Nov 222013

Recently, I was presented with a problem.  I was no longer able to stay with my current internet provider, SureWest.   So, I began my search for a new internet provider and unfortunately my only choices in the area showed up as Time Warner Cable and AT&T, both being companies that I did not want to do business with.  We had previously had TWC before being burned by their customer service and deciding to switch to SureWest.

So I began doing research for my area.  I found that AT&T showed on their website that they did not service my address while Time Warner Cable showed that they did.  So that made the solution pretty straight forward.  I began the process of signing up for service and even spent time investigating modem choices since TWC allows you to purchase and use your own.  I signed up for service entering in all my information and then went through the process of buying the modem I had been researching.

This was when the headache began.  I thought it would be a straightforward process.  Little did I know that the night I put in my order I received an email from them stating I needed to contact them about my order.  So the next day I contacted someone and talked to them regarding my order.  They put me on hold telling me it would be 3 to 5 minutes while he set up my account, after 20 minutes I had to hang up as I ran into a time conflict. Shortly after I hung up the representative I had been talking to called me back 3 times and left 3 voice messages.  The second of which was telling me that my order had been finalized and confirming my installation date. I received another email that night, much to my surprise,  identical to the one I had received before stating I needed to contact them.

So I called them up again the next day and went through the same process again.  Being asked the same questions over again and then being put on hold while they set up my account. Being told it would only be 3-5 minutes and sitting on hold for more than 15.  The representative did come back and tell me she had gotten my account set up and that my installation date was confirmed.  Of course that night I again got yet another email from them stating I needed to call them.

The third time calling their support number I tried to explain the issue to the representative about how I had already ‘set up’ my account twice and was unsure why she was doing it a third time.  Even after explaining my situation she yet again asked me the same questions and then put me on hold for 15 minutes to setup my account. When she came back I was once again told that it was done and my installation date was confirmed.  I asked to speak to a manager to figure out why I had to go through this process three times and was then hung up on.

At that point I ended up handing the phone off to my wife and she called back immediately asking to speak to a manager and explaining that we had just been hung up on. That phone call lasted well over an hour and after clearing out the other 3 attempts at setting up the account and trying yet again we found the root of the problem. The problem, as it turned out, was that  they were unable to transfer our existing phone number.  However, this person was unable to tell us why.  So I told them to put our order on hold and I’d check with my current provider and see if they could determine what the issue was.

After speaking with my current provider it turned out there were no issues.  Everything showed up fine and the CSR on the end of the line was very happy to answer any questions and explain how the process worked to me.  At this point I was confused. However, I had posted to twitter, tagging TWC Help, during my 3rd time being placed on hold while setting up an account and had been contacted by a representative there.  I  waited just over a day after being told a local manager would reach out to me and he ended up being very helpful.  When he was setting up my account he didn’t put me on hold, instead he told me he’d call me back.  He also was able to tell me the exact problem they were running into.  They were unable to transfer our number due to the prefix we had.

We wanted to keep our number so this wasn’t suitable for us and compounded with the severe lack of customer support with setting up our account we decided we’d explore other options but left our order on hold just in case.

We decided to explore the only other option some more which was AT&T U-Verse.  Even though their website said we weren’t in a service area we discovered that all our neighbors had their service and we even had a utility easement for AT&T directly in our backyard.  So we knew we could get service and after many phone calls and lots of transferring and talking to managers we were finally able to convince them of the same.  Overall AT&T’s customer support was far friendlier and easier to work with than Time Warner Cable’s, which ultimately lead us to the decision of going with AT&T even though we still had to lose our old phone number.

So at the end of it all we ended up with was a bunch of wasted time calling TWC which helped in part to nearly bring me to my minute cap for the month. In addition, I had to go through loads of emails in my inbox and had to pay shipping to return the modem I had purchased in anticipation of receiving their service. I should have waited before buying the modem but I was excited while reading the reviews.  In the end, though, Google Fiber can’t get here fast enough.

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