customer service rep after I finally got to the front of the line (about 15-20 minutes).
So, be prepared for some inconvenience, and to lose all your Viacom channels — MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodean, VH1 and others —by midnight if TWC somehow doesn't end its contractual dispute with the media company.