Time Warner Cable Complaint - Service Appointment Lies and Deception (Rectified Incident)
NORTH CAROLINA -- I have been jerked around and deceived by Time Warner Cable's call centers about setting up an appointment to transfer service. The issue was remedied after a long struggle on my part and being on the phone all morning, including with my cellular phone dropping calls *and* phone system problems with Time Warner Cable.
I called Time Warner Cable the morning of 08/26/2010 to transfer service within North Carolina. The phone number that I used was 1-800-TWCABLE, which is advertised on TWC's Website, including for matters of service disconnections. I am an undergraduate starting school on 08/30/2010 and was getting my apartment lease on 08/26/2010, so I wanted either the earliest possible appointment on or before Sunday the 29th, or if that was not possible, I could only do evenings between Monday-Friday. The first agent was able to give me an appointment for 08/31/2010 for 7-9 p. m., which was the earliest time that would work for my schedule, but unfortunately after Sunday. 7-9 P.M. is the latest possible time slot on any day. Because I asked to be put on the waiting list for 7-9 P.M. on Monday or anytime Sunday or sooner, the agent said that, because she is a Sales agent, she would need to transfer me to Customer Service to be put on the waiting list, but did still confirm my Tuesday evening appointment. (I don't even know why I had gotten the Sales department instead of Customer Service.) After being transferred I spoke with a Customer Service agent, who said she could put me on the waiting list, but also searched for an earlier time for me. She found that 7-9 P.M. on Monday actually *was* available (even though it wasn't when I spoke with the Sales agent), so she was going to set me up for that Monday time slot instead, but unfortunately, my cellular phone dropped the call right as I was confirming this change. Up to this point, I had recorded this first call -- both the Sales and Customer Service agents. Because the call was dropped, I tried to call back on my landline (on which I couldn't yet record the calls). For some reason the phone system had problems at the point where it routes the caller to the department they want; for example, I would say "Customer Service" then "Appointments" or just "Appointments", and sometimes it would drop my call or give a busy signal after that. When I was transferred to someone, after waiting some time, for some reason I got the "Retention" department, and the lady was going to transfer me back to Customer Service because "Retention" couldn't help me. This time the call accidentally went into a dead queue (error on their end) and the Retention agent called me back while I was in that queue, but I had to answer on my cell phone and was stuck with the call on my cell again. I asked her if she could call me back again so I could answer on my landline, but she said she could only call me back once because the error was on their end. So I was transferred to Customer Service again. This time, I gave the agent my callback number and said it's very important that she calls me back if we get disconnected. The agent I spoke with said she couldn't do anything with my account because another agent was modifying it. I explained my situation, that I wanted the Monday appointment 7-9 P.M. which I was told was available. This agent was going to call me back once she could get into the account, but eventually it was unlocked, and she saw that it popped up that I did have an appointment for 08/31 7-9 P.M. However, I accidentally lost the call from my unreliable cell phone again. The agent did not call me back as I had asked.
I called back to Customer Service and spoke with a man, but this time he said that he saw my appointment as being for 08/31 from 3-5 P.M. I inquired why it was 3-5 instead of 7-9, but he insisted that he saw nothing for 7-9 p. m., even though the other agents I had spoken to were aware of the Tuesday night appointment. He said that the earliest available evening appointment was going to be 09/03. I was very upset, and I made it very clear that I had recorded the initial phone call in which the first (Sales) agent confirmed my appointment for 08/31 7-9 P.M. I argued with the agent at length that it was wrong for my appointment to be mysteriously revoked like this. He said that the maximum relief that he could provide me would be one day's service credit. He gave me some flak about my dropped calls that I had mentioned, but to prove what I was saying, I even played bits and pieces of the call recording in which the first agent confirmed the Tuesday 7-9 P.M. time before transferring me to the Customer Service agent to be put on the waiting list. (Also, each agent said that if a call is dropped, the previous agent would have to undo or drop all of their changes on the account.) The agent I was speaking to said that without a confirmation number, which the Sales agent did not give me, there was no way he could look up the original appointment. He asked for the Sales representative's name, and when I gave it, he said that agent doesn't work for Time Warner Cable but for some 3rd-party contractor or something. I pointed out the phone number that I was using to call TWC and asked if I had been scammed; he said no. He wasn't being helpful at this point, and I was persistently upset and wanted to know what happened to my original appointment. After quite a long runaround, he eventually finally resolved to call the dispatcher to ask if they could make this situation right by squeezing me in for the same day that I was calling, 08/26. This was put in place, and he still agreed to the one day's service credit. I was finally relieved at this improvement, and to get accommodated on the same day. He gave me a confirmation number, and I remarked that apparently it is *very* important that we customers make sure we get a confirmation number (which I never knew about) and to record the phone calls. The dispatcher and I agreed for 4 P.M. -- the time that I actually had a meeting with my property manager to see the apartment for a final time and to sign my lease and get my keys. I did have to take care of both matters at once, and the signing of the apartment lease was the priority, but the service technician was patient, courteous, and understanding of the situation. After I was finished with my property manager, I completed the appointment with the technician and the service was in place.
Thus the end result was pretty good, though this accommodation was a side-effect of being on the phone all morning and having to go through the stress of being deceived about my scheduled appointment time, which never should have happened. If I had not recorded my initial phone call in which I was promised the appointment, and not made such a compelling argument, I would have been ripped off and forced to go with a much later appointment, and only one day's service credit to make up for it. When I called up my phone company (not TWC) to transfer my phone service thereafter, I also asked them to add the paid feature of unlimited 3-way calling (the feature that I need to use for my method of recording calls), so that I can more reasonably record calls on my landline. That's what I'm going to do, both with Time Warner Cable and my phone company.
This situation evidences that when customers are promised appointments, they may be ripped off by Time Warner Cable as their appointments may mysteriously "disappear" or be changed without communication. Apparently everybody needs to know to ask for a confirmation number if they are not automatically given one. I am also encouraging people to record phone calls with telecommunications companies, especially in one-party consent states.