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The *^%(#@! cable company

| On July 5th I switched my internet service from Time Warner Cable to Verizon FiOS. A couple of days later, I called TWC to cancel my account.

I had used TWC for internet ever since moving to the desert in 2002. Originally it was $30 per month, but over the years the price kept going up, and up, and up until it was $58 per month for "standard service," even as TWC advertised on TV for internet service at $15! The service wasn't bad when it came to ordinary email and web browsing, but if I wanted to download or upload a big file, like a video, TWC would throttle down the connection to dial-up speed.

When my house was built it was wired for FiOS and I would periodically get offers from Verizon. Now, Verizon is not my favorite company(!), but when a two-year offer for FiOS internet with much faster speeds at a much lower price came along, I switched. Comparing the two services, it was a no-brainer:

  Time-Warner FiOS
Download speed* 15.76 Mbps 58.47 Mbps
Upload speed* 1.07 Mbps 38.61 Mbps
Cost $57.99 $39.99 for 24 months
*Actual speeds measured with the same online tool.
As of yesterday, a free upgrade makes upload speeds the same as download speeds

A few days later (somewhere around July 7–9, I called TWC to cancel my account. After an interminable wait on hold, I was connected to a representative who, upon finding out what I wanted, immediately transferred me to someone else, who immediately began a barrage of questions about why I wanted to cancel my account. My answers were clearly not the right answers, for the question would be repeated using slightly different words: "Yes, but why do you want to cancel?"

After numerous "Because I don't like the service"; "Because it's too expensive"; "Because it's too slow"; "Because ..." I became exercised and said, "I've told you numerous times that I don't want TWC any more, so just cancel the damned account!" Fine. "But why do you want to cancel?"

When the next bill came it showed that I had a credit, having paid for a full month's service but having terminated the service before the month was over. Good, I thought, they'll probably send me a refund in a few days. But no, instead I got another bill yesterday, again showing I had a credit. That prompted the following chat exchange:

info: at 20:22:00
Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable. A representative will be with you shortly.
info: at 20:22:01
You are now chatting with Steve.
info: at 20:22:01
** Please do not share credit card information in this window. If credit card information is required, the agent will push a separate and secure form to you. **
You: at 20:23:00
TWC owes me $24.31 after cancelling my service. When will I get my refund?
Steve: at 20:23:08
I'll be glad to help you with the information.
Steve: at 20:23:10
Please allow me a moment while I check that for you.
Steve: at 20:26:22
Have you returned the modem at the nearest TWC center?
You: at 20:26:43
I didn't have a TWC modem -- it was my own.(1)
Steve: at 20:27:23
Okay.
Steve: at 20:30:44
I have checked it and see that the account is not disconnected properly, due to which the refund check is not yet sent to you, you will need to contact our phone support team and they will make the changes on the account and will send you the refund check too.
Steve: at 20:30:59
You will need to call on 888-892-2253
You: at 20:32:58
Iff the "account is not disconnected properly" that is entirely TWC's fault. The idea that I have to make yet another phone call to TWC and be subjected to the badgering that comes with closing an account is preposterous. I know it's nothing YOU did, but unhappily you must bear the brunt of my anger.
Steve: at 20:33:31
In this case I will have to transfer this chat to the Escalation team who are specialized to handle this kind of issue.(2)
There is a HOLD, Please stay connected to the chat and do not close the chat window.
info: at 20:33:39
Please wait while I transfer the chat to the appropriate group.
info: at 20:33:41
You are now chatting with Jason.
info: at 20:33:41
** Please do not share credit card information in this window. If credit card information is required, the agent will push a separate and secure form to you. **
Jason: at 20:34:16
Thanks for contacting Time Warner Cable Tier 3 Advanced Support. My name is Jason, please allow me a moment to review your case.
Jason: at 20:38:45
I see what is going on and we do show the credit balance of $24.31 and I'm going to expedite that to get it out to you within 5 business days. What is the address you would like this check sent to?(3)
You: at 20:39:53
XXXXX Xxxxxx St Desert Hot Springs CA 92240
And may I say that it is absurd that you have to ask my address, since I have been paying TWC bill for years and years and years!
Jason: at 20:40:23
Absolutely... Just wanted to make certain there wasn't a change of address.
You: at 20:40:40
Thank you. I'll be checking my mail.
Jason: at 20:40:54
Absolutely. Is there anything else I can help you with?
 
(1) Like that isn't already shown in the account information they have to be looking at.
(2) Paging angry-customer-representative!
(3) You get a bill every month, but they don't know your address?

Absolutely, indeed. Eighteen (18) minutes and up to 5 business days to get a refund that should have been sent automatically.

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018

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