Time Warner Cable, cruisin’ for a bruisin’

It’s a Love Hate Thing

We have loved (and Yelped and rated 5*s and bragged about) Time Warner Cable, eventhough everyone else hates them. If you doubt me, look them up on any ratings site like Yelp or Google Places.

This week, though, I’m ticked at the total runaround we are getting while trying to transfer (i.e. keep) our current cable plan.

Emil called to set up the appointment for after the move-in date of the 25th. He expected this to be on Monday the 27th. But, we know they fill up and want to get an appointment, soon. We pay $110.16 a month for cable and Internet. We don’t want to miss anything. (Remember, we have TiVo. It only needs to record so we can watch it later. It doesn’t matter that we’ll be busy unpacking for a few days.)

  • He was told they can’t set it up until after the 25th. No, no, no. We don’t want it set UP before that date, we want an APPOINTMENT on/after that date. TWC “Customer Service Rep” does not understand. He’s a drone reading from a script with no authority to think for himself (standard) and no authority to escalate the call to a supervisor, apparently (unacceptable).
  • We sign our lease and mention it to the new apartments; she’s only ever heard of this one time. Still, we have the pages.
  • I go to the Time Warner Cable office and show them the lease. They not only won’t set an appointment, they tell me there are “no supervisors”. It’s a ~five story building and there is no one who can be any help. I talk to the receptionist “nazi” for the building. She directs me back to “billing”. I explain that I don’t have a billing issue, I have a service issue. Still, she reiterates that no one in the building can be of any help. She might be a good “guard dog” but she’s a liar. Why do they think customers are stupid?
  • I call again when I get home. I’m told that if we have the lease we can go up to the office. Nope, just got back from there. I demand a supervisor.
  • While I’m on hold (for a good 10 minutes), I Tweet the problem and get an instant response from @TWCableHelp. I send them the account number and my phone number and they escalate the problem to management in a matter of moments.
  • Supervisor finally comes on the phone and swears there is nothing they can do until the current residents move out. He’s condescending and says, “how would you like it if we shut off your cable while you were still living there.” I try and try to explain to him that I don’t care WHAT they do with regard to that other account. And, since we move in on the 25th, even if they forget to turn off their cable, they won’t notice because they won’t be living there any longer. It’s like talking to a wall. He just doesn’t get it! All he can offer is some kind of reminder in their system. What? That’s useless.

Flawed Logic

So, let’s pretend they’ve had some big series of problems to require this new rule. Just for fun, we’ll assume apartments can be flipped in 5 days.

  • We need to move in on the 25th, but we can’t get cable until the people moving out on the 20th.
  • They need to transfer their cable, but can’t because the people before them aren’t out and won’t be until the 15th
  • Those people can’t transfer their cable until the 10th
  • …the 5th
  • …and so on.

How is it possible that our account is depending on someone with a window of time from Feb 10-15 three levels “removed” from us? It’s not like any of us know each other. Are we supposed to knock on doors and leave notes, “please call to have your cable transferred so I can do the same.” WTF?

Monkey Wrench

We don’t have to be out of Riata until 22-March. And, I’m assuming it would be our prerogative to have cable in two places if that’s what we wanted to do. So, we could “hold” the cable at this apartment for an extra month…keeping the future residents (who might even know now that they are getting this apartment) from getting their cable installation appointment.

But, if we could have the appointment to transfer our cable on the date of the lease….which makes SENSE, then their system would show that ours is turning off on the 25th and would leave time for the new Riata residents to schedule their installation/transfer, too.

Time Warner Cable’s system is making all of us into squatters….and screwing it up for anyone waiting in line behind everyone else. No wonder I see more and more satellite dishes.

Real Help

So, if you are on Twitter, know that @TWCable_TX is useless. They were rude. Their logic is only based on what they can read on a screen. They even refused me the chance to talk to a supervisor of any kind. Um, we pay you people $110+ a month. If I request a supervisor so I don’t have to be talked down to, I better get it.

By contrast, @TWCableHelp is quite nice. They were quick to respond and I had a call back just moments later. What’s more, I didn’t have to start the story over from the beginning. Before Laura called me back, she called the gal who lives in our apartment, set up a time to get her new info, and it will be taken care of by 10pm this evening when Laura’s shift ends.

I did ask her, what happens when that customer runs into the same problem from the residents at the place she’s moving into? Laura said that’s really rare and won’t likely happen. Well, I guess that’s good news, but I’m going to laugh in her face if it does. She did say that if it does, she’ll figure something out. Turns out this a BILLING problem. Surprise! Billing runs the show at ye olde Customer Service department. I guess that explains why I we had to try four times before we could get any real help from someone with any authority.

In addition, Laura apologized for the inept Customer Serviceless jerk at the TWC office as well as their refusal of a supervisor. In her words, “unacceptable.” And, she’s right.

One Person (nah, Two!) Makes All the Difference

Laura promised me that she’d have this fixed within her shift. After all the bad customer service lately, I don’t know why I was able to believe her, but I did. At 7pm, she called to say she’d transferred the other resident’s cable and was ready to set ours up. She click-click-clicked through the process verifying addresses along the way. I never once I had to repeat anything because she truly listened to me for the information. Without missing a beat, she said, “There is normally a transfer fee, but we’re going to waive that for all the hassle you’ve had.” She then told us that she personally would be working on the day of our installation. She said she made all her notes in our file and put her extension in there, too. So, if we have any problems we can call and just ask for her. Even a barely-trained employee can put us through to her.

I thanked her and told her she “saved” Time Warner Cable in our minds. I explained that this whole process was making us re-think how much we’ve tooted their horn in spite of others’ hate. She saved them from us jumping on the bandwagon.

One person really can make all the difference. Laura fixed everything that was wrong. We owe our thanks to her and to BP and his/her assistance with the Twitter account, @TWCableHelp for connecting us to her.