I recently cancelled my internet service with Time Warner. What started out as a $30 per month expense had escalated to $48 over the course of two years. My last bill indicated that my “promotional” rate was expiring so I tried to call and find out what the hell that was going to cost me. Several attempts resulted in a busy signal. Which was pretty aggravating to say the least. I mean, who doesn’t have an automated system to put you in the queue for an actual customer service rep?
Now, the cost of my satellite television with DirecTV had also risen to the point that I was paying $135 a month for a couple of hours of viewing each week (I spend as much or more time on Netflix). AT&T had been after me to sign up for their UVerse internet and television combination package for quite some time. Given my frustration with Time Warner’s unresponsiveness, I gave them a call. When I hung up I had secured an internet and television package at a comparatively bargain price of only $110 a month. Coincidentally, the amount I’m saving almost pays for the gouging I took from AT&T when I upgraded to smart phones.
Once I had the UVerse installed it was time to formally end my relationship with DirecTV and Time Warner. Bless their hearts, neither one wanted to see me go. I spent at least 30 minutes on the phone with each while they tried to talk me out of making the switch. And both offered to adjust my bill back down to the initial introductory rate (for six months anyway). And they both called back again the next day to once again plead their case for my staying on board. But it was too late, I had given my commitment to AT&T and we are destined to stay together for at least the next 12 months.
Anyway, the Time Warner cancellation was effective on June 3. I was told I would be receiving a $32 refund for the remainder of the billing cycle. Now, I have most of my bills set up for automatic deduction from my bank account which works out great while I’m out of the country for extended periods. I closed the bank account where the Time Warner deduction was drawn (and moved to a far less sucky banking institution). So, imagine my surprise when I received a notice in the mail from Time Warner indicating that on June 7 (four days after termination of the service) their attempt to bill my former bank $48 had been rejected. And here’s the perversely hilarious part–they added a $30 fee for the draft being denied. But wait, it gets even better. The bill looked something like this:
Monthly charge for internet $48 Rejection fee $30. Total $78. Minus the $32credit I had coming. Total due: $46.
I was livid and got right on the phone. And waited and waited waited for the customer service rep to become available. When she was I explained the fuck up. She told me she would have to transfer me to billing. So I waited some more. When billing got on the line I explained it all again. She seemed to understand and put me on hold while she discussed it with her supervisor. When she came back she advised I would have to be transferred to collections. And yep, I waited some more.
The collections guy was quite the prick. We argued on the phone for the better part of an hour. His position was that it was my fault for closing my bank account without notifying them. I responded with why were you billing me for a month of service several days after the account was closed? See, I’m pretty certain that when I signed up I paid a month in advance. So, when I made the payment on May 24 that carried me through to June 24. Which is why I was told I had a $32 credit coming. Mr. Collections Prick didn’t see it that way, but was unable to explain why I was billed for a full month on June 7. I held my tongue pretty much (the worst I said was “this is total bullshit” and that’s pretty amazing restraint on my part). It became apparent he was not going to be dissuaded from his position that I went from being owed money to owing money. So, I offered a compromise (this penny ante crap wasn’t worth the aggravation). I told him I would pay the $16 I didn’t owe, but I was not going to pay the $30 rejection fee.
Collections Prick responded “Time Warner will not waive the fee.” I told him good luck trying to collect it, because I won’t pay it under any circumstance. He said “That’s fine, then it will go on your credit report as an uncollected debt.” And that’s the point where the call mercifully ended.
Time Warner Cable sucks. Tomorrow I’ll be sending them a letter telling them they suck along with a check for $16. I’ll also let them know that my blog and Facebook page has duly noted their general suckiness as a warning to folks so they won’t have to find out the hard way like I did. And I’ll cc the South Carolina Consumer Affairs folks who regulate utilities like Time Warner
Cable Sucks, for all the good I expect that do. And I’ll keep that letter on file to send to the credit reporting agencies should Time Warner Cable Sucks follow through on their threat.
Whew. Glad I got that off my chest. Hey speaking of things that suck, Value City Furniture pretty much sucks too. To be fair, I purchased my master bedroom suite (why is suite pronounced “suit” and why do they call it that anyway?) and my bar from them and I’ve been satisfied with those buys. So I needed a couple of side chairs for my dining room table and I went back to their showroom for a looksee. I wasn’t looking for anything fancy and I didn’t want to spend more than necessary and I found some on display that I liked. They were part of a five piece set (with table) on sale for $499. I asked how much for just two chairs and was told $125 each. I’m no math wizard but that seemed unnaturally high. Well, I guess I couldn’t expect the sale price if I wasn’t buying the set.
Anyway, I said fine, I’ll take these two. No, I was advised, those are only for display. We’ll have two sent over from the warehouse and you can pick them up in two days. Ok, fine. The deal was done and I returned on the appointed date to find a smallish box waiting for me. “There are two chairs in that box?” I asked incredulously. “Yes” I was told. Which was correct as far as it goes, but the truthful answer would have been “two unassembled chairs.” Now, if I buy cheap ass furniture from Target or Wal-Mart I expect I will have to put it together (this is especially easy to know because the display states prominently “assembly required”. I’ve never bought crap from an actual furniture store that I had to build myself. Which I did this afternoon. $125 per chair and two hours of my life I’ll never get back. That sucks.
And finally, this blog sucks. Longtime reader(s) are doubtlessly well aware of that fact. But I’m not talking about the writing this time. The blog itself isn’t functioning properly. For instance, I can’t load photos these days. And other strange things have been occurring as well. It just seems to be a general degradation in performance overall. Now way back in December 2004 soon after LTG was born, I switched from Blogspot to WordPress. And apparently I’ve never upgraded to the various iterations WordPress has gone through in the intervening years. I’m too
lazy unqualified to do an upgrade by myself, so I opened a help ticket with my blog host BlogsAbout.com. I was one of their earliest customers and I got lots of TLC in the beginning from the actual founder of the company. They’ve apparently done amazingly well over the years. And now a little guy like can’t even get a response to my pleas for help over a week later. So, through the wonder of a Google search I’ve found another guy who says he can do the job. All I know is that he responded within 30 minutes of my request, he did a quick looksee, and said he can fix me up for $130. Apparently, my version of WordPress is so outdated he’ll have to go through several longish steps to get me up to speed. Here’s hoping I’ve exhausted my quota of sucky encounters.
It occurs to me that despite not speaking the language and being generally ignorant culturally, my life in Korea is so much easier than here. Things in Korea just don’t seem to suck nearly as much.