The Time Warner Cable Tech Will Show Up On Time… If You Pay $190/Month

Tired of waiting for the cable guy (or gal) to not show up during the vague four-hour block you’d been given when you made the appointment? Thankfully Time Warner Cable is about to start a premium service that will let the cable tech blow off a more specific appointment for just $189.95 a month.

TWC is testing the plan, dubbed “Signature Home,” in the Charlotte, NC, area and plan to roll it out to other markets in the coming weeks.

Bloomberg News describes more details of the package:

“Signature Home” subscribers will have access to a personal service adviser 24 hours a day, and specially trained technicians will make house calls based on reservations at specific times…

The “Signature Home” DVRs will have a terabyte of storage, be able to record four high-definition programs simultaneously and store 150 hours of HD content. The bundle will include a wireless service that can connect as many as 13 devices, including TVs, DVRs, computers and gaming consoles.

The article doesn’t say whether or not those more-specific appointment times come with any sort of guarantee, or if you are just told, “He’ll be there at 3:15″ and they still mean “between 3 and 7 p.m.”

What also goes unsaid is how these specific appointment will impact those customers who don’t go for the pricier package. What happens when a tech is running late to your home and has to bump you down the list in order to make it to a “Signature Home” subscriber in time?

Time Warner Promises No Waiting for the Cable Guy, for a Price [Bloomberg]

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  1. oldwiz65 says:

    Most likely it will mean “tomorrow” or “the next day” . I can’t for the life of me imagine them actually pinning anything down to less than a 4 hour block and then not keeping it.

  2. Groanan says:

    Comcast already has this; they call it Comcast Business Class.

    I only have their highest speed internet, but the moment anything goes wrong, a phone call gives me a competent human being and the possibility of having a real life Comcast technician.

    I have only called upon the technician thrice, but all three times they were able to service me within four hours.

  3. Goatweed says:

    why do cable companies not get called out for charging for “wireless services”? All that means is they give you a wireless router and you pay more of a fee for it than if you were to go out and drop $45 on a better router from Best Buy and be able to connect the same devices.

    • jeepguy57 says:

      Because they are providing it for the consumer. Fair and square.

      Why does my car dealership charge $30 for an oil change when I can do it myself? I know how to and I have to tools, so I do it myself. A lot of people don’t know how, so they pay for it.

      Same with wireless.

      • FatLynn says:

        No, it is BS…SBC told my mother that a Best Buy router wouldn’t work, and that she had to buy one from their online store.

        • jeepguy57 says:

          Well than that is wrong. I have no issue with them providing the service and charging a fee, but lying or misleading customers about it isn’t right.

          • SunnyLea says:

            And the when they phrase it as if they are “providing wireless service” rather than “providing a router,” I think that is misleading.

    • kc2idf says:

      You’re paying rent on the router, plain and simple. If they tell you your own router won’t work, it’s a lie, plain and simple. If they tell you they won’t support it, then that is another matter.

  4. ClaudeKabobbing says:

    Another reason I have given up on Cable TV/Satellite providers they are all the Devil.

    About 20 years ago I wanted cable TV installed after sitting home all day waiting because I had to be there between 8 am and 4 pm for the install, Cable weenie never showed up. When I called the next day I was told I would have to reschedule and stay home another day I told the rep if I dont work I dont get paid and if I dont get paid I can’t afford cable TV and I cancelled the order. It was another 4 year before I had cable tv and only after I moved to a rural area with service provided by a co-op.

  5. Blueskylaw says:

    This is just another way to charge you good money for something that is free. Obviously their business model is broken if there is a demand for this super pricey service.

    • GearheadGeek says:

      Depending on what channels, how many boxes and what level of internet service they include at this price, it might not be that outrageous compared to their regular service. With a few boxes, top-tier internet service and a premium channel or two, it’s not hard to get into that price range in most markets. If I didn’t cajole my cable company into giving me a break every year, I’d be paying close to that in fact.

      • hansolo247 says:

        yea, if that $189 was for all channels, phone, and the fastest internet possible, it’s not much different.

        My CC usually gives me great service, but I do spend more per month. They aren’t gonna bend over backwards to those that just order basic, but I have found that they do if you are a high-margin customer.

    • OutPastPluto says:

      This also sounds like a way to soak the customer for giving you a decent PVR.

      HD recordings are BIG. They’re much bigger than the sorts of SD recordings you might have had on an old school Tivo. So you need much more space. Most bundleware HD PVRs are woefully inadequate in this respect.

      My broadcast recordings for the World Series are 25G a pop.

