So this is one of those blog posts where I rant and whine and complain about how some service provider done me wrong. If you dislike those posts, feel free to wait for the next one. This one will come off as extremely whiny. You have been warned.
Fucking Time Warner. You assholes. Especially Dawn, from DP Loss Prevention. I hate you. You suck.
So, I work for me. I need internet to do what I do. I just moved to Astoria from my old place in Jamaica. So I cancelled my old cable internet service, turned in the modem thingee. Like a good little boy. They asked for no money from me, and said I could call them and they would tell me if I owed them anything. Fine. I of course immediately disregarded that advice – if I owed them something they’d tell me and I’d pay it. I’m not chasing them down to ask them how much I owe.
So after a week and a half of no internet, Time Warner finally shows up to install it on a Friday. Guy is nice, jams it right out in no time. Even knew his way around a Mac, had me go into the Advanced tab thing to do “renew DHCP lease” – I didn’t know that was there! Up and running. Fast, low-latency, happy times.
So, I’m literally sitting on the toilet end of day Friday, and my phone rings. I consider it rude to talk whilst I am…in such a situation, so I decline to answer. Time is now 5:31pm. I finish my business. I go listen to my voicemail. “<<remnants of talk with co-worker>>Hi <<mispronunciation of my first name>>…Uhm….<<horrific mispronunciation of my last name>>, this is Dawn from Time Warner. Please give us a call back regarding your account. 718-888-4393”. Fine. I’m an upstanding citizen, maybe I owed them something from where I was living before? Better give a call back. I do. Generic-sounding voicemail for “DP Loss Prevention” in a computerized voice. Oh well, if it’s important they’ll call me back. I ain’t leavin’ no message for some weird generic voicemail box at a random 718 number.
Saturday morning rolls around and I flip on the iPad. No internet. Hrm. Maybe a remnant from the install? Power-cycle my modem. No internet. Okay, time to call tech support. I call. The automated system picks up my phone number and says “it seems your account has been disconnected. I’ll forward you to a representative.” The rep is nice, and says I need to talk to the 718 number that was left on my phone before. Crap. I guess I better. I call back and leave a message with my phone number and explaining that if I indeed owe anything, I’d be happy to pay it.
Nothing happens. I call the main tech support number – they again explain that I need to talk to that one department. I explain that I’d love to – and pay them anything they want – but no one’s there. I discover they only work regular business days, and I’m screwed till Monday. Awesome.
Monday rolls in and out. Nothing changes. I call them again, I beg to pay them. I call DP Loss prevention and leave another message. Note that I am restraining myself from freaking the fuck out on the voicemail because I want them to fix it.
Tuesday. Nothing. I call, another voicemail left to the generic voicemail box. I call tech support, a ‘message passed to the supervisor’. I ask to speak to a supervisor, I’m told I will get a call back. At this point, I am freaking out. Did I leave my phone number correctly? Is my phone broken? Do I keep missing the call? What’s happening? I go onto a forum and ask for help, they say that there will be an escalation if nothing happens. Great. In the meanwhile, at NO POINT WHATSOEVER has ANYONE told me what the hell is going on. I guessed I must have owed them money – and it must have been quite a bit.
At 4:01pm Tuesday a familiar 718 number shows up on my phone, and behind that number is a familiar voice. My old friend, Dawn. “I understand you want to make a payment?” she asks. You shithead. I answered, “well, assuming that’s why you turned me off, if I do owe you money, yes.” I’m prepared to shell out $300 on the spot. I need my internet. Must have it.
The bombshell hits. “You owe……….$32.17.” I couldn’t help myself, I laughed. Relayed my credit card info, and my internet came up after a quick power-cycle of the modem. Unbelievable. Time Warner put me through all of this hell – well, to me it was hell – for thirty bucks. You fucking dickweeds.
So of course during this whole debacle I’ve been looking at alternatives, and those alternatives made Time Warner’s behavior completely obvious – there are none. I can pay roughly the same amount to have 1/10 the bandwidth within 2-3 weeks from Verizon? No good. I was surviving, only barely, using 3G service and that was definitely not going to be a long-term way for me to get by. RCN didn’t service my area. There was nothing I could do.
And my feeling of powerlessness might be some of the reason I wigged out so badly – I thought long and hard about telling Time Warner that, no, I’m not going to pay you anything, you pissed me off, and I want to cancel, I’m not paying anything at all. But I couldn’t – I’m stuck, needed the connection. I had all kinds of wonderful imaginary conversations, escalating until I could talk to someone’s supervisor, getting Dawn fired and permanently making changes to Time Warner’s policies…getting them to comp me all kinds of things, making a big stink. I can’t though. There’s one place I can get a usable connection from, and they are it. So I made a decision, a very very difficult one, to accept the treatment and just get the connection working.
So, in summary, this is what happened. Time Warner called me end of day Friday, left a botched and meaningless message, turned off my service late Friday night (probably early Saturday Morning), never told me why, wasn’t even around to turn it on for the next two days, and kept me down for 4 days total….over $30.
I will be happy, happy, happy to get rid of them, as soon as anything even remotely good gets available. I can easily guess what Time Warner’s thinking was when they created this group or department or whatever – “Hey, we lost $x in people moving – I want that to be <less than x>! Let’s empower this raging horrible monster woman, Dawn, and put her in a department of Pure Evil to torture our own clients!” And $x goes to less-than-x. I hate them so much I’d be happy to pay twice as much for half the service. If they had any competition at all, they would not ever dare. Is that worth $30, Time Warner? I think not.
OK. End rant. Feel much better now. Sorry about that.