Re: Anyone have Zoom-Town?
(Warning: This is the rant of a Cable Man)
Nothing currently has the capability to compare with the speed and price of Time Warner, nor will they in the forseeable future. Especially when you considered the speed was bumped up to about 6 or 7 Mbps in the Cincinnati area. Turbo Charged is even faster. The only way telephone companies can compete is to run fiber optic cable directly to the house, which is insanely expensive. DirecTV has tried internet, which is again insanely expensive and just like their TV, goes out in a hard rain.
I've heard some horror stories about Time Warner, but let me say as an employee, things don't get better with any other provider. I deal with people every day who have had absolute horror stories to tell me when dealing with customer service and get mad because the tech couldn't fix the problem on the first time. A cable system is never an easy fix. Too many variables are involved. I've heard horror stories with billing also. Let me urge you not to take that out on the tech who comes to your house. We have no control on what happens before we get there.
That said, I'm not going to plug the company I work for simply because I know of the problems some of you face. Flat out, some of the problems are very preventable. As for problems in the house, most are caused by customers trying to do their own work, or by electricians hired to do the work. Friends are great, but not good cable men. Keep that in mind. Gold fittings and splitters are bad. If you have had sombody do the work for you, I would bet there is something gold somewhere. They cause huge problems. Those issues are not the fault of the company.
The cable modems and digital boxes are tempermental. If signal is just a little off, especially with modems, you will have problems. If there is a staple that nicks the cable somewhere in the wall, you will have problems. Don't count on the problem being one that is easy to fix, or something we should be able to take care of on the spot. Although most problems are easy for us to find, some aren't.
The next biggest thing that customers complain about is when they schedule an appointment, and the tech doesn't show, or are late. The thing you have to remember is this. We call before going to the house in a lot of cases. If you don't answer the phone for what ever reason on one of the two calls we make, the call is cancelled when verified by a call ahead person. We do block our numbers when we call because they are personal numbers in most cases. We don't need to be called by a customer for a cable problem. That is what customer service is for. As far as missed time frames, an alloted amount of calls are allowed to be scheduled each day depending on the number of techs working that particular day. Those calls are split amoung the techs in a particular area. We average about 2 calls per time frame along with other calls expected to get done during the day. Things happen. Sometimes we run into a large problem at a house where all we were supposed to do is install a cable ready set. That is certainly not expected and will obviously strain the other techs in the area because we are required to fix the problem. We try our best to get to every call, but at times this is next to impossible. Don't get upset because we don't make it to your house on time. It is beyond our control. We don't know what to expect from house to house. It is just as frustrating for us to show up late as it is you because then we spend the rest of the day catching up. We don't go home until everything is done. We already work 10 hour days, but most become 11 or 12 hour days or even more. considering I don't get off work untill 9pm on a 10 hour day, you can imagine how frustrating long days can be, especially when the customer wants to tell you how much they hate the company you work for and how they don't understand why we have such a problem making timeframes.
Finally, I know I'm not going to change your mind, and I wouldn't want to. Its your choice and you have your own reasons for that choice. But problems with TV service aren't only limited to Time Warner. DirecTV has problems too, not to mention service calls aren't free. My mom found that out the hard way. I just don't want to be part of the problem. I beg you to not take it out on techs when you have problems.
I would however be very interested to hear what your problems have been. I like to have feedback to defend me when I tell some of the higher ups why it is difficult to do my job at times.
I will say Time Warner is really expanding its customer service department and Technician force in an effort to create a better customer experience. Unfortunately, quanity doesn't equal quality in most cases, but what do I know, I just deal face to face with the customer.