Time Warner Cable - Admits problem, denies repairs

There is a lot to be said for befriending a disgruntled worker. Imagine the frustration for one family who had purchased a new HDTV. The brought the television home and had it professionally installed. Then they called up the cable company to have the HDTV service set up for the television.

The first worker came out and worked with the cables for a bit. He grunted, swore, switched wires and tried a few things before declaring that this was the best they could do and cable was set up. He promptly left the customer’s home. When the family settled down to watch their expensive television that night, the noticed that the quality of the HDTV service wasn’t very good. The television didn’t look very high-definition at all, in fact!

One look behind the television showed the reason why. The cable company had used a regular RCA cable to connect the television to the cable service. Thinking this was perhaps an oversight, albeit a frustrating one, the family was on the phone with the cable service the next day to set up an appointment to fix the problem.

A new technician showed up to resolve the service issue and tried his own variation of a solution with an HDMI cable. He spent a few minutes with various cables and tried a variety of channels before he reconnected the RCA cables. When the family – who was now understandably frustrated by this – confronted the technician, he told them that the television was small enough that they wouldn’t even notice that the HDMI cable wasn’t working properly with the cable set-up. He promptly left without resolving anything.

Infuriated, the family called the cable provider again. They had an HDTV and they were most certainly being billed for HDTV services. They wanted the cable provider to do their job and hook up that HDTV service.

This time – the third time – the family lucked out. They got the disgruntled employee who was able to pull the curtain back on some of the shady practices that this particular cable company utilized. It turns out he wasn’t a big fan of the company either.

As this cable technician worked, he told the family the truth. The cable company was very aware that their service in this family’s location was not adequate and they have no immediate plans to do anything about it.

Instead, the technicians were actually trained by the cable company to distract the customers, offer placating words and to actually convince customers that half-hearted attempts at fixing an issue that can’t really be fixed was a complete solution – all while knowing that there is no real solution to the problem. Meanwhile the company was charging HDTV fees without ever intending to resolve the HDTV service.

This family wised up immediately after the technician’s visit. They still didn’t have the HDTV service that they had tried for so many times. So they cancelled their cable altogether. Now they have a new cable provider with its own issues, but that company has been honest about those issues – so far at least!