Should I sue Time Warner Cable for what is basically theft?

Should I sue Time Warner Cable for what is basically theft?

I expect to get what I pay for. I expect others, including companies, to perform the services they promise to perform. Time Warner Cable is a joke, one of, if not the, worst large company I have dealt with in my 41 years on this Earth. Personally, I’ve never sued anyone, although I’m an attorney. I’m contemplating suing TWC and I’m curious as to what others think about this. It’s not as if this is the first time TWC has ripped its customers or shareholders off.

In fact, TWC has been rated as the second most hated company in the USA!  (Bank of America on the “rise” on that list).

I’ll very, very briefly summarize what I’ve gone through with TWC (and this is only in the last 18 months, putting aside previous pathetic behavior). This is based on memory – I do have written notes, but I’m not writing this as a legal brief – yet!

In June, 2011 we bought a home here in Charlotte. We scheduled transfer of our Time Warner Cable phone, internet, TV service to the new home. I confirmed that TWC had my cell phone number (despite having updated it at least twice in the past 2 years, they had a very old # on file.) TWC won’t show up for the appointment if you don’t answer your phone when they call in advance of the appointment – I laughingly reminded the TWC rep. to call my cell phone, not the home phone. TWC never showed up, but I enjoyed waiting for hours for them to do so. When I asked why they didn’t show, I was first told they showed up but I wasn’t there – a complete lie, I was there all day and was often in the front yard. Next I was told, by the very same person, that they didn’t show up but rather they called but I didn’t answer . .. TWC confirmed it called the home phone – the TWC phone line, the one that wasn’t even working at the time because they were in the middle of moving it over to the new home! Yes, they called their own number that they were supposed to be reinstalling. 

My new neighbors were already (politely) laughing at me: “Wait, you’re doing what? Getting Time Warner in this neighborhood? Good luck, you’ll need it.”

I ended up having to schedule 7 appointments with TWC to get everything up and running. This included twice when Time Warner Cable completely failed to show up, twice when they showed up but said they couldn’t finish for various reasons (including “it’s too hot”), and once when the tech implied that it was somehow my fault for not explaining to TWC what needed to be done (this, after TWC had been to the house 3 times), asked me details about how to install everything, and then suggested I pay someone to come on the weekend to finish up and do the work that TWC would otherwise charge me an arm and a leg for.

I filed a Better Business Bureau complaint. After much effort on my part, TWC made temporary improvements with regard to our service and refunded part of what we had paid.

Fast forward a few months. Some TV stations don’t work at all at times. Some of them freeze. At some point, TWC comes out again, and the guy agrees that we have a weak signal. Gee, ya think?

Fast forward a few more months. The upstairs digital box doesn’t work at all, our secondary TV is now totally out of commission. Some channels downstairs don’t work at all, some freeze. For a short time period, the phone didn’t work at all.

Now, mind you, while I have wasted hour after hour after hour and while I have been paying our bill, we have been getting less than full service. Interesting . . . if we pay only part of our bill, we get the entire service shut off, but Time Warner Cable can get away with demanding full payment while only providing part of the services paid for? You see, in some circumstances, TWC, that is referred to as “theft” or “fraud”.

We also spent about an hour trying to fix our access to our online account. We were told it was corrected, but then a few weeks later experienced the exact same problem and had to again spend more time trying to get this corrected. We were told that they had made the changes and updated the online account and account access.  A few days later, we discovered we could not log in – TWC rep. then informed us the previous two TWC reps. had not actually made the changes/corrections we were told had been made. TWC’s online account system is very inefficient . . . a cynical person might wonder if they intend it to be that way, to make it difficult for customers to access their information online and thus increase the amount of instances in which dissatisfied customers “give up” and just leave the status quo as is. I mean, this is a tech based company – why is their online access and website set up in such a non-customer-friendly way?

If our lives weren’t so busy (I’m running a multi-state law firm, my wife works hard as well, we have a baby, etc.), I would have switched from TWC earlier in time. In the summer of 2012 I started to look into alternatives.

I wanted to know what the cost would be to just use TWC for unlimited nationwide phone (not internet, not TV).  On July 31, 2012, this is what I asked TWC, repeatedly. I was very careful to explain what I wanted and what I was asking for, and I explained it the same way each time, to each TWC rep. I communicated with. The individual who finally (the third time I contacted TWC about this) corrected our online account problem said she could not assist with any pricing, and transferred me to “Joan E”.

I wanted to know who much it would cost me to have unlimited nationwide calling phone service only with TWC (no internet, no TV). “Joan E.” gave me different answers to this very, very simple question within the same online chat . . .after an hour total online, Joan E of Time Warner Cable told me that I would need to drive to a TWC office to get more information.

I then called TWC.  The TWC rep. gave me two different answers, neither of which matched what “Joan E” had told me during the online chat.

I then called TWC back a few minutes later to see if I could get a real answer to the very, very *complicated* question of “How much would it cost me to have only phone service, with unlimited nationwide calling included, via TWC?” I was told by the TWC telephone customer service and sales that I had to go online to get pricing for phone service.

I went online to chat again and further search for this Holy Grail – the price of TWC phone service! I chatted online with “Rudy”. Rudy of TWC online customer service could not verify any of the previous prices I was given or even give me a price, but told me he would transfer me to someone who definitely could resolve this issue.

I was transferred to “Jake”. Jake of TWC’s online customer service was unable to answer the question of how much it would cost me to have phone service only and wanted to transfer me to someone else. Awesomely, I was transferred back to Rudy!

I told Rudy I wanted a supervisor and I wanted answers, or I was filing (another) BBB complaint. He told me he was transferring me to a supervisor, but then said he was transferring me to just another analyst.

