Downgrading Time Warner Cable

G4 + TechTV does not equal a good cable TV station, we have gone over this fact many times, in many places. I am also not using my DVR as much as I used too. This is because Meancode Media business has picked up, and I am going back to school. So I am downgrading all of it. I am getting rid of all the tiers, the DVR and even getting rid of the digital cable. What is left is channels 2 through 77 which leaves me with what is important - ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Classic. :) I also get CNN, TNT, Comedy Central, USA, A&E, History Channel, Discovery, etc, etc. Not to mention ABC, NBC, and CBS. All I watch are the ESPN channels though. I do not have to buy any super duper tier to get ESPN either, nice. I am saving $9 by not having digital cable (and since I am giving up all the movie channels I had, digital cable is not doing anything but putting a pretty GUI on the TV to select stations). In all I am saving $79 a month! Since I had the movie channels I was getting a deal on Road Runner, so the price of internet went up $5. I will now be paying $46 and some change. That is a heck of a lot lighter bill to pay each month. And since I am going back to school, and not working as much, I really don't need to be throwing my money away like that. This is all fine and good to think about, but to actually get to a human being at Time Warner, then explain to them what you do not want any more, that is another thing all together. Going from Digital Cable to a DVR box? Sure thing, right away sir. You want TechTV? Let me flip a switch and now you can watch that. But now I want to get rid of all this crap. Getting to the option to talk to a human being when calling Time Warner Cable is hard enough, but they make you select the category you fall into. Think "To talk to a human being to change your service please press 99." That was after 6 other menus. They do not have 'change' in their vernacular. They want me to take my DVR into the office on Main Street. I am then informed to check my bill from when they put in my DVR, they charged me $15 to bring it to me, when I could have avoided that charge by just taking my digital box to the Main Street office and swapping that for the DVR. Brilliant. This guy kept going on and on about what I needed to do, that they could not take off the movie channels et. al. until I took the DVR to the Main Street office. Total bull shit. After a fair bit of bitching this guy sends me to this very helpful woman in customer service, the place I needed to be in the first place. A technician will be out Wednesday to take care of everything. The way they treat their customers does not sunrise me one bit. It should. Because it is sad that I am not surprised. Customer Service all over the spectrum should not treat everyone like they are dumber then dirt. It makes the customer irritated when they are being talked to like they are dumb. For one I am a geek, and I used to work at a TV repair shop, I know how to connect and disconnect cable. It does not take a lot of effort to tell over the phone if you are talking to a novice or not. I do this all the time dealing with phone based tech. support myself. If I can deduce this stuff, the person on the other end can do the same thing. It is very simple - you explain more if you need to. That being said the second person I talked to was very helpful, polite, and conversational while she was making all the needed changes to my account that were needed to drop a ton of tiers and movie packages and deals and switching this and that around. So for that, I happy to be a Time Warner customer. As of Wednesday I will be getting high speed cable internet and basic cable TV for $46 a month. That makes me happy. Since G4TechTV and The Screen Savers have gone south so much in the last few months, I am not going to miss them at all. That show was such high quality. It is a shame what happened to TSS.

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Comments (8)

David:

The explanation for all this is simple. Since the merger, Time Warner customer support is now performed by AOL.

I have a similar story. A couple years ago TWCable was besieged by a vandal who kept cutting cables and damaging downlink satellietes. For nearly 6 months some part of the area was without service for part of the day. On several occasions the outages lasted numerous days.

During all this time the local TW office made customers request reimbursement for lost service on a case by case basis. Of course our calls for this request couldn't be made locally, they had to be made to the service center - wherever that was.

After my fifth request I was told by a 'customer service rep' that my file had been flagged for fraudulent requests and to stop calling if I didn't want to be prosecuted. I'd been flagged for fraud but the entire service area hadn't been flagged as a problem area! Even this person's supervisor had no clue that a vandal was systematically bringing the cable service down.

