Joys of a Time Warner Cable installation

We're watching for ways to take your money

We're watching for ways to take your money

By Ted

I would like to share my recent experience with Time Warner Cable.

I have been a subscriber for the past 3 years, so I have had to deal with intermittent incompetence, but no huge issues.

Last week I moved literally across the hall. In preparation for this move I contacted Time Warner asking if I could just carry my DVR box and cable modem 20 ft and reconnect the cables myself. I was actually hopeful considering that I had previously done a “self-install” for the cable modem – meaning, I had gone to the TWC hub on 23rd St, told them I wanted to add internet access, and they gave me a great cable modem and install kit with all necessary equipment/cables/splitters, and so I took home and hooked up that same day.

However, no such luck this time. Apparently I was only able to do the self-install because I had a “previously established connection” and was only adding services to it. Since this would be a brand new location, I needed a technician to come out and verify that the connection was working OK. So that was awful because of course the earliest available time was a full week later. However, all was not lost, because we took the opportunity to request access to HD Movies on Demand, which we found out required the most recent cable box, which would be free. OK so cool, free upgrade. Also, we would get 3 months of HBO/Cinemax/Showtime (+ HD versions) due to the transfer.

Upon moving, I discovered that the existing cable hook-up already worked. Before the cable guy even came, we got TV and internet for a week.

Then the guy comes last Friday. Basically nothing changed except we got a new box and the promotional channels. Also, when he went to test everything, the sound wasn’t working. He fumbled through menus and settings for about 10 minutes before I decided to check the back of the box and of course the digital audio coax cable was connected to the stereo analog Left output. I didn’t make him feel like a dumb*ss (easy to miss!) but laughed inside.

Then he asked to use our computer to make sure the internet was working. He was on there for about 15 more minutes, but I didn’t bother him, figuring he was doing something important. Finally he left, and there was a Safari window up with ESPN.com’s NBA draft 2009 coverage.

Anyway, what does this all mean? OK so my bill is normally $110, for HD DVR + Turbo cable internet. Whatever. I log in today to find out that this month’s bill is $179. ???? What is the difference, you ask? I scour the bill I hastily signed, and see a charge for “A/O Install” for $20 and “Truck Trip” for $40. Wow. $20 to move 2 cables from one box to the other (1 of which was correct) and $40 for… apparent bullsh*t.

Um… so that’s $60… where is the other $9? I see a charge for “ODN DVR HD” for $5.63… not quite sure what that is… considering there’s already a $10.95 charge for “DVR service”… and then there’s a $12.90 charge simply for “Basic” (no idea) and $2.38 for “DT Navigator” (…?). I mean I guess I signed this sheet but what are you gonna do, fight the guy?

Lastly, I turned to HBO tonight to find that it was turned off, whereas all the promotional channels the woman originally mentioned worked over the weekend after the cable guy came. Checked Cinemax and Showtime, turned off. “Call 1-800-xxx-xxxx to subscribe.” We called to query and the clearly outsourced fellow on the line informed us that he didn’t know what happened, but that the only promotional code he had to give was for HBO 1 month free.

So: $70 later, for moving across the hall, with working equipment and connections we already had, that’s what we get. F*cking HBO for a month. Way to monopolize go, TWC!!!

3 Comments

  1. Jarrod

    I’ve had two occasions where I tried to pay my bill with TWC by direct deposit. After typing in the necessary numbers EXACTLY as they appear on my checks, TWC apparently couldn’t work with my bank to steal my money. So they cut my cable off. The first time they did it, they didn’t call me and tell me this until the next day. The second time, they didn’t call me at all. So I had to spend 20-30 minutes each time dealing with their crap and then they charged me a fee for a bounced payment.

    Of course, I’m not their ideal customer because all I buy from them is Internet. And that’s gone the instant I can get an alternative that isn’t DSL(because it’s easier to deal with a terrible provider than a terrible technology)

  2. Chris

    Jarrod,
    I feel the same way about TWC and DSL. If FiOS or Uverse were offered in my area, I’d leave Time Warner in a heartbeat.

  3. Jordan

    When you have a monopoly over an area you can act however you want. I don’t think Time Warner has ever in my mind been correlated with ‘efficient’ or ‘knowledgeable’ more like ‘obnoxious’ ‘scammers’ and ‘rude’. They can tack on charges like that because they know that most people will not go through their byzantine phone system to try and get answers and get it deducted.