I’ve been without cable/satellite for about five months. With Hulu/Netflix/Amazon Prime/Crackle I didn’t miss it at all, but since I still have a gig as a football writer, I needed to get some kind of television for the NFL/college football season.
I have two options, basically, Time Warner Cable or DirecTV. I loved having DirecTV, never had any problems with the service (or customer service), but it requires a two-year contract, and I would prefer to be able to turn it back off again after football season. So that meant even though it’s a bit more expensive, I went with Time Warner Cable.
Monday afternoon, I talked online with a TWC rep and got their best offer. I told them if I got the service, I’d take the option to install the equipment myself (for free, as opposed to the $39 install charge). I told them I was going to compare that to some other offers and get back to them. The rep said okay, she’d put this offer in my file and it would be there if I came back for it.
Monday night, I get a call from TWC to confirm my appointment for Tuesday afternoon for installation. Which I never signed up for. Or wanted. Or would have accepted, even if I had agreed to get cable.
I told them no, then held on the line to speak to an actual person. I explained the problem, she apologized profusely and told me she’d take care of it.
Monday night again, I get a second call from TWC asking me to take a survey on my recent interactions. Oh, you betcha, Time Warner Cable.
Tuesday afternoon, I get a call from TWC, from a guy with a connection so bad, it sounds like he’s calling me from a pay phone in 1977. He wants to know about the survey, and what they did wrong. I tell him, and he again apologizes profusely. He tells me there’s another package I could sign up for that might be cheaper. I can’t really make out what he’s saying, because it sounds like he’s on a party line phone in Warsaw, and he’s mumbling like Mitch Hedberg after a bender. I tell him I’m busy, but I’d love to hear about this plan later on a better connection. I tell him to call me Wednesday morning and I’ll listen, and he agrees.
Spoiler Alert: I never hear from him again.
Then, Tuesday afternoon about two hours after the previous contact I get another phone call. Yep, from Time Warner. At this point, Time Warner would make up most of my Friends and Family plan. It’s another rep, wanting to ask me about my service. I was honest with her, and she apologized profusely, which is apparently a freshman level class at TWC-School. She says they’re sorry for the miscommunication(s) and it won’t happen again.
Wednesday night, I decide to go with TWC anyway, since even though they’ve already shown themselves to be bafflingly incompetent, there’s no long-term contract. What the Hell, I say. At least if they suck, I can cancel. And at this point, there’s not more than a 40% chance of that.
I go online again, chat with a representative, and get set up. I set up my cable package, featuring 200 quality channels! Except that at least 180 of them are not of any quality whatsoever and will never be watched, so they might as well be showing Who’s The Boss reruns all day. I get a price that’s ridiculous but cancelable after football, and tell them I want to do my own installation again. The rep double-checks everything with me, I ask a million questions to make sure there’s nothing I’m forgetting, and I’m signed on. I ask the rep for the closest office to pick up the equipment on Thursday, and I’m on my way to being a cable subscriber again.
And then, Thursday morning at 7:45am, I get a call from a Time Warner installer to confirm my appointment to have cable installed. Again.
To begin with, what the Hell is wrong with a company that offers phone service, but every time you talk to them their phone lines sound like you’re calling an underground bunker somewhere? If I got a phone call from Hell, I feel pretty sure there would be a better connection there, and the person on the other end of the line boiling in a lake of fire would at least be enunciating better than TWC’s reps.
After making the guy repeat his orders four times to make sure I understood him, I tell him in no uncertain terms that I don’t want him to come over. I don’t want him to install cable. I don’t want him to bring me coffee. I don’t want him to stand at the foot of my driveway with a jambox playing “In Your Eyes.” I just want him to stay the &%$# away from me before I wake up with him at the end of my bed, sharpening a knife and asking me “Is it safe?”
We hang up. Twenty minutes later, I get yet another (another) call from TWC to ask why I didn’t want the service call. Well, because I never wanted it, TWC. You’re getting kind of date-rapey on me. I feel like Time Warner Cable is just driving past my house all night, listening to “Goodbye Horses” and waiting for a chance to toss me into the pit TWC keeps in its basement.
At this point, Time Warner Cable has tried to send more strange guys over to my house than Craigslist.
Time Warner Cable won’t be ignored, Reid. I’m headed off to make sure my bunny is still okay.