So in the last installment, I was left with a HD cable converter, and a charge to keep calling Time Warner Cable to inquire if they had any HD DVR boxes available.
So, Thursday I give them a call. I give them all the background and they put me on hold trying to figure out if they have the HD DVR box. “Sir, good news, we have one box available.” “Can you come and pick it up in the next 15 minutes?” Huh, aren’t they open until 8pm? “Can you just put my name on it and I’ll come in for the swap after work? “I’m sorry sir, but we can’t do that.” “Whatever, I’ll just try again tomorrow.”
Busy morning at work, so I didn’t get to call them again until 3PM. Gave them all the gory details again. “Sir, good news, we just got a bunch of them in today.” “Can you just put my name on it and I’ll come in for the swap after work?” “I’m sorry sir, but we can’t do that. We did get a number of boxes in so we should have some when you get there…” Ok, whatever.
Drive home from the work, the weather is starting to get ugly (even for central New York), with one of our trademark mid-winter lake effect blizzards. Rather than haul myself all the way back to Time Warner for nothing I call them again. “Yes sir, we still have HD-DVR’s available.” Good, I’m looking forward to getting this wrapped up.
I walk in their storefront with the HD cable box in tow. I talk to the same women I worked with on Tuesday. Of course, she doesn’t remember anything about my problems. She goes rummaging around in the back and emerges with a nice new cardboard box with a set of HD cables on top. Phew; the end of the road is near! The woman says, I did get another minor bonus, its a newest DVR model. She steps out and says that a new trainee will finish my convert box exchange process. After some learning curve glitches and a printer out of paper, I’m on the road and feeling good.
Until, that is, I get home and open up the cardboard box. Cripes, its a regular DVR box (not HD). Come on, you gotta be kidding me. I pick up the phone and dial my new favorite number, Time Warner support.
I give yet another CSR the updated situation and ask to be transfered to the service counter from which I just returned. “Ok, I’m going to schedule for someone to come out and swap the box for you.” Cool, I think they’re gonna make my life easier. “Can you be at home 8-12 or 12-4 on Monday?” “You’re kidding right? I’m gonna take time off to wait for your guy to show up in the last 2 minutes of the time window?”
“Can I just bring the box in myself?” “Sir, I’m sorry we don’t allow self install of our HD equipment…” “Really, wasn’t a problem the two times that I already did it this week.” “Really? We don’t normally allow that.” “Can you just transfer me to the service counter?” She puts me on hold. “Sir, I’m sorry but I can’t transfer you.” “What? you’re in the same building! They don’t have phones down there? 2 other techs have done this same magical feat today already.” “Ok, let me try something else.” I suffer through some more Time Warner ad spam on hold. “Sir, I tried calling down there again and no one picks up they must have left for the night.” “What? according to your hours, they’re open until 8PM. Ok, you people are killing me. You’re about to lose a formally loyal customer and $115 a month in service.” “I’m sorry sir, I apologize for the all trouble you’ve been through…” “Thanks…”, click.
After brewing for a few minutes, I get back in my car and go back to Time Warner again. Hmm, new trainee looks scared. Hmm, why is this guy coming back? Can’t be good. Of course, there are about 5 people hanging out behind the counter, schmoozing, and goofing off. “Ok, you may remember me, I was here about 30 minutes ago. The box you gave me is not an HD DVR” “What, lemme see that… What do you know, it is a regular DVR box, ooops.”
Another CSR disappears and comes back with the HD version of the same box. “Sir we’re so sorry, we didn’t realize that we had regular and HD versions of the new DVR model.” “Hmm, I would have guess that your fancy computer would have been smart enough to catch the problem. HD DVR service, but regular DVR box. Guess not.” “Again, we’re sorry for all this trouble, let me get the box exchanged for you.” He grinds away on the computer for another 10 minutes, stopping every 3 seconds to squint at the serial number on the box. Guess a bar code reader wasn’t in the budget. I’m sure they had to bring on another customer or two cover the expense.
“Ok sir, you’re all set.” “Ok, I’m gonna get another credit for this right?” Apparently, it wasn’t a no brainer for them. So one in the back yells, “Yeah, we’ll give you a $20 credit.” Ok, whatever; Time Warner tech’s get paid $45 trip charge for a house call, and I’ve driven out to their place 4 times this week for $20; great!
“Ok, folks, I have 2 items for you if you care. First, your phone CSRs are hopelessly inept. One told me there was no way to call down here from the call center, even though other techs have been doing it all week. They also told me that they don’t allow self installs on HD equipment.” They reply with “whoops, those darn phone CSRs.” “Second, this is your last chance. If this DVR is DOA or kicks it inside of 6 months, I will cancel all my Time Warner cable services.” “Sir, we’re sorry you feel this way, but… but…” I walked out before they could finish. I know, that was not at all mature, but I needed to do it to keep from maiming someone there.
Lucky for them, the HD DVR box they gave me this time seems to work. Let’s hope it stays that way.