Saturday, August 31, 2013

Time Warner Cable--Worse Company Ever?

We interrupt this serious poker blog to bring you the following rant.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  Our blog content provider has demanded an outrageous increase in the fees charged us, and we are trying to keep our costs down as a service to you, our customers.  We hope you will enjoy this alternate content that we are providing in the meantime, until an agreement can be reached.

Time Warner Cable sucks.  I’m pretty sure they’re the worst company on planet Earth.  They may even be the worst company on Earth II, for that matter.

I hope that every TWC customer who reads this, and even those who don’t, will do what I am going to do this month and just not pay your cable bill this month.  I know they have buckets of cash.  But if every single subscriber just skipped paying their bill for one month, surely they would notice that right?
As I’m sure you all know, TWC, the retched company I happen to get both my cable TV and my internet from, is currently in a fee dispute with CBS, the formerly proud network that once gave us the classic Mary Tyler Moore Show and now foists dreck like Big Brother upon us.  What that means is, I haven’t been able to watch a thing that CBS has broadcast since the beginning of August.
So, for me, and all of TWC’s other gazillion subscribers, “CBS” stands for “Can’t Be Seen.”
At first, that wasn’t a problem because, really, who the hell watches any of the crap that CBS airs?
But now it’s getting to be extremely inconvenient.
You see this week the US Open Tennis Championships started this week.  And while a lot of the preliminary stuff is on ESPN2, which TWC hasn’t seen fit to block yet, the finals, the semi-finals— in fact, all the big, important matches—will air exclusively on CBS.  That’s next weekend.  And on this weekend, Labor Day Weekend, most of the tennis will also be on CBS, not ESPN2.
I probably haven’t mentioned it before, but I am a big tennis fan.  Tennis is my second favorite spectator sport, right after basketball.  And unlike the previous grand slam tennis events this year, I’m home, not in Vegas for the US Open, and was looking forward to watching a lot of tennis these two weeks.
Furthermore, we are getting close to the start of the Fall TV season, and my favorite show—in fact, pretty much the only regular “entertainment” show I make a point of watching these days—is The Big Bang Theory (see here), which happens to air on CBS.  It isn’t a problem yet because they’ve been in reruns and I’ve seen them all.  But come late September, I will be screwed once again if TWC and CBS don’t settle this silly dispute.

I don’t know what the dispute is about and I really don’t care.  OK, I do know what it’s about.  Money.  Of course.  Both companies want more of it.  Duh.
Now, as it happens, both companies make shitloads of money every year, and I guess they need to make even bigger shitloads of money.  And you know what?  That doesn’t bother me at all.  I believe in capitalism.  I think each one of those companies has every right to make as much money as they possibly can. In fact, their stockholders demand just that.
I’m just pissed that I’m stuck in the middle of this dispute.  Now, without sitting down and having all the facts and figures in front of me, without being privy to the negotiations, it would be hard for me to say who is right and who is wrong in this fight.
Except for one thing that makes me think that Time Warner is wrong.  And that is, every other single television content provider in the country is still providing CBS as part of their service.  Every single one.  Only TWC is balking at providing CBS.  So either every other single TV provider is making a huge mistake, or….TWC has its head up its ass.
Guess which of those I think is true?
All I know for sure is that I am paying a ridiculous amount of money every month to TWC for their service, and they are not providing me all the service I am paying for.
The other day, I called their billing department to dispute my latest bill, telling them that they were not providing me the service they were billing me for.  I expected them to make some kind of tiny, dinky adjustment in my bill for the time they haven’t been providing CBS.
I was prepared to laugh at their ridiculously tiny adjustment.
What I wasn’t prepared for was that they offered me no adjustment whatsoever.
Yeah, that’s right.  They expect me to pay the same this month as last even though they are no longer providing me with one of the four major broadcast networks!  They won’t let me take even a penny off my bill.
Now do you see why I think they’re the worst company on several Earths?
OK, to be fair to these goniffs, they did say that with my next month’s bill, they were going to include a coupon good for $5.99 towards watching an On Demand Movie.  One coupon.  Just one.
Be still my heart.
I admit I had underestimated just how bad they are.
I told the poor schlub who took my call that I wasn’t going to send them one penny until they put CBS back on.
That will mean nothing to them, I know.  But if every single subscriber refused to pay their bill this month?  Like I said, that might get their attention.
I know some of you might be asking why I don’t switch service providers.  Well, it’s not that simple.  For one thing, it’s a major inconvenience.  Also, my homeowners association doesn’t allow satellite dishes on our roofs, so that’s another issue.  And then, if I did switch, I’d have to make sure that the new provider carried all the channels I want.  Last season, the Lakers switched networks, and some of the local providers didn’t pick up their channel.  Oh, and by the way, the new Lakers channel happens to be….are you ready….Time Warner Cable Sports!
When I called TWC, they offered me a free indoor, rabbit ears antenna so I could pick up CBS over the airways.  Trouble with that is, I live in an area where I can’t receive an over the air signal.  Even with a roof antenna (which I wouldn’t be allowed to put up anyway).
And because I also get my internet through TWC, is not allowing their programs to be streamed to TWC customers via the internet.
Anyway you look at it, I’m screwed.
So, F.U. Time Warner Cable.  You suck.  You can kiss my ass if you expect me to pay you for this past month’s (lack of) service.
I urge TWC subscribers everywhere to stop paying your bill.  They can’t cut off service for all of us, can they?
And if they do….what service?

