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Time Warner Cable (Long Rant) (1 Viewer)

Derek Miner

Feb 22, 1999
Time Warner here in the Tampa Bay area of Florida is pretty darn good. I get the digital package, HBO/Cinemax and Road Runner for around $100 a month, and the quality is very satisfying (best cable I've had, and I've had almost always had cable since the 80s). I know a lot of people who find that kind of money for television and internet to be outrageous, but I'm a slave to my vices, what can I say. :) Not to mention, sharing the cable modem via router with my roomate cuts the RR price in half.
If you have trouble dealing with your cable company, or their quality is substandard, there are a couple things you can do. As Glenn suggested above, you may have local recourse. Even if there isn't a board per se that will field complaints, local government MUST grant cable companies franchises or else they can't operate. You might have to dig a bit, because this duty might fall under another area. But calling up the city government or visiting their website might lead you in the right direction. Be patient, because sometimes the people who answer phones in the offices don't hear much about cable TV regulation, so they might not initially know which department you need.
Also, the FCC designates certain standards for cable TV, and they are MORE than happy to talk with you if you are having a problem. Get more information at http://www.fcc.gov/mb/.
Hope that helps!


Feb 22, 2001
Divisions within TWC can have wildly different quality of service. I know divisions that work very, very, hard to have happy customers and others that really just want to do nothing more than shove a picture down the cable so people don't call and complain.

TWC is run as separate fiefdoms. Different divisions will have different equipment, operating procedures, billing systems, and channel lineups. About the only thing they have in common is that they're owned by TWC and in some cases (like with the Newhouse groups) they aren't even operated by TWC.

Please do keep in mind that some rural areas are very hard, by the nature of the system, to keep functioning perfectly all the time. Digital is still very new to the technicians and many are resistant to learning the system even though they know it's the future. Digital is frustratingly difficult to diagnose. Signal levels rise and fall for apparently no reason, sometimes dropping for a split second only to come up again for a few seconds more then dropping again, and only extensive line testing and monitoring can fix it. Usually it takes about 6 months to a year after digital roll-out for the nearly all the bugs to get worked out. Once the main lines are ready to go, digital goes live. Each customer's individual situation is taken as it comes. It's impossible to diagnose every home before digital is installed (though lines should be checked for signal level after installation); the cost would be astronomical and guess who that would be passed on to?

Also please keep in mind that when service goes out due to physical line problems that cable companies are the last in line to be allowed to do repair; electric and telephone come first and each has to have a crew ready to do the work. Unless it's a cable-only problem, cable has to wait. Even then finding exactly where the problem is can only be accomplished by checking the node and then testing everything on that node by climbing poles with a meter until the problem is isolated.

I'm not defending bad service by any means but please know that TWC is trying very hard to get everything in order. With the upcoming reorganization of the cable division things should be looking much better as services are consolidated and the fiefdom situation comes to an end. TWC is learning at the same time the customers are and while that's not ideal, it's what the market is demanding with the pressure from satellite.

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