July 11, 2011

A Time Warner Cable customer service saga

We all understand that things sometime break or don't work, but a fix for a problem needs to be found in a reasonable time. So here is a rough timeline of a very unfortunate customer service interaction with Time Warner Cable.

On Friday July 8th at around 8:30am the cable TV decided to stop working just as the Tour de France coverage on Versus had started to begin. At first we thought it was the HD Versus channel only, but it quickly turned out that there was a mayor problem and pretty much all channels weren't working.

Since we only had the TV running in the background it wasn't a huge priority, after all work needed to get done. But when it still did not work at 9:38 am we called Time Warner at 1-866-874-2389 and a friendly automated voice recommended a quick box reboot. We followed the instructions, but nothing changed and it still did not work.

We called back at 9:45am and this time we got blocked by an automated voice telling us that "Time Warner Cable is aware of the problem and we are working on it" and that was the end of that phone call.

Made a annoyed comment on Twitter at 9:51am and 4 minutes later I got this response from Time Warner Twitter "help desk."

Wow, pleasantly surprised to see a presence of TWC on Twitter. Now there is a glimmer of hope, but the TDF race coverage is over in less than 2 hours. Now a bit back and forth and it appears we are moving along:

But after that utter silence. Nothing via Twitter and no other update so at 2pm I tweeted @TWCableHelp "Cable still not working almost 6 hours later" and the response was "I am emailing local support for an update. ^PS."

After that more silence so I called the 1-866 number again around 5:30pm and was then told "Yes there is a problem but it should be fixed in about 2 hours at the latest."

Move forward to Sunday, July 10th in the evening and the Time Warner Cable setup is still not working. Another Tweet about it brings up another person from @TWCableHelpbut pretty much with the same apologetic tweet. Back and forth and DM account info again and it feels we are back at Square 1.

Meanwhile we find out our neighbor has issues with Time Warner Cable because she posted about it on Facebook, but I guess their is no help desk on Facebook for disgruntled TWC customers s our neighbor only gets moral support from friends. But we now know it isn't just us.

Phone call again on Monday morning July 11th at 10am and after explaining the whole situation again (shouldn't all that previous interaction be tracked in some way?) we are now told to bring in the cable box to one of the stores because "the box is faulty and does not communicate." When I mention my neighbor next door also has a problem and I have a hard time believing that both boxes happen to break at the same time, I get a response along those lines. " There is a problem too in the region that I see but we can't tell you how long it will take, but it is best that you meanwhile exchange the box."

That doesn't sound like a solution or help but a guessing game and I can do some great guessing without calling other folks. Also, why is TWC not coming by here to replace the "faulty" box? Why do I have to travel to see them? It isn't our fault.

"Well the fist time someone can see you is on Thursday."


So the moral of the story here is don't get fired up about "working" a Twitter for your brand when you really aren't solving / fixing anything. Use that energy elsewhere where it is needed more.

Or in the case of Time Warner Cable just send that Twitter dude over to our house with a new cable box today, this we he / they are at least somewhat useful.


  1. There's no customer service in here, just a saga :P

  2. We can tell you love your TV programming, but god forbid your engine on the car blows and the mechanic tells you it's going to be 3 weeks to get the engine replaced. Better yet how about your floor rots in the bathroom and goes under the walls to the other rooms and you have to move out of those rooms for 2 weeks while they replace the floor. It amazes me that people think that it's just the flip of a switch because someone accidently turned it off. They don't tell their customer service reps hey we have a fiber line cut it's going to take 2 days to get this fixed. This is due to the fact of until they get someone out to find out what the problem is they have little knowledge of what may be wrong. Just be grateful that they actually care enough to keep people on call 24/7 instead of saying I'll get to it tomorrow during normal business hours which on occasion does happen because those employees actually may have a life outside of work too.