I was transferred to “Don”. I summarized this whole situation for Don, who wanted to transfer me back to sales!  (basically, the “customer service” department and the “sales” department kept passing me back and forth).

On July 31, 2012, I spent almost 3 hours communicating with Time Warner Cable in an attempt to get an answer to the question of “How much would it cost me to have only phone service, with unlimited nationwide calling included, via TWC?”  I communicated with 7 TWC reps. and was transferred 7 times. 5 of the reps. were unable or unwilling to give me any pricing information at all, and the other 2 reps., between them, gave me 4 different answers to the same question.

More recently we began to move forward with finally removing the blight that it is TWC from our lives. A few weeks ago, TWC rep. told me that TWC required 5 days’ advance notice to cancel services. To confirm, I asked “So if I told you today, Monday, to disconnect my services *immediately*, the earliest you’d do it is Saturday?” The Time Warner Cable rep. confirmed this. As part of the disconnect process, TWC (appropriately) has their reps. attempt customer retention, as studies consistently show it’s much more cost-efficient for companies to give existing customers a break than to have to try to earn new customers; in other words, it’s cheaper to give a current customer a break versus lose an existing customer and have to replace him/her with a new one.  Out of curiosity, I asked what the charge would be for internet only . . the “great deal” I was offered cost more than what TWC publicly offers to brand new customers. Oh. Good job, TWC. No thanks.

We had decided to replace TWC with ATT. I decided to wait until ATT was installed and running before putting in a disconnect order with TWC. Yesterday, we switched to ATT for TV and internet (we switched away from TWC for phone a few months ago). ATT was on time, the first time. They were professional. They appeared to know what they were doing. What they told me made sense. I was so, so happy to take all that TWC junk and put it by the front door (indoors, I’m too rational to have thrown it outside, despite the temptation) for pick-up.

Last night, I called TWC to disconnect. After going through the song and dance about whether I will reconsider, I was put on hold – “I’ll be right back to confirm the cancellation.” I waited. I took out the garbage. I cleaned up the baby’s toys. I talked to my mother in law. I ordered a pizza. I drove to pick the pizza up. Still on hold! After 32 minutes, I was disconnected from TWC, still sitting on hold, still without confirmation that the cancel order was confirmed. Interestingly, 15 minutes before the disconnect, while I was on hold, I got an email saying I had an appointment with TWC this week. If the email is intended to confirm disconnection of servicers (it doesn’t confirm this) , why was I still on hold 15 minutes after the disconnect order was perhaps placed?!

I called back a second time to try to confirm the disconnect order. After going through all the preliminary stuff and waiting on hold, I got to a human being, allegedly in Texas. She said she was putting in the cancellation order immediately .  . . but what about the 5 day waiting period, which her colleague told me about 2 weeks earlier? This TWC rep. knew nothing about that. I just started laughing, perhaps a little crazily. The rep. wanted me to drive the equipment back to a TWC office Monday, but said a tech was coming to the house this Tuesday . . . why would I take an hour out of my day and spend gas money to take the equipment back Monday if a TWC rep. was coming to my house Tuesday? She had no good answer. Ok, well what time range will the tech be at the house Tuesday? “There is no time range.” HUH?  What do you mean no time range? No 8 – 12? No 1-5? No 1 p.m. to midnight at least? I asked her “You do this all day, so you tell me – do people actually agree to just sit in their house all day and night, stay home from work, etc., just to give TWC the boxes back?”  I was wondering if refusing to give even a time range was TWC’s way of making it so difficult that people would just drive the boxes back to the TWC offices.

This discussion went on for a while, then finally I said “Can I mail the equipment back?” The answer was “Yes.”

By this time, I was back at the house with pizza and groceries, and my wife and mother in law were eating pizza and laughing at me while I was, of course, still on / on again with TWC, as I had been an hour earlier when we decided to order pizza.  We agreed that the services were being disconnected immediately. I asked for the mailing address, and the TWC rep. had to put me on hold to get it. I was on hold for 10 more minutes, waiting for TWC to tell me its own mailing address, when I said “Forget this, I can find the damn address myself in less time than this”. I hung up. I then got an email cancelling the “appointment” I had been emailed about earlier.

Wow. Over an hour to get my services cancelled, and even then it wasn’t truly completed. I still need to find the address to send the equipment to. Even on the way out, even as I was slipping through Time Warner Cable’s slimy grip, it still found a way to give me inconsistent information and waste my time.

At this point, I’m approximately 92.5% certain TWC will try to keep billing me into 2014 or so, despite the cancellation. I admit to a burning desire to sue TWC; whether I actually do so or not is up in the air.

If you and I, fair reader, ran our small businesses like this, we’d be out of business in weeks. If I behaved in this manner, I would literally lose my law license and be banned from practicing law, and that’s part of what angers me so much about these kinds of situations – the complete lack of any direct consequences when a company like Time Warner Cable essentially steals from its customers. Make no mistake, taking money for services you don’t provide is fraudulent and shameful. Imagine if you hired me to represent you in a lawsuit, I promised to provide the full services you needed in exchange for $5,000.00 but then knowingly failed to show up at some court hearings, failed to file some of the court documents needed, and gave you inconsistent advice that made no sense? I would be a fraud, a sham, a lawyer in need of punishment. Instead, I’m a lawyer writing about how TWC is in need of punishment.

Should I sue Time Warner Cable?

McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC provides legal services in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The firm offers full scale representation, as well as limited scope services.

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48 Responses to “Should I sue Time Warner Cable for what is basically theft?”

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  1. Marcia Henderson says:

    Jason:

    If your plight with TWC wasnt true it would be funny, actually because its true it is so ironically funny. I hate TWC and I agree with you there is never a point when you can get a straight answer. I have done the same things you have done (hung up call back and received a different answer) with the exception of writting the information down, getting the Reps name and then giving that information to the next Rep.

    I experience most of my difficulties with their internet service. You failed to mention that with ever single call they try to up sell you. I only have internet and cable and even when i complain about service they try to get me to increase my package, add more channels and more service.

    Insanity is not just a workout but the company motto for TWC.

  2. Stephanie McDonald says:

    That was my first reaction. I had a similar experience with Comcast a few years ago as far as their service levels. Our cable was not grounded when the install happened and when lightening came through the cable during a typical Charleston thunderstorm, it blew my brand new (a month old) flat screen TV, the cable box and our surround sound system. I was lied to so many times about how this was my fault, it was indeed grounded. I happened to be out of work and had time to mount a social media campaign demanding that someone pay attention.

    It took time, but I did end up getting the top manager of the services org at my house, admitting that my cable wasn’t grounded, and shockingly even though I’d had it looked at by 5 different reps, none of them bothered to ground it after the fact.

    I eventually ended up with a new TV, and Knology. Overall I’m happy with them, although they have had two major internet outages in a little over a month.

    So should you sue? What are you hoping to gain? If you have a clear goal in mind, and you can perform the suit at low or no cost being an attorney, I’d say go for it. I’m not a litigious person but feel your pain, man.

    Steph

  3. Shiv Patel says:

    First off, Jason I am a student in mechanical engineering and business therefore I do not know the law as well as you do. Nevertheless, I am pursuing to be an entrepreneur by starting a small college business next semester. My uncle, who works at a local liquor store that does fairly well, greets every customer as they are family because he believes you should treat each customer as you would treat a hundred customers. I recall him saying, “treat your customer if they are your god.” I understand your concerns with this situation, but known that you are not the only one. The entire cable and internet service industry is known to be a pain. I challengebyou to find other customers with similar problems and start a social media campaign. Contact newspapers, magazines, other sources of media and put posts on Facebook and other sources of social media in order to voice your word. I assure you if you get you get others to support you, your voice will be heard. No company will change anything by one customer complaining. They won’t consider any changes until it affects their image and reputation because no organization wants bad publicity.

    To answer your question, yes you should sue them. You are a attorney and have never sued anyone, it might be a good learning experience.

    Pardon my grammar and English. I wish you the best of luck.

  4. Debbie says:

    Wow – it is funny the way you tell it, but I am sure it wasnt funning experiencing it. If you sue them, will you also sue the federal government for taking social security taxes out on the generations that they keep telling there wont be any social security for? That is a bigger case of theft to me!

  5. Shellie says:

    Perhaps I chuckled all the way through this because misery truly does love company. Man, I can relate so easily to this, except I disagree with the ATT part, they were pretty bad too. This is what happens without competition.

  6. Mary says:

    Oh what a familiar story. If I added all the hours traveling with broken equipment, time off work waiting for a service call and then calling back with billing issues…I would be a rich woman if I charged MY time. The billing was wrong for my 2 year locked plan right from the first month. After 18 months of bickering, I ended up calling a friend “in high places” to connect me to a TWC VP. She made it happen and people jumped when she said “fix it”. I should not have to enlist authorities to fix something so trite as a cable bill.
    Well, now my rural area has competition to TWC. Lacking competition is what makes this giant so grand and mighty on it’s throne. I have had frozen channels, dead land line (which I pay for children to use) and sometimes great difficulty just to pay my bill over the phone.

    I am happy to say that Direct TV has come to my area and my children are near driving age so we are switching to cell phones. Goodbye TWC…may you serve eternity in restless peace.

  7. Kevin says:

    I hate Time Warner. You know they have yet to pick up the boxes from when I cancelled their services and when I tried to get an address or for them to send a shipping label, they didn’t. It’s been three years…Yet, when I tried to take it to a local office they said I have to send them to time warner, its BEEN THREE YEARS…. and I still can’t get an address from them. They now want $800 to pay for this equipment that I have been trying to give back.

    • Kevin, I spent more than 15 minutes on hold recently with Time Warner Cable – waiting for TWC to find its “own” address for me to send the boxes to! I mean, it’s just embarrassing incompetence on every level. I eventually hung up, thinking “Heck, I can find their address more quickly than they can!”

  8. Milton Jones says:

    Jason:

    Suing is not viable; your “contract” with Time Warner includes an arbitration clause.

    My experience with TWC is more positive than yours; I am in Austin. However, service levels are highly dependent on local management and the quality of personnel … which may be affected by hiring mandates imposed by local governmental agencies.

    I wish you luck with AT&T … good initial setups … but, you are probably going to find more problems with service issues; ironically, they just don’t like to talk to customers on the phone. You will likely find yourself in automated hell !!

    If you want to get your pound of flesh, might I suggest that you file a formal arbitration demand being reasonable on charges you want refunded, indicate that you will return the equipment at arbitration, and include an amount for time wasted. Insist on a formal arbitration hearing instead of accepting their offer … and invite reporters from the local TV stations and newspapers to attend (might be good publicity also).

    IH

    • Hi Milton, thanks very much for the suggestions. I’d say you can generally sue despite an arbitration clause, and then the choice lies with the opposing party as to whether to invoke that clause or waive it (implicitly or explicitly). Having said that, arbitration would probably make more sense in this circumstance anyhow.

