Saturday, October 20, 2012

TWC: Dissing Customers! and Catholics!

Not Getting What You Paid For?  Stations missing from that fancy 55" flat screen digital TV that you recently bought?  You are not alone!

It is really disturbing that in the middle of a presidential campaign ... and just as two local saints are being canonized ... Time Warner Cable chooses to futz with C-Span and EWTN (along with several other channels) to make them unavailable to customers who are paying for them unless they go to Time Warner to get an additional piece of equipment!  (To add insult to injury, you have to install the equipment yourself.)

I cannot say that I was not warned that something was going to change on 10/10.  I got a letter dated 9/4/12 from Mike Munley, President of Residential Services, indicating that if I wanted to continue viewing these channels "on additional direct-connect analog TVs (and similar devices)" I could request, for a limited time, a Digital Adapter -- free of charge through November, 2013, and then 99 cents/mo. thereafter. But I do not have an analog TV... and my flat screen technological marvel is not similar. Why should I need a digital adapter for a digital set?  Well it's been 10 days and several digital channel scans and still no C-Span and no EWTN ... but now I get several heretofore undelivered Syracuse stations (which carry the same networks as Utica stations) and a duplication of stations found elsewhere on the dial.

I can understand TWC wanting to conserve bandwidth so it can deliver even more trashy channels that I won't watch, but with all the duplication, this is obviously not about conserving bandwidth. And since all new TVs are digital but still require the adapter, it's not about going digital.   It's about forcing you to use a box, for which you will eventually pay a monthly fee, on every set in your house.

I thought we ditched set-top boxes back in the 1980s!

If I have to use a box/adapter/whatever, and waste the digital tuning technology in my new TV -- or pay for stations that I cannot receive --  then I might as well look at alternatives like Dish, DirecTV, or FIOS which require a box for everything.   In the meantime, I intend to complain to the authorities:  each local municipality from which TWC must receive a franchise before doing business ... state agencies ... Why stop there? This could go even higher: to  the Bishop ... or the Pope!

Mr. Munley claims TWC is "committed to bringing you ... high-quality entertainment" and that "We appreciate your business ..." but TWC just made 2 high-quality stations inaccessible without special equipment ... and I do not feel appreciated.  Frankly, I'm disgusted. 


Anonymous said...

My recent experience with TW include being put on hold for 45 min. waiting for technical assistance regarding my internet connection. TW is nearly imposible to contact by phone & I've had to call them over & over & over again due to busy signals. This month I attempted to contact them at least 50 times by phone in order to pay my bill. I finally gave up only to have my service disconnected for non-payment! When I finally was able to get thru by phone after a myriad of busy signals I was told that I would have to pay an additional $5 as a "courtesy charge" in order to make the payment over the phone! I will not repeat my reaction here as this is a clean site.

TW is the worst outfit I've ever had the misfortune to do businesss with. And as soon as I'm able I will be switching my phone & internet service back to Verizon & I'm cancelling my cable. I've had enough of TW.

Dave said...

I once told a TW rep that dealing with them made me feel like I was buying a watch from a street vendor on 42nd Street. They are a state commission sanctioned con game and they lie, cheat and ... yes, the result is they essentially steal from us. By the way, what they did to your C-Span (which you have already paid for with taxes) and your EWTN, they did to everyone right after the first Gulf War. When CNN became popular, TW switched it their premium line-up. I guess we should not be surprised when our "leaders" allow the oil companies to jack up gasoline prices for holiday weekends. But rather than blame only the criminals, we should blame our elected representatives.

Anonymous said...

SO now I know what is going on with these missing channels on TWC. I never received any letter about the changes. I have been trying to call them but I am constantly being told that my wait time is around 10 minutes every time I call them. I have waited the 10 minutes but still no connection with a human. It was on Tues or Wed that I noticed in the legal notices that several channels which included EWTN were being dropped and I can't remember what else it said.I have been since notifying EWTN through there web page that my area is not covered yet I am still paying for there program. I wish TWC would bring back the channels particularily EWTN. I watch Mass each day and really wanted to watch the cannonization ceremony today. I have a digital TV which is only two years old and my set does not need a box or adapter.

Strikeslip said...

Anonymous -- I am sorry you are unable to watch the cannonization. It is beautiful. I am watching it now on TV -- via the internet and my ROKU. It may take time, but TWC will eventually pay for dissing customers as people go elsewhere for internet ... and then buy content directly from the channel providers (like The Blaze TV) instead of middlemen brokers .. like TWC that bundle a hand full of good channels with a lot of junk. People don't mind paying for what they like ... but do mind paying for things not used. If TWC wants to maintain customers it will move toward the a la carte model instead of away.

Mango Man said...

I too, am disturbed over Time Warner pulling their stunts and making the public pay for a box that was never needed.

Taking the Catholic and Golf Channels and others and making them unreachable under a standard cable format is unconcionable.

I think we should all write to: Whalen, David -

and tell him how upset we are about this company. TWC needs competition and New Vision in Syracuse may be the one to put them in their place.

Strikeslip said...

Mango Man. (!) ... Who is David Whalen?

Mango Man said...

Mr. Whalen is the key point-of-contact for upstate New York matters concerning Time Warner Cable. In short, he is the "go-to" person.

Let's all let him know how we feel about this Corporate entity trampling our rights to free channel use and not legalized extortion.

Greens and Beans said...

WOW!!! I agree. We had to spend hours just attempting to get the new box to work on our six month old set! We switched from Satellite some time ago for the convenience of having Cable, telephone and internet for one price. But the bundle that we bargained for has diminished in terms of having less variety of viewing. The number of channels has remained the same, but the redundancy of having the same channel on three different channel numbers is nonsense. Franchising cable TV by local governments has monopolized the service resulting in it being akin to having socialized TV. A major cell phone carrier in our area is even worse to deal with!

Mango Man said...

New York State Fair Officials were very impressed with New Vision ( ) after TWC said they could not give support to Fair Officials.

I would recommend communicating with this company as their efforts in changing the dynamics appears positive to the consumer.

Anonymous said...

Anytime government is involved, choices are limited and services reduced. Wait until we're fully under Obamacare.