Longing for my old rotating TV antenna ...

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Inga

I can’t tell you the depths of depression I felt when Olof announced that he wished to add additional service to our Time Warner Cable Internet and TV accounts.

“Olof,” I pleaded. “Do not feed the lions.”

I have to say, in fairness to Time Warner Cable (TW), that our Internet service has performed almost flawlessly (except, of course, when their cable TV technicians disconnected it while trying to fix our endless TV problems). They even repaired the cable for free when Winston the Wonder Dog chewed through it during one of his early visits. One of our fundamental problems is that the TV cable installation (done separately from the Internet installation) was totally botched to begin with, requiring some dozen follow-up service calls, endless replacement boxes, and it still has a sound that cuts out and a picture that breaks up. We rent an On Demand movie, pay for it, then get a message saying, “That movie is not available at this time.” (Do they only have one copy?)

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Time Warner Cable (their motto: “We can’t fix anything”) has consistently earned its national Bottom 10 customer satisfaction ranking year after year. Every time I have to deal with them, I think nostalgically of the ever- reliable rotating antenna I used to have on my roof, which actually produced a picture and sound.

So I told Olof that if he wanted additional service, he was ordering it and taking the day off to wait for the TW Cable guy. I even gave him the whole script: They probably won’t show up when they’re supposed to. They will not achieve what they are there for. But when they leave, you discover they’ve broken something else. They have this down to a science.

Olof, an innocent, says, “It’s a really straight-forward installation. I don’t see how they can mess this up.”

I was intentionally out during the appointment time. When I came home, Olof was looking very unhappy. He’d told them when he made the appointment that all our TW Cable wiring had been run under the house because of our fragile plaster walls. But the guy who shows up says he doesn’t go under the houses. Plaster walls or nothing. He leaves.

Olof, a TW Cable virgin, has forgotten to make sure that everything else works before letting the cable guy escape. Sure enough, our TV service is out.

I call and get Clint. Clint promises 100-percent absolutely that someone will come back by 7 p.m. to do the new installation and restore our cable TV service. It is currently 11 a.m. We call throughout the day. Not to worry, they say. We’re on the schedule.

At 7 p.m. I get Brandy but ask for a supervisor. Brandy promises that if I will hang up, a supervisor will call me back “in 10 minutes.” Like I was born yesterday?

“No, thanks,” I say, “I’ll hold.” Twenty-five minutes later Brandy is back on the line. Sorry, she says, all the dispatchers, technicians and supervisors have gone home. They’ll need to reschedule installation and repair. First available is Sunday, three days hence.

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