Wednesday, January 15, 2014

TWC, Part II

So, I'm sure you're dying to know how my situation with Time Warner Cable turned out.  I can't get in trouble for this, can I? I recently read an article about a couple who were sued after leaving a bad review for a company that had wronged them. Yikes.

If you have time on your hands, you should read some of the Yelp reviews on Time Warner Cable.  TWC earns one-star ratings across the board, and that's only because Yelp doesn't allow you to give a 0-star rating.  You'll find little gems like:

"I could have invented the Internet in the time I have spent on hold with Time Warner Cable."

"Seriously sucks monkey balls!!!!"

"I hate it more than when I get a spaghetti stain on my white t-shirt."

Now, granted, I know that few people take the time to leave a review when they are happy.* No one ever calls me at work just to say, "Hey, I just called to say that I love my website and it's running great!" But still, it seems like TWC is particularly unpopular.

Quick recap: I called TWC on 1/3 because they sent me a bill for over $400 and said they never got my December payment.  I called my bank and obtained proof that the payment had, in fact, left my bank account on December 19th. I faxed that proof of payment to TWC and was issued a ticket number. I was told that I would hear back from them within 24-72 hours.  So, I called on Monday the 6th. I was on hold for 52 minutes before I was able to talk to someone.  I said I needed an update on my ticket because I had not heard back. "Ohhhh, it's more like three business days, not 24-72 hours."  Okay, got it.  The first person just made a mistake. I gave up and hung up.

Last weekend, I decided to give the online chat a try. I was connected with a guy named Tyler. He informed me that my ticket was still open but that he would expedite it for me. (I think this is sort of like when a car salesman says "Let me talk with my manager and see if I can get you a better deal" . . . and then stands out back and smokes a cigarette.) I doubted anything would happen, so I gave up once again. Fast forward to yesterday. TWC left me a voicemail saying that I should call back within 24 hours regarding a change to my account. "Awesome!" I thought. "They found my payment."

I called the number I was given and a helpful robot voice informed me that if I didn't pay my past-due balance, my service would be cut off.  Grrrr.  I entered the auto-attendant maze and pushed buttons until I got a warm body. This gentleman informed me that the wait is 7-10 business days. He dug around in my account and informed me that the ticket was still open.

Here's the thing. I understand that TWC can't just take my word for it that I made a payment. But where the hell is my money?  I think they route some payments into a fund that pays for their satanic rituals that they carry out in the deep, deep forest when the moon is full.

I asked this guy a few more questions, as he seemed slightly more competent than some of the others had been. I told him that my next bill is due next week, but I don't know how much to pay since the current bill reflects a past due balance and a late fee. Right then, he dug around in my account some more and then said, "I see that you made a payment on December 26th in the amount of $199.09. They found your payment - they just didn't apply it to your account."  What. The. Fuck. I made the payment on December 19th, not the 26th. But, whatever.  He made some notes on the ticket and for a second there, I thought we were all set. But then he said this: "If you could just make the past due payment of $80.06 as soon as you can, that would be great." What kind of math was he doing????  Credit the December payment and I'll make the January payment next week, when it is due.  Simple. I went a few more rounds with this guy and then decided that all I can do at this point is to hope that he credited the payment and that I won't get any more "Pay up or else" calls from my friends at TWC. And with friends like that, who needs enemies?

*Lest you think I'm a chronic complainer, I have to tell you a little story about good service. My daughter is a vegetarian. She can only eat lunch at school on days when a meatless option is offered, so I have to watch the school lunch menus pretty carefully.  Recently we had some inclement weather days that caused the menu to shift quite a bit. The woman in charge of food services at my daughter's school called me twice to tell me personally about the changes. She asked me to send her my email address, so I did. I thanked her for her extra effort and she replied thusly:


You are very welcome.  I am happy to assist you with this situation.  I have saved your contact information.  In the future if there are any menu changes that I feel you need to be made aware of I will email you with the information.

My goal here is to make each and every student feel comfortable to come to me with any needs, and to provide them with a nourishing  meal.  I am pleased that I was able to assist you and make these menu changes easier for you and A.

I was so impressed that I emailed the district superintendent to compliment this employee (I would have emailed the school's principal but he is on paternity leave). I received a response from the superintendent stating that she would share my note with the employee's supervisor.

So, you see, I am not a complete twat or a chronic complainer. It's just that, in the wise words of a fellow TWC customer . . . Time Warner Cable sucks monkey balls.

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