Thursday, April 08, 2010

How Time Warner Cable is Like Flan

Let me clarify first by stating emphatically that I detest flan.  It is somewhat fluffy and looks like it would be wonderful... then when you get your own and taste it you feel a little slimy and a lot unfulfilled.

That is precisely my experience with Time Warner Cable.

Our bill came in yesterday and, since January, it has climbed $20.  I called in to their Customer Service (a misnomer if I ever heard one) and got a very unhelpful person on the line.  I asked about the increase in my bill, which she couldn't explain, and then asked if there were any promotions that we could switch to in order to continue service and save money.  Having no answer for me she quickly transferred me to an account specialist (again, see "misnomer") who explained that I was in a Pricelock Guarantee... right, hence my confusion about the increase.

"Sir, you have a 36-month Pricelock Guarantee... that's why your bill has gone up."

"That makes no sense," I replied.  She clearly had no concept of logic.  "Besides, I have a 24-month Pricelock Guarantee.  It even says so in black-and-white on the bill in front of me."

"No, it's 36-months in our system.  You are locked into this price until November of 2011."

"Again, that makes no sense.  How has my rate gone up when I'm in a Pricelock Guarantee... and, I repeat, it is a 24-month Pricelock Guarantee.  I'd be happy to come to your office and show you my bill where it states that."

"Well, you were locked in for one year at $76 a month... but in year two that changes to $96."

"Again, you are baffling me.  Shouldn't a Pricelock Guarantee LOCK me into a rate?"  I was stumped at this point... and becoming agitated.

"Well, it was locked at one rate and then changed.  You are locked in at $96 until November of 2011."

"Or," I replied, "you could arbitrarily change my rate... right?  I mean, you did already.  And by the way, my Pricelock Guarantee is only locked in until November of this year... 24-months.  It's a hard concept, numbers and all, but I think you'll find my bill to be a legal document."

This went on for, what seemed like, hours.  Finally I asked for a supervisor and was directed to Mary.  Mary was very calm and spoke in a near-monotone voice (probably trained that way).  Mary couldn't help either.  She tried to explain that a 24-month Pricelock Guarantee was actually a 36-month Pricelock Guarantee because the 24 months start AFTER the first year of savings... WHAT!?  Again, their logic defies all.

Mary couldn't offer me any promotions and said even if she did she would have to charge me $67.50 to CANCEL my current contract and start from scratch.  This is false.  I know full-well that you can adjust your service without canceling anything.

I went further, "You realize that you're suggesting I cancel my service for a charge of $67.50... which I will consider doing, but in doing so I would certainly not start any new service with you.  The other option you have is to work WITH me, not charging me a cancellation fee, offering me some sort of deal that will both KEEP me as a customer and SAVE me money.  You would then continue to make money off of me for some years to come.  But no, you are suggesting that I just cancel, pay you less than $70 and go my merry way.  If you think it's best to not give you my money moving forward than I will certainly consider that."

Mary pointed out that I was still saving "lots of money" with Time Warner Cable... until I counterpointed that their competition was offering more services for $30 LESS a month.  She had no rebuttal.

That was the last I heard from Mary.  We parted ways and I am left to contemplate canceling cable.  Dear Hulu and Netflix... you may have found a new friend!

No comments: