All The Worst - A Review
Time-Warner Cable advertises their three service combination as All
the Best, but this name is very misleading. I find this name to be
misleading,and in my opinion they should be calling it All the Worst:
worst relaibility, worst customer service, and more.
As I am writing this, my digital phone service from Time-Warner cable
has been out for nine days, and still counting. The linked pages have more information on my problem, as well as complaints that I have received from others about their problems dealing with Time Warner.
Time-Warner Cable, Digital-Phone, and Internet
Misleading Billing Practices at Time-Warner Cable
Sometimes is seems that everyone loves to hate the cable companies, and
with many of these companies, that reputation is well deserved. Not
only do they often provide awful customer service, with customer
service reps that don't understand the wervices that they provide, but
often when one solves one problem, new problems pop up right away.
Where I live we get a weak cable signal, less reliable in many cases
than getting our local stations over the air (in HD). But if we want
the added channels that come with cable, we are forced to deal either
with a cable company, or alternatives like DirecTV or Dish Network.
The extra charges
As with any purchase, it is important to read the fine print and learn
what additional charges you will incur above the "advertised" price.
This is important in most telecommunications products where taxes are
extra. For cable and sattelite TV, pay particular attention also to
the equipment charges. These are usually not included in the
advertised price and there will be fine print mentioning that they are
extra. In many cases, you can't get the services without such
equipment and without paying these extra charges.
At least with our local Time Warner's current rate structure (August
2007), it actually is possible to hook up a television with digital
cable without an equipment charge if your television set is capable of
taking a "Cable Card". In our local area, the rental fee for the
cable card is zero (they will charge you if you lose the card and
don't return it, but rental is free). But time-warner will try to
talk you out of using the cable card because it does not at present
support two-way communication, which means no impulse purchase of
pay-per-view or similar programming - and they want you to make those
impulse purchases. If you go with a separate cable box, then you will
pay an additional equipment rental fee of $4.01 for standard box, and
$4.77 if you want high-def. This really isn't all that bad, and they
do disclose such equipment fees even if they do try to mislead us by
leaving those fees out of the rates in big number prominently
displayed in their advertisements (i.e. the numbers they want you to
use when comparing with their competitors).
2008 Update: Time warner started to charge monthly for the cable card.
Other rental fees have changed also, some went down, and some went up.
As with similar services, if you want to connect a second television
with a cable box, you will be charged $6.95 for a "digital programming
fee", but their programming fee is listed in their rate card as
including a digital converter and remote, which seems like a
reasonable fee (actually, it is quite high, but we have been so numbed
to being charged such fees that it seems reasonable compared to what
we will really end up charged). Here is the catch, though. The fee
includes a standard digital converter, and even though the difference
in the monthly fee between the standard digital converter and the HD
converter is only $0.76, if you opt for the HD converter they actually
charge you the full $4.77 extra, beyond the programming fee. It works
like this - they charge you the programming fee, and then charge you
for the HD converter and remote on top of the programming fee,
basically pocketing themselves the fee for the standard converter and
remote that they don't give you. They do not tell me this - I only
found out about it after several statement (actually, you might be
able to notice it on your first statement, but that one is usually
such a mess because of all the partial month prorations that it is
Digital Phone cut-over and the better rate that isn't
I had my telephone service with Comcast Digital phone and for months
after the fransize was taken over by Time-Warner I kept getting
request from them to switch to the Time-Warner digital phone service
with the promise of better rates. Each time I checked, I found out
that I would end up paying significantly more for the services I
needed than with my current plan.
Here's why: I had highly optimized my selection of services, relying
on the "distinctive ring" service in the Comcast premium package so
that I could have two phone numbers. The Time-Warner services did not
offer distinctive ring, so if I were to switch, I would have to pay
for two separate lines to have two phone numbers. Now, as part of
their agreement with the county to transfer the franchise, I think
they were required not to raise prices for a certain period of time.
They seem to want to get around that by reducing services - forcing
customers to purchase pricier services to get similar functionaility
that they once had less expensively from Comcast.
Back to http://they.cheated.us
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