Time Warner Offers $30 Credit To Apologize For Hammering Through Wall, Drilling Through Floor

A Time Warner installation tech searching for a cable line hammered several holes in reader Christos’ wall, and then drilled a few more in his floor. When the random destruction failed to produce the wire, the tech crept downstairs and split Christos’ neighbor’s line. Now Christos can only watch the channel selected on his neighbor’s cable box.

Christos called Time Warner to complain. Time Warner understood that Christos didn’t want holes in his wall and floor, or borrowed cable. To apologize, they offered a $30 credit and “a few movie coupons.” Christos writes:

I initially contacted Time Warner to acquire all three services they offer; Cable T.V., Internet and Telephone.

On August 18th 2007 I called Time Warner for new services. When the technician arrived to my apartment he told us that we need to be referred to a “post wire”. So we agreed and he made a phone call to set this up. Our next visit was about a week later from another technician and he also told us we need a “post wire”. I initially thought this was the purpose of his visit. So this technician made ANOTHER call to refer us to another “post wire”. The third visit, needless to say another week later… “post wire” again! It took three visits for us to finally get someone to come over and install a “post wire” construction.

The third technician arrived at 12pm on September 28th (wearing a Time Warner shirt) and couldn’t find the main line coming to my apartment so suggested it might be hiding between closet walls which he went on and made two huge holes in my wall with a hammer, creating damages to my apartment. He didn’t find the cable, so he drilled through the floor of my apartment and through the neighbor’s ceiling right beneath me. His solution? To split the line of the neighbor and share the cable; Without understanding what happened when I plugged my TV to the cable I had picture(without the box even being present) all tiled and pixilated…and moments later my channels were changing on their own! I have come to realize that Time Warner directly or not violated someone else cable line and provided me with it…I am not sure if this is “pirating” or not but I believe it is.

I have followed through for a damage claim; that is to get my walls repaired after the installers made huge holes in my walls, splitting the line and offering me my neighbor’s cable line. That is unethical and against company policies.(your own technicians gave me “pirated” cable tv- that is illegal to my understanding.)

The damage claim is going to take care of the damages occurred to my apartment made by their own technicians so I don’t perceive this as “credit to me”.
I was offered credit of $30 and movie coupons by a supervisor named Chris with Operator ID # C87. I find this very offensive as i take it i and my time is valued at only $30 and a few coupons .

From time to time companies need to realize that US customers make paydays happen and keep the foundation alive.

I have resulted emailing Time Warner numerous of times because i find $30 inadequate to compensate my troubles and frustration of over a month trying to get services and neighbors knocking on my door accusing me of “stealing” their cable and their picture is coming up all tiled and pixilated…

The last email I received suggested I contact customer service over the phone, and so I did to get offended and spoken to very condescending and unprofessional. I read all the success stories you guys accomplish, so i am asking for any help, i am in the Los Angeles region.

First, you need to know exactly what damage Time Warner caused. Ask an expert to provide a repair estimate. Then, call Time Warner’s executive offices and politely ask for exactly that amount, and not a penny less. If they refuse, haul them to small claims court.

(Photo: *USB*)


Edit Your Comment

  1. zentec says:

    Photos. Take lots and lots of photos, including of the disaster that is your neighbor’s apartment, the holes in the walls and the floor. Your landlord needs to be notified ASAP because unless you get Time-Warner to own up to this debacle or at least admit it was their tech (or contractor), I bet your landlord is coming to you for the repairs.

    Print them out and send them to the utilities regulator in your state, as well as Time Warner.

    Not all cable TV techs are this incompetent, but occasionally you hit the jackpot.

  2. shamim316 says:

    this is like offering a free bag of chips when someone ran over you with a SUV

  3. pine22 says:

    i would say its like tossing someone some band-aids after running over someone

  4. pyloff says:

    It should be obvious at this point.. however the people who come to your residence to install various telecom services don’t know much. They aren’t worried about your place like you are. A professional doesn’t randomly drill holes to find the wire.

    I’m shocked that people don’t supervise these “installers”. You should be standing over his shoulder and questioning everything he does. He can’t charge you more and you can stop the potential damage to your residence. Keep an eye on these guys, bring a camera too. Seriously, getting some sort of service requires a professional install where I’m from.

  5. cryrevolution says:

    Comcast, Time Warner, who else? Fires, smoke, holes, cut wires, stealing cable….the list goes on and on.

  6. tcm22 says:

    ARggghhh! Take some grammar lessons! Reading that letter is painful!

    Seriously, if you are going to complain, literacy goes a long way. Sounds like the tech did a crappy job, but any manager reading that is going to write the customer of as an uneducated rube. If you’re not great writer, get someone to proof read your work.

  7. Hawk07 says:

    $30 is a slap on the wrist.

  8. Buran says:

    Wow, how the hell is installing cable that can only tune one channel, and a channel you can’t even select, a valid install? On top of damaging your house?

    Small claims. Now.

  9. Buran says:

    @cryrevolution: Verizon. And even after all the Verizon horror stories I still see people on here BEGGING Verizon to offer service to them. You WANT people to try to burn your house down!?

  10. cryrevolution says:

    @Buran: Oh yeah, I completely forgot about Verizon! Yeaaaaah….causing a house to smoke…yeeeeah…thats not in the installation procedures.

