The Excruciating Pain of TWC

I have just about had it with Time Warner Cable. Had. It.timewarner1

Martin and I have been struggling for weeks MONTHS with never-ending problems like –

  • Recorded programs “disappearing” from our program queue.
  • Programs NOT being recording when they are clearly “highlighted” and entered to BE recorded.
  • Sound vanishing as we move from live TV to recorded programs, and vice versa.
  • A deafening, high-pitched shrill SCREAMING from the TV as we move (again) from live TV to recorded programming, and vice versa.
  • A non-responsive remote control (and believe me, we have changed the batteries several times…)

So I scheduled a TWC service technician to come today to solve our problems.

I bet you can guess where this is going already…

The appointment was scheduled between 9A and 10A, with a call the hour before to confirm the appointment. At 8:30A, I called Time Warner Cable (TWC) to check the progress of our service call and confirm the appointment.  The lady thanked me for the call and confirmed that my service call was scheduled today for between 10A and 11A – what?!?!?! When I said that I had scheduled the original appointment window for an hour earlier and I had been up, dressed and waiting for the confirmation call since 7:45A, she apologized and said she could “…see where my appointment time had been changed yesterday but could not see why.”

GRRRR Number One!

Anyway, the tech guy (Lamarr) arrived at 10:16A – not so late – and I met him at the door. He was NOT carrying a replacement DVR box, as I had requested, but he said it was “No problem…” for him to get one, if needed.

GRRRR Number Two!

So, he comes in, listens to my litany of complaints, then goes about his work. I am not a “hover-er” so I let him work in peace (although I am listening from the very next room).  I hear him call TWC, explain the he did not bring in his laptop – apparently something he needed – and ask whomever he was speaking with to check X, Y and Z. Long story short, the box we had had never been “properly coded” into the system, which explained this and that problem away. Seems to me that, after probably a dozen previous calls and a previous service call by ANOTHER tech that maybe TWC could have figured that out but maybe I expect too much. Anyhow, Lamarr seemed so excited and a wee bit smug, explaining to me that now my remote would do everything and adjust the volume and blah-blah-blah.

He also warned me that, to ensure the best results from my DVR, Martin and I needed to keep our recorded programs at 50% – or less! – of machine capacity. When I asked why that was necessary, he just tossed out that TV’s are advancing technology-wise faster than the DVR boxes are, and hi-def and spectrum banding load and “bzzzzzzzzzzzzz….” Like I even understand any of THAT mumbo-jumbo.

So, after that lecture about what was wrong and how he had “fixed” everything, Lamarr proudly turned off the TV and turned it back on to show me how everything worked.

It didn’t. No sound, no picture…

GRRRR Number Three!

FINALLY, Lamarr conceded and announced we needed a NEW DVR (duh!) and he went down, got one – and his laptop – came back upstairs and a few minutes later, everything was up and running again.

I hope; we’ll see.

Every month, when I send TWC our monthly payment of almost $130.00, I feel like this:

Baby throws money out the window.

I always like the BS sign off scripts whenever you call utility companies – cable, gas, electricity, whatever. You know the one –  “We realize you have a choice when selecting a cable service provider and we thank you for choosing Time Warner Cable.” Thing is? That’s a lie – I DON’T have a choice.

I live in a building that will not allow DISH or DirectTV, so it’s the old TWC or nothing. Sure, I could get Netflix or something and stream TV – huh? Jesus, I can barely work my iPhone well enough to pick up my voice mail messages so I doubt my “steaming abilities” would be world-class.

This is what I suggest to TWC, and ALL utility companies:

  1. Stop raping us with your monthly fees. Look, I get it – you have increasing costs but guess what? SO DO WE – us, the little guys, consumers, your subscribers. Cut us a break.
  2. Maybe you can train your customer service reps to LISTEN to your clients. Every company has a FAQ script; that’s great. But if you would maybe listen to us when we call in before you ramble off some rote response, a lot of time and aggravation would be saved by ALL parties involved.
  3. Finally, how about a THANK YOU every now and then? I pay TWC over $1500.00 a year for their pretty-much average service. In my business, if I delivered average service I’d go out of business. In my business, I reward clients that spend that amount of money with me in a calendar year – they get a handwritten thank you card at the very least. How about a free weekend of HBO, Cinemax or Starz or sometime?

I’m happy that, at least for now, our cable “issues” seem to be resolved. As I said, we’ll see. I do, however, hope that the consumer service industry will one day very soon start to focus a little less on profit and a LOT more on client retention. In the long run, I think it would save companies millions.

Be warned, TWC, and know I am serious. U-Verse is starting to look better and better to me every day…

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