You might think it’s an exaggeration to say Time Warner Cable is the Devil, but it isn’t. It’s more like an understatement. I know what I’m talking about, because Time Warner Cable has a monopoly in the area where I live, so I deal with them all too frequently.
Three days ago, I received a flyer in the mail, letting me know that from now on, Time Warner was adding a $3.95 charge to my bill each month, to help fund extra pitchforks and brimstone for Ted Turner and Jane Fonda.
The given reason was that Time Warner is going to pay for my modem’s maintenance from now on. Never mind that I already have a modem that functions perfectly well, or that Time Warner has never helped me with any connectivity problem I’ve ever had. They are going to replace it with something bureaucratic and expensive (in much the same way as we can expect Obamacare to work).
“If you would prefer to purchase your own modem from an approved list of third party retailers, visit twc.com/approveddevices,” the flyer pronounced .
The site was down when I visited. The next day, it was also down. And the next. The other Time Warner pages came up as usual. If I were of a suspicious turn of mind, I might think Time Warner was forcing a baseless, additional fee on subscribers, and saying they’ll let people opt out while making it virtually impossible to do so.
Finally, I contacted customer support. The site doesn’t allow emails, you have to chat with a Time Warner employee. And before you can do that, you have to write a summary of your issue. I wrote: “I don’t need a new modem; I already have one from my work.”
When I clicked, this message appeared. We are experiencing higher than usual service times. Please wait and an analyst will be with you shortly.
It is well to take Ted Turner at his word. When he says, “Please wait”, understand that you will spend a significant amount of time aging, as you wait for Time Warner Cable to get around to you.
Approximately 40 minutes later, an Instant Message from Jason appears. What follows is a partial transcript of our conversation:
Jason: I will be glad to assist you with the information . Please allow me a couple of minutes.
(nearly ten minutes pass) are you still there
Jason: Yes. I was checking details in the account . You are currently charged for the modem in the amount of $3.95 since you are using our modem for the internet service.
But I don’t use a TWC modem. I have to use the one from where I work.
Jason: Yes, you can certainly do that! Since you will be using our modem, you will need to return our modem at the nearest service center to make sure that you are not charged henceforth. If the modem is not returned then the charge will continue.
But I don’t HAVE a Time Warner Cable modem.
Jason: The modem that is currently used for the internet service.
I use a modem that my work gave me. I don’t have another one from TWC.
Jason: Oh! So, do you have a wireless modem from Time Warner Cable?
No! I have a modem from work. That’s the only modem I have.
Jason: I see! So, the modem that you have is not from Time Warner Cable. It is your owned modem. I will escalate this issue to our concern department for additional research.
If you are like me, the moment “Jason” typed henceforth, you knew that a) his or her name is not Jason, and b) he’s an off-shore resource. Just to be sure, I asked him.
Jason, quick question. Can you tell me what office you are based in?”
Jason: I am located in India.
You’d think with every customer Time Warner Cable has getting charged an additional $3.95 in return for absolutely nothing, they could afford to pay an American to work in customer service. But no, they use “off-shore” resources to save a few bucks. A lot of corporations are super stingy like that, but I think what makes Time Warner doubly irritating is that they actually ask their off-shore resources to masquerade as an American named Jason.
And that, dear friends, is why Time Warner Cable is Satan.