Archive for May 3rd, 2007

I Hate My ISP

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Believe it or not, that headline is also a title of a song. I found it apt.

I just checked my archives, and I can’t believe I haven’t ranted on this sooner, but I hate Time Warner Cable! Now, no one’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) is perfect, but they are extra special. What irks me about them is how they’re managed–that is, they really aren’t. But let me back up.

A few months ago, I started getting random Internet drops. I’d be surfing along or playing a game, when suddenly my instant messaging client would disconnect, my game would drop me, and it’d be no more Internet for Chris. This would happen several times an evening, but it was sporadic. Sometimes I’d go a whole day or so with no apparent Internet issues. Other times it’d happen several times an hour. This was no good. Eventually I noticed that whenever this would happen the TV picture would go to static briefly, too, which led me to believe it was a problem with the signal entering the apartment. So, naturally I call Time Warner Cable (TWC). This was my first mistake.

After over a half an hour on hold, I get through to a polite, but ultimately unhelpful phone tech. They agree to send out a guy to check my lines. About what I’d expect, but here’s where things start to break down. First, the guy shows up, test my stuff and says “all the numbers are fine”, even though he was there when I had a random interruption. He replaces a few ends of cables and some of my splitters and goes on his merry way. I call back the next day and the same things happen. This goes on for MONTHS. They send a guy, he twists a wire or something, and nothing is done. They say they forward on the issue to “their supervisor” and then nothing happens. The techs also say they get no feedback from above one way or the other, so they have no idea if anyone is looking into the problem after they send off a request for next level support. My only option was to “keep calling in” as they say. What kind of support is that?!? They KNOW I have a problem, and all they can tell me is to keep calling until someone is forced to do something about it? That’s just dumb. The last tech to come just flat out said there was nothing else he or I could do. He even said other people were having the same problem in my neighborhood and have been for months. A total disconnect between techs in the field and higher-level engineers/management.

I would have been satisfied with only a little more information. If I had heard back from this mythical “maintenance” group or TWC management. If their techs could tell me more of what was going on. If I could get a goddamn credit on my account before the issue was “resolved.” (Yeah, get this, I tell the techs on the phone what was going on and asked for a credit to my account and they tell me they can’t provide more than a $20 credit until after the issue is closed. I tell them I’m feeling like that’s unlikely. Oh, and I didn’t even get the $20.) I even drove all the way out to their main local office in Chatsworth (about 20 miles away) so I could speak to someone face-to-face on this. I got about as far as I did on the phone. At every level I could talk to someone, people said they were sorry I was having trouble, but they were totally apathetic as to what to do about it. The buck was passed into the ether, they were done.

Oh and what REALLY pissed me off the most was when I called in to get this fixed, right at the top of the phone tree after pressing “1” for English, I get an ad for pay-per-view boxing! Press “1” to order in hi def! Press “2” for regular def. Press freakin’ “8” for technical support! SERIOUSLY! THEY ACTUALLY HAD THE GALL TO ADVERTISE PAY PER VIEW FIGHTING TO ME WHILE I’M TRYING TO FIX MY CABLE!!! And while I’m on hold they keep advertising the same thing every couple minutes! GAH! Talk about insult to injury!

Wow, I’m still pretty steamed about this it seems. Maybe it’s because I’m still hearing it. The entire time I’ve been writing this (plus ten minutes before) I’ve been on hold with Time Warner Cable. I’m calling to cancel my Internet service. I got the DSL hooked up last week and it hasn’t dropped me yet! My phone reads 32 minutes on hold so far…