Time Warner Cable Lies And Says They Showed Up At Your House, When They Really Didn't

Jon’s was trying to get his cable line repaired with Time Warner Cable. The missed appointments were bad enough, but the worst was when Time Warner tried to argue with Jon that they had shown up for an appointment and Jon wasn’t there and didn’t answer his doorbell or pick up his phone.

There are 4 problems with this:

1) Jon was home all day and heard no doorbell
2) His desk faces the window so he would’ve seen a truck
3) Sprint confirmed that he received absolutely no calls during this time period
4) His landlord was sitting in a chair outside the whole day and would’ve let the tech in

Jon is fed up and looking into getting DSL with Speakeasy. Unfortunately, they’ll take two weeks to come out, and Jon runs two internet startups. Not a fun proposition either way. — BEN POPKEN

Time Warner Cable NYC – Could they be more inept or evil? [Destructuring]

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  1. topwop2 says:

    my friend has this issue with them as well in Staten Island. They lied to him and said they guy was at his house and he didn’t answer. Then he asked for a supv. and was told the driver never made it, he was involved in an accident on the way TO your house. They were sending another installer immediately. When this one did not show up either, he was told this driver went to help the driver in the accident. How many stories can they tell. They finally gave him two free months of cable. Over the past 10 years or so they have done this to me numerous times as well.

  2. BillyShears says:

    And what’s sad is that the alternative, getting Verizon to run a DSL line, is probably just as infuriating.

  3. Christopher says:

    This reminds me of the time I was waiting for a package from UPS. I was super excited to get it (it was my new laptop) so I kept a constant eye out my window for the delivery truck.

    When UPS came, I saw the guy approached my apartment door, so I walked to my buzzer to wait and buzz him in. After a bit I realized he hadn’t buzzed, so I looked out the window to see him walking back to his truck. I then ran out the door to try and catch him, but since I’m on the third floor, by the time I got to the door he was gone. Instead, there, on my door, was a note about how he tried to deliver, but I wasn’t home!!!!

    I called UPS to try to get him to come back, informed them that he hadn’t even buzzed me, and they claimed that I “must have been in the bathroom or something,” even though I watched him come and leave without even buzzing.

    What sucks is that companies mandate that their employees make an unreasonable number of deliveries/installations per day, and when they realize that they can’t, their only choice is to screw the customer.

  4. raindog says:

    Yeah, that’s happened to me a number of times with UPS packages. Luckily, now we’re on the first floor and so far I’ve been sitting right by the window every time UPS has delivered.

    Both Time Warner and Verizon have pulled the “our guy showed up and you weren’t home” thing on a number of my friends in the last few years. In one case with TWC, my friend was literally sitting on the porch facing the road the entire time. When the guy showed up for the makeup appointment, he installed two digital boxes instead of DVRs and told her that was all he had, so she’d have to upgrade her service to get DVRs even though she was already paying for two DVRs. It’s one of those things that makes me want to put hidden cameras in my own house.

    We don’t live in NYC, so maybe that stuff is just endemic to their corporate culture. “We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re the cable company.” Bring on FIOS and let the war begin.

  5. Buran says:

    From a cable company that pulls this kind of crap to DSL service from Best Buy.

    Brilliant!

  6. Haplo9000 says:

    Ten years ago when my wife was just my girlfriend and living in a tiny little 2-room apartment right off the University of Memphis campus, she decided she wanted cable TV. She was all excited about finally getting more than 4 channels, and Time Warner made an appointment to install it between 8AM and 12 noon.

    The big day came, and I came over early to hang out with her and wait for the cable installer. Of course, the 4 hour window came and went, so we called at around 12:30 looking for our installer. The phone rep put us on hold, then came back and said she called the installer and he told her that he came by in the morning, knocked several times, and left a note. Of course, there was no note, and we never left the *VERY small* apartment, so we would have heard a knock.

    Basically, the installer lied to the rep. Even worse, when we told the rep that, no, no one came by and knocked, left a note, or anything else, the best she could do was to make ANOTHER 4 hour appointment in a week’s time.

    Needless to say, we did not get Time Warner cable for her apartment…or in our bigger apartment when we got married…or in our house. The satelite dish works just fine. And, we made sure to go with DSL over a cable modem, just to avoid Time Warner in all things. All that money, over 10 years, down the drain because a lazy installer refused to do the work he was supposed to do, lied to the phone rep, and the phone rep could care less.

    The lesson, as always: Time Warner blows.

  7. Buran says:

    @CBragg: Yeah. That kind of crap is why I have packages sent to my work address (and they have no problem with my doing this). Someone is ALWAYS THERE to sign for stuff. I’d love to see them claim no one was there at a shipping and receiving dock … and they haven’t even tried.

