Time Warner Cable Install A Sisyphean Ordeal

This is pathetic. Time Warner Cable, you are a corpulent prude whore, an easy slut who won’t put out.

When we had to get TimeWarner service in our new apartment, on the third floor, we were told there was no apartment number 3. After much wrangling, we said, okay, we’re in apartment number two. Conversely, when we signed up for gas, we were told there was already service in apartment two, so we had to then be apartment 3.

Benjamin sends in his chronologically ordered tale of his over month-long attempt to get Time Warner Cable to install service.

That he had to prove, in writing, that his apartment actually existed was only the fun’s beginning…

Benjamin writes:

Haven’t checked the records for March, hence the lack of dates. This is in Brooklyn, NY.

3/xx Called TWC to change the address for my service and was told that my apartment did not exist.

3/xx Provided a signed copy of my lease, verifying existence of apartment. TWC asks for further verification.

3/xx Obtained and mailed a NOTARIZED LETTER from the owner of the property verifying existence of apartment in a TWC-serviced area.

3/xx Called TWC again, who told me they did not receive or had lost the letter. Was told to contact the Real Estate Department, and was given a number.

Number given turns out to be a FAX line. On follow-up, a TWC representative claims that TWC does not have a “Real Estate Department.”

Through further calls, I am given the personal cellphone number of one “Jimmy,” who is supposed to be able to tell me what needs to be done to hook up service.

3/xx “Jimmy” surveys property and determines that a line needs to be run from a property down the block. Also verifies property

s existence to dogmatically skeptical Customer Service Representatives.

3/xx On follow-up, TWC claims apartment is installation ready and an appointment is made.

4/13 Installation technician arrives, and tells me a line needs to be run from the property down the block. Technician explains that we will receive a call from the foreman of the Construction Department, who will set up an appointment.

Received call from Construction Department, and set up appointment for 4/17.

4/17 Received approximately 0 visits from Construction Department foremen. A follow-up call reveals that the foreman did not actually need apartment access (read: I wasted a vacation day), and that the appropriate
work has been performed.

New appointment is made for a 4/18 installation.

4/18 Installation tech arrives and informs us that no work has been performed and a line still needs to be run from a property down the block.

TWC representatives explain to us that the foreman dispatched on 4/17 was merely to verify that A LINE NEEDS TO BE RUN FROM A PROPERTY DOWN THE BLOCK.

4/19 After numerous calls to TWC over the course of 12 hours, I am told that TWC does not know the identity of the foreman who came on Monday and will therefore have to arrange another appointment (set for 4/22) for a foreman to come and verify that A LINE NEEDS TO BE RUN FROM A PROPERTY DOWN THE BLOCK.

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  1. KevinQ says:

    The only thing that would make this better is if it had taken more than two months at this point. In fact, I want to know how you called on 4/17 and got an appointment for 4/18 and that guy actually showed up.

    Other than that, you have my sympathy.

    K

  2. slinky22 says:

    TWC in Kansas City is similarly confused. I ended up missing about 4 days’ work (eight half-days) to fix a problem with my cable modem. Until you end up with a technician who actually cares about the problem, and who knows how to solve it, you’re basically hosed. And it’s a crapshoot as to when and whether you’ll ever find such a tech.

  3. zingbot says:

    My experience and the experience of those around me is that TWC NYC doesn’t really WANT your business. They work very, very hard to make certain everything is as uncomfortable as possible.

  4. RaginCajun says:

    Time Warner (Brooklyn) put me on the phone with what I imagine was one of its “bilingual” call handlers … and by bilingual I mean she spoke Spanish, but not understandable English… Though she did have me understand that ESPN is no longer part of the basic cable package, probably because the bastards know ESPN will be carrying Monday Night Football from here on out. I never thought I’d say this, but I miss Cablevision.

  5. missdona says:

    Bravo is not a part of their basic Digital package either. You get “150 digital channels,” but not Bravo, ESPN or the Style Network.

    Give me a break.

  6. WMeredith says:

    I’ve found that it comes down to the tech you get.

    2 years ago, when I moved into an apartment 2 blocks off the Plaza in Kansas City, I had a bad installer. When he got to my apartment, he just plugs in my TV and the cable was already on. He then charged me the normal hook-up fee. Grrr…

    So I asked him if he would turn on the (already existinging) cable hook-up in the bedroom, since he didn’t have to do anything to get the main one truned on. He doesn’t akcnowledge my question in any way. We (silently) went in the other room and I watch him check the cable. Of course: it was already activated as well. He said it would be $30 extra to activate an extra line. I asked if he could just charge me for the main one, sincee they were both up and running and he’d been there a total of 5 minutes thus far. He said, “Nope.” (That’s a direct quote) And then he SHUTS-OFF THE ONE IN THE BEDROOM.
    Are you kidding me?

    Fast forward two years, and I moved into a house about 5 minutes from my old place. The (TW) cable guy shows up last Saturday to xfer my service, after poking around for an hour he announces that the three cable jacks existing in the house are already all on. He also told me that there was some problem out at the switcher box on their end that was preventing my digital phone/internet from working. So he calls that in and says someone will be on it Monday, and then charges me for a single xfer service fee. I guess I lucked out. I even helped him cary his ladder back to his truck. As opposed to the first guy, which I secretly prayed would trip down the stairs on the way out.

    I guess with TWC you just roll the dice.

    On an interesting side note: the service guy and I were sitting in my living room bullshitting while he was waiting for a call back from his dispatcher he informed that they won’t train him to work on an Apple, because (company line ahead) ,”We don’t service them.” This conversation is being had is as we’re looking at me eMac that I’ve had TWC Cable internet service on for 2 years. What a bizarre company.

    At least I know they have one cool installer. He was a great guy. It was kinf of funny, he seemed as baffled by his employer as I was.

    Please excuse any typos…

  7. Das Ubergeek says:

    Call 311. Ask to talk to DoITT (the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications). File a complaint. It’s their job to deal with it, and they have contacts who aren’t bound by scripts.

    (You readers who are not in New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore or a select few other cities: if your city doesn’t have 311 yet, start making noise to your elected councilcritters or aldermen — it’s one-stop shopping for city services and people actually answer the phone. Whether anything actually gets DONE is up to the city, but at least you don’t usually end up playing “hunt the city department” in the phone book.)

  8. JDBarrington says:

    @WMeredith: haha its good to hear that you got a good tech. Im a service tech for the MidOhio division and know of many techs that blow, 99% of which are contracted out. The InHouse guys like myself actually give a shit about our jobs so, if you ever need something done with TWC svcs whereever your located in the us, requested a TW Inhouse tech and your odds at not getting a retard are greatly increased.