      I don’t particularly expect ATT to be wonderful, but if it’s bad, at least it’s “new” bad, right? (ha)

    • Jeff M. says:

      STAY AWAY FROM ATT UVERSE!!! THEY WERE EVEN WORSE.
      Hi Milton – I am in Austin also and having TWC price increase issues. TWC lied to me directly about the cost of my services. After a price-jacking experience with TWC a few years ago, followed by an even worse time with ATT Uverse (more lying and unexplained increases – “how many times is this promotional pricing ending? THREE!!?”), I asked the TWC sales agent SPECIFICALLY what the prices were going to be with promotion, after promotion, with premium channels and for how long, with all discounts, minus all discounts (DVR, etc). I took notes and recorded the conversation. I won’t go through the details. At first when I complained – they said they would honor their pricing as promised, but that did not last long. Now the monthly bill is $60 more than I agreed to up front – after all promotions and discounts ended. Over $750 per year.

      They expect us to roll over and 90% will. I will not. I will take them to small claims court. Just making them have to deal with me (over and over) will cost them thousands over time. We can hurt them – we just need to work together.

      This company (and ATT) must be destroyed. I remember when the USA wasn’t a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporations – does anyone else? Think pre – Reagan times. We got suckered into believing all this incessant FOX News – type garbage: that all government and regulation is bad, all private sector industry and corporations are good. With these huge corporations and their own law firms – they bought any part of the government they needed so they could rewrite all the regulations and tax rules. We ceded all responsibility for a civilized society and have allowed the gradual re-establishment of these monopolies until we are the serfs and slaves of the mega-oligopolies. Sounds dramatic I know – but it has happened.

  9. MIke says:

    Jason, with law experience and knowledge why not spark a class action? Or get more feedback from other customers.

    I’m from the Cleveland area and literally have had nothing but problems when Time Warner came in. In the early 2000s we had Adelphia, Comcast, and Roadrunner as options for broadband internet. Even at that point, with how archaic their systems were, service was far superior to what Time Warner is today. It’s a complete joke but they couldn’t care any less because of their monopolistic status.

    I’d be willing to contribute, whatever I am able to.

    • Dexter says:

      So Jason, whats the status on this cable monopoly? Are we the consumers going to finally stand united and together rise to counter the cable industry’s grip on their bad practices? Tell us what to do so we can hold them accountable for their wrong doings, bad business practices and incompetent ways. The only sure legal way to get even with them is by going with other company for service. Or, lets do what others are doing in europe, start a community owned and operated, from the ground up fiber optic network, like Green Fiber.

  10. Corey Benton says:

    I know exactly where you are coming from! I have spent nearly every night when I get off work, online with a “Tech Analyst” to find out what is going on with my cable box. It keeps freezing and scrambling my pictures. I’ve had countless technicians out and they’ve said the same thing, “weak signal”. So…who is going to fix it? Exactly. I would be extremely interested in a law suit against this leech of a company…or even an arbitration. Something to make them pay..and fix my service.

    • lisa says:

      I am having the same issues…I want to just “cut the cord” I am so ready to do this. Time Waner told me my contract was up Dec. 22. and today they told me it was December 22nd of 2014?? Unbeliveable….I need to find out how to get out of this so called “contract” and cannot see how I can be held locked into a contract when the cable doesnot work half the time because of a weak signal?
      but im going to start fighting. they will NOT get another $1500 out of me for over a years worth of crappy cable…im done!

  11. Nikki May says:

    Mr. McGrath, if you don’t sue them for yourself, will you sue them for me? Ha!

    I cancelled my service with Time Warner in November because I was moving to FL (luckily TW doesn’t cover my area). When I called to cancel my service, I asked if I should drop off their modem (I only had Internet) but they said they could just pick it up at the day I scheduled for them to turn it off. I scheduled them for the day before I was moving because I run a small business and still wanted to use my wireless up to the last minute. Well, they didn’t show up. The movers came the next morning at 7am, the Time Warner office wasn’t open yet so I took the modem with me down here to FL.

    I called them once I arrived in Florida, explained that they didn’t show up etc. They apologized, and said they would send me a box to mail it back to them. I gave them my new address and they said they would update my account and send it out. A month later after not recieving a box, I called them back. Turns out they sent the box to my old address. I once again gave them my new address. After that I kind of forgot about it. The modem has been sitting in my closet ready to send. Well today I got a phone call from a credit agency saying that I had a $90.61 balance on my TW account. I explained that isn’t possible. I asked why I havent gotten any written notification, and the collection agency had my OLD ADDRESS on file!! I hung up with the nasty collectors and logged into check my credit score. Sure enough, 2 month ago TW filed on my credit. I logged onto TWC.com. My balance shows $0. So I called them. They said the $90.61 balance is for unreturned equipment. I told them how I’ve tried to return the modem 3 times, and they admitted having sent the 2 boxes to my old address, and this person that I spoke with said they were unable to send a box to my new address because they didn’t have a service provider her. So why did the other 2 reps tell me they could and would?!? Every time I called I had asked them to update my information and send it to my NEW FL address and nobody that I spoke with before said that would be a problem. I finally got the mailing address so I could just mail it myself.

    I then asked if they could delete the bad mark from my credit and they said they can’t (even though they are the ones that put it there) and I would have to deal with the collection agency. I called back the collection agency and they said they don’t do “deletions” (not even a word) and I should have returned the equipment. Even after explaining 10 times that I tried numerous times, they said they wouldn’t/couldn’t. It doesn’t seem fair that I now have a negative rating on my credit because time Warner screwed up 3 times in a row. They shouldnt be able to mess with your credit without reprocussions.

    • Ms. May, that’s horrible – but I’m not surprised at all! Where did you move from? I need to figure out if this is a case we’d be able to handle (within our jurisdictions of licensure); I do practice in FL.

