I was doing everything correct to make sure that my bills were paid on-time but there was an kink in my system.
I have read many books and blog posts from financial “experts” who say that automating your finances is the best way to operate. I have never done this because I have never been able to have enough money in my checking account to pay bills when they are due. I would often need to wait until they were a few days late to pay them. I didn’t want to keep living like that so a few months ago, I set out to automate everything.
I signed up for paperless billing, set up automatic payments and patted myself on the back for a job well done. Finally, I was going to have all my bills paid on-time like the responsible adult that I am supposed to be.
Until three days ago when I took a look at an email from my internet provider.
Last month I had to stop a couple of payments on a couple of bills because the timing of my vacation, school loan payments, a couple of contracts hadn’t paid out meant that I was very low on funds.
When I returned from vacation, my student loan money had arrived and I had some checks waiting for me in my mailbox. So, I started checking up to pay all my bills. I took a look at my bill from Time Warner Cable and saw that a payment of $165.01 had been processed. I was a little surprised as my bill each month is only around $35. When I looked at the statement online I saw a number of fees assessed as well as three months of service. I immediately called TWC to find out what is going on and why things were being returned.
I was told that they were returned twice but no reason given to me by an associate. The most recent payment had been made and I assumed it had cleared my bank because TWC didn’t see it being returned. I requested that the two fees totaling $60 be credited back to my account. It was requested that I fax something from my bank stating that the payment had cleared and then they would put in a request to have the fees credited.
On Friday I took a look at my bank account and there isn’t a payment to TWC credited. I contacted TWC yet again and this time it was discovered that the payments are being returned due to the account # being incorrect. The gal on the phone on Wednesday had verified the last four digits to make sure that account number was correct. Today’s representative was able to see the reason for the return but could not verify all the numbers of the account that was listed. So the assumption is that I typed the account number incorrectly.
This problem first occurred May 11th, it happened again in June on two occasions. Once on the 10th and then again on the 17th the money was attempting to debit the account. My question with TWC is that if the account number is incorrect the first time, why would you continue to debit it multiple times after that? Shouldn’t the first issue trigger their computers to stop debiting the account?
The answer is “NO” because then they can’t charge a $30 fee each time.
Did you notice that they attempted to debit my account two times within 7 days? They were going to keep doing that every 7 days until it was cleared up, yet I wasn’t being notified that this was happening.
Well, I was to some extent. I received a bill at the end of May that would have shown the payment wasn’t made. The problem is that I was under the assumption that everything was working fine and my bills were being paid. My service wasn’t interrupted. I didn’t have a phone call asking me to find out what was going on. There wasn’t an extra email saying “HEY READ THIS WE HAVE A PROBLEM.” Just the normal bills coming to my via email, which I filed away in the trash folder without looking at them.
Things were supposed to be working automatically, I didn’t feel like I needed to read the bill each month to see that $34.99 was going to be paid to them.
Just before I started typing out this post I spoke with a supervisor who was willing to credit back $30 to my account. Just 1 of the 3 fees that were being assessed. I thanked her but asked that she credit all 3 as $90 seems extremely excessive for something that has only been happening for 6 weeks. She held her ground and wasn’t willing to credit anything more back since it was not the fault of TWC (we assume anyway, they still can’t verify that I typed it in wrong.).
I’m not ashamed to say that there were tears. $90 is more than my weekly food budget. Having to pay these extra fees means that my very tight budget is going to need to stretch father and the most-likely place for that to happen is at the grocery store. I explained to her my situation. I’m a single mom, trying to get through school so I can get a better job. I’m on a very tight budget and this is going to be very difficult to overcome. I explained that I would like TWC to do what it takes to keep a customer and reminded her that I have options. I planned to contact AT&T and would go with their Uverse if TWC wasn’t willing to fix this. She held her ground and denied me the remaining credits.
I hung up after expressing my disappointment with Time Warner Cable. And I was so very disappointed.
I have worked in a job that was similar to this and I know that if a customer doesn’t show a history of these types of things (and I have not) and they are able to fix the issue as soon as they are aware of it, we can credit back all the fees to them. Customer Service is so very important these days. I have been in her shoes and I have listened to people like me on the other line who are very upset over the situation. And I have made the situation right because that money is small change to a big company but it is a huge deal to that one person. In the end, that is more important.
Sharon from TWC, a supervisor in Accounts Receivable was not willing to be that person today.
This is where my story was going to end. I learned a few lessons about paying my bills and looking at EVERY! SINGLE! Email! that comes through even when you think things are going well.
I wasn’t going to stop here though. I had intended to write a letter and address all my issues further but before I did, I sent out a couple of tweets.
On the phone with Time Warner Cable right now. If they don’t make this right, they WILL BE losing a customer. I’m so upset right now.
— Jessica (@Debt_Princess) June 22, 2012
I am so disappointed in @timewarnercable! So disappointed. I am calling AT&T right now to switch. I KNOW they will do what it takes to
— Jessica (@Debt_Princess) June 22, 2012
Keep a customer. I can’t believe that @TimeWarnerCable wouldn’t try harder to help a single mom who is also in school out.
— Jessica (@Debt_Princess) June 22, 2012
Within minutes of posting those tweets I received one from @TWCHelp who requested that I DM them my information. I did as well as my explanation and a request to waive all the fees.
The power of social media is alive and well!
New lesson learned: Never Give Up!
I may have initially been at fault for this error and I will not deny that but I truly think Time Warner Cable could have handled the situation better leading up to the moment when the Social Media Team fixed the error!
If you truly believe that something can be rectified, then do not give up the fight!
Time Warner has maintained a customer and while I’m not a huge blogger, I can reach dozens of people each day (ok so my numbers are a bit better than that, but this isn’t the place to gloat about my PR 3 or 7,500 unique visitors a month). With the popularity of Twitter and Facebook, a complaint can become viral quickly. It is in the best interest of companies to address these issues quickly.
Never give up when you think you have been wronged guys!
Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.Disclosure: You should assume that I am an affiliate for providers of goods and services mentioned on this website. I may be compensated when you purchase after clicking on a link. I may also have received the product for free. Perform due diligence before purchasing from this or any other website.