Cable companies. I can't stand them.

By Cathy Thurber


They jack up their prices and only give their good discounts to the unsuspecting people they are trying to sucker into signing a contract with.  There was a time not long ago when I dealt with Time Warner Cable.  In the end it wasn’t even the amount of money I was being charged (which was A LOT) that caused me to switch providers, it was Time Warner’s customer service.

Oh, yes.  Time Warner can consider themselves an epic failure on the subject of customer service. 

Now, the operator I was on the phone with was calm and relatively friendly, never deviating from her script; but I could have sworn that somewhere down the line customer service also meant trying to help your customer in any way they needed.  Not so!  Let me back up a little….first, I had just seen a commercial on TV for how low their prices were.  Plus, I had spoken about my ungodly high cable bill with my sister and found out that I was paying at least $40 more a month than she was – and she had movie channels!  I called Time Warner, and in my hey-I’m-a-long-time-happy-customer voice asked if there were any deals they had going on that they could give me, as I had been a paying customer for many years.  I was told that I could take away some of my services to lower my bill.  What?  What am I going to take away – my non-existent movie channels?  Apparently I could go down to the bare minimum cable channels and also slow down my internet.  Seeing as how my internet had suspiciously started crawling around the time Time Warner began offering their upgraded internet for $10 extra a month, I certainly didn’t want to go any slower.  I advised the girl that I knew other people were paying a lot less than we were but had more channels.  Her response?  “I’m sorry that you’re unhappy, would you like to disconnect your service?”  Really??  That’s your first move…to basically just say, “screw you?” 

I tried a few more times to get her to understand that I didn’t want to disconnect my service, but that I knew what I was paying was unnaturally high.  Was there any option for a current customer to lower their price without lowering their service?  No matter what, I just kept getting the same chipper response, “I’m sorry that you’re unhappy, would you like to disconnect your service?”  You know what?  Yeah.  Yes, lady, I DO want to disconnect my service now – because YOUR service SUCKS.  Wait, it doesn’t just suck – it’s non-existent! How do you tell a customer that has been with you for years that their loyalty doesn’t mean a thing?  Only new customers get the good stuff….once you’re signed with them they could care less! 

Customer Service isn’t jumping from A to Z in one heartbeat.  It’s starting at A, working around B and possibly jumping over C, until you get the best result you can for both you and your customer.  Sometimes it’s not the answer that they wanted, but along the way you may have found something that is close to what they needed.  I had always been taught that you try to work with people that have been dependable – that their loyalty means something.  I guess in this day and age, that just doesn’t count anymore.  And you know what?  That’s pretty sad.    Apparently, I’m a rebel believing in that old-fashioned nonsense.  I hope you are, too.

And Time Warner Cable….yeah, have you checked the complaint boards online?  They’re calling you pathetic.  I have to agree.

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