Friday, October 15, 2010

Fun with Time Warner Cable live chat help

Tonight I was planning to flip between Islanders-Penguins on MSG Plus, Devils-Avalanche on MSG Plus 2 and ALCS Game 1 on TBS, but naturally Time Warner Cable would have none of that. Similar to last week when the Capitals were playing the Devils (a game I actually cared about seeing), MSG Plus 2 was mysteriously not showing the Devils game. Instead the whole of Manhattan got some sweet looking color bars.

Having nothing better to do with my Friday night, I decided to hop on TWC's live chat help and see if they could rectify the situation. Needless to say, I did not have high hopes. After waiting in a queue for the entire first period, this is what transpired. Names have been changed (barely) to protect the innocent (also barely).

User Craig has entered room
We are experiencing higher than usual service times. Please wait and an analyst will be with you shortly.
We are experiencing higher than usual service times. Please wait and an analyst will be with you shortly.
Analyst Andrea has entered room

Andrea(Fri Oct 15 2010 19:46:06 GMT-0400 (EST))>
Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable. At the end of our chat you will be given the option of taking a brief survey. My name is Andrea * [last initial withheld]. Please give me a moment while I access your account.

Andrea(Fri Oct 15 2010 19:46:37 GMT-0400 (EST))>
Hello Mr. Stone.
I understand that you have a feedback.
I will be happy to help you in the best way possible.

Craig(Fri Oct 15 2010 19:47:32 GMT-0400 (EST))>
Hi. I was hoping to watch the New Jersey Devils game but MSG Plus 2 is not turned on.
This happened last week too. It's ridiculous.

Andrea(Fri Oct 15 2010 19:49:01 GMT-0400 (EST))>
Thank you for the information, please allow me a moment.

Andrea(Fri Oct 15 2010 19:50:50 GMT-0400 (EST))>
Mr. Stone, please click on this link to check all the TV listing:

Craig(Fri Oct 15 2010 19:51:28 GMT-0400 (EST))>
That doesn't tell me anything about anything.
it just says "Local Sports" on channel 198

Andrea(Fri Oct 15 2010 19:51:43 GMT-0400 (EST))>
Did you check channel 435?
It is against Colorado Avalanche?

Craig(Fri Oct 15 2010 19:52:29 GMT-0400 (EST))>
yes but that's the NHL Center Ice package which is blacked out because the Devils are a local team

Andrea(Fri Oct 15 2010 19:54:42 GMT-0400 (EST))>
Could you please provide me your account number to check if everything is normal with the NHL Center Ice package?

Craig(Fri Oct 15 2010 19:55:30 GMT-0400 (EST))>
The problem isn't with the center ice package. They always blackout Devils, Rangers and Islanders games because those teams are shown on local stations
well, they're supposed to be, assuming TWC turns on the station ... which never happens on time

Andrea(Fri Oct 15 2010 19:58:32 GMT-0400 (EST))>
I do apologize for the inconvenience.
I have checked our reports and I noticed that channel 198 is experiencing an outage.
Please accept my sincerest apologies for this inconvenience.

Craig(Fri Oct 15 2010 20:00:21 GMT-0400 (EST))>
OK thanks.

Andrea(Fri Oct 15 2010 20:00:28 GMT-0400 (EST))>
You are welcome!
Is there anything else I can help you with?

Craig(Fri Oct 15 2010 20:00:54 GMT-0400 (EST))>
no that's it.

I really hate being a dick to customer service people, but honestly I think I showed admirable restraint here. I do think Andrea was just doing her job and probably isn't connected to this problem in any way, but it's bullshit that Time Warner Cable is so inept that it can't even manage to make sure a channel is turned on in time for a game.

Luckily I only missed the first 5 minutes of the Caps game last week. As of 8:15 tonight MSG Plus 2 is still color bars...