Category Archives: broadband

Time Warner, Stuck In Reverse. Again.

Time Warner, stuck in reverse. Again.

If Time Warner designed pistols...This is sad, troubling news indeed. No specific mention of where it’s happening yet, but if it comes to the Milwaukee area–or wherever you’re located–do yourself a favor and run away from it as fast as you can. There’s no sane reason to support this money grab. And that’s really all it is. It’s a huge step backwards; you simply don’t go from unlimited to metered service like that, limiting access, moving people to a cellphone-variety plan with early termination fees, etc.

The following snippets are from a article; please visit their site for the full article and follow their discussion there as well:

[…] Time Warner Cable was conducting a trial in their Beaumont, Texas market that imposed caps ranging from 5GB to 40GB on the company’s existing tiers of service. […] trial participants would be charged $1 per every additional gigabyte consumed, a huge markup for Time Warner Cable over cost, and a first for a major US ISP.

[…] Time Warner Cable is perfecting its marketing of the unpopular metered billing idea to consumers. Carriers love the idea, as it gives them a way to monetize and/or control Internet video, which poses a very serious long term threat to their cable television revenues. Selling consumers on the idea requires some finagling.

New customers in Beaumont are put on metered plans automatically, while existing Beaumont customers are lured into the metered fold via some fine print trickery. Customers are promised twelve month price-lock guarantees, provided they sign a new contract. But the contract fine print holds some surprises: customers previously on unlimited plans are promised “guaranteed savings,” only to find out they’re now facing a $150 ETF, low caps, and $1/GB overage penalties.

[…] Time Warner Cable COO Landel Hobbs said that the cable operator would be expanding their metered billing experiment into additional cities this year. Hobbs didn’t say which cities would get the honor. A spokesman suggests […] there will be four of them […] The carrier has yet to upgrade its network to the latest technology (DOCSIS 3.0), but has taken the industry lead on metered billing. Uncompetitive markets will feel the brunt of this “innovation.”


Beware the fine print, folks.

In other news, I still think Time-Warner should have offered a general rate reduction for the removal of Usenet newsgroups in the last year or so, but I’m guessing there are more than a few people out there reading this that have no idea what I’m even talking about. I suppose it’s offset by the ‘free’ upgrades in speed over the years, though…so just pretend I didn’t mention it…

Time Warner really needs to start giving more love to their customers, not less. Contracts? Caps? Overage Penalties? Early-termination fees? Seriously? But in markets dominated by Time Warner, they clearly have little incentive to be nice. People want broadband, and Time Warner’s the only game in many towns… and they know it.

In and around Milwaukee, though, you do have options. Not a lot, but some. No guarantees those options aren’t just as evil as Time Warner, though, ultimately…

It’s unfortunate that Time Warner’s even allowed to do this at all in markets where they’re the only real broadband option available. It would be even more unfortunate if this sets a trend for other ISPs to follow and do the same.

(via Time Warner Cable To Expand Metered Billing – Will move outside of Beaumont, but company offers no specifics… –

Another Time-Warner Milwaukee / Roadrunner customer forced to surrender


One of our regular readers, jchristopherhughes, has finally given up the fight after months of trying to get properly-working Roadrunner service from Time-Warner Milwaukee he has been paying for and not getting.

He first posted here on June 7th, 2008, in response to our February 2008 “Time-Warner Milwaukee / Roadrunner Stinkage, In Simple Pictures” post. We didn’t hear back from him, so we had no idea if his situation had ever been resolved.

Just a couple of days ago, he stopped by with a follow-up comment to let us know he’s capitulating; he’s no longer interested in fighting a customer-service battle he apparently can’t win. Sound familiar?

His surrender comment:

its now nearly end of august….and my battle to simply obtain THE SERVICE I HAVE BEEN PAYING FOR is over.

time warner…you have beat me. good bye.

tonite was the last straw…i have literally been battling this company to simply obtain even CLOSE the level of internet speed that i pay for…for nearly a year now. they do not care. period.

i have exchanged modems several times, i have replaced my wireless router 3 times. i have exhausted all possibilities of computer, os, hard drive, wireless, cables, etc…etc… problems.

i even upgraded my service to the next highest level in a hope to at least obtain USUABLE internet speed.

at this point, i CANNOT even upload a single 3.0 MB file. through any means.

last night i answered the doorbell to a “audit” team from time warner. they asked if i was happy with my service…i started to tell them my issues…and they repeated…like a mantra…EXACTLY what everyone else at time warner tells me…”its probably your computer, you need to defrag your harddrive, check all your connections, update your os, blah…blah…blah”

then they tried to convince me to upgrade my service…and also upgrade my cable package…..they would even give me free showtime for a year.

i asked them if there was anyway i could just get WHAT I PAY FOR. they seemed to be confused by this request….handed me a flyer with all the digital cable channels i could get…and told me good nite.



customer service at its ABSOLUTE BEST !!



Another one down, Time-Warner Milwaukee. Another customer lost.

This is yet another case of a Time-Warner / Roadrunner customer clearly wanting what they’re selling, and willing to pay for it. He’s–literally–the perfect customer.

Why can’t Time-Warner Milwaukee simply honor their arrangement with him and give him what he’s paid/paying for? If they can’t, then they should give him his money back (and then some).

Do you have a Time-Warner / Roadrunner story, complement, or complaint you’d like to share? We’d be happy to feature it here.

