Saturday, March 27, 2010

Time Warner Cable Sucks

The three women and one lone man at the office in the Garner area - or is it Clayton? - have less people skills than most trees. [Where's Matthew when you need him? He's really good with that kind of snark!] I'm going out on a limb, here, and I'm going to say that the women there - and the one lone man - were all hired to fulfill some affirmative action quota. Not a single one of them deserves their job. Not in this day and age with unemployment at 20%. If you are going to work in a service-oriented position then you need just a few "people skills." And being nice to people is one of those skills. Especially old ladies!

My poor Mom. An elderly white haired woman who is vertically challenged [short]. When she moved into her little house [three bedrooms is not all that little - it is twice as big as our house!] in N.C. she called the cable company and they came and installed cable for her two television sets and put internet on her computer and gave her a land line for her phone that included 24/7 long-distance calling [family is spread out - one sister in Maryland, another in California - and us, in Saudi, with a N.C. phone number through the computer]. At the time, it was some special deal they gave her like $60. a month for ALL of that. That deal lasted for three months. Since then, the price has risen steadily and dramatically. As of last week, when she got her bill, she was being charged $179.00 a month for all of those services - the exact same services she got for $60.00 a month two and a half years ago.

Mom opened her bill and said, "Do you think $179.00 a month is too much to pay for cable, internet and telephone?" Hell yes, it is! "I really only got the cable for the boys when they come on the weekends - and for you and your DH when you come once or twice a year for a month." Nope. That is way too much for a woman on a fixed income to have to pay. Told Mom that I would go to the cable company with her to see what we could do to lower the cost. Get rid of the premium cable package, for one. No reason that she needs 200 channels for one weekend a month when my nephews - her grandsons - come or for that one month a year that we are here in the summer. If DH wants to watch a car race or football game there is a really nice sports bar not too far from Mom's house.

We went to Time Warner Cable on Thursday. We waited in line - and waited and waited and waited - because two of the three customer service people didn't have a single freakin' clue what they were doing and couldn't do a thing without asking their supervisor, first. [Oh, and by the way, Ms. Supervisor, you work in an office, not outside on a farm. Your being dressed in those way too tight jeans for your body and that red t-shirt was totally unprofessional. I don't think you should have to wear a suit, but you certainly should have to at least attempt to look somewhat business-like. Try a nice pair of slacks and a blouse.] There was some man at the far end customer-service window and I don't know what his deal was but he was trying to figure out how to lower his bill for two separate telephone lines in his house and Ms. Supervisor was getting all testy with him. The lone man customer service agent was working that window and didn't know how to respond to the man's inquiries so Ms. Supervisor was there. She was yelling at the guy! I was mortified for him. Thanks to Ms. Supervisor we all know what the guy's monthly payment is and we all know that he is three months behind in paying his bill and now his service has been shut off. Discretion? Ms. Supervisor has no idea what that word even means. Dolt? Ms. Supervisor is the dictionary definition. I can give quite a few more choice descriptions of her... [I need to get the address of the head office for Time Warner and let them know how their Clayton/Garner office is being served - or NOT being served.]

Mom and I were at the middle customer service window. We asked for a break down of the bill. Customer service [ha!] woman said, "What are the last four digits of the social security number on the account?" Mom did not know. The social security number that the account was set up under is my Dad's number - he, originally, set the whole thing up before they were going to move from New York to N.C. The bill, however, is in Mom's name. But the woman wasn't going to give us any information because of the social security number being my Dad's number and not Mom's. You have got to be kidding! Mom has been paying the bill for almost three years. It is in her name. And you are not going to give her a breakdown of her bill because she doesn't know the last four numbers of my Dad's social security number? I couldn't be nice any longer. I said, "He is dead. He is not going to be able to call you and change it into Mom's social security number. The bill is in her name and she is the one who has dutifully come here and paid it once a month for the last two and a half - almost three - years." Customer service person says, "I am going to have to ask my supervisor." Fine. We'll wait. And we did. There was no way I was going to let Mom get out of line and wait some more.

Finally Ms. Supervisor waddled over to help customer service person that couldn't do anything without her permission. Ms. Supervisor said that if Mom gave customer service person her I.D. [license] then she could help us this one time, but in the future Mom was going to have to know the last four digits of the social security number on the account. [Does anyone with a legal background read my blog? Is this allowed? How is it that a social security number has become a "national identity" number when it was originally designed for the purpose of keeping track of employment? How do illegal aliens get cable if they don't have a social security number?] Ms. Supervisor said that my Mother should change the account but that she would need her social security card to do so - along with Dad's social security number. I said something to the effect that most people don't carry their social security cards around with them and customer service person decided that she needed to argue with me, "Oh, yes. Everyone carries their social security card." No, not everyone does, you idiot! [You just want to argue because you can't stand white women and you've had an inferiority complex your entire life!] You are not supposed to. If your pocketbook or wallet gets stolen and you've got your license in it, along with a credit card or two, and your social security card, you are screwed! Brains and common sense are, obviously, not a prerequisite for becoming a customer service representative at Time Warner Cable. I'm not sure what prerequisites are required other than being the "right" color. I do know that last week 121 workers at Caterpillar in Clayton were laid off and I'd be willing to bet that you could find a worker or two in that group who would relish the opportunity to work as a customer service representative at Time Warner and who might actually bring some people skills to work with them - no matter WHAT color they are!