      • NIkki May says:

        I was only 1/2 kidding about suing them, Mr. McGrath. I just mailed the modem out today (I received the phone call from the collection agency yesterday, which was the first of my knowledge of this “balance” that I had from the equipment). After I get confirmation of the delivery of the modem I am going to attempt to contact TWC once again, and ask for a letter in writing that it was their mistake in order to forward to the collection agency who requires me to appeal “in writing”. If that doesn’t work, I’m planning on filing a complaint on both companies with the BBB and filing a complaint with the 3 credit agencies as well.

  12. Paula says:

    Don’t forget to sue for the medical attention needed to bring the blood pressure down after trying to communicate with TWC.. I don’t have a day go by without channels freezing up or the system going through a total reboot right in the middle of something I was trying to watch. I’ve actually gotten the run around just trying to inquire about if this is only happening on my connection or if other people in the neighborhood were complaining of the same things. I have come to realize there are no ” simple questions ” when it comes to calling TWC. Every question takes half of the cable organization to debate over for at least three months and another two months to get back in touch with us just to tell us our inquiry needs to be placed with another department. We also have heard the standard comment that our connection has a weak signal which they will repair but never see action. The whole situation is enough to make a person scream. Oh wait… I have done that already while my adoring family sat nearby fighting back the laughs at my feeble attemps on the phone….So I guess what I’m saying is I know exactly how you feel my friend and I sympathize. I’m totally disabled so I depend on the company of my connection more than most people I guess but when you pay for a service there are expectations of , at least, some effort to make the customer happy or am I just old and behind times? If anyone can force TWC to answer to someone on behalf of an angry public, I for one would be forever in your debt no matter the outcome. But in the main time, God be with you and yours and try to stay sane through all the madness!

  13. Burgandy says:

    Did you end up suing them? I have been trying to cancel my internet service from them and instead of cancelling it they just give me cheaper internet. Now I am just letting it get turned off and I didn’t pay the bills for April or May and now they’re telling me that in order to cancel it I need to pay the 158.12 for April and May PLUS the next payment for June and today is only May 12. Why would I have to pay for June if I haven’t even got to use it yet??? Glad I found this and now I know I’m not the only one they do this to.

  14. SMN says:

    YES SUE THEIR PANTS BUDDY CLASS ACTION STYLE I KNEW I WASN’T THE ONLY ONE WHO WAS GOING THRU THIS!! Word for word I went thru this and more not only once with TWC but on every occasion in the last 10 years thru multiple moves! Our problem is there aren’t any other providers in our area so we get nothing or TWC. Such a monopoly. The latest is they said they did a background check on me…really a background check for internet ? Next they come to the house say I owe them 200.07 for services to this address under a different account number and some other name name! They are here to collect, of which they said I don’t get a receipt and if I don’t pay they will turn off my current services that just got hooked up and paid 177.77 for and then proceeded to do just that, they went to the back and shut off my services. Not really an issue because I just called them to come bury their cable they laid out across 3 different yards and they got chewed on by neighborhood dogs so I had no services anyway! I could go on for miles about TWC and every single experience was just like what you described, literally I hope they go bankrupt, fail, and die out I hope they lose everything.

  15. Angela Bouie says:

    Good morning Mr. McGrath,

    I was also wondering if you proceeded with the lawsuit against TWC? It is 2:37 am in El Paso and instead of enjoying my sleep, I have been researching complaints and class action lawsuits. I can relate to many of the postings. I am currently dealing with an issue with TWC. I cancelled my services at the end of may due to billing issues and constant service failures. We left and tried another cable service provider, but unfortunately the service was worse so we switched back. We should have just stuck with internet.

    We experienced the same issues and after the bundle service agreement expired we received no notification of any sort and we ended up paying regular price for everything, but yet their bundle promotion is an ongoing promotion. We cancelled a month ago and they still had my banking info because they deducted out my account yesterday. We received acknowledgement a couple of days prior from a supervisor that we would be refunded from a previous withdrawal from my acct. Only to find out yesterday that she was not a supervisor and the refund request is only a review, but never a guarantee.I reported the female and tried to get some kind of resolution. No success. My bank has filed a fraud case against them for those charges. So right now it’s a waiting game.

    I say sue because the stress, financial strains, time, money, and wasted gas because of TWC’s unethical and fraudulent intentions against consumers that contribute to their entire existence should be stopped once and for all. They need to be made an example of and scare other corporate snakes. We need to fight back and I stand behind you all the way although I am here in Texas. Good luck and much success on bringing down TWC!

  16. Jonathan says:

    If you are serious about starting a Law Suite against them, I have a story you might want to hear. I’ve left my e-mail so you can contact me and I will send you back my cell phone number to which you can call me back at your convenience to discuss this. The way they run that business is extremely unprofessional and I payed $1,200 for a service I did not receive, plus time lost dealing with there incompetent staff. Either way, Please contact me as I would like an opinion on this matter & maybe you would at least be able to point me in the right direction because it is just ridiculous to let this company keep doing what it wants to without repercussions.

  17. Jordan says:

    Wow, I hope you sue them. I know I would if I was an attorney. I basically just read my own very experience, except yes, like you had feared, hearing from them for the first time ever since my service ended, two years later I am getting notification from debt collectors that I have $300 in bogus charges from the company. They couldn’t steal enough when I was a customer so now they have to try one last time!

  18. Scott says:

    Ditto! I disconnected my account in Greensboro NC in 2002 in good standing. Had Time Warner service in Charlotte 2007-2013. Attempted to move service to a new home in Mt. Holly and they said I owed them a $25 balance from 2002. Hello! I lived in the same home at the same address for 4 years after disconnecting service. Nobody ever told me about me owing them money. And if there was some record of a balance, why didn’t it show up the last 6 years when I transferred service to Charlotte? This smells like extortion of sorts.