    The other plus is that my stuff is always delivered early in the morning and I get it when the package courier comes around in the early afternoon, right to my lab.

  8. EnderVR46 says:

    Same thing is happening to me this week and last. Last Tuesday the cable started running slow and was dropping out. Called TWC to get a fix and they made an appointment for last Thursday. The day went by with no visit, phone call or even an e-mail. By then the cable was working alright so I let it slide. Roll of Friday afternoon and it was having problems again.

    Called them up to set up another appointment, when I asked why they missed the first one. Guy said I didn’t answer the phone the two times they called. I explained that I had received no such calls and he said they made the attempt but won’t show without an answer.

    Set up another appointment for Monday (yesterday). Same story, it’s now Tuesday night and I haven’t seen nor heard a word. Luckily the problem sorted itself out and hasn’t come up again.

    They’re the only game in my neighborhood and used to be called Comcast. I thought it couldn’t get worse than Comcast but TWC has made some changes that truly baffle me.

  9. ShadowFalls says:

    When I had TWC, the service was “satisfactory”. When TWC changed over to Brighthouse here, I noticed alot better service, better support, and better prices. I guess you can always hope TWC is replaced in your neighborhood.

  10. world_of_pain says:

    My internet connection went down a few days before i was to begin working out of my house. I must have spent 8 plus hours over three days on the phone w/ TW “Customer Service” trying to get answers and trying to get someone out to the house to fix. One if those nights, i must have been on hold for almost two hours and finally had to hang up.

    When you have serious issues i would recommend skipping the middle man and speaking w/ managers and supervisors only. Get names and phone numbers and bug them until the problems fixed. After 5 days of no connection the problem was finally resolved. I ended up missing one day of work.

    If there was another option in my town i would switch in a heartbeat.

  11. EtherealStrife says:

    @CBragg: I’ve had that happen a bunch of times with USPS (signature required) deliveries. I even tried putting a note out there saying PLEASE RING OR KNOCK, I’M HOME. Of course by the time I did that, they had already used up the 1-2 “delivery attempts”…

    UPS and Fedex always just leave it without so much as a knock. Some notification would be nice, but at least they don’t pull the USPS crap with me. The only exception was a laptop, which UPS was required to deliver to a person. No door knock or bell, so on the third day I busted out the lawn chair + a book and sat on the door step. I got it that time. :) Although, the woman had to GO BACK TO THE TRUCK to get the box (she was walking up to the door with a Sorry We Missed You slip all filled out…).

  12. Amy Alkon says:

    As far as Time Warner and other monopolies go, I’d advise you to contact your city council person and know your city councilperson — and be careful who you vote for so you get a good one. Most recently, I called ours (in Los Angeles), Bill Rosendahl, to show up for a zoning board meeting. He was in Washington, but one of his aides came, and it made a difference. A good city council person can and will lean on companies that aren’t serving the community.

  13. LAGirl says:

    @EtherealStrife:

    something similar happened to us with my boyfriend’s new MAC laptop. i was in the back of the house when i heard the doorbell ring. by the time i got to the front of the house, yelled ‘just a minute, coming!’ and opened the door, the FEDEX driver was back in his truck + driving away!! it clearly stated that it required a signature, and was not to be left. but that’s exactly what he did: left a $2500 laptop sitting on the front porch. it was lucky that i just happened to be home. i told my boyfriend to call and make a complaint, but i don’t think he ever did.

    and our evil mailman never rings the bell when he’s got packages. most of the time, he just leaves them on the porch w/o ringing the bell. but sometimes, when he wants to screw with us, he won’t attempt delivery and won’t leave a notice. the only way i find out i even have a package is when i contact the shipper and ask why i still haven’t received a package. they give me a delivery confirmation #. when i look it up online, i see 2 or 3 attempted deliveries!

  14. KenyG says:

    re: UPS or Fedex packages -

    I have them shipped to my work. Delivering to a business seems to work better.

  15. deweydecimated says:

    i’ve had very similar situations with comcast in my previous town. after three ‘but our records show you called and cancelled the service appointment’ excuses when i was trying to get our completely down internet connection repaired, i went with the competition. and felt very, very lucky to have a competitor besides verizon to turn to!

    so far, knock on wood, the comcast operation at my new location has been pretty responsive.

  16. quantum-shaman says:

    Here’s an easy solution: the service guy should call you on your cell or home phone before they actually head out your way. Why don’t these geniuses think of that? Of course this does not make sense for UPS, but it DOES for some kind of service for which you have made an appointment. All the companies that I have dealt with, it’s SOP.

