So, as I write this I’m sitting through a crisis: no shoddy cable service from Time Warner Cable. If you’re in North Carolina and are a digital cable subscriber of Time Warner Cable, chances are you’re without many of the digital channels as well. The problem started at 9 a.m. this morning and as of 1:50, it’s still going on. Now, we all know technology fails but my gripe is that this is no rare occurrence. My service from Time Warner Cable has been anything but reliable in the past few weeks. Two or so weeks ago, I lost internet connect … again, provided by Time Warner Cable under their ‘Roadrunner’ service. On that same day, I lost digital phone (another Time Warner provided service) and moments after that, cable. How did I get answers? I had to go to Twitter and do a search where I found that others were experiencing issues with their Time Warner services. Now, if I could choose a different ISP and find out how much internet speed do you need for watching shows or downloading content, it would be a different story. But a monopoly makes this difficult.
In the age of social media, the Internet and E-mail, here’s my question: why is Time Warner so incapable of providing good customer service to its clients? Do we not pay out the wazoo for Internet, cable and phone? Does that not entitle us to good customer service and answers when we need them? Whenever there’s an outage in the area, Time Warner really makes no effort whatsoever to reach out its customers to keep them abreast of what’s happening. It would actually be as easy as Time Warner using something similar to this SMS software for enterprise businesses. The utilization of such software could allow the customer service department to roll out mass SMS alerts to those that are impacted by service outages. There’s no blog or Twitter account to follow to get updates as there are with other services and again, my question is why the hell not? Time Warner gives its customers a number to call when there’s a technical issue and guess what – at times like this big outage, the line is busy! Sometimes they are considerate and will put up an automated message saying there’s a reported outage in the area – stop calling, they’re working on it. That was sarcasm – the voice telling you that is lifeless and computerized.
What also makes Time Warner Cable a poor company is their accountability. When there’s a situation like today, the blame is always placed on technology. There’s no apologies, no “let us compensate you for the loss of service”, nothing. In fact, in most cases they try to act as if YOU are the only one experiencing the problem, sweeping mass outages and downtime under the rug and hoping to keep it off the radar. Shame on you Time Warner Cable.
This is a ridiculous company that also somehow figures they need to bill not for what’s been working or what’s been rightfully used but they bill for a month ahead of time’s service. Meaning as a Time Warner customer, you’re paying for perfect, uninterrupted service ahead of time … but come on, is that what we actually are getting? No where on my bill that I received in June that billed me for July’s services used did it state that on Wednesday, July 21, half of the digital cable channels would mysteriously stop working. Hm, I guess their fortune teller who bills ahead of time didn’t see this one coming!
And let us not forget the other great points to Time Warner. You pay a fee each month to “rent” your cable, dvr or hd box; you pay a fee each month to “rent” your Internet modem and remote control. Now, what sense does that make exactly? Why not give people the damn option of buying their equipment? Oh yeah, because then you couldn’t CHARGE them every single month to rent it, making you more money than the piece of sh*t is probably worth. Oh, nevermind! Silly me thinking like a reasonable consumer. On top of all of these renters’ fees you have to pay taxes for things you’ve never even heard of that’s associated with the digital phone, cable, dvr and Internet service. They want you to believe you’re getting such a great deal but seriously … do they forget that a lot of the major networks’ Web sites offer the shows free online? That you can buy shows on iTunes? Watch shows on Hulu? You can even hook your computer up to your TV via a HDMI cord and voila, you’ve got FREE tv! I mean, seriously, if you don’t already know how to do this, I suggest that you read this how to watch TV for free guide – you’ll be surprised by the number of ways that you can access quality content without paying a dime. It’ll make you reconsider the whole manner in which your consume your media.
I really hate that I live in an area monopolized by Time Warner Cable. This company should get in the plumbing business because like a toilet I end up hurling and throwing my stuff [aka money] into it and watch it get flushed away. Here’s an idea, Time Warner. Since you feel the need to send a billion E-mails each week about how you’d like us customers to pay our bills on time and online, how we should waste our money on bad movies on demand, how we’ll die without your Internet service that goes out every few days of the week … how about you use our E-mails to communicate what you’re doing to fix big outages like this? Or how about you E-mail us apologizing for unexpected down times? You send idiots on the television saying you are aware of the issue and that customers need not call to inform you. Well, fine … that’s cool … but after experiencing the problem for 5 hours with NO answers from you, guess what – obviously someone needs to step up and give us answers! People aren’t calling because they want to speak with your uninformed, pissy customer reps. Blog, Tweet, E-mail your customers useful information from time to time or stick a note on your Web site about big technical issues instead of leaving your customers in the dark like half of your channels are left dark today.
To those who are reading this and considering becoming a Time Warner subscriber – for your sake and your money’s sake, DON’T.