  19. Nakia Baird says:

    What’s funny is I had the same problem with time warner cable and at&t I live in bedford ohio and right now we just don’t have internet service ,so far as the television I had the freezing problem,the non working internet and the phone which also did not work but because of the way these companies are there really is not anything that can be done ,I refused to pay twc for the last month because my services was not working but they charged me $155.00 anyway and that on my credit report.

  20. Kathy says:

    I read all of what you wrote, shaking my head as I read. I have TWC and ready to get rid of them myself. Their business practice is off the wall and they get away with it. I hope you did sue them, and I hope many more have but would it help? Nothing will fix a company all about greed and nothing else.

  21. Ariana says:

    You can sue on my behalf. Time Warner owes me $111 from May and I have yet to see a penny of this money. I know it’s a rather small amount in the grand scheme of things, but I can’t get over the fact that the just won’t give me my money back. THAT is theft. You have my email, feel free to get in touch with me.

  22. Christian says:

    Absolutely! I live in North Hollywood CA and pay in excess of 230.00 monthly for TV and Internet from TWC. Channels freeze, box does what it wishes on its own, net constantly up and down. Their service outright sucks! I feel as if I pay top dollar for high blood pressure and bottom rung service.

    If you form a class action suit, I AM IN!

    Keep in mi d that there are hundreds of thousands who feel the same as we do here, they just are not getting online to voice their outrage. I bet since TWC has blacked out CBS and SHOWTIME, millions are pissed!

  23. thomas says:

    Please do with everything you got my wife ordered it with triple play and they charged her for a month that didn’t even pass yet 600 dollar bill then 300 for me yet again charging month in advance then I try to pay off my back bill in payments and right now I’m paying 200 dollars for one month of 30 dollar internet only billed a month in advance and worst I’m stuck with them only! They need to go down

  24. marie says:

    yes! sue them! they are THE WORST!!!! Can you also sue them over the remote control? it is giving a lot of people carpal tunnel. thanks!

  25. josh stabb says:

    I am having all of these issues as well, time warner almost has a monopoly in my area of westren ny. Sue sue sue, if you do is would join your case!

  26. Daniel Robbins says:

    An interesting addition to you story — Here in NYC, Dallas and LA, Time Warner has dropped CBS and all its affiliates (including Showtime and The Movie Channel). It’s now been 3 weeks since the “blackout” with no resolve in sight.

    I had enough and called Verizon to install FiOS. After waiting for their 2 week appointment (argh) they are now up and running. Their customer service is just as bad if not worse than TWC, but I digress.

    I’ve now tried three times to disconnect my TWC service but cannot get a rep to actually take my call. I’m perpetually on hold (the irony of the soothing female voice which appears every 30 seconds or so to coo “we know your time is valuable so we will be with you as soon as possible”).

    Fortunately the local office isn’t too far away, but Tuesday morning (its Labor Day this weekend) I will be there to hand them their equipment back and demand an immediate disconnect.

    I understand that there are class action lawsuits pending in LA. If you’re still up for it … Now just might be a good time to sue them.

    It is truly abysmal to be treated like this … and at a cost of $170 a month to take this kind of abuse it utterly amazes me.

    (great article, btw. Kudos on the memory and documentation!)

  27. Tom Jones says:

    I called twc to cancel a year ago tomorrow. I was given a very reduced rate with no contract. Yesterday I got a bill that increased my payment by $50 a month. I am going to cancel tomorrow in order to avoid a new contract. TWC has essentially a monopoly in my neighborhood. Direct doesn’t offer phone and Internet for my zip code. If my wife weren’t addicted to MSNBC I would go the antenna route . Our daughter provides us with free verizon phones and service. I watch sports on Vipbox.

    When the UCC went into affect while I was in law school in the 60′s contract law became antiquated. We call service agreements Contracts but they are merely one sided take it or leave forms with no negotiation, just ultimatums.

    I tried to call to cancel today but it is Labor Day and have to call tomorrow. Having been retired for twenty years I tend to forget days. ( of course being 77 has no bearing on that issue)

    My wife hates this kind of haggling but I hate getting walked on. I have stage 4 colon cancer and I don’t want to stick her with extra burdens. I don’t know if anyone is still following this, but, it does seem to be a universal problem with TWC. I had Dish tv with few problems and Comcast with no problems. But, neither is available in our retirement community. So tomorrow I will come to some resolution on this so my sweet wife of 51 years won’t have to.

    Not much of a problem in the scheme of life but SCOYUS decided that Corporations are people I distrust them even more. They can’t beget children or contract cancer so their just corporate entities devoid of conscience or empathy.

    Well, that was a good rant for today.

    Hope everyone gets their issues resolved.

  28. Amy says:

    I’ve sent an email to your info@ address, but in case this helps anyone else:
    We moved from Cincinnati and returned our cable modem to the local Time Warner office. We have a receipt for the returned equipment, which has the serial number written on it by the Time Warner employee. Soon after, we started being billed for ‘unreturned equipment’, specifically this modem (the only equipment we had). We’ve made 5 phone calls to TW, with varying responses – sometimes they can find evidence that they have the equipment but it needs to “work through the system, and that will take 25 days”, then we receive a bill, call and now they can’t find it. Today we received a collection notice. So we are sending them a payment of $140 for equipment we returned. This is theft, pure and simple, is it not?

    I’ve written to the CEO, the state attorney general of NY (where they are headquartered), the BBB and Consumer Protection agency, all to no response. The letter to the Time Warner CEO was even certified-return receipt and we received the return receipt postcard over a week ago.

