Time Warner Cable’s Horrible Customer Service

Last week, we cancelled our cable.  This was not an easy choice to make, but once the Texans were out of the Super Bowl, we didn’t have a reason to put it off any longer.  So we bit the bullet and decided to start saving that $40/month and pay it towards our debt.

Yesterday, we noticed an unusual charge on our bill.  It was labelled “On Site Visit” and was $39.99.  When we inquired about the charge, we were told that the technician had to come to our home to install a filter on the line (since we still receive our internet service through them) that would prevent the cable signal from coming through.  I was stunned.  They were charging us to turn off our cable?  We finally had to call customer service to deal with the problem, and were able to get the charge reversed.  Here’s a few things I learned from that phone call:


Be polite – or at least start off there.

It’s a good idea to build some rapport with the customer service rep if at all possible when you initiate the phone call.  This part I do well. (I’m generally a pretty pleasant person…)


Be direct.

State your problem and your desired solution. Make it very clear what you want them to do to fix the problem.


Silence is okay.

The CSR I spoke with originally said they charged this fee for every on-site visit a tech had to make.  I simply said, “I don’t think we should have to pay for you to turn off our service.” and then I waited.  She didn’t say anything, and neither did I.  There was a few seconds of awkward silence, and then she said, “Let me look at your account and see if there’s anything I can do.”  This part I do not do well. Silence feels weird to me, especially on the phone.

Ultimately (according to her) she did not have the authority to waive the charge. So we went to the next step.


Always ask to talk to a supervisor.

I asked for “someone with authority to waive the charge.”  After being put on hold several times, I was finally connected to the “supervisor on the floor.”  Following rule number 2, when he said, “What can I help you with?” I said, “You can help me by waiving the charge on my account.” After reminding him that we had been loyal customers for several years, and are still giving them a substantial amount of money for our internet service, he simply said, “Okay, I will waive that charge.”


Seriously? If it was that easy, why couldn’t they have done that to begin with? Why put the first girl through the awkwardness of telling the customer the charge couldn’t be waived if you were eventually going to waive it after all?  Though I am satisfied with the result over all, it still aggravates me that major companies like this will do their best to take every penny from you they can possibly get – and then tell you that’s their company’s “policy.”


One final note – it doesn’t hurt to sound a little heated when you talk to the CSR.  Stay in control – don’t lose your temper or you won’t be gaining any ground – but allowing the representative to hear your frustration may make them want to get the problem taken care of more quickly.


What do you do when you have a bad customer service experience?



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2 Responses to “Time Warner Cable’s Horrible Customer Service”

  1. Feeling Screwed!!! says:

    I had horrible experience with getting out of Verizon Cell service. Two and a half years after not having any service with them, a mysterious $45 charge popped up on my credit card. Of course, I called them up and asked about this charge. They asked me if it was my old cell number and old account. I said, "Yes." They asked me if I wanted to close out my account. I told them that I had already done that over two years ago and hadn't had any service with them since then. They said they would check into it and call me back. They called me back and said it was my account and I owed $45 before they could close me out. I asked if it was an old charge or something I hadn't paid in the past and they said no it was a new charge I needed to pay. Apparently they still had my credit card information from when they used to charge me monthly. I told them that I hadn't asked for my card to be charged or asked for new service. They said I had to pay before they closed out my account. I spoke with managers and I asked for evidence that I needed to pay etc… They said I needed to show them the statement were my account was closed out. I told them that since it was over two years ago since I had even talked to them I didn't think I was going to need them and had thrown them out. I went to my credit card company and asked them to look into this. They got it out of statement and didn't charge me. I thought I was done with this. Next month the charge came again and again my card company took it off my bill. Same thing the third month. Verizon called and said if I didn't pay they would send me to Collection. I told them that this was an unfair charge and that I wouldn't pay 'on principle'. It was put on my Credit Report as an unpaid bill. I asked the reporting agencies to look into and to remove it from my record. They checked and said it was my account and that they couldn't remove it from my reports. I told them I wasn't disputing if it was my account, I was disputing the unauthorized charge. They said they couldn't help me there, that I had to deal with Verizon for that. I told them that I already tried and Verizon said it made sense what I said but that they needed me to pay the $45 before they could close me out completely. They told me again they couldn't help me and that they recommended that I pay so it wouldn't hurt my credit as much. I used to like Verizon and was a loyal customer for nine years. Now, I can't stand them for doing this to me! I don't feel I owe this money! Does anyone have any advice or ideas that don't just say pay them and get them off you record. Please, someone give me some good advice!!!!!

    • downswithdebt says:

      Do you have access to a lawyer – a friend or acquaintance who could write a letter? Sometimes even just saying the phrase, "I'm going to contact my lawyer" will make them back down. It can be really helpful just to have a lawyer friend write a simple letter – letting them know you won't pay the charges, and that you won't back down. When they find out they can't bully you, maybe they will quit trying.

      Sorry you're going through that – let us know how it turns out.

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