Another Hour Lost Forever To Time-Warner Milwaukee

Got stuck on the phone with Time-Warner Milwaukee again tonight, attempting to make some sense out of the short stack of Time-Warner bills we’ve received just prior to and since our move/transfer of service. “Laura” helped with correcting a couple of errors on the 4-pack of bills we had sitting here that made no sense.

One of the bills we received (dated May 30th, two days after our new-home install) had a due date of June 3rd. We received it…June 3rd. Really? Seems like a sure-fire way to score another $5 late fee…

We had an install charge for our new hookup at the new house we were told we wouldn’t have, both by the Southridge retail rep when we inquired about service transfer procedures and by the actual installer after he completed the installation at our new home. We also had a weird credit for three dollars and change that made no sense, from our former residence/account, as well as a late fee we pre-paid (expecting our payment would end up a day or so late) that didn’t seem to be debited or credited anywhere on any of the later bills.

I tried to do the math, and failed. And so did Laura, despite her best efforts. The bills made no sense; we could not calculate the same amount due as listed on the bill or as listed in Time-Warner’s system. I literally stared at that stack of bills off and on for over two weeks; if Excel was a living, breathing thing, I would have made it cry.

So much for those Time-Warner commercials touting “easy billing”. Why list an install charge as “Double Play Video HSD” when “Installation Fee” is much more…readable and clear? Obfuscation with hopes people will simply gloss over such items, maybe?

Time-Warner Bill Easy? No Way.

Anyway, Laura eventually waved her helpful hand over it all and made the appropriate corrections, for which we’re grateful. She then asked me some other questions about my time as a Time-Warner customer, which of course got me talking… After describing our recent cable-burying situation (since she asked), she took it upon herself to credit our current bill further, which we also appreciate.

I went on–since she seemed genuinely interested–telling her all about the reboot-related issues we’ve had over the last year and a half or so, and how we’ve never gotten anywhere with any of it. She attempts to find out whom I can talk to, apparently instant-messages someone, then informs me she’s been told she has to run things through her chain of command. She eventually connects me with her “Solutions Team Lead”, “Patty”, who reminded me a lot why I find it so incredibly hard to even bother talking to anyone at Time-Warner anymore.

I really should have stopped Laura as soon as she offered to get someone for me.

I attempt to explain all of this historical reboot-fiasco stuff to Patty, which is increasingly difficult for me to do anymore. She notes we were just given a $90 credit this evening…which, on its face, is true. But it isn’t at all for the reboot issue; it’s for the recent line-burying fiasco and other credits for billing errors as explained earlier.

She then tells me she might be able to offer me $5 per month for the Turbo Roadrunner add-on instead of the $9.95 per month we’re paying now, for the next 12 months.

I tell her another approximately $60 as compensation for a year and a half of paid-for-but-never-worked service, and all the BS that went along with it, isn’t really going to cut it. We’re out at least a year’s worth of Roadrunner, at Turbo pricing, that we paid for but really never received. Nevermind all the other hassles of logging reboots/sweating/calling/holding/cursing/crying, lost wages, inconveniences of nonworking Internet-related services like Tivo guide-data updates, service-pack and critical OS/security updates, online gaming, podcasts, streaming audio/video… and on and on.

During all of this, she’s apologizing, which of course we’ve gotten a lot. I think she honestly believes she’s being fair, but I don’t know that she’s really grasping the full extent of our past situation. She’s attempting to explain away things like how a cable line could spend 15 months on our old lawn, for instance, but none of it makes sense when you think about it: sure, line burials are queued and we have to wait our turn, and yes, weather can be a factor, but the line laid across our back yard through the entire spring, summer, and fall of 2007. No queue is that long.

She attempts to reassure me that everyone at Time-Warner tries to help (so very untrue in our experience), and she seemed unable to fathom that we’ve ever had no-show, no-response problems, or that we’ve ever dealt with reps or techs who chose to pass the buck back our way rather than own up to an issue and honestly try to fix it.

In the end, I tell her that even a year’s worth of free Roadrunner service at this point is insufficient. She tells me she lacks the ability to do anything about that; I’m asking for too much money, apparently. I explain I’ve not even received a proper apology from anyone that might also have the power to not just hang up the phone with me, but also pick it right back up and get the right people moving to actually fix things.

What does she finally give me? The name and phone number of her boss, “Matt”, whom I’m supposed to call myself and explain all of this all over again. That was apparently the best she could do. I can’t fathom there not being some sort of specialty department or contact person with Time-Warner’s corporate offices that deals with the “hard” customer problems. If there is, she either isn’t aware or wasn’t inclined to share.

And so, once again, Time-Warner puts the ball back in my court. I’m always left being the one doing the followup. Why?

I swear the Time-Warner system is all about wearing customers down to the point of surrender.

So I told her to pass on this website’s address to Matt, and that he should read up on the history of our reboot issues, at which point he can then contact us. We’re not chasing anyone at Time-Warner around anymore, as it’s still never gotten us anywhere.

Our expectations are low, as always. Time-Warner, surprise us.

What is–slowly–getting us somewhere, however, is Google and other search engines. Search results related to Time-Warner and Roadrunner problems are increasingly pointing back to this site, and more people are noticing.

Whatever it takes, right? How much attention to this comedy-of-errors debacle does Time-Warner Milwaukee really want? That ball is in their court.