Greg Cohoon (drmellow) wrote,
Greg Cohoon

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Round the clock customer service?

I thought Time Warner Cable of the Triad had round-the-clock customer service. I seem to recall all those spiffy commercials touting how exciting it was that we now live in a time where the cable company is always there for you. Maybe you remember the commercials -- they were the ones with pigs flying about, with the not-so-subtle message of "We know we have a reputation of 'We'll give good service when pigs fly.' -- well that time is now. See -- the pigs are flying."

I thought that was a terrible commercial when it aired, because I knew that nothing had changed. Today, I have verified my hypothesis.

I got my bill today, and they charged me again for a pay-per-view movie which they shouldn't have charged me for. See, when we switched over to digital cable and RoadRunner Internet access, the promotion was that they would give us 25 free pay-per-view movies. This month, we used our sixth one. It showed up on the bill anyway. The same thing happened last time we ordered a free-per-view movie. Then, I called up and reminded them about the promotion. They credited my account. I even specifically asked if I was going to have to do this every time I ordered a free pay-per-view movie until I used up all my credits. They assured me that I wouldn't.

Of course, that was wrong. Because here we go with a charge for "Scooby-Doo." See, I'm using my free-per-view movies for things that I'm not interested in paying for. I don't want to pay to watch "Scooby-Doo." No-sir-ee-bob.

It's OK, though, because I know a relatively quick call to customer service will sort this out and maybe even fix it for the future. Bzzzzzt!!! Think again -- customer service is closed. The most annoying part is that it took them about three minutes to tell me that: I called the customer service number and got to choose if I wanted to navigate their horrid phone system in English or Spanish. I chose English. Then I got to choose if my request was about poor reception, no reception, general questions, billing questions, etc. I chose the billing questions option. Next, Time Warner Cable told me (via recorded message) that the wait times on the pone were longer than normal because of the damage that the recent ice storm caused. Sure. I can understand that and don't mind waiting. I'm surfing the 'Net while I'm on hold anyway. Then I get to listen to some pretty hold music. Then another recording comes on the line telling me that hold times were longer than normal and I might be interested in emailing them about my problem instead. They even had a difficult to remember and spell email address I could use. Not for me, I want to talk with a real person, so I hit the button that says I'm going to stay on the line. More hold music for about 15 or 20 seconds. Then, my call is forwarded somewhere else, 'cause the phone starts ringing again. Assuming I was going to be soon talking with a customer service rep, I was pleasantly surprised -- I had only been on the phone a few minutes at this point. That wasn't too bad a wait. But, no. Another horrid phone menu is on the other end of the line to serve me. Fortunately, the exact option I want is listed among the choices, so I press the corresponding number. It is at this point that I am greeted with another recorded message: "Our business office is open from xx to yy Monday through Friday. Please call back during normal business hours." <click>

WHAT? You made me stay on the phone for three or four minutes to tell me something you could have told me right away? And what you wanted to tell me was that your flying pigs commercial was a lie? That your flying pigs commercial was in fact accurate in that you'll provide good customer service when pigs fly? Jimminy Cricket. You guys are off your rockers. And liars.

One of the things I'd like to turn my LiveJournal into is a place where I write editorials. Well, today, my LiveJournal gets a rant. That's not quite an editorial, but it's closer that some of my entries.

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