  6. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I had to get service from DirecTV once, and they kept scheduling me two weeks out. The first time, the tech said I had an electrical issue and couldn’t do anything until it was fixed. So I fixed it and when I went to reschedule, it was “Two weeks out.”

    I got the phone number of the local place and called and did a conference call with their manager, who confirmed the original tech (from when I first got it) installed it wrong, and also that he no longer worked there. I said calmly “For every day I have no service, DirecTV doesn’t get any money.” There was a brief silence and then the manager said “Someone will be there on Thursday.” And they were.

    And FWIW, they did credit my account for every day I didn’t have any DTV. So good service IS possible. TWC just doesn’t want to do it, or not without charging an arm and a leg. That’s not a program, it’s just very bad customer service.

  7. DanKelley98 says:

    So any regular Time-Life customer is f*cked if a “Signature Home” subscriber needs their service first.

    All reasons for satellite service.

  8. dush says:

    Yeah it doesn’t describe what happens if they miss the appointment you paid extra for.

  9. Razor512 says:

    What a ripoff.

    For that price, there shouldn’t be a need for a assistant or quicker home visits. The service should not fail to a point where you need it.

    Also a 1TB drive is nothing special for a DVR, a 2TB drive cost less than $70

    and the wireless is simply crap Either the company is renting out routers that have a “special” firmware that makes someones Internet experience extra crappy (time warner has a history of giving crappy routers that lock users into only using wep encryption and only allow like 3 wireless users. Some users will be stupid enough to pay to rent a better router which allows more because they cant figure out how to buy their own router

    (not sure how hard someone can find it to be, to buy a really cheap asus router or any other router that supports dd-wrt, get the router, install dd-wrt, set up your WPA2 AES, increase the transmit power for slightly better range, then allow like 30+ devices.

    By doing a test at my college, I was able to get my wrt54gl to successfully handle over 50 users

    Time warner creates problems intentionally for their users, then they charge extra to “fix” the problems. One of my friends who has it only has laptops in the house, one day, one of his laptops could not connect, the router was only allowing 1 user at a time. when he called, they tried to sell him a second Internet connection, I called them and when they did their transferring crap to make you give up, simply telling them the worker that you originally spoke to then saying you got disconnected can get you transferred back, keep that worker on the line as long as you can and they will cave in and “fix” the problem that they created.

  10. Straspey says:

    I know this is going to sound unbelievable, but…

    I am a Cablevision subscriber, and whatever you can say about some of the horrible ways they treat their customers, in my experience, their customer and tech support has always been outstanding.

    There was a day in the summer when one of their guys was here doing work on the connection to the 3-family house in which I live and – for some odd reason – the repairman disconnected my connection to the main hub on the side of our house.

    I discovered this only moments after the truck had driven off and called Cablevision immediately. The CSR put me on hold, called the truck and told him to turn around and come back to our house and repair my connection – which he did. My service was interrupted for about 45 minutes and they could not have been nicer about the whole thing.

    I could tell you more, but really – I find it appalling that a cable company would charge $190 a month just to ensure they show up at your house on time.

    eh…

  11. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    Cut out the call center and contact your local Time Warner office directly. They have been very helpful when TWC corporate was busy blowing me off.

  12. djanes1 says:

    My experience with Time Warner peeps in NYC has been very good. They’ve probably come over to my apartment like 6 times, and have never missed an appt. or been out of the “time window” I would often schedule the earliest possible time window, and they would show up at the very beginning of it. However, walking to school, I noticed that their vans parked in a garage literally two blocks from my apartment. I could be a special case. The main problem I’ve had with them in the past is the sh**tty, sh**tty routers they give you for internet service.

  13. diagoro says:

    I’m not going to defend Time Warner. In past experience, their hardware is years behind other services, and every person I ever spoke to had a different story.

    But I’m wondering what they actually give you. I’d say a terabyte drive in a Time Warner dvr is beyond normal (as of last July, the largest capacity they had would only record up to 50 hours of hd, not 150 as this states). AND it records four HD feeds at once?

    …….wait, I get it. They give you four dh dvrs, each can record up to 40 hours. Genius!

  14. HDTVTECH says:

    And they probably still say “Yeah, we supply an HDMI connection for our customers, but we don’t “support” it, it’s just there for convenience.
    http://consumerist.com/2010/10/time-warner-cable-rep-tells-me-company-doesnt-solve-hdmi-problems.html

  15. HDTVTECH says:

    And they probably still say “Yeah, we supply an HDMI connection for our customers, but we don’t “support” it, it’s just there for convenience.
    http://consumerist.com/2010/10/time-warner-cable-rep-tells-me-company-doesnt-solve-hdmi-problems.html

  16. NeverLetMeDown says:

    It’s classic customer segmentation. This service includes higher-end DVRs, plus the 50Mbps Internet, plus better customer service. Cable is actually unusual in that they haven’t done much to provide a better customer experience to better customers – they’re finally starting to do it.

