Monday, October 24, 2011

Time Warner Cable... Can You Hear Me?

We have a 3-in-1 package with Time Warner Cable that includes phone, Internet and television services. Here's a little timeline; see what you think:

10/14 - On this particular Friday, our phones began acting erratically. We'd occasionally have a dial tone, and then not. Incoming calls were aborted, midway. We reported to TWC and were given a next-day appointment, to be confirmed on Joe's cellphone. We always try to schedule for days that Joe is able to be home.

10/15 - When no one called or showed by late afternoon, we called Technical Support again. "But your phone is working," we were told. We explained that it was an erratic issue and it was out of service, more than not. "We're sorry, but your appointment is postponed till Tuesday." Not good... Joe would be working... but we took it.

10/18 - Tuesday. At 3:00 p.m., a technician finally appeared. I took him upstairs to Joe's office, where the connections are. I stayed till he diagnosed the problem as a faulty phone wire in the modem. He went to his truck to get a replacement. When he returned, I did not immediately follow him back to the worksite. About ten minutes later, I went to check on his progress and found him sitting at Joe's desk WITH A DRAWER OPENED. I walked in, closed the drawer, backed up to the hall doorway and remained there until he completed the work. I never challenged him and pretended nothing had happened. The minute he left the house, I called Joe, whose reaction you'll need to imagine. I wasn't sure how I wanted to handle it. When Joe got home and began to call TWC, I told him to hold off till I got the automated survey call.

10/18 Evening - The call. You've received them, yes? I answered every question with the corresponding worst score, after which explanations were repeated at least three times, to make sure I understood grading system. At the end of this series, there was an option to leave a voice message. My call was ended the moment I began to speak. There is a human behind these automated calls, of course. I HAD NO CALL-BACK AS A RESULT OF THIS NEGATIVE FEEDBACK.

10/20 - Joe stopped at the Middletown office to file a complaint. He was promised that it would be forwarded to the right party and I would have a return call. Didn't happen.

10/21 It's Friday again - I phoned our cable number and worked my way up the menu to a supposed higher office in charge of support. I spoke with a woman who seemed appalled by the incident I'd been trying to draw attention to. She said that when a negative survey is returned, a supervisor ALWAYS CALLS about the same. She PROMISED that I'd receive a call from her superior, name provided, out of the Staten Island office. You see, the universality of service calls is part of the problem. It's tough to personalize an issue, when you're dealing with Big(ger) Kahunas who are not even remotely connected in a tangible way to a community. 

10/24 - It's Monday. Nada. Now, I do plan to get a little attention by changing our triple service to another provider. But, you know the story... it's a drop in the proverbial bucket-of-success, for a conglomerate. Still, I need a tad of satisfaction. As for the danger element in having people in our homes...

If I'm in such a situation again, I'll have my cell phone dialed to 911 and in my hand, with the need only to click "Send". I was afraid to confront this guy... one just never knows how something might escalate. But I felt violated, in finding him with an open desk drawer. What more might he have done?

FOLLOW UP - 10/28:
A Tech supervisor DID reach out to me this week, on two separate occasions. I'm not sure exactly what "disciplinary action" is being taken with regard to the perpetrator, but I do know that I was loud and clear. Thanks to Ozzie.