Time Warner/RoadRunner = Tech Support from hell

August 27, 2008 at 1:31 pm 5 comments

I would rate my latest customer service situation as one of the worst I’ve ever had.  And I was not surprised.  I dread calling Time Warner/Roadrunner for technical support.

The issue?  Cable modem stopped working.  The local network and router operate fine.  The cable modem is suspect.  May I exchange the cable modem?

Between my wife and I, over the past two days, we talked with over ten people, logged 5 hours on the phone, and spent another hour waiting in line at the local Time Warner office to resolve this situation.

The illogical approaches of the technicians were mind-boggling.  After my wife ran through all the level-one troubleshooting steps, I had to go through them all over again with a new tech since the original tech didn’t bother to mark the ticket to escalate to the next tech support level.

Each operator required a full description of the problem, calling back I had to run through the same decision-tree troubleshooting steps, the techs wouldn’t deviate from the script though the tasks were inane “unplug the cable, turn it around, plug it back in in reverse”

Tech: “Your NIC card must be bad”, Me: “the local network, wireless router, printer, etc. all work fine. The NIC card is fine.”  Tech: “You’ll need to install the drivers for a USB connection with your modem; you’ll need to contact the manufacturer of your computer.” Me: “The modem has worked for years with a CAT5 cable.  If connecting with a CAT5 cable is suspect, the modem is faulty; I am the manufacturer of my computer, there is nothing wrong with the NIC card, there is no need to use a USB connection”

I ended up waiting on hold for level 3 tech support the bulk of the time.  Finally, a tech agreed to schedule a service call…for four days away!  I asked if I could just visit a local store and replace the modem myself. Tech: “Yes, but it’s not the modem. the modem is fine”

After waiting in line an hour at the local store, I received my new modem with the instructions from the tech that I could simply plug it in and it would work.  Right.  I connected it.  Success – the modem can see both the internet and the local network.

But unfortunately the tech was wrong.  The modem had not been ‘provisioned,’ or registered with the local office, and I had to call tech support again!  Level 1 could not do this “We don’t have the tools to do this at the national office” and I waited another hour on hold to talk with a level 3 tech who ‘provisioned’ the modem and finally finally I am able to connect online.

Because I replaced the faulty modem.

I honestly don’t know why I continue to subscribe to any Time Warner or Roadrunner service.

I know without a doubt that any time I call Time Warner or Roadrunner I will be on hold a minimum of 30 minutes, my issue will not be resolved in any less that three calls or by talking to less than three different people, and I will always be upset after talking to tech support whether or not the issue is resolved.


Entry filed under: duh.

Skunk Works by Rich and Janos A golden line from the Golden Compass

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jesse  |  December 15, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Hey, I just stumbled upon your post, while searching Google for other Time Warner/Road Runner horror stories. I’ve used their cable internet service for about four months and throughout the entire duration of this, my internet speeds have been abysmal. The only time I was actually able to achieve my promised speed of 10 MB/s was when a second technician paid me a visit at about 9:00am on a Saturday morning. He said that there was no problem with my lines (which is obvious if I was able to get 10 MB/s when he was here, instead of my usual 500 kB/s) and there there must be too must be too much traffic on the area node. This was after the first technician replaced my modem because “my signal levels were bad.” I’ve made countless calls, including calls to level 3 and like you, each time I’ve had to recount the entire ordeal. I actually filed complaints with the city and state of New York, and have received a couple calls from a nice woman who I assume is some kind of damage control specialist. Unfortunately she saw no record of anything from the technician regarding the traffic on the node. So far absolutely nothing has changed. I just got off the phone, demanding a decrease in my monthly bill or a credit, but, after waiting on hold for ten minutes while being transferred to “billing,” which was actually just another technician, I was told that no credits could be issued until the issue was resolved. I’m assuming that the issue will never be resolved, so I guess I’ll never see any credits. I feel like a glutton for punishment, sticking with Time Warner, but unfortunately it’s either them or pay through the nose for Verizon DSL with no contract (since I’m not sure I’ll still be in the apartment in a year). Well, sorry for making this a place to vent, but I think you’ll be able to appreciate my frustration.

  • 2. jesse  |  December 15, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Er…Mb/s and kb/s.

  • 3. futhermet  |  December 15, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    I feel your pain. Thanks, though, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

  • 4. Craig Whitley  |  May 6, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    I have been a RW for a couple of years after they took over Adelphia. Forgetting the legal trouble at Adelphia at least their tech support was great.

    I have contacted RR/TW on 4 occasions and have yet to resolve a single problem. Like most I gave up and just put up with it because for high speed (well maybe) it is the only game in town.

    The latest problem is with RoadRunner Safe Storage. I created an account, downloaded their application file (which is actually quite nice) and attempted to backup some files. No Connection. Hmmm. I can connect via a Web Login and manually move files but no way will the application do it automatically. That is the feature I wanted.

    4 e-mails 2 calls and nobody “has the tools” to resolve the issue. New PC with WinXP Pro and they cannot make their application work. When Verizon gets Fios in my area I’ll be the first to sign up.

    • 5. Tony  |  December 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

      Whew!!!! And I thought it was just me…


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