They told me I can't, have to lease the box from them.
I asked about leasing a cable card and they said I couldn't??
I asked about only local stations without a box and they said I need a digital converter box that I could get for free-
Does this sound right?
If they don't rent cable cards, that's their option. You could always escalate your desire/question in regard to cablecards to a knowledgeable supervisor/tech. Most cablecos rent cablecards. (Note: of course, you do need a tuner that can accept a cablecard)
If all of their channels are digital and encrypted, you need a box.
I am trying to figure out the context of the question because in this thread it looks like you want to switch to over-the-air broadcasts if possible. If your TV already has an ATSC tuner, you don't need any converter box, just a connection to an antenna, that is, if you can get an antenna that gets the stations you want.
"Converter boxes" were for older TVs that lacked an ATSC tuner, so an ATSC tuner was required and the decoded signal would then be sent on to the TV. As far as I am aware, there are no free converter boxes any more, no coupon program any more, so if your TV doesn't have an ATSC tuner and you want over-the-air TV signals, you will have to pay for a "converter box" or a "tuner" yourself, and a high-def one if you want to watch shows in high definition. (High-definition converter boxes, by the way, were never part of the coupon program.)
As far as CableCARD technology to continue using your TV with their service, it requires that your TV have a slot for a CableCARD and the cable service you use be compatible with CableCARDs. This isn't always the case, as many TVs, even today, don't have a CableCARD slot, and a number of cable providers aren't compatible with them. But if your cable provider is providing so-called "Clear QAM" for local stations, if your TV has a QAM tuner, it may be able to tune to them. However, there is a trend with big cable providers to encrypt even local stations so a TV with a QAM tuner won't be able to display that station without either a cable box from that cable company or a CableCARD (assuming compatibility, of course).
Actually, if I am even halfway close to what you are asking, you may be better off carrying on the conversation in your original thread I linked to above because people familiar with your cable company and your geography may be able to answer more precisely to your situation than someone sitting near the opposite coast and using a completely different cable provider.
My very humble setup:
Never heard of a TWC outlet not leasing cableCARDs. I think you just ran into a clueless CS rep. Call back and be persistent and you should get one.
Samsung GX-SM530CF is the closest thing you can have to owning a cable box (other than a more expensive TiVo.) $150 or less online.