Never Give Up: My Experience with Time Warner Cable

fight for what is rightI have learned a couple of valuable lessons recently.

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.

Lesson learned!

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.

 

and

 

and

 

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.

twitter direct messages

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!

 

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12 comments for “Never Give Up: My Experience with Time Warner Cable

  1. June 22, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Wow! I’m so impressed with the way they handled it in the end.

    This is a good reminder… I have a bad habit of not reading stuff when I think I already know what it says.

    I used to work with a woman who had something similar happen to her. She talked to one of those consumer credit counseling places, and they set up payment plans for her debts. She THOUGHT it was set up for all of her creditors, but one major credit card account had refused the offer and was continuing to bill her monthly. Here’s the problem: The first month she opened a few of her creditor’s monthly statements and they weren’t bills at all, just statements showing what was paid/owed/etc. So she assumed they were all being taken care of. So every month this one credit card was sending her a bill and she was tossing it into the shredder, thinking she was finally taking control of her financial life. DOH! She didn’t find out until debt collectors started harassing her.

    Around that same time, she’d sent a letter to her gym telling them to cancel her membership. She assumed it too was taken care of, but sure enough they were charging her + late fees every month. They claimed they never got the letter.

    It sucks to finally think there! I’m doing the grown up thing! But then realize wait, it’s not really done, I have to go back and verify and follow up and UGH I give up…

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    • June 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      That sounds exactly like something I would do Tiffany! Well I guess I kinda did only I probably would look at those statements because I like seeing the numbers actually going down rather than up!

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  2. Seena
    June 23, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Seriously Debt Princess.. why on earth are you paying for cable? You are a student on a tight budget.. having cable tv should be the last priority for you! Internet I can understand, home phone, yeah ok, but CABLE is NOT and never will be a NECESSITY while you are trying to get out of debt.

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    • June 23, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      Actually I’m not paying for cable. As I stated above Time Warner Cable is my Internet Service Provider. I do not have cable. Thanks for the comment though, I always appreciate people willing to call me out.

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  3. June 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I’ve been through the good, the bad, and the ugly with TWC. A few years ago, we had prolonged service issues that nobody could seem to resolve. I finally told the folks at TWC that I was “resigned to a poor product” with them and threatened to leave. Shortly, I was on the phone with a regional manager who credited my account for SIX MONTHS worth of service (my problems had only spanned parts of three different billing cycles). My lesson, like yours, was to never, ever give up – this company at least is willing to give you what you want if you’re willing to fight for it!
    Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals recently posted..With Long Life

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  4. June 27, 2012 at 5:29 am

    I’m amazed with your perseverance and diligence in achieving your goals in reimbursing the over payments and charges made by the said company. It’s true that social media plays a major role in our society today. News spreads so fast like wildfires. Good luck in all aspects of your life. Keep on going.

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  5. June 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Awwwh twitter. Helping out single moms, wronged by the man.

    I’m kind of happy you didn’t switch to AT&T. I’m not fond of them. They never did me wrong, but, meh. I never have dealt with Time Warner, and I don’t think I want to unless I have to, even with the twitter conversation.

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  6. Dannielle @ Odd Cents
    Twitter: OddCents
    June 28, 2012 at 6:06 am

    You should not have to go to social media to get satisfaction. If they practiced “good customer service” in the first place, they would not have to be globally embarrassed. Btw… I’m following you on twitter now. :)

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  7. July 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Jess,
    We are lead to believe that we are suppose to be at ease about our finances when we automate. It’s for these reasons that I still check in every few weeks. I hate when you acting responsibly, set something up and it just leads to different issues. I will not allow a company to pull from my account. I automate through my bank. The lawyer at my closing told me he did not feel comfotrable giving permission for anyone to pull money out of his account.

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