23 July 2006

Time Warner Cable is the Suxx0r

Time Warner Cable is definitely the Suxx0r.

OK. I'm back online with RoadRunner hi-speed. At first, I ordered AOL Broadband which provided the RoadRunner Intro internet connection at $25.95/month and that operates at 768/128kbps up/downstream, which, after having been accustomed to Cablevision's Optimum Online, which operates at 10mbps downstream and 2mbps upstream. So I basically had to upgrade to RoadRunner Hispeed, which offers a 5mbps downstream and 384kbps upstream. Not quite what Optimum Online offers but it's better than the Intro package.

And, while I was upgrading the Internet connection, I decided to order Time Warner Digital Cable Television service as well. I knew that I wanted digital television, and decided on the DTV Value pack, which offers all digital television channels available. I also ordered Showtime, because I really like their home-grown programming, and there was a deal that if I got HBO with it it came out to a good price so I got that, as well. That's $98.90/month for digital television and Internet (plus the charges for Showtime, and two cable boxes and two remotes). Now, mind you, with Cablevision, I could have gotten digital tv, internet, and telephone service for $29 each or a grand total of $87/month. Already, I'm not liking Time Warner too much.

So then I look on-line and see my statement (which hasn't come in the mail yet), and see that I was charged $19.00 and $9.95 for installation. WTF???? When I signed up for the television service, I checked the web site first, and verified with the telephone rep, that I would be getting free installation.

So I call up good ol' Time Warner Cable and ask to have the installation charges removed, because I was told that I'd be getting free installation. Their response: "Free installation for the first set only, not any additional sets." Again, WTF.

I asked to speak with a supervisor, and got disconnected. So now, I'm sending them this little ditty through their "Contact Us" web form:

I just checked my on-line statement, and your billing representative hung up on me and I can't reconnect with your billing department -- I keep getting disconnected. I asked to speak with a supervisor and that's when I was disconnected. I noticed that I was charged $19.00 and $9.95 for installation charges. I was advised (and responded to an advert that stated) that installation was FREE. To me, FREE INSTALLATION MEANS FREE, *NOT* "free for the first set."

Considering that the average American household has more than two television sets (source), this is misleading advertising, and I'd be more than happy to report it to Elliot Spitzer. I'd also be more than happy to cancel my premium services, and refrain from upgrading to roadrunner Premium, which I am contemplating. I pointed this out to your billing representative (who also helped me with a technical problem that I was having with ONE of my cable boxes ever since it was installed, which should help you track it down) and he advised me that installation charges aren't refundable, which is when I asked to speak with a supervisor and got disconnected while on hold.

So, I'd like to know if you are going to refund the approximately $30 in installation charges, or if I should cancel approximately $40 in recurring monthly charges and contact Mr. Spitzer.

Please advise.

Thank you for your time and kind consideration.
[/s/ Peter C. Frank]

Oh, and for the record, their web site doesn't say "free installation on first set only."

Now, if you were a big old corporation, would you decide to refund a one-time charge of $30 to a customer, or lose a potential of approximately $40 in recurring monthly income?

If cable television is ever deregulated, I'm switching to Cablevision in a heartbeat.