Anyway, after a good deal of arguing back and forth we were able to get a breakdown of what it is, exactly, that Mom is paying for. There is NO good way to do this. If you cancel the cable completely and just want phone service and internet then it is $160. a month because the price of having those two options, separately, doubles if you don't have a "package deal" that includes cable. Makes absolutely no sense at all. But with no industry competition, Time Warner Cable has you over a barrel and they can charge whatever it is they want. Competition is a good thing. How come there isn't any? If Mom "locked" into a two year contract she could have lowered her bill to $149. for all of the same services that she was paying $179. a month for. Does that make any sense? Sure it does. For the cable company but not for the cable company customers!

What Mom finally decided to do was to remove the premium cable package and get basic cable - some 24 channels, only. She was told that she needs to bring the box and clicker back to the Time Warner Office - along with her social security card - and that then they will switch her service and she'll only have to pay $113. a month. Remember. All of this took place on Thursday. So, last night, I'm getting ready to go sit sleep in the recliner in the bedroom and turn on the television to watch Fox News. There is now NO cable at all. Not the 24 channels as promised. None. Today means another trip to Time Warner to get this straightened out. I'll be taking names. I neglected to get customer service woman's name a couple days ago, and I have no idea what Ms. Supervisor's name is. But someone in a cushy office somewhere needs to know just how incredibly ineptly the local office is being run in Clayton. Oh, and someone needs to turn those 24 channels on pretty darn quick, since Mom is paying for them!

P.S. Anonymous - I don't know what your problem is. Are you jealous that you can't have plastic surgery? Or something? Either way I've got comment moderation on for people just like you and you are NOT going to get through. Good try though.


  1. Whoops! Misspelled "legal" in my last response.

  2. Your issues in a nutshell:

    1. TWC is, for better or worse, the best choice available. They know this, and they use the knowledge to sucker you in with "teaser" rates, and then raise priceson you. I have the same package your Mom has, and after taxes and fees (outrageous here in New York), my bill is $192.00 a month.

    2. Customer service people are ignorant for a reason; most were not the best students in school,and usually because it is not desired by their corporate taskmasters that they have information which could accidentally be made public. That's not an excuse to be Jesse-Jackson-obnoxious, though.

    That's when they don't have three speeds: slow, dead-slow and dead-slow-in-reverse. Having lived in the South, I can say this for y'all: I understand there's a different "pace" to life below the Mason-Dixon, but "near-comatose" shouldn't be a lifestyle.

    3. The SSN: It's the new "Auchwitz Tattoo". The reason they asked for a SSN has to do with aprocess called Data Warehousing, wherein a dossier is being compiled of you and your financial activities. TWC isprobably being paid by on outside firm (probably BoA!) to record transactions by SSN. The collector then stores this information on you, and makes it available (for a fee) to anyone who wants it (basically, anyone who can pay for it). The purpose is to compile an as-accurate-as-possible profile of you; your financial activities, shopping and travel habits, tastes, etc, which are poired over by marketing experts and, sometimes even PSYCHOLOGISTS, who try to discern patterns in your behavior which can then be used to tailor advertising and marketing efforts, or to sell you everything ytou don't need at prices you're likely to fork over.

    And by the way, most people actually just give this sort of information away, because they don't think about it, or they're sheep; we use far too many credit cards, fill out too many surveys, join to many organizations. You leave a paper trail a mile wide behind you from the day you're born until you're gone. And someone's reading it all because it's pure gold.

    It's why the mailman delivers three letters and 50-pounds of junk mail every week. I used to work on these sorts of projects at Smith-Barney. They asked for the SSN number exactly for this reason.

    And yes, it's leagal; Congress made it so.

  3. Just for reference, in the future try going straight to corporate. I had TWC a while back and their offices are garbage (and I was going to a GOOD one). It's easier to go over their heads and argue stuff through the main office.

    Also try threatening to cancel altogether if you don't get the trial rate again. This works surprisingly well with Comcast.

  4. Sorry about the way you have been treated at your local office. I have forwarded your complaint to our Customer Care team in the Carolinas.