  17. bfield3 says:

    I could build a home theater PC that would do way more than their crappy DVR does. “A wireless service that will connect up to 13 devices…..”, whoopie crap. They are really playing on people’s ignorance of technology.

    Granted my HTPC isn’t gonna fix my cable box if something goes wrong with it. But God forbid I happen to be without TV for 4 hours….oh my, what would I do??

    The problem is they will get some people to sign up and it will be profitable for them. Then they will just keep trying to add more bloated service to their already way overpriced service they have now. Soon you won’t have a choice….pay their exorbitant monthly fees, or put up an antenna. Which is pretty much they way it already is.

  18. aristotle88 says:

    Time Warner Cable is the worst company I’ve ever had the displeasure of dealing with. For those of you commenting about poor wireless routers, TWC dishonestly tried to convince me of the necessity of using one of their wireless routers, and paying them monthly for the privilege. (I am also the proud recipient of an item on monthly bill for the “rent” of their remote control). BUY YOUR OWN ROUTER. Although TWC tech support told me that I was required to use one of their vetted routers AND pay an extra $90 PER COMPUTER for installation, I declined to have one installed and purchased an Apple Airport Express from my local Best Buy. It couldn’t have been easier to set up, it was certainly far cheaper than paying installation fees and monthly router fees to TWC, and it works beautifully.

  19. bugatti says:

    I would have to say that I agree with most of the negative comments on here about TWC. I have done business with the local cable company for over thirty years as both a commercial and residential user. I have also used every form of C-Band and digital satellite. Our local service became TWC some years ago. I have always disliked them, but hate the local phone company more. I just had this signature service installed about four days ago and I have to say it rocks. I had all of their services before so I was already paying a fortune. I was able to drop a couple of movie channels I did not watch often and kept the price the same. The service has been amazing. They scheduled me the next day after I called at 1pm. The appointment was the day before Christmas Eve so I was really surprised. The tech called me about twenty minutes before to confirm and I ended up the one that was late for the appointment! I was stuck in holiday traffic. Then like three other techs showed up and they knocked it out pretty quickly. I guess my install was the last one before the holiday. They ran all new cable for the two TVs, phone, and internet. I was leary about using their wireless router. I have a nice N D-Link and was not too sure about using a Ubee. I am not very familiar with it, but plan on researching it later. But I have to say it is really good. My laptop would always connect at 130Mbps and then would slowly drop to about 40 on the D-Link. The one TWC gave me must have more power because I am always at 130Mbps now. And the internet is smoking. It was great before, but it is incredible now. My market maxes out at 30Mbps right now, but I am still able to download a 100MB file in less then ten seconds. The new DVRs are made by Cisco and are much faster than the old Scientific Atlantas. The software is still not as good as Tivo, but it is ok. It is good enough. My tech left his drill battery here and I was getting a tiny bit of pixelation on ABC HD, so I called the support number on Christmas eve. He said it looked ok on his end but he would have someone come out on Sunday. I was really surprised they would come out on the weekend, but he scheduled me for 5pm. The tech called me earlier and said he was in the area. So he checked it out and did not find anything. So I am really happy with everything so far. The 150 hours of HD storage is great and the service has been phenomenal so far. Hopefully TWC is turning a new corner for the better now.

  20. MKE Style says:

    I just posted this comment on another thread that was apparently really old. Sorry for trying to revive an old thread. Anyway, I have been going through absolute HELL with Time Warner for two+ years now. Basically I have just given up and continue to pay $200 a month for lousy service and a broken DVR that sits in the corner of a closet. I know this sounds stupid – but my battle is well documented http://www.everykeyword.com/milwaukee-time-warner/milwaukee-time-warner-sucks/ So.. What I am really looking for is advice on how to get to the retention department. As much as I hate TW, I like having cable and internet – I have no other options right now. I want the signature service (if it works) but honestly I think they should offer me a price break because of how badly they have screwed me (repeatadly) and the $1000+ I have lost taking time off from work to wait for their installers who either never show up or have no idea what they are talking about. If anyone can advise me on the best way to get to their retention department I would really appreciate it. I have tried several tactics including flat out asking but its rare when I can get off the phone with the operator who answered the initial call.