    Admittedly, I had a similar issue with Sprint – they wouldn’t turn off the service even though I’d cancelled it and moved – but after writing to the CEO, it was resolved. The attorney general of that state also followed up because of the number of similar issues. I do wish I’d had the same response from Time Warner. Is it not crazy that this cable monopoly is permitted to continue? Great lobbyists

  29. Christy says:

    I, too, would like to know if anyone started a class action lawsuit against them or their third party contractors. The short version of my story is as follows:

    I had TWC at my old apartment in Dallas. I moved to a new apartment complex in another part of Dallas that has a contract with TWC, so theoretically it should be easier to get it installed. After waiting for a week after I informed TWC of my move, a TWC technician arrived on time as scheduled and attempted to connect my cable and internet (and phone, which TWC coerces me into having to reduce the overall cost of my services). After 45 minutes of trying different access points inside the apartment and on the roof, he informed me something was wrong with the wiring. He couldn’t do anything about the wiring, so he told me he would be creating a ticket with a third party to come fix the wiring. He apologized profusely and told me the third party would be contacting me the next day to set up a time to come out and fix the wiring.

    Up to this point, I have only been inconvenienced the 1 hour off of work to wait for the technician and the week without services to wait for the appointment. Throughout the week after the unsuccessful appointment, I have called TWC daily if not twice daily to inquire about the status of the repair with the third party. After involving a concierge representative assigned to my apartment complex, my appointment with the third party moved from exactly one week after the initial service appointment (a Monday) to the Thursday after the initial service appointment. I arranged to be at home from 8am to 11pm that Thursday (which was the time frame TWC gave me for the third party technician), in accordance with instructions from a TWC representative that I would need to be present for the third party service. I spoke with a TWC representative twice that Thursday: once to confirm the appointment, once to inquire about the status of the appointment. After confirming the appointment with TWC, the next TWC representative informed me that the service the third party needed to complete DID NOT REQUIRE ME TO BE AT HOME AT ALL.

    So I missed a full day of work plus another two hours from the previous Monday for the initial appointment (1 hour for the appointment; another hour before I could clock in at work). After several additional phone calls to both TWC representatives and the concierge representative, I was informed the day following the missed third party appointment that the third party has 3 days following the initial appointment to complete the service request. The next representative that Saturday (today actually) informed me that the three day time window does not apply UNLESS THE TECHNICIAN ARRIVES IN THE FIRST PLACE. I clarified that the missed third-party appointment on Thursday had to be rescheduled for 8am-11pm the coming Monday, that I would need to be present for the technician to complete the service, and that the technician has 48-72 hours after he comes to the appointment on Monday to complete services.

    I requested the information for the third party, so I could complain directly to them. The TWC representative informed me she could not give away that information. My most recent phone call involved the TWC representative telling me he could not expedite the service ticket with the third party; none of my past requests to TWC representatives to inform their supervisors of the conflicting information and inconveniences had been completed or even documented; requests to inform customer service representatives’ supervisors, in fact, did nothing unless the service representative operated from the office in which my services are located (ie Dallas); finally, I spoke with a regional service representative in El Paso, who is calling me back today (supposedly) with an update.

    I am now looking at about 2 1/2 days of missed wages and approximately 5 hours spent on the phone attempting to coordinate services due to the conflicting information from TWC representatives and negligence from the third party.

    My question is as follows:

    Is TWC responsible for their third party contractors (ie can I get a class action started against TWC for negligence by their third party)?

    I have documented everything in detail: call times, appointment times, service representative names, and the information the service representatives gave me. And I haven’t even begun the battle with billing for the now 3 weeks I’ve been without cable and internet (and telephone).

  30. Susan Edwards says:

    Jason,
    I just read about your experience withTWC. I hope you sued. I am currently having a similar experience with AT&T. We live in Statesville but have a Troutman exchange. We have DSL because it is the only way to have internet and a land line in the area we live. The last four years we have had static and or a dial tone while using the land line and the DSL speed is worse than dial up and streaming is out of the question most days. I spent over two hours speaking with several AT&T “Technicians” today and three others have been to my house in the last week. It is an AT&T problem because there are old lines and they don’t want to fix the problem because newer technology is on the way, of course no one knows how soon that will be. We are on our 4th router as are several of our neighbors. AT&T would rather spend the time placating customers by saying the line is clear and sending new routers than to actually try and fix it. If, by chance, you can wait and speak with a real human, you have to start from scratch every time you call, explaining the history and answering important technical questions like “is the cable connected?” If you are fortunate enough to be bumped up the chain of command, it starts all over again, Groundhog Day syndrome. Every neighbor I have spoken to in the last week have identical issues(of course AT&T will not admit the neighborhood has problems) but have given up in trying to get it fixed because of the frustration dealing with the AT&T system. I think all the “techs” have a flow chart the read from to frustrate the customer so they give up trying to get the issue resolved.
    I hope you had better luck with AT&T than we have had.
    Susan Edwards

  31. Manoj says:

    I am so fed up with Time Warner. They are a monopoly of sorts in the complex where I live and all I subscribed was Internet Service. For five years I have had poor internet service and bad customer service. Recently I tried to cancel my service an they simply give me runaround, put me on hold for long periods, transfer me to “special agent” or “cancellation agent” which never materialize!

  32. aisha says:

    I have had time waner cable for 7motnhs now Had a previous bill with them, calledandpaiedit off andmy bill evey month since i have turn my cable bck on has been $4oo-300 dollars when Iasked why they said it was because they added my perivous blancetomy new accounat ,If i had the money I would sue them… single momdon’t have the money to be over payong for cable when I already did.

