Took 30 Days To Set Up My Phone/Cable/Internet Account
KINGSTON, NEW YORK -- We just built a house and planned to move early in the morning April 30, 2013, and since I work in communications full-time out of my home, I wanted to make sure I had Internet and phone up and running by the time we moved in - without phone and Internet, I can’t work. On April 10, my builder said it was time to call Time Warner to get a tech to bring out cable to run in a conduit between the cable box by our driveway up to the house’s cable box. Everything else had been installed by the developer and builder, and the builder had just done the same thing with the house next door (which took about two days). My builder said that if it was going to take too long, Time Warner could just drop off the cable, and he would run it up to the house. When I called Time Warner April 10, the woman who handled the call took directions to our house down several times (since we’re not in GPS currently, it can be hard to find), and said a tech would be out “in two to five days” and that we should have no problem getting our triple play system up and running by April 30. She also used my cell as the account number, and I said that if the tech had any trouble finding the house, feel free to call me. Then she gave me a work order number, and said she’d call me once it was installed to set up our triple play account.
By April 15, no one had shown up at our property, so I called Time Warner and was told that a tech had been dispatched April 11, but couldn’t find the house. Apparently, the tech hadn’t bothered to try to phone me to get directions and no one at Time Warner was going to call me to let me know of the problem. And when I asked why the tech didn’t just use the directions on file, the man handling the call, Steve, said there were no directions on file. So he set up another work order with a different number, put the directions into the file (which I made him read back to me), and said it would take another “two to five days” for someone to run the cable.
The next day, April 16, I received a call from the original woman who set up the work order at Time Warner, demanding to know why I had called Time Warner. I was absolutely flabbergasted and said I called Time Warner because no one had shown up at our property! She seemed angry that I’d called, and said I should have waited for her to call me. I couldn’t believe there appeared to be some sort of infighting at Time Warner about who was setting up our account!
Around April 22, I called Time Warner because again no one was showing up at our house. I got a guy named Vinnie, who was able to see both work orders, but couldn’t put me in touch with anyone I’d spoken with previously, even though he said he knew Steve and the division that Steve was in. Nor could he give me any idea of how long it was going to take to lay this cable. He described a process, that included getting permits, etc., that might take several weeks. I was almost speechless, since I had originally been told it would take a few days. So I repeated that really all we needed was for Time Warner to DROP OFF the cable, and we could do the rest, but he said again that was not possible. I reiterated that no permits were necessary, but he didn’t seem willing to listen to me.
At this point, I was so busy trying to move that I was only able to call Time Warner a couple times to try to straighten this out, to no avail. Nobody could tell me when someone would show up, why Time Warner couldn’t just drop off the cable, or exactly what needed to be done. Yet, even on Friday, April 26, I was still being told that Time Warner would probably have the service up and running by April 30.
On April 30, the day of our move, Time Warner finally came to life, called me and said it would take two weeks to lay the cable! No explanation given. I was angry – originally, I had been told service would be up and running by April 30, and now it seemed the process was only being initiated on April 30, and it was going to take much longer than anyone had ever said it would to date. I told the woman who called that if Time Warner could just drop off the cable, our builder could get it up to the house himself in less than a day. FINALLY, she agreed that Time Warner would do that. So she asked for our builder’s name and number, which I gave her. She said Time Warner would call him to find out when he would be there so they could drop off the cable. (Time Warner never did call our builder.)
Instead, on May 1, a tech finally showed up at our house! It took about an hour to pull the cable from the box at the end of the driveway up to the house. I told the tech, Rich, who was very sympathetic, about what had happened, and he said it never should have taken Time Warner THREE WEEKS to run a 50-foot cable. That afternoon, I called Time Warner to set up our triple play and was disappointed that the earliest they could come was FIVE DAYS LATER, on Monday, May 6 in the morning. Still, I was thrilled we finally had the cable laid. It was a week of lost work (about $1,000), but at least I’d be up and running the week of May 6, I thought.
Little did I know…
On May 4, Time Warner called my cell, which my husband picked up, and a woman told him she was confirming that Time Warner would be by on WEDNESDAY, May 8 to set up our triple play. When he told me, I hit the roof, and called Time Warner to find out why they were delaying the installation of our triple play by two days. The woman who took the call said that Time Warner had cancelled Monday’s appointment, and that she would call me back within two hours to resolve the situation. She never called back, so several hours later, I called Time Warner again and got another operator. This is what she told me: “We never do installations on Mondays.” And I said, so why did the agent who set up our triple play schedule an installation time on Monday? And she replied: “Well, we DO do installations on Mondays, but we really don’t, and we don’t have any available technicians right now.” I said, “WHAT are you talking about? What kind of a system is that? DO YOU or DON’T YOU have techs available for installations on Mondays?” Then she said she’d note in the file to expedite our installation if a tech became available, but the installation appointment was now for Wednesday. So another half a week of work lost ($500).
On Monday, May 6, I was at a local shopping center and got a call on my cell phone from a Time Warner tech who said he was going to install our triple play but needed directions to our house. He was about two minutes away, he said. Overjoyed that Time Warner had apparently rescheduled the Monday appointment, I gave him directions and said I’d meet him there in five minutes. But as I raced up our driveway, the tech called again and said, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I just got a call from my supervisor telling me that Time Warner has cancelled the installation appointment.” I was so angry – but I stayed calm. I said, “You mean to tell me you’re about 30 seconds from my home, and now Time Warner has again cancelled the installation appointment, despite the fact that A) you’re available, and B) I’ve raced back here to my house to meet you?” His answer: “Yes, ma’am, I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can do about this. I’m very sorry.”
On Wednesday, May 8, I was in the driveway around 9 a.m., and a Time Warner truck drove up. I thought it was the installation tech, but it was instead Rich, the tech who pulled the cable up the driveway. He was aghast that I still didn’t have service and couldn’t figure out why it was taking Time Warner a month to do all this. He said he would call his supervisor to put in a report about it. He said he had come by to make sure the installation tech had done the work right and closed up the cable box.
Finally, at 11:30 a.m., the installation tech showed up. Dimitri was very nice and installed everything. He groused quite a bit about Time Warner, and how they overwork their techs, setting up piggyback appointments that were impossible to finish in the small amount of time given. Then there were problems with the Internet service, which was supposed to be “Turbo,” but was taking minutes to download a page. Dimitri said everything was set up correctly, and he couldn’t figure out what the problem was. He spent an hour on the phone with a Time Warner tech, but they still weren’t able to resolve the problem completely. Then Dimitri said he had to leave, as he was already two hours late for his next appointment, but that he’d call me later to make sure it was working. He never did call, and it wasn’t working.
On the afternoon of Thursday, May 9, after struggling with the Internet all morning, I called Time Warner yet again, and finally got a tech named Chris on the phone. He spent an hour with me, trying to figure out what the problem was. Finally, he was able to figure out that I was in a “bad channel.” He switched me from channel 1 to channel 7, and that fixed the problem. By then it was 5 p.m. It had taken exactly a month, with eight work days lost ($1600), from when I made my first call to Time Warner to get a routine triple play system up and running – something that normally takes, what, a few hours?
Then, of course, there’s the fact that Time Warner installed a corrupted cable box and/or wire so our TV cable system didn’t work for another week, necessitating a call of an hour and a tech visit, but I don’t even care that much about that. At least I didn’t lose any work (or sleep) over that one! But I really do wonder what I’m paying sky high rates for here?