  17. tazewell78 says:

    Short-term solution:

    Get a mobile broadband card/USB modem from Sprint. If you don’t want it you can return it within 30 days no questions asked.

  18. tazewell78 says:

    i.e. use it until your landline broadband is installed.

  19. kamikasee says:

    I used to have the kind of problems people are describing with the UPS delivery guy. I always make it a point to call the 800 number for UPS and complain. Be very specific about the address/day/time so that they can pinpoint which driver was responsible. At first when I started doing this, it didn’t seem to make any difference, but after two or three complaints, I haven’t had any more problems.

    I hypothesize that the drivers do get in trouble if they get a complaint like this (or too many), so if they find that you’ll always file a complaint, they do your deliveries the right way.

    As a side note, I’m getting married soon, and we opened a private mailbox with one of these storefront shipping operations. All our UPS/FEDEX shipped gifts go there, get delivered on the first try, and held for us to pick up. And it only costs about $10/month. Worth every penny.

  20. Parttimesaint says:

    If you’re in NYC, the number for Time Warner’s Public Affairs division is 718-670-6671. They managed to finally get my cable/internet service repaired after 2 1/2 weeks and 7 (yes, seven!) appointments that TW missed or said they showed up and then didn’t.

  21. ejadair says:

    This same thing happened to me approximately 1 year ago. I was moving to Chapel Hill, NC in the summertime and had set up my cable appointment approximately 2 months in advance. I was to begin working very shortly after my move and I knew that it was important for me to have internet service. TWC had agreed to come between 1-4 on the day of my move-in. After the time period had passed and no one had appeared, I gave TWC a call to see why no one had showed and when I could expect them. When I called, I was informed that someone had stopped by, knocked, received no answer and left. There were multiple things wrong with this. First, between that time, I was moving in! If someone had stopped by surely we would have seen them. We had movers going in and out of our apartment all day, plus I was standing next to the door/right outside the door/on the porch most of this time with my family, a few friends, and the movers. Second, the door was open the entire afternoon since we were constantly going in and out. Third, my cell phone received no calls during this time.

    Seeing as how this was on a Friday, there was no way I could get some one to come back out to the house. I was pretty upset when I insisted that the rep had basically lied because we would have seen him, only to be told “Well, thats what the computer information says. He did stop by.” My cable and internet weren’t set up for another week and a half because that was the earliest time possible for another appointment. At the time, I didn’t know about this website, but if I had, I certainly would have shared my experience with consumerist.com!

  22. I had the same problem with TWC in 2001 in Raleigh/Durham. Just never showed up. Installer claimed to have done. Fortunately I was irate and verbose enough that the rep believed me, so they came the next day and did the install and comped it.

    But still.

    (And I have no problem with UPS deliveries, but my mailperson can’t be bothered to deliver the mail, or take the outgoing mail, or deliver packages, unless she gets to dropkick them. In which case she does so. AND SHE KNOWS I WORK FROM HOME.)

  23. kerry says:

    Back when I lived in an apartment I stayed home one day to sign for two packages, one FedEx and one UPS. The UPS guy came at 10am and rang my bell, no problems. At about noon I saw the FedEx truck drive past my building. I waited 5 minutes, he didn’t come back, I checked the tracking and it said “delivery attempted, nobody home.” In a rage, I called FedEx and they say they’ll send him back. At 2pm there was still no delivery man, so I called again and they say they’ll send “the afternoon guy” out. 5pm rolled around and my package was back at the sort facility, and they say they don’t have an “afternoon guy.” I got on the bus and picked it up myself.
    For a while I had packages shipped to my work, but they don’t really like us doing that, and once they lost my TiVo for a couple days. I don’t have anything shipped to my office anymore.

  24. joflow says:

    Honestly though, this is most likely a situation where it’s a lazy service tech who lied and told his company he went out there and nobody was there or answered the phone. The company has the choice then of either backing their tech and sticking to the story, or looking even more unreliable by saying “Yeah, you could very well be right, sometimes our service guys are lazy jerks and lie to us…what are ya gonna do?” Not that this excuses it, but to me it seems that the company doesn’t have much choice in the stance it takes.

  25. JuliusJefferson says:

    @ShadowFalls:

    I’ve had pretty good experiences with Brighthouse. Definitely none of the horror stories people have had with the larger companies. My only complaint is that they universally upgraded their cable internet speed recently and didn’t even tell me!

