On a wheeled horse I ride. i.am.rollerman

TimeWarner Cable, my name is Satan, go ahead please.

In Life on October 31, 2010 at 7:45 pm

"Thank you for calling Time Warner Customer service, My name is Satan, go ahead please."

It had been a SRU* week as they say in the trade, until 12:14 p.m. on Thursday.  (* Sunshine, Rainbows and Unicorns — meaning no problems)

Without warning an app that I had been troubleshooting for three weeks and had just pinpointed the fix loses its connection to the big boxes outside of DC and promptly sh*ts the bed. Then a second sign “VPN connection has failed.”  You just sunk my battleship.

I duck my head under my desk and sure enough the broadband modem lights are not their normal solid Christmas tree green.  “Must be the cable is out,” I innocently think so I wheel my fat a** into the family room and attempt to fire up the cable box. “This cable box is not authorized.”  That’s disrespectful, but since it is blustery out I still think that the physical cable might be down.

I roll out to the back porch to see if my sales manager telecommuter neighbor is home. He’s not home so I dig the old cable statement out of the bill box to look for a customer service contact.

As requested I “enter in the main phone number of the house.”   Satan then speaks; his recorded message is foreboding “You have an outstanding balance of $606. In order to receive any service today you must pay a minimum of $193.00.”

They’ve got me by the boys. I need the internet to work and the hospital monitors my ticker over it  so I tap in my AMEX #.   No less then TEN seconds of the last number being tapped into the phone my broadband modem comes to life.   The Christmas tree is back to full green I’m back online, only five minutes late for a meeting that I’m playing safety net on.

I’m online but TIME WARNER is on my mind, having just released a large bug up my a**. During the meeting I connect to my credit union’s home banking system. Apparently within the past 35 days I’ve paid TIME WARNER over $440 in addition to the$193 just paid minutes earlier.

Due to the labyrinth of meetings on all days called Thursday I must put off my call until the evening. Good thing, I’m sure I avoided having a stroke or blowing a blood vessel in my neck.

It’s now 9:15 p.m. and I reach Tessa. I explain the situation, tell her that I’ve made two payments, both with bank confirmation numbers and that I would like a phone call tomorrow morning on my 703 line to discuss why you folks thought it necessary to turn off my cable service instead of, hmmm, maybe calling or emailing me. You do have my email address; I get a new TIME WARNER promotion every other day via email.

Tessa is apologetic yet cheerful, and I feel, as I lay my dented skull down on my pillow that tomorrow will continue in the “Sunshine, Rainbow & Unicorns” mod us operand i of earlier that week.

Fast forward to Friday morning at 11:30, still no phone call on my 703 line from Time Warner. I leave my office passing through the family room. The house phone is ringing. It’s Time Warner. Hmmm, why are they calling me on this line?   Sure enough it’s someone with a pissy attitude to discuss a “work order” she is following up on.  Since when is returning a customer’s call considered a “work order?” Satan has returned and I am now prepared for the worst.

She’s not calling me on the number that I requested they please call the night before.   A simple request, not a power play on my part. I have all the call materials already assembled at my desk. My 703 line is a speakerphone, which I need in order to keep conversation notes entered in via my keyboard. They probably didn’t understand my request since I only repeated three separate times and didn’t have a “select # button”  associated with it.

Satan bellows: “You claim you made your last payment xx days ago, but I only received it this morning…” “In addition you claim that you paid us $xxx 50 days ago, but according to my records that payment was $1 short, so we consider your entire account 60 days past due.” C’mon Satan, keep poking that unchained dog with a stick and see what happens. 

“In addition, since we were forced to shut your account off you must now pay a $7 service fee.”

Fido has taken his last poke. My back fur is standing on end and my less than straight teeth are bared to the gums. I am now in the squatting position pushing out these stool shaped payment factoids for Ms Satan:

– My typical TM bill is in excess of $225.

-On all of my payments this year I’ve round up to the next dollar, except for this particular one.

It doesn’t matter, I am considered totally in the arrears on the entire bill, not just .0044% of the entire bill (notice it all begins on the third decimal point.   It’s not even 1%).
So Ms Satan you just turned off the service of a $2,700 per year customer because they owe you less than a dollar for 60 days? It get’s better.