After trying unsuccessfully to get this cleared up I decided to drop cable and get satellite. However, I wanted to keep TW broadband and basic cable service for local channels. I had to go through the same nonsense you did.

I realize that this is an older post, but I just found this out and its a relevant place to post it.

Patrick Norton is leaving The Screen Savers. My worst fear has come true. TSS is now The Kevin and Sarah Show! :shiver:

I have officially stopped watching G4TechTV.

I just thought I would pass that info on to whoever manages to see this other than Ken, who will probably get an e-mail telling him I posted it. :)

Fran:

My tale must be told . . .

My first name is Francetta and for security reasons, I refuse to divulge my last name. The tale I am about to relay to you is revolving Time Warner and I am sure they can authenticate it by searching their database with my soon to be previous telephone number (832) 203-8853. I would like for you to take it when you go to the state capital stating why Time Warner should not have monopoly for cable business in Houston. Their customer service is lousy which I feel is being dictated by the laissez faire corporate culture that is depicted to the employees. I intent to post this on the Better Business Bureau web site and that of every major news agency in Houston. I also would like to know my legal recourse against them.

I signed up for their new combo pack; phone, road runner for my computer and TV cable service when I moved into my new apartment at the end of Feb. of 2005. I scheduled an appointment for a technician to come in and complete the hook up for my service about two weeks later. The technician showed up as planned and did everything as he was supposed except that when he went to hook up the service in my son’s bedroom, he told me that because the remote to the TV was not the original one intended for it, he could not program the TV and I would have to buy a new TV. About a month later, after squeezing my tight single-mother budget, I brought a new TV for my son and set out to auto program it myself by following the instructions on the manual. After three attempts, I realized that this was not going to happen; the TV was simply not picking up the cable channels. I called Time Warner on 05/01 and made an appointment for a technician to come out and check the service on 05/07 between 8-10a.m. It had to be on a weekend because I work during regular business hours and there would be no-one at home to attend to a technician during the week. My home only has two occupants, myself and my 6 yr old son. On 05/03 (a Tuesday) I called my voice mail to check on my messages and one was from a technician claiming he was outside my apartment to fix my cable service. I called Time Warner and they claimed they had me down that Tuesday from 8a.m. – 8p.m. I am saying to myself ‘who is going to give 12hrs of my day to wait on a technician? Definitely not me!’ This is where the corporate culture started rubbing me raw. They refused to accept the responsibility of giving me the wrong appointment and stated they did not have any openings on the Saturday I was alleging the appointment had been fixed for. I asked to talk to a supervisor who told me that regardless of everything that has been said, there was no guarantee that Time Warner would be able to provide service to three rooms like it had advertised. I wanted to know why this was the case if the rooms had all come cable ready? She did not have an answer and at that time, I simply asked to disconnect the service. She transferred me over to Retention (this is the only dept that does not have a 30min hold time). Retention asked for an opportunity to make it up to me and promised to have a technician over that following Sunday to rectify the situation.

