Problems with Time-Warner Digital Phone

My Time-Warner digital phone service has been out for more than nine days (and counting), and Time-Warner has provided poor customer service and has been unable to correct the problem. Now they tell me that I will have to change my phone number (which I have had for more than 4 years) because of an "Rate Center Violation", although none of their techs understand how this could happen since my house hasn't moved.

With a few exceptions, it appears to me that most of their technicians lack common sense in solving a problem, relying instead on a cookbook or check list, and when problems are finally diagnosed, they seem unable to actually correct the problems. I have had to wait practically endlessly on hold to get help, and then was forced to call back and wait on hold again when they failed to fix the problem, or disconnected me. If you are considering Time-Warner digital phone, don't. You will be better off with another carrier.

I have had digital phone service since August of 2003, originally with Comcast. When Time-Warner took over the comcast franchise in our area, they continued to provide digital phone service under the comcast name for a little more than a year before they contacted customers and us that they were discontinuing Comcast digital phone, but that they would like us to switch over the Time Warner Digital phone, and they would make the transition smooth. Their literature that they provided told us "You will keep your same phone numebr".

Well, when they made the change, they sort let us keep oue number of provided that, for our primary number, but the first problem was their their new service, part of "all the best", wasn't really the best. Whereas we had distinctive ring (and two phone numbers) on out Comcast digital phone, Time-Warner was incapable of providing distinctive ring, so we lost the second number. The part of Time-Warner that was still running the Comcast digital phone was unwilling to provide even a recording on the lost number that the number had changed.

Anyway, after the change, things worked fine for a little more than a month, with at least the primary number that they had "ported" from Comcast digital phone. Then all of a sudden on December 2nd, with no notice from Time Warner, people calling our number started receiving a message that our phone number was not in service. Calls out still worked, however. We called them on December 2nd, and the tech told us to try resetting and power cycling out digital phone modem (despite the fact that I told them this was more likely a routing problem internal to their system). The tech promised to call us back on our cell phone since power cycling would diconnect us and we did not want to wait on hold again for close to an hour. As we have come to expect from Time-Warner, the tech never called back.

I contacted Time-Warner by email, and was told they had to talk to us by phone. They never made the promised return call.

On Saturday, December 8, almost a week after we reported the problem, we still did not have the ability to be reached by phone. I called and waited on hold and finally got a tech, who seemed very confused by the problem and applied the checklist approach scheduling someone to come out on Monday and wanting us to wait around, even though the problem clearly was a routing problem and not a problem on out premises.

On Sunday, December 9, I finally reached a competent level three technician who, after almost two hours talking with me finally tracked down the problem, as in essense a routing problem which I told them a week before. He did have more information for me that I did not know, in that the problem was a "Rate center violation" meaning that according to them, my address is not a valid address for the phone number that I have been using for 4 years. He was going to put in a trouble ticket to have this problem taken care of, and I really believe that this tech did all he could do, and that the problem is higher up at Time-Warner.

While I had been traveling during the prevous weeks, so it is possible that there was an earthquake that moved out house that I might not have felt because I was away, I figured my neighbors would have told me when I returned, so I fail to see how we are now in a different rate center that makes out phone number no longer valid. And if we were, what about the requirements for number portability.

On Monday, December 10, I called again, got a different tech and had to explain all of this to him again and he was very confused and took offence when I told him he was acting like a level 1 tech. He seemd to want me to power cycle the modem again, despite all the notation sin the record.

On Tuesday, December 11th I called again, got a level 3 tech that seemed competent, but seemed less interested in helping me that other technicians. He said that all they could do is issue a new phone number. I insisted that they provide me with the information about the rate center boundaries so that I could confirm their story or explain why they were in error, and he became obtructive and defensive telling me it wasn't their fault, that the FCC told them to disconnect my phone, and that they couldn't do more. I demanded contact information for the agency or individuals that issued the memo and was given the extremely unhelpful and insulting answer that I should look in the phone book for the FCC. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was disconnected. I called back and asked to speak to a supervisor and was connected to voicemail, left a message, but as of the time I am writing this I was never called back.

Whether or not there is a technial issue, it appears that someone internal to Time-Warner had entered a request to disconnect my service without my request, and without so much as contacting me or sending a letter. No one has explained, or even apologized for that matter, for having disconnected my service with no notice. In my opinions, action like this are grossly negligent.

I am currently trying to have my phone number ported to AT&T, as I really hope to avoid any dealings with a company that I percive as incompetent as Time Warner. To me it seems they should change their branding to be "All the Worst."

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