    Paul S.
    TWC Social Media Support team

  5. Time Warner, aka Road Runner, is a horrible outfit. Search at -

    = = =
    "How is it that a social security number has become a 'national identity' number when it was originally designed for the purpose of keeping track of employment?"

    Changing requirement of financial reporting. When I started in computer programming circa 1965, the SocSec number was so restricted that even the IRS had to get an annual waiver to be able to use it as an identifier! But then non-wage income concerns caused money-grabbers to require stock brokers, banks, etc to report such things as the savings-account payouts. That opened the door, now it is routine for anyone who buys/sells to "require" at least the last four digits - but it is, as far as I know, only legal for outfits that pay out to individuals to actually insist on it - I could well be wron about that, though.

    = = =
    "If you cancel the cable completely and just want phone service and internet then it is $160. a month because the price of having those two options, separately, doubles if you don't have a "package deal" that includes cable."

    Depends, of course, on the ISP. I have internet only, at $48/month. I could add telephone for another $25 (Or a VOIP, but they cost about that too) - or get MajickJack for the equivalent of $4 (they charge about $45/year). Basic TV would run about $60, though, and pay channels considerably more.

    = = =
    "remove the premium cable package and get basic cable - some 24 channels, only. She was told that she needs to bring the box and clicker back to the Time Warner Office"

    Pure stupidity/rip-off. The box has an identifier hard-wired: what it is allowed to decode or pass through is determined by switches at the distribution point.

    Not necessarily a good thing, but does her area phone company offer internet connection? A DSL or FIOS connection might be cheaper.

    Or satellite, though there are of course drawbacks.

  6. I was going to suggest just cancelling the whole thing and doing it piecemeal- DISH/DirectTV for TV, Local phone- or just cell service and DISHinternet(WildBlue) satellite broadband.

    Now that we dropped the satellite broadband and went wired, we'll be dropping our $75/ ATT phone for VoIP.

  7. Time Warner is the worst cable provider in Austin Tx ... They don't give a shit about the customer except if they are paying their bill. Customer service at this joke of a company is horrible.. The company is so far in debt their credit rating is the in the same category as Zimbabwe .. Which means they are insolvent ... technically insolvent.. Thats why the service is lower than a snakes belly in a wagon wheel rut.
    Time Warner is a bottom feeder.. They are spineless parasites .. the only reason they exist in Austin is because they payed off City of Austin officials, basically bribing who ever they could to swash all competition virtually creating an illegal monopoly. Corruption of State and local politicians was EZ for Time Warner .. Thats the only way they could stay in business. Time Warner services is so bad that any person in their right mind would switch if they had a decent choice.
    If i had a choice I would chose something other than Time Warner blood sucking parasitic bottom feeding excuse for a cable provider.

    C.D. Austin TeXas

  8. yeah, they suck bad.
    Too grim to go into details.

  9. After one month of very unstable service, exceptionally poor customer service and believe it or not, no HD, I switched to AT&T U-Verse and there is simply no comparison. The services are better, the internet is faster and although I cannot compare the HD since for some reason, it never worked (even though it was hooked up with an HD cable properly), the picture perfect, clear quality of AT&T kicks TW's ass royally. The only great thing I experienced with TW was one of their senior techs who came to my house on a few separate occasions due to TW issues was Robert who services the NW Austin area. No more wireless router (my own) required, phone is hooked up to any wall jack vs. the modem through TW and even the install was free on top of additional discounts for being a wireless customer.

  10. I had cable a while back and I wasn't really happy with the bill at all. I began working at DISH and decided to give the service a shot. I can honestly say that cable is a thing of the past to me. I get the most value for the money that I save per month and DISH has beat out Time Warner Cable 10 years in a row in customer satisfaction. There is a reason for that. I've only had to call in once about my TV and it was resolved without sending a technician. I love DISH and I highly recommend that people check it out.


  11. Time Warner is the biggest rip off. Customer service people are not smart and they give you a runaround. What a joke.

  12. I hate time warner! I have spoke to six people today including a manager and still my problem is not reslove! I cant get dish cuz the trees are in the way! HELP!

  13. I was sitting with the elderly lady I take care of when the phone rang. I answered only to hear this robo voice telling me this is TWC with an important message, please hold on as all our agents are busy. This robo voice repeated this message four times. I wondered what in the world could be so important yet I had to hold on as all their agents are busy, and this robo voice came back on the line to tell me this. After the fourth time I wanted to hang up, but I knew this was no important message and when I got through to a real person I wanted to tell them what I thought about how the whole process was handled. If I get a message telling me it's important it had better be more important than a sales pitch. Which was exactly what I held on for, now how important is that. If the elderly person had answered I can guarantee just the word alone would have frightened her. Doesn't T W C take into account that we live in world so different to when 80 year person grew up.


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