On the promised Sunday 05/08, I received a call from the technician who had a pretty good knowledge of the layout of my apartment. He told me that all that needed to be done was to flip a switch in the closet of my master bathroom. I did not have the key to the closet and my leasing office is closed on Sundays. He asked me to call the Customer Service department and schedule another appointment for during the week when the office would be open. At this time, I realized that I had not needed to buy another TV for my son’s bedroom; the previous technician simply did not know what he was saying. I did not call to make the appointment like he had suggested because I wanted to cross reference with my apartment management that it was okay to let the technician into my apartment in my absence. I called the leasing office on Monday and they did verify that it was okay and that technician simply needed to go there and get the key. I then called Time Warner and scheduled another appointment on Tuesday 05/10. I gave the representative detailed notes as to what needed to be done and my cell and work numbers if there were any hiccups. I came home that day from work to no service in my son’s bedroom but two voicemails. One from the technician claiming he could not get access and another from a Time Warner representative claiming the technician could not secure access to the apartment. Why they had not called me at work or on my cell, I had no idea. Who did they hope to reach at home, an empty house? I called Time Warner again and reviewed the notes I had made the day before and was assured this would be fixed tomorrow. I came home the following day (05/11) again to no service in my son’s bedroom and another message from the technician left on the home phone that he could not get access into the gate of the complex. At this point, I am thinking they cannot all be that dumb. The complex gate has engraved lettering giving instructions how to dial the office to gain access to the complex. I am assuming that he must have gone there to get the keys, why not ask for access? I decided, enough was enough and on 05/11, called into cancel the cable service. This time I did not give another opportunity for them to make it up. I spoke to a Loretta who promised to have this taken care of. I went home and my cable was still on. I assumed that maybe there was some timing issue. I noticed the service was still on and again called on 05/16 asking why I still had the cable service when I had asked for it to be turned off. This time, my representative was Shay (spoken to her before, she had been the one to ask that I give them a second chance). She did not see where a disconnect notice had been placed but she would be happy to help me out. Two days later 05/18, I still had service. I again called and spoke to a Caroline who promised to take care of the issue. The call got disconnected in the middle of our conversation and when I called back I was told they did not have any record of who I had spoken to and did not even have a manager by that name. I was at work and because I had already spent 30mins holding, I decided to continue this fiasco later on my own time. When I went home to find out that Time Warner had disconnected all the services I carried with them; the phone, road runner and cable. I was livid by that time. I called them again and demanded to speak to a supervisor and was informed that one was not available to talk to me. I asked if the entire call center was running itself and was told to hold, I held for 45mins and gave up the ghost. I started to think why I would want to continue doing business with a lousy company like this one and I hung up and called another phone carrier who promised to have my service on by the next day.

The next day, my new phone service was on with voicemail and all. If I dialed the new number from my cell phone, it would ring and roll over to voicemail but I did not have a dial tone on my home phone. I began to wonder what could have happened now when I realized that Time Warner had not disconnected all their services from my line, the voice mail was still on and it was not allowing my new service to come through. I called them on 05/20 and I was told that it takes a few days for the voicemail to be deleted from the line and for me to hang tight. Hang tight – I was paying for new service that I could not get access to. Who was going to reimburse me for that? Time Warner said it was not their responsibility and told me that since I was paying a month in advance for their service, I would be getting a credit for the unused portion within the next 4-8wks. The disconnection is a two step process and they still had yet to relinquish complete control of my line.

On 05/23, I called them again wanting to know why the voicemail was still there and really got tired of holding so I decided to make a trip to their service center in Houston was told my line would not be released until 05/26. I asked to talk to a supervisor because I wanted to know if this was legal, she said ‘these things take time.’ She apologized for all I had been through and said that was basically all she could do. I wanted to know why customers were not told that disconnection would be a two-step process so that they are caught in this loop. She gave me dead air and asked what exactly did I want her to do? Today is 05/26 and I still have their voicemail on my line trapping the line and no phone service in my home.

I want to know what my recourse against Time Warner is and any legal help you can render would be greatly appreciated.

Wow, I believe that's the record for the longest comment on this site. Sorry I can't help, but that's one hell of a complaint you've got.

I would have to agree with you on that one Matt.

I would also like to say to those reading this -- If you are asking us for legal advise, we have a problem.

NoOne:

You may contact lawyer agency and tell them what happened. From what I can say though - you have legal right to sue Time Warner for buying new TV, it's their employee falt, Going through a week w/ no phone service(or more).
Get a hold of a lawyer, and request court notice for Time Warner Headquarters.

Hey, I know this laywer! His name is Jack Thomp... err, wait. You probably want someone who cares.

William Barker:

If you hate Time Warner enough to write a book about it just discoonect them. You will have less stress in your life and they will have less stress in their life once you do.

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