Well another Internet poll has made the rounds and guess what?
For the sixth year in a row, Time Warner Cable was rated one of the worst companies in America when it comes to customer service.
Here is a gigantic corporation, raking in record profits, yet providing terrible service to the very people who make those gargantuan profits for them.
For me, my issues with TWC have nothing do with the financial side, but the technical side. While I think TWC’s pricing structure and fee structure is ridiculous, it pales in comparison to their lack of technical knowledge.
I purchased my first TiVo unit a few years back. This particular unit required two Cablecards to operate. If you’re not familiar with a Cablecard, it’s basically a small electronic card that fits in the back of an electronic device, say a TiVo or TV. It replaces the cable box that the cable company provides.
The Cablecard is still provided by the cable company (for $3/month), but obviously it’s not as financially rewarding as the cable box which rents for $15/month. So you have to wonder if TWC actually discourages people from using the less pricey Cablecards. It would sure seem so.
I ordered my Cablecards from TWC, and was told there would be a fee to install them. Ok. No problem.
Then they told me they would send out a tech who specializes in TiVo setups to take care of the installation. Perfectly acceptable. I understand the cards need to be “paired” or setup to work with the cable system.
So the tech shows up a few days later. He arrives two hours later than the window I was promised. I have the TiVo all set up and ready for him, and he examines the unit but can’t find the slot for the Cablecards.
I smiled, trying to hide my irritation. “It’s on the back.”
He turns the TIVO around, smiles, and slides the first card in.
A minute or so passes and he turns to me looking puzzled. “How do you get to the Setup screen?”
Since I had read the instruction manual, I showed the TWC “experienced TIVO installation tech” where the setup screen was. He then proceeded to spend two full hours trying to activate the Cablecards without success.
“I’m going to need to have a more experienced tech come in and take a look at this”, he said.
Since the guy standing in my living room was the “experienced TIVO installation tech”, I guess there was someone above him who was the “sooper-dooper experienced TIVO installation Tech”.
What could I do?
Two days later, the “sooper-dooper experienced TIVO installation Tech” shows up, and completes the installation in five minutes.
Really? Five minutes?
So TWC sent someone out who was not experienced, charged me for it, forced me to stay home for six hours waiting for the guy, then made me wait two additional days while they sent out a person who was actually qualified to help me.
It’s no wonder people hate them. But hey, when you have a monopoly on cable service, you can treat people any way you like.
And while I’m on my TWC rant, I went to pick up a digital adapter at TWC’s office this week.
I had ordered the device on TWC’s website and was given an order number so I could pick it up in-person. When I walked into the office, there were two customer representatives, and one was free, so I walked over to her and sat down.
She asked me to wait a minute while she completed something on her computer screen, and three minutes later she was ready to help me.
She glanced up at the NOW SERVING sign. “Do you have a number?” she asked.
“A number?” I stood up, turned around and scanned the empty waiting room. I even put my hand up to shield my eyes like I was looking way off into the distance.
“Since there is no one here, I didn’t think I needed one,” I said.
“I see. How may I help you?”
I told her I had ordered a digital adapter and would like to pick it up.
“Do you have an order number?”
I handed her my Post-It note with the number written on it.
I waited as she keyed the number into the computer.
“Are you Nancy?” she asked.
“Nancy is my wife. I’m Lisa.”
“I see”. She fiddled on her screen for another two minutes, then got up and went to the stockroom. Five minutes later she came back with my adapter.
Another satisfied TWC customer.