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?
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.