Mr Satan: “Sir, you claim you made your last payment to us xx days ago. I only received it this morning.

I make all of my payments via a bill paying service offered by my credit union. As is my norm with TM, I set up their payment the day I received their paper  bill, to be received by TM three days before the bill is due.

NOTE: I’m not putting a stamp on an envelope and mailing it three days before it’s due, I’m setting up an electronic funds transfer to take place three days before it’s actually required.

Wait for it, wait for it…

“Sir, just because you have a bank confirmation saying that you paid us doesn’t mean I have the money. It can take up to xx days internally for me to receive the money. Until I receive and credit the money your account is considered delinquent.”

Here it comes Satan, it’s my turn to speak.

Even though you’ve been rude and abrasive and did not call me on the number that I requested three times, only 12 hours earlier, I have selected to simply ignore your faulty logic of turning off a $ 2.7K annual account for a less than a dollar oversight. You have now entered the area of absurd.
Just 13 hours earlier TM remotely and automatically turned off my cable and broadband connection

AND

within ten seconds of me entering the last digit of my AMEX account into an automated remote attendant to “regain services” (a queer us of the word services) my broadband modem lights flicker back on and the haunting voice of Doctor Phil returns to the house,

You are telling me that it take XX in office days for you to apply an electronic payment that you received in-office over XX days ago?
I have a lot more that I wish to say, but I don’t. I tell Satan that I am now far beyond angry and I am going to hang up now, for their benefit and mine.

Before hanging up I tell Satan  “…I expect and would appreciate a follow up phone call on this matter on my 703 number…”
Just like “all of the nice girls” on prom night, I sit by the phone waiting for a call that I know I won’t come.

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  1. Not as entertaining, but I had a similar experience with Verizon! In the end I lost and now have a 7-yr ding on my credit report for THEIR $50 error! So much for technology. . .

    • Wow, and coming no less from my former Queen of expense approval and procedures. I’m continually amazed the power of these utilities to screw with you. Case in point, Verizon Wireless. On my account I have five phones. In the never ending game of upgrading my “kids” (21,19.18) phones, Verizon will always add a charge or feature that you specifically did NOT ask for. Sometimes I discover in the second month of the term. “Too late.” They write off the current month but they won’t refund you for the first month EVEN THOUGH the feature was never used, because it was thought it was never ordered.

      I won’t even start to replay the nightmare of my G’land Divisional switch and attempting to get rid of the IPhone.

      I hope things are well for you.

  2. You write so well and are able to express yourself in such a way that we all feel your fury. Now, if you’d like to help me with my discussions with AT&T about their add ons and such, or more challenging, with Chase about how I no longer have a shortage in my escrow so why are they raising my payments (in both American English and the heavily accented English), it would make my day!

    • Laura,

      I appreciate the kind comments.

      You having to deal with the public on a daily basis must be galled by the type of customer service that you receive. It “ain’t” that hard to say “thank you” or “how can I help you?”

      I’m just happy when they can pronounce my name correctly…but I have low expectations.

  3. Jeff;

    You are a far more patient and understanding gent than I. I would have reamed them a new one. My advice to you is:
    1) Check out the local phone DSL service
    2) call your local Cable sales rep. Give them the story and tell them you want them to comp you at least one month’s bill or you will move your account over the local phone service.
    3) they will either agree or call your bluff.
    4) move your service over to the DSL service
    5) The cable company will come back with more incentives for you than you originally requested.
    This works I have done it. They will continue to treat their customers like dirt. When you fight back I guarantee you win in the end. Don’t let them walk all over you.

    • Kerry,

      Wow, I truly touched. The Great Oz is speaking to me.

      I agree with and have employed your strategy for a number of years. I now fully understand and can empathize with John Daly the golfer, “having to dump one crazy b*tch for another every other year.” It all starts with romance and lovey dovey and then heads down the path of discontent.

      Unfortunately I think I’m stuck with this crazy b*tch for a few more months. I do remember our recorded conversation when I purchased the Time Warner “Triple F*ck” package “you agree to stay with me for two years…if you leave me you must pay $230 to severe the relationship…”

      Perhaps Verizon has grown up since my DSL debacle of 2006. Does Direct TV do internet? I need someone that can provide me ONLY internet, then I can shutdown the cable and telephone.

      Perhaps the Luddites were on to something?

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