  11. coffee177 says:

    Yes, They are all the same. I have KomKast Kable and I dont even let them into my house. When ever I have a disruption of service for internet and call them to fix it – Usually its on their end with DNS problems – They say its not them and tell me they have to send a tech out. I let them. If they want to waste time thats fine. I still dont let them in my house. Besides, I run linux exclusively here and that keeps them from even thinking of touching my equipment.

    What really gets me is that people gladly turn over their rights for tv, cable, and phone to one company. Never would I do that. If your internet goes down again how are you gonna call them?


  12. formergr says:

    @tcm22: It sounds like the letter writer might be ESL (English as a Second Language). If that’s the case, it’s quite decently written, and it seems kind of shitty to knock their writing. Yes, they could have gotten someone to proofread it, but I think the meaning is quite clear and that’s what counts more than anything…

  13. Jesse in Japan says:

    Jesus, where do they come up with these techs?

  14. pine22 says:

    @tcm22 get off the guys case, dont be a troll and make fun of his grammar. thats beside the point that Time Warner messed up his house.

  15. ogremustcrush says:

    I’m not sure if everyone got this, but Time Warner is paying to repair the damages. What he’s upset about is that their compensation for his trouble and time is not what he expects. His apartment is going to be repaired.

  16. bonzombiekitty says:

    From the article:

    Now Christos can only watch the channel selected on his neighbor’s cable box.

    How is that possible? Did the Cable guy split the line going from the neighbor’s cable box to their TV? Does time warner work off of some funky system that sends a signal up the line to TW and tells the central location to change the channel for that line, rather than just decoding the incoming signal?

    As an aside: When I plug my Comcast cable directly into my new TV without the cable box I pick up some people’s On Demand feeds. I realized what was going on when there was some show on channel 86- and it was being fast forwarded, it would get to sex scene and go normal speed, once the sex scene was done it’s fast forward to the next one.

  17. Ben Popken says:

    My solution is to complaint to your cable commission. I’ve heard they really kick some serious butt in LA.

  18. joeblevins says:

    Horrible letter. It breaks the Consumerist recommended letter style. It doesn’t specify the damages by amount and it doesn’t specify the requested remedy.

  19. joeblevins says:

    And it was painful to read.

  20. Ben Popken says:

    @Ben Popken: Actually, I mean the Information Technology Bureau of the City of Los Angeles. See them kick ass in this post.

  21. ganzhimself says:

    Ugh… Cable installers. When I moved into my current apartment the tech showed up two hours late and he wasn’t a normal field tech, so he had no idea on how to hook anything up… He had to call the main office at least 10 times to get instructions on how to program the HD-DVR box. Waiting for him to finish installing wasted two hours of my time… And then to top it off the guy left a very expensive line tester in my apartment. Now, I didn’t expect to get any sort of compensation for reporting it lost, but they came and instead of maybe getting credited for free installation I got 1 or 2 coupons for free PPV movies. What a waste of my time.

  22. create says:

    original poster is a moron, it is impossible for his neighbor to tune his television… and second, time warner can split any cable line it likes, how can they “pirate” their own service

    now, i will admit, it sounds like your tech was an incompetent moron, it is definitely not normal to go drilling holes and hammering holes in walls (especially in an apartment), and at least here, it would be up to the apartment complex to resolve the damages with time warner, it is up to you about your claims for time and stress, but here in NY, you would have no claim against time warner in a court of law, the apartment owner would.

  23. Dr.Ph0bius says:

    I’ll ingnore the issues with the letter…

    I hope that with enough people taking action against these cable companies, that it ends up costing them enough money to understand that outsourcing tech work isnt the savings they believe it to be.

  24. DanGarion says:

    Carey, I sent you an email. Please let me know if I can help.


  25. xtos says:

    I am sorry for my grammatical errors..and yes english is my second language.

    I came here for help, and not to learn english.

    TimeWarner did say they will repair my damages and till this day they havent contacted me.

    Thanks to The Consumerist, somebody from TIMEWARNER is finally interested in helping me out.

    I will post further updates of my issue, and perhaps my grammar would by overslooked by the “grammar critics”.

    Thanks again.

  26. shor0814 says:


    I agree, the tuning issue sounds weird.

    Now, if the apartment manager notices the damages and bills her for the damages, we have a whole new issue on who is allowed to make the claim. And at the rate this is going, she will probably move out before they fix it and lose a deposit.

  27. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    You don’t need to apologize for anything. The people who should apologize are the ones who criticized your English and grammar so harshly. Perhaps if they studied a foreign language, they would be a bit more understanding of the difficulty involved in writing in a second (or third) language. And English is a very hard language to master — hell, there are plenty of Americans who have trouble with it.

    From your name, I’m guessing you’re Greek? I bet you speak English much more proficiently than anyone of your critics speak Greek.

    What’s important is that you wrote the letter, and that someone at Time Warner took notice. I hope you’ll keep us updated and ignore the rude trolls. :-)

  28. perfectly_cromulent says:

    I don’t know of all the details, but i don’t think the idea of the channels being controlled by the neighbors’ viewing choice is all that off. One: he said that’s what happened. Two: this actually happened to some friends of mine who set to split a cable line between several TV’s and rooms. They didn’t do it right, and almost all of them ended up being controlled by the main TV. (no, this wasn’t in the same apartment either). I can’t give an explanation of how it works, but I’ve personally seen it happen.