Time Warner Cable Complaint - Time Warner Cable SoCal is FAIL
Resolution Update on 07/11/2008:
After the local CSR and the main office rep never contacted me back I decided to pursue the matter through the Better Business Bureau. I received a call from the local area rep and we discussed my concerns about that particular store. She said she will look into the matter with the store CSR. This complaint has been resolved to my satisfaction.
FULLERTON, CALIFORNIA -- Here is a log of the events that have transpired in the past week with Time Warner Cable Company in Southern California, my neighbor, and myself.
On June 21 I turned 28. I decided for a birthday gift I would purchase a TiVO Series 3 DVR with HD. I thought how I will be able to use this when we get home since I did not have the cable card for it. I know the Motorola DVR box provided by the cable company did have a multi-cast cable card, or m-card for short. I called 888-TW-CABLE on 6/21 09:49 PM. I asked the rep if I could take the card out of the old box and put it in my TiVo HD. He said it was not a problem. I removed the card out of the old box and put it in my new box. It was only receiving channels 2-13 in SD and HD. He sent a signal to my box a couple of times and it is all working. I thanked him for his time and went on to setting up the TiVo and setting up the programs I wanted to record.
On Friday, June 27, I decided to take the old cable box to the Time Warner Cable Store located at 1565 S. Harbor Blvd in Fullerton. After waiting in line I was helped by Bob to return my equipment. As he was scanning it in I informed him that this box doesn't have an m-card since I am using it in my TiVo. He gave me this blank look and told me that the equipment is damaged. I told him that is what the phone rep told me I could do and it's not damaged, the card is working fine in my TiVo. After some back and forth he went to get his supervisor, Jane. I explained the situation again to her and she told me the equipment is now damaged since I am not supposed to remove the card from the box. Since the card and the box are linked to each other if one is removed it causes both to stop working. Her exact words were, "Once you remove the card from the box both the card and box self destruct." I explained to her again that the card is still working fine in my TiVo and I have been recording shows with it.
If it was not supposed to work why did the phone rep activate it? She said as of right now the equipment is considered damaged and I will have to wait until Monday while they investigate. In the mean time while I have been talking, Bob took that opportunity to deactivate the card I was using in my TiVo. They informed me I need to bring back the old card and they will issue me a new card. They took the equipment away, the receipt I already signed, and wouldn't issue me a proper card until I brought the old card back. I was so upset at this whole ordeal I was shaking while I was driving home. I got the card out of my TiVo and before I went back to that Time Warner Cable Store I made a copy of all the information on the M-Card.
As I was driving back some things didn't add up. If the mere act of removing something, that itself is designed to be modular, destroys the card and the equipment it came from then why was the card still working? If I was never supposed to do this and they feel that there was some miscommunication then why did the phone rep never ask me where did I get the card from or stop me and say you can't remove the card from the old box? That one is a puzzler since Bob at the Time Warner Cable Store said you can purchase these M-Cards anywhere including circuit city. I think it would be important to make sure that the cards are set up properly.
Finally my last question to them was, well now that I brought the card back can we hook it up to see if it is damaged? Their reply was absolutely not. They have to send it back to the warehouse. I asked them again and they refused to test the equipment right then and there to see how damaged it actually is. It seems like that would be something you would want to do to prove to the customer that is actually damaged instead of you saying it was damaged without proving it to me.
Well I did get my new card and the only difference? The old card had a red label; this one had a blue label. The old card worked fine in my TiVo. The blue one only gets me channels 2-13 even after getting a signal sent to my box for activation.
So it doesn't stop here. Remember I mentioned my neighbor earlier? Well she showed up at the same Time Warner Cable Store. Apparently the technician that came out to install her m-card in her TiVo didn't feel it was important. He left before setting it up and when he took off in a hurry he left the wrong card, it was a single cast card. That is why she was there, to get the m-card. Well they refused her to give her a new card; she had to fight to get one even though it was their fault. So she gets an m-card out of them eventually and takes it home. Guess what, she is getting only channels 2-13 as well.
Here is where it gets even worse. The instructions she got with the cable card tell her to call this number to activate the card, the same TW Number everyone calls. So I call for her and speak to another rep. He doesn't understand what a cable card is. He doesn't understand that I am supposed to be calling this number to get it activated. Instead of asking someone what I am talking about he basically blows it off and says the tech will be there tomorrow. That night I went home after dinner and called Time Warner myself and told them I received a cable card I want to use in my TiVo and I am only getting channels 2-13. She tried to convince me it was a problem with my remote control. I flat out told her that she needs to activate my m-card and I have the numbers she needs. She just humored me taking the numbers.
"Ok, can I get those numbers now?"
Which ones do you need first?
"It doesn't matter"
So I just started to read numbers off to her not really telling her what set I was reading from. She told me that it will be ready in 2-3 minutes; her supervisor just sent the signal to the box. Well I waited an hour and what a surprise still no channels. I took the m-card back to the store this morning and Bob is still there, does he ever go home? I told him the card doesn't work and it's only getting channels 2-13. He said there is nothing he could do except schedule a technician to come out to configure it. I told him my neighbor has a tech coming out for the same exact thing later that day between 1-5 and if he could stop by. He said it was up to tech. He didn't bother calling the dispatcher to find out if it is ok or check my neighbors schedule or anything. He said it is up to him and he made an appointment for Monday just in case.
It seems all Time Warner Cable SoCal wants to do is lie, deceive, and extort. I already filed a complaint with the FCC since they are not allowing me to use the m-card in my TiVo. Next I will be calling the Office of the President - Customer Care Advocate on Monday to voice my complaint. Depending what the Time Warner Cable Retail Store office says on Monday after their little investigation I may contact agencies such as BBB, FTC, and possibly a follow up with the FCC.