Time Warner Cable is my nemesis.
A cable company should work like a gas station. You buy a service from a gas station (gas) and it’s arguably the most impersonal business transaction you can have. Nobody sits around telling their friends how good the gas is at their neighborhood station. The gas makes your car move and that’s that. You don’t buy $40 worth of gas and come home and say, wait a minute, they only gave me $20 worth. Those sons of bitches! It’s simple, efficient, and how things should be with that type of business. You don’t have a relationship (good or bad) with the customer service at your gas station. You don’t need to have one. Nothing is worth reporting.
Time fucking Warner. The antithesis of the gas-station model. They are the goddamn mafia. The Cable Mob. They are running amok and making no apologies about it.
So here is how their business runs. They provide internet and cable service. In Maine, they are practically a monopoly with no other real major players. Comcast did partner with them which should start at the end of the year (can’t make it any worse) but their monopoly on the state certainly makes it easier for them to continue being assholes. So, how do they NOT run like my nice gas station? For one, their product often doesn’t work. They are selling gasoline filled with goddamn sugar in it. “Channel not available” pops up for 1 in 5 channels at my place once a week and my phone is bi-polar bouncing between 3G and my beloved DrOzPoops network. These are just some of the general issues. No internet at all and a cable box that reads mysterious numbers like those in LOST– 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42–are the head-smashing problems that drive me nuts.
But wait, Scott. Aren’t you really getting too emotional about a 1st World problem? You have a magical service that allows you to connect to the world. Some places don’t even have cell phones you spoiled Westerner!
Here’s my first response. I pay for this garbage and it’s not cheap. If you had similar problems with ANY reputable business (restaurant, retail store, etc.) where the service they provide DIDN’T PROVIDE it, you would nicely be told “I’m sorry, let us take that off your bill” or perhaps “I’m so sorry for the inconvenience” with a follow-up business remedy put in place. Not so with these fuckers. In three years, we have gotten a minor fee taken off our bill and only after Andy brought out his mean Boston voice and basically threatened a woman’s life. I estimate that I have called their customer-service number and spoken with someone between 25-40 times. And that does not include the times I have just given up and not bothered. If I called every time there was a problem we’d be looking at about 75 times. There is no compensation and you are left feeling like a used whore, like it’s my fault things went wrong.
The second option, like with any business, is to stop giving them business. This leads me back to the mob issue I raised. Sure, people could have not paid the mobsters to stay out of their way but what happened? They got their kneecaps drilled. I can cancel my cable and internet but I need the internet for work sometimes but mostly I need–I deserve!–to write useless things like this for the world to see. It’s my gift. Why deny Tub followers that gift?
And they always make it worse on the phone. You call with a simple, practical problem and hang up needing complex therapeutic help. And when they are being nice, such as offering to bring a nice gentleman to your home, you’re supposed to find a way to be HOME BETWEEN 9 and 11 ON A WEEK DAY? I guess only the unemployed are in luck. Or I love when they ask me to bring in the cable box to the store like it was something on my Saturday bucket list. I’ll kill you, Time Warner, I’ll do it this time.
Just when things are going smoothly and I realize “Hmmmm, I haven’t had a problem in a while”, BILL FUCKING COWER shows up on a TV commercial with a 75$/month deal for cable and internet. Really, that’s not what Nadia from India told me on the phone last week. 90$ is the cheapest she says. Bill Cower says that’s a godddamn lie.
I’m literally writing this as Time Warner is in my house. The guy brought a ladder which was code that he really intends on solving this issue. This letter is certainly going to get me 30 to life if the cops get it and find the ladder gone and the man on the ground. My only hope is that the judge is a Time Warner subscriber and totally understands. I can see it now, Yeah, Wheel of Fortune did cut out during the Final Spin…your sentence is time served.” And then I yell “MORE LIKE TIME WARNER SERVED!”
But nobody laughs.