Yesterday I called TimeWarner to cancel my cable/telephone/internet package. I wanted to cancel that bundle and just have internet along with basic cable. I had to call their toll free number because TimeWarner doesn't allow customers to change their service on their web page, that would be way too close to good customer service. I go through their interminable phone tree and choose, "service reduction." The first person to answer the phone seems to be pretty sure that the package I have is "an excellent deal." I agree with her. She tells me she has to put me on hold so she can see what my cost will be when I switch. I am on hold for almost five minutes. She comes back and gives me a price that is $50 more than I am currently paying (she had pretended not to understand which cable package I wanted). Once we straighten out what I really want she then tells me what I currently have is "really good deal." I agree again. I then say, regardless of that, I would still like to reduce my service. She seems shocked that after being informed twice of how good of a deal I have that I would still want to switch. I assure her that I want to continue with the service reduction. She then tells me that she has to transfer me to someone else who can do that. Essentially, when you choose "service reduction" from the phone tree the first person you talk to is there to convince you not to reduce your service. Before she transfers me she quotes me a price of $69 for internet and $20 for basic cable. I am then back on hold while she transfers me. I am on hold again for almost five minutes.
The next person tries also assures me I have a good deal and seems perplexed that I would want to reduce my service. I assure her I would very much like to reduce my service. She then says that before we start she wants to have me answer some survey questions. I tell her immediately that I do not want to answer any questions. She is very surprised at that. She is off script! As we move forward she tells me the price I was quoted was not correct and I can her derision, as if I deserve such service at that price. Finally, I am over this whole call. We are over twenty minutes now. I tell her to forget about the basic cable. I just want internet, nothing else. I think, at this point, she senses that any further stalling will be futile and we finally complete the transaction. I now have 200 mps internet for $90 a month. A fairly large reduction in costs. Total time wasted: 27 minutes. This should have taken no longer than ten minutes. When Google Fiber arrives I will be able to access 1000 mps for $70. I will be joining Google Fiber the day it is available.
This interaction with TimeWarner was educational. I had read about the frustration others have felt doing what I was trying to do. I was prepared for the runaround but it was still frustrating. The operators I was talking to were trying to get me to do one of two things, reconsider my decisions by attempting to convince me I had a great deal or have me end the call out of frustration. I did find it a little sad that this is where we are with some companies. It is a running joke that that the cable company is going to jerk you around on the phone. We expect it. This is their business model. They want to Upsell you and then resort to subterfuge in order to keep you hooked.
It's disappointing that TimeWarner couldn't view me as a longtime customer (which I am) who was disappointed with the services he was receiving for what he was paying (which I also was). If I told the manager of the local Showmars that was no longer going to eat as his store because I thought the food and service weren't worth my patronage he would ask me what they could do to improve my experience. Timewarner when faced with the same situation resorted to tactics that were designed to make me feel like I was the problem. I am not a customer to them, I am a revenue stream that once they receive they treat as theirs. It's not the public's fault the way cable works is ass backwards. It's your business plan, Timewarner, that requires bundling. I'm done paying for TV channels I don't watch. Until you have a menu, like Showmars, then piss off.