Navigating to Satellite

By: Mr. Wilson on January 25, 2008
It's official, Time Warner Cable customers: no refund for you. Well, not on a city-wide scale, anyway. All complaints about TWC's "Navigator" DVR software will be handled the way they've always been handled -- one at a time. I would hope that anybody who has had a poor experience with Navigator would have already been compensated and/or switched to satellite. If you haven't, what are you waiting for? A couple months ago I had a customer service problem with TWC. Here are some tips to help you get what you want:
  • Know your problem. Be specific and accurate.
  • Don't exaggerate. If you exaggerate the customer service rep will just roll her eyes at you. Tell it like it is.
  • Be patient. Losing your cool won't help your cause.
  • Be nice, especially to the folks low on the ladder. They aren't the ones you're angry with.
  • Don't expect too much help from the customer service rep. Some companies give their reps a lot of power, and some don't. Time Warner appears to fall into the latter camp.
  • Know what you want, and tell them. Be prepared to bargain a little. Make sure your demands are reasonable; don't aim too high, and don't settle for less than you deserve.
Here is an excellent example (ending contains foul language) of a customer support call that is almost perfectly executed. It's funny, sure, but the guy gets a lot of things right.


See what your friends and neighbors have to say about this.

January 25, 2008 at 3:15PM

I think it’s time that we, the people, took more action. I don’t believe for a minute that people have stopped having troubles - I think they just got weary of complaining and have let it go. I came her and defended TWC to some degree around April or May, but my goodwill has long since passed. I could (and should, and probably soon will) shut up, get a dish, and go quietly into the night, but I think they’re perpetuating a scam on the good citizenry of this fair city. I think Jeff Korbelik has done some nice articles to put a little heat on them and keep it in the public eye. I’d like to share with him some facts that I’ve had and relate my recent experiences with him - anyone think that’s a worthy idea?

Mr. Wilson
January 25, 2008 at 3:18PM

It wouldn’t hurt. If you want to write something up, you’re welcome to post it here, too. My audience isn’t quite LJS big, but it’ll reach a few thousand eyes.

January 25, 2008 at 3:21PM

Cool. I will try to do it this afternoon.

January 25, 2008 at 3:25PM

I had some problems with the navigator when it first came out.  It skipped taping a couple of my shows and I finally called in and they gave me a discounted rate on my cable bill for 6 month.  I really haven’t had any problems with it in some time now.  I know that some people seem to think that TWC has a monopoly in Lincoln but I disagree.  If you don’t like TWC you can go to any number of dish services for a similar price or less.  That means there are options and in my mind that means no monopoly.  Just my two cents.

January 25, 2008 at 11:07PM

On January 4, I sent the following to Time Warner Cable via email in response to asking for feedback about their services:

“Since you asked, here are my thoughts. For starters, I would like to give a big thumbs-up to Ann Shrewsbury, who takes my repeated emails like a champion and always responds quickly and professionally and is a joy to work with.

Beyond that, I am still pretty disappointed in my cable service, as it seems like “Cable TV” is just not as important to TimeWarner as pushing Roadrunner (which I have), digital phone (which I don’t need) and now the Sprint cell phone service (why?).

There is such a push to sell HDTV’s, yet the HD offerings are still pretty abysmal, and pale sharply in comparison to satellite. I get this colorful mailing every month touting HDTV, and I got a year-end brochure that had to have set TWC-Lincoln back at least $250,000 - all promising me great things. The last two mailings promised me THREE new HD channels, but lo and behold, when the new year struck, there were only TWO. Will the price increase vs. 2007 only be 67% of what was announced? I didn’t think so.

More frustrating, is to see how many more HD channels are offered on other Time Warner systems in the US. If Time Warner has carriage deals with these channels, why can we not get them here? We get saddled first with the awful Navigator, but last when it comes to new channels? Why?

From Albany: (Notes are from me)
“Albany Time Warner Cable added following new HD channels around 11PM on Thursday, December 20th:
CNN (not here)
Food Network (not here)
HGTV (not here)
History Channel
National Geographic (not here)
Outdoor (not here, who cares)
Versus (not here - great sports!)
Weather Channel (not here)l”

How can we get almost none of those networks?

The Piedmont Triad area in NC:
MHD (not here)
Lifetime Movie Network HD (not here)
HD Showcase on Demand (not here)

Is there any good explanation? Bandwidth? How do the others do it? Why not drop a shopping channel or two, or not have mutiple channels of Speed TV or other duplicates?

Check out this link:

Why no aggressiveness in Nebraska? Why are we paying premium prices for less than the best offerings and options?

Thanks for listening. I’d love to have a reply.”

Of course, I had no reply. It has, in fairness, only been 21 days.

The thing that bothers me is that other TWC have a lot more HD channels to offer. And I didn’t even bring up the whole NFL Network fiasco. Now, I read that they plan to “test” a pricing plan for Roadrunner where heavier users will pay more. Aren’t the costs to deliver that service going down? I still pay what I paid many years ago. Why even threaten to jack up the price?

I just don’t think our particular TWC office is well run, or offers good support. I don’t know how to get these thoughts to higher-ups than here.

Thanks for the platform!

Ann Shrewsbury
February 19, 2008 at 12:54AM

Fletch—Thanks for the nice words. If there’s something else I can do to help, please let me know. We really do care about our customers.

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