We've certainly seen companies use the well-trafficked floors of Wal-Mart to springboard certain products and / or services before, but this one has us scratching our noggins, for sure. Apparently Time Warner Cable has secured a deal that will allow it to market its cable, broadband internet access and digital phone service in nearly 700 Wal-Mart locations. Reportedly, customers can sign up for any of the provider's services from within the store (at "Connection Centers"), but here comes the curious part: after they leave, they're required to either phone up TWC in order to complete the transaction and get their service(s) hooked up or wait 24-hours for the carrier to contact them. In essence, what we've got here is a bona fide marketing push -- from what we can tell, nothing about this process makes things noticeably easier for the customer than just phoning up Time Warner Cable from the comfort of their own home. [Disclosure: Engadget is part of the Time Warner family]

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Time Warner Cable to push services in 700 Wal-Mart locations