Edited to add:  reader Jon pointed out (below) that Kaley Cuoco, star of the Big Bang Theory, and depicted above, was once a nationally ranked tennis player in your youth, so there is a tie-in with her and the tennis that I am missing.  Thanks, Jon.  Here's a pic of Kaley playing tennis.  Looks like she has a couple of Aces already.

((Edited again to add....dispute over, CBS back on my cable.  Lesson to those mega corporations....don't mess with me.  See here))


  1. My 94-year old mother whose only enjoyment in life is to watch the Dodgers on TV is upset. She has Time Warner Cable and cannot see them on KCal (affiliate of CBS). It is a total rip. She (and her caregiver) have called many times and the response from Time Warner is downright rude. They will not even assist with any credit to her bill. I told her to change to Direct TV and then I can get $10 per month off MY bill for the referral (hehe).....we've had it for decades and it has been reliable.

    A funny note is that Time Warner had them pick up "rabbit ears" for my mom's TV in order to see Channel 2. Are you phucking kidding me? Didn't the U.S. change over to digital a long time ago? Of course, it didn't work!!!!

    But the most important observation of your post this morning is ............ how you integrated a pic of a sexy blonde gal into a rant about cable TV. Brilliant Rob! You really do have talent and give your readers what we want!

    1. That is not some gratuitous, random sexy blonde, LM. It is Kaley Cuoco, who stars in The Big Bang Theory, which I mentioned in the post.

      So that is what TWC is going to be depriving me of in a few months.

      I suppose since my first complaint was actually about tennis, not BBT, I could have found a sexy tennis player to put in there. But sadly, the sexiest tennis player in the world, Maria Sharapova, withdrew from the US Open before it started due to an injury, so I thought Kaley was more appropriate.

    2. You do know that Kaley was a very good tennis player when she was younger, right? She was ranked top 100 in the country in her age group in 1998. So technically, that was a US Open related picture!

    3. Thanks, Jon. I actually did not know that. But as you can see, I've added a pic of Kaley on the tennis court with a note about your contribution.

      Again, thanks.

  2. man for a moment i thought u were michael douglas in the movie FALLING DOWN. lmao. hey , u forgot the briefcase. i am staying up 4 my rights as a consumer.

    1. I never saw that movie, but if you suggest I start taking hostages.....well.....that would be wrong.


  3. Hey, Rob. Love your blog and never comment (too lazy). We had the same issue with our HOA and satellite dishes. If you do a little Google research, you'll find that the HOA can NOT prevent you from placing a satellite dish on your roof nor can they tell you where to place it. Your TWC sounds like our Cox here in AZ, they S-U-C-K. We've been with Directv for 15 years and their customer service has been spectacular. They recently gave us a new DVR, 3 new receivers and a genie (whole home DVR) for free, THEN gave us a discount off our bill for 12 months, just because I asked. I love Directv like you (we) love boobs.

    1. I agree with Chuck. My mother's HOA is the strictest (and most expensive) and her neighbors have Direct TV. Also, ditto on the "freebies" and customer service. I've always been satisfied with Direct TV (and its been at least 15 years for me too).

    2. There's actually an issue with DirectTV. They don't provide the Pac-12 sports networks, which is where most of the UCLA football games are aired. I do like to watch those when they are available. Furthermore, they went all of last year (it's first year) without taking their content, leading me to believe they are not likely to add that to their lineup anytime soon.

      Now, if it actually came down to a choice between CBS and the Pac-12 network, I'd go with CBS, but I still assume that CBS will eventually be carried again on TWC--otherwise they would go out of business. Who knows if DirectTV will ever capitulate on the Pac-12 network.

      Thanks for the kudos and for finally commenting, Chuck. Glad to know it was my cable TV rant and not boobs that finally pricked your interest enough to chime in.

  4. The The Telecommunications Act of 1996 says your HOA must allow you to install a satellite dish on your room as long as it is not historical and under a certain size.

    1. Thanks Pokeraddict. I'm sure I could fight my homeowners association, and eventually win, but its not will a fight I want to have if I can help it.

  5. A picture of Kaley Cuoco? Now this blog is going places!

    1. Yeah, she's pretty darn hot, I agree.

      But this was not her debut on the blog.

      She also appeared in this post (that I linked to in this post).