  26. Amy Alkon says:

    Regarding mobile broadband, I have the Verizon mobile broadband, and it’s great. I don’t like being on public wifi because of packet sniffers. I’ve been connecting in Santa Monica and in a parking garage at UCLA, and it’s a little slower than a cable modem, but pretty damn great. Note: I have the USB 720 version, which is faster than the older PCI/MCIA card slot version. (I have an iBook, without the PCI/MCIA card slot, and this is the modification, finally out, for computers like mine.) If you decide to go this route, you can get the modem cheaper…I think my boyfriend got mine at Circuit City or Best Buy for around $100, and whether that’s with a $50 rebate, and whether that’s still available, I’m not sure. But, it’s just fabulous — I can be connected just about anywhere.

  27. nucleotide says:

    Please don’t readily suggest Speakeasy as an alternative. They’re a great ISP unless you have a TELCO/CLEC issue. I had to drop them for icky ATT because my service degraded.

    Every other day I couldn’t ping the gateway from the modem though it had sync. Granted, this was probably Covad’s fault. But it took literally 12 calls over 3 months to convince them to send someone out. Each time I called they made me run though about a half hour of the same tests I made with them the night before. When I got sick of this and asked for the supervisor the asshole put me on infinite hold. Then they said that it would cost $150 if the problem wasn’t on their side. How the hell did I know that the tech they sent wouldn’t say it was my fault to save Covad/ATT money. Look at broadband reports and you’ll see that I wasn’t the only one with this issue.

    The connection works fine now and the ATT tech gladly used the existing wiring I ran for the speakeasy connection. Beware, ATT bills are practically incomprehensible.

  28. mac-phisto says:

    i had this happen to me w/ charter a few years back. wish there was something you could do to recoup time lost waiting for no shows, time on the phone arguing w/ a csr, etc. there definitely needs to be some more accountability somewhere.

    as much of a disaster as deregulation has been in the energy sector, i’m still tempted to think that might fix the problem.

  29. rmz says:

    I’m so glad I don’t have to bother with Time Warner in these parts. Cox may have its poor points, too, but the few times that I’ve needed to deal with customer service have been fairly painless. Plus, they recently tripled (more or less) the number of HD channels that they offer in our area, so yay for that.

  30. Buran says:

    @EtherealStrife: When are people going to actually start complaining to the couriers on top of complaining here, which won’t get anything changed? I’m increasingly disgusted by their behavior on home deliveries from reports like yours.

  31. Buran says:

    @KenyG: Ditto (see above comment from me). FedEx at least has separate trucks for “home delivery”. Maybe UPS does too, even though they don’t look different.

  32. Buran says:

    @zirkus: Of course they suck. What do you expect from internet service provided by BEST BUY?

  33. Treved says:

    Isn’t it sad how many of these stories there are? My wife was home waiting for TWC in the 4 hour window. The dog started barking so she looked out the window, and the guy was sitting in his truck. She figured great, he’s here…only to see him then drive off! No knock or doorbell – and trust me, our dog would not let us miss it.

    She called and was given the song and dance about not being home. Surprisingly, they made the guy turn around and come back to us, but then he went ahead and screwed us by removing our dual tuner DVR for a single tuner. When we called to complain, they told us they were now out of stock of dual tuners. Took us 3 months to get another one. BS.

  34. KDilmore says:

    Of all the stellar experiences I’ve had with Time Warner Cable (particularly since switching to digital telephone service), this remains my favorite. From a few months ago:

    Me: Yes, I’m calling because I was scheduled for a service appointment today between 2 and 5 p.m., and it’s almost 5 and no one has showed up yet.

    TWC: Let me look into that. (Pause) Well, according to our records, you weren’t home.

    Me: That’s not true. I took off work today to be home. I’ve been home between 2 and 5 just like I was instructed to do. No one has come by.

    TWC: Well, no one came by because no one was home.

    Me: (Pause) I don’t understand what you mean.

    TWC: Our service technician called before coming over to make sure someone was home, and no one answered the phone.

    Me: I see. So, rather than coming and knocking on my door, he decided to save himself a trip just in case I wasn’t home and just called first.

    TWC: Yes.

    Me: And no one answered the phone.

    TWC: Yes.

    Me: Does the work order say why we made the service appointment.

    TWC: (Pause) It says your telephone is not working.

    Me: Exactly.

    And the big bonus to the conversation came after I rescheduled the appointment:

    TWC: Okay, you’re scheduled for a service call between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, and that’s with our 100-percent on-time guarantee.

    Me: (interrupting) How do I know a service technician will really come this time?

    TWC: Because it’s guaranteed.

    Me: It was guaranteed this time and he didn’t come. What’s my guarantee for next time?

    TWC: (Pause) Well … it’s guaranteed.