  33. Adan Alvarez says:

    I know the feeling I am on hold with them right now. I cancel my service a while back been looking for alternatives but only found dish which prioritize TV and att but all they offer in my area was dial up. So no choice but to return they have a monopoly on Internet in my area. :-(

  34. Pigbitin Mad says:

    They are the worst. I moved within the same town and zip code so my phone number stayed the same. Three months later I get a letter from a collection agent because they had been billing me at my old address and wondering why I did not respond. (Never mind that our postal service doesn’t bother to forward any of the mountains of mail they must be getting at my old place because these idiots in customer service don’t understand that when you move, you do not continue to receive mail at the OLD ADDRESS!!!!) They could have called me very easily. But no. I have been getting bills for a month after I left the old address. WHAT MORONS. I HATE THEM.

  35. Mick says:

    Please, please, please file a lawsuit against these arrogant scoundrels. Their business model’s profit margins thrive on customer exasperation and resignation. Their days in the Internet/cable oligopoly are limited as access to alternate Internet Service Providers and content providers like Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu improve. The fall will be swift once alternative services crack their control of the marketplace. A pox upon their houses.

  36. Holly Baucom says:

    Oh dear lord!! Are you all telling me this isn’t over yet? I tried to cancel my service a mere 9 days ago. I switched to Century link’s internet and phone because they could lock me into a promo rate for 5 years without a contract at a WHOLE lot less than what TWC was charging and give me a $100 gift card. TWC simply would not disconnect my service until my phone number was ported out and then I could cancel. After a total of 8 hours on the phone throughout the past week getting transferred from rep to rep and back and forth to customer retention, I was told I had a credit of $45 and was given a work order #. More time passed and I was still hooked up. Bottom line, I practically screamed at them to turn my service OFF – I would not be responsible for the bill anymore. The rep told me I couldn’t cancel until I turned in the equipment/boxes. I did that yesterday by taking them to the office. They told me I had a balance due of $66. How is it possible I went through 2/3 months charges in 8 days…4 of which my phone number was listed with another company?? She finally put in an adjustment for $24 for the days I was not using phone service. I paid in cash and got a receipt on the equipment return and requested that she write paid in full – which she did not. Guess what? I still have cablevision running. WHY? Do I have to call the attorney general to go after these people to get them to stop holding my income, time, and credit rating hostage?? SUE! Start a class action! I’m in!

  37. min k says:

    happened to me to right now. My father wanted to cancel twc and when the worker came to collect someunpaid late fees, he took the modem with him. So my fathet thought it was cancelled. Two months later we receive the lettet saying we have to pay for the bills for the two months which we didnt even used twc. I called and explained that the worker from twc took the modem and we thought we cancelled the contract with twc. The lady explained the worker was not suppossed to take the modem until we were sullosed to cancel through phone first. She said she will call us later and few days later a guy name andrew left me a message telling me to call him back.

    I called him back but someone else picked up the phone and told me to cancel the twc first and send me to a texas region of twc. Problem is im in california and after the person from texas region told me to call the california region, she just hung up on me. That after spending over 1 hour with the phone.

    Now i have collector agency sending me the letter to pay the twc while im still trying to despute with twc. They were misleading us by taking the modem when they werent supposed to unless we cancle throigh tje phone, and now telling us to pay for the two months which we didnt even had modem to use thw twc. What should i do? Paying money is not the problem here, im just really upset with how they screw people with the business model they have.

  38. Lisa Marie says:

    I’m glad I am not the only one. I have had the horror and frustration of dealing with TWC. Right from the beginning they completely overcharged me and could not explain the exorbitantly outrageous bill I received one month after signing up for the ‘New customer $89.00 start-up fee” This was to include basic cable, internet and home phone. First off, they gave me some other person’s number, so I had their credit card companies calling me nonstop looking for a person who was not me. The number never showed up as myself on my friend’s and family’s message machines (it was some other person’s name). When I asked about this they told me it was not their fault, and perhaps my friends/family had a carrier that did not ‘catch up’ to the number change. Then the $255.00 bill came in August 2012. I just paid the start up fee of $89.00 a month before in July 2012. I immediately and frantically (I was a mere poor student) called and was given the complete run-around and finally after being passed off to SIX different people got them to ‘lower’ the bill to $155.00. Fast Forward (after months of $200-$300 randomly priced bills) I decided to drop the phone and a bunch of unnecessary channels I discovered they were charging me for, but not actually giving me. They told me that I could not drop the phone or the channels, and if I did, they would have to charge me EVEN MORE because of the plan. In July 2013, a year later, I moved and had to transfer the service because direct TV was not available in the apartment I moved to. I could finally drop the phone and unwanted charges for the nonexistent channels. The 1st bill in the new apt. was $455.00! Holy crap! I called to see what the heck was going on, and again got passed off and of course had to re-explain the issue eight times to as many incompetent people. FInally, a little old lady who was very nice got on the line and and explained that I was due a credit (you think?), and they totally over-charged me. Like double. Additionally, they never gave me the super special valued customer re-connection low low fee. I made her promise me that she would put these new changes into the computer immediately, while she was on the phone with me, so they would show up the next time I called (I knew this was not the end of it). The service itself is wonky. Internet cuts out a lot and I have to keep searching for my own connections. Cable cuts out for like a half an hour to ‘refresh’ itself randomly. AND I keep getting alerted on the TV screen that someone is calling the home phone which has been cancelled for almost a year now. All unknown callers and 1-800 numbers for a mystery phone. I am moving again in July, and will bid adeui to TWC; Comcast is merging with TWC and that sounds even more expensive and convoluted. I want to try the Google thing out, let us know if it is truly better.

  39. Lisa Marie says:

    P.S. Please sue this gross monopoly. If it goes class action, I’m in as well. Even if it doesn’t result in any money back, at least someone tried to fight the Corporation for the rest of us; who are helpless against TWC.

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