Thursday, January 17, 2008

I Love You, Time Warner Cable

I'm dripping in sarcasm right now.

Note to anyone calling Time Warner Cable (and this may be true of other subscription services) - if the endless voicemail prompts say "Press 1 for billing questions, press 2 to add services or upgrade, or press 3 to move or cancel a service," always press #2!

I had a billing question so I naturally pressed 1 and was put on hold for 5 minutes. I had a simple question - "Why did my cable bill go up $30.00 this month?" This seemed like a easy, read-from-the-script answer for the customer service agent. When I got a live person, she told me to hold momentarily to review my account. Apparently, she went to lunch because I sat on silent hold for 30 minutes without a response.

In my rage, I called back to cancel my service and switch to satellite (which I had been pondering for a while anyway). This time, I took option 3. I sat on hold for 15 minutes (this time not silent), with no sign of picking up. They didn't even have the "Your call is important to us/We are experience unusually high volume" messages every 2 minutes. I surmised that I was funneled into a virtual holding room with other pissed off customers by Time Warner where I would sit endlessly until I a) cool down a bit and succumb to the persuasive techniques of their CSRs, b) give up and wait to cancel on another day, thus earning them a few extra bucks and a few more days that I may reconsider, or c) demonstrate to them that I am so upset that I will sit on hold till the end of time and making me wait at the end of the cue makes little difference anyway.

I went for option (b) - I'll cancel another day.

Fast forward a few days. I called again, and in my brilliance I decided to press 2. I didn't get through 3 measures of whatever smooth jazz tune was playing before someone picked up....coincidence, I think not.

I'm going to try that from now on. Whenever I have to call a large company for customer service, I'm going to always tell the automated voicemail that I'm adding a service or what to give their company more money; I don't need to be manipulated by evil corporations!

If you're curious, I never got a straight answer as to why my bill went up...only something about grandfathering in old Adelphia codes and receiving a letter that looked like a flyer that warned of this many months ago that I probably didn't read. Part of me wanted to really get into it at this point, then I felt bad for my poor CSR Miranda who would be on the receiving end and decided it wasn't worth my time or her awkwardness.

I didn't cancel my service (their evil plan worked!) mainly because I didn't want to jeopardize my viewing of the Trinidad v. Jones Jr. fight this Saturday. However, I did lose most of the channels that I rarely if ever watch.


Fortune said...

I've always found it's best to just press "0" three or four times when calling one of those automated systems.

There is some list online somewhere of the best ways to get to a real person when calling x.

Captain Chipmunk said...

Thanks fortune! Now if there was only a button to push that would give those on the other side of the line a clue!