    Once I pressed to find out what really was the guarantee for the tech not coming this time, then they decided to take $20 off of my bill. So, ask for your guarantee; they sure as hell won’t offer it.

  35. Modano says:

    I think I can top this. I had an appointment with TWC to repair my connection (phone, internet & tv). I stayed home from work to wait for them and, when the window had passed, I called from my cell phone (remember, my TWC home phone is out). The operator said they came by but I never heard anything in my tiny apartment. Also, there was a fresh snow outside and there were no footprints leading to the door. Then he said “they called you too.” Of course, one of the reasons I had the appointment was to fix my phone service! Finally, he said “Well, they called you at work too.” Um, I wasn’t at work, I was, you know, waiting for them at home! Infuriating.

    It turns out that the TWC installer did such a poor job when I got cable that their “inspectors” disconnected me under suspicion of cable piracy and that’s why it was out in the first place. Sheesh.

  36. @Buran: “When are people going to actually start complaining to the couriers on top of complaining here, which won’t get anything changed?”

    I actually filed a lawsuit on behalf of a client whose stuff was mangled/lost/etc. and the customer service dept. wouldn’t give him the time of day.

    The company spent well over $50,000 defending a $6,000 case in which they were CLEARLY IN THE WRONG just because their policy is apparently never to “cave” to customer complaints. I had to hand the case off to another law firm due to a family situation, but last I heard the shipping company’s legal bill was over $250,000 (and the statute makes them liable for the plaintiff’s legal bills as well!)

  37. othium says:

    @LAGirl: I used to have a similar thing happen to me with UPS walking up to the house with a “Sorry we missed you” slip instead of a package. I actually caught the person doing it once. There I was, sitting outside working on my bike and the truck pulls up. I watched the guy come out with no package and start filling out a slip on the way up to the apartment door. Lucky for me I had my camera and took some snaps of him doing it. When confronted he was so angry he practically shoved the package in my face. You can bet I complained about this guy and I now get my deliveries from a totally different driver as the previous one seems to have chosen a different line of work (I wonder if it was voluntary?). Wish I had the photos still but they were on a hard drive that failed last year. (Still kicking myself for not backing-up the data on that!)

  38. rekoil says:

    I work in the ISP business, and a big part of my job used to be coordinating truck rolls for troubleshooting T1 and T3 circuits. This sort of crap happened *all* the time. The most memorable was when a PacBell tech called me claiming to be at the customer’s site – he told me he was putting a loopback plug into the NIU device (the grey box you plug your inside wiring into), which I saw – but when I called the customer, he told me there was no one there or near the NIU. Called the tech back and asked him some detailed questions about the customer’s location, which he waffled and then hung up on me. Two hours later I get a call from the customer that he had arrived onsite – the tech said he was at “some other” NIU point at a remote terminal. (these kinds of circuits only have two NIUs, one at each end, but the tech had already tested the other one).

    Of course, this being a typical LEC, the tech was never disciplined AFAIK…

  39. FLConsumer says:

    Comcast does this ALL the time. 4 so-called appointments, 4 no-shows…and this was a commercial account.

  40. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I get packages delivered to my apartment complex all the time. Frequently they will say nobody was in the office when they came by. I’ve also been home all day, left in the evening to go pick up my fiance, and opened the door to find a “we missed you” sticker on it. This is not uncommon behavior anywhere I’ve lived.

  41. jdmba says:

    This seems to happen quite a bit actually. Comcast pulled this on me a couple of times. You set up a Saturday appointment (which, of course, they make you wait 2 weeks to get), you sit home all day, they don’t show up and you call back to find out you weren’t home. Of course, they will be more than happy to set up a replacement appointment on a Wednesday from 8AM until 6PM in compensation for your missed Saturday (because they view Wednesday and Saturday to be interchangable) or, they can check when the next available Saturday appointment is. It makes one feel so powerless.

  42. poornotignorant says:

    I’ve posted my story 2-3 times(about Comcast) on this site in the last few months – why are we continuing to rehash this? Where are the solutions? Where do we go for those?

  43. ahwannabe says:

    Just wanted to say, that picture rules.

  44. Anonymous says:

    I am fighting the Time Warner lies at the moment. I have been waiting a year to get then to hook up an underground cable they ran a year ago. Go figure, they ran the cable, but never hooked it up. 3/4 of the customer service reps sound like they are on drugs or too stupid to follow a conversation. When I finally got a tech to the house, he left stating that “I don’t know why they sent me, you already have a cable in the ground” No shit dumb ass, hook it up.
    Solution: I’m going to hook their cable to the back of my truck and rip it off the pole.