Oops, My Time Warner Installer Accidentally Upsold Me!

Alex has a Time Warner DVR, but never asked for one. He tells Consumerist that the installer brought one to his home and connected it to the main TV instead of a cable box, but without installing DVR service. Because Alex and his roommate never asked for it. He’d be inclined to write this off as a simple error on the installer’s part, but he knows three other households in different parts of New York state that have had strangely forgetful cable installers.

Alex writes:

I was wondering if you have had any other readers e-mail you guys about this.

I started a new time warner account for my apartment and ordered 3 regular HD boxes. A few days later, we discovered that the box in the living room didn’t work. Over half an hour later on the phone with them, we found that it was because the installer “left us a DVR box by accident.”

They said that, the easy remedy is to return the box to a Time Warner payment center and receive a regular box. Me and my roommate hold regular working hours, as does a Time Warner payment center, so this wouldn’t be possible. They said that there would be a fee to get it picked up. We managed to get them to waive the fee, and for someone else to come pick it up. Eventually we say, “forget it, we’ll sign up for DVR.” So even after that, our cable box still doesn’t work and we need to have a time warner installer come swap out the box anyways.

My question is this:

Do you get a lot of e-mails about “forgetful” Time Warner installers leaving DVR boxes instead of regular boxes? It seems like a shady upselling practice to me. I’ve checked with friends and they said the same exact thing happened to them.

Have you or someone you know had to deal with this sort of DVR-related memory lapse? It would be an unusual upselling campaign. Maybe some of the DVRs and cable boxes look a lot alike.