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If you’ve been following my Time Warner Q&A series, a number of reader questions were answered by the cable company’s staff and others were answered during my face-to-face interview with the local presidents, Deborah “Debi” Picciolo, president of residential services for the West Region, and Clarence Caldwell, president of network operations/engineering for the West Region.
But about three dozen questions still weren’t answered. I’ve pasted them all below in case any of the folks at Time Warner would like a second chance at responding.
UPDATE, added 4:20 p.m.: I just spoke to Darryl Ryan, Time Warner’s media relations guy and he wanted to add that Time Warner appreciated all the questions. He said the company learns a lot about what customers really want when they get questions like this batch. But not all were answered because questions either dealt with a future product or service (multi-room DVR) or the question was too limited to one user’s experience. Ryan suggests always calling customer service (888-TWCABLE) to get the issue documented.
I’ve added my own answers to some of the questions. If readers have answers, or links to answers, please post as comments and I’ll move them up.
1. When is ABC on demand coming?
2. When will Setanta Sports become available?
[Gadgetress: To request the channel, go HERE.]
3. When will BYU TV become available?4. How about offering one more business channel in the lower 99 to compete with CNBC on Channel 44?
5. Why do other TV providers have multiple HD versions of their premium channels but Time Warner only has one of each? // Why do other providers (FIOS for example) supply twice as many HD channels as TW?
[Gadgetress note: You're right. Verizon FiOS offers about a dozen HBO HD channels while Time Warner has just 1. The funny thing is that Time Warner, which the cable unit split off from earlier this year, owns HBO. So why don't we get it? Probably because Time Warner doesn't have enough room in its pipe to broadcast them, hence it's moving to newer technology to compress the signals, end analog broadcasts or change to switched digital video. One good thing to know: Time Warner does offer many more HBO HD channels to customers in, for example, New York. That indicates that the company has already has the rights to offer the channels to subscribers nationwide. It just needs to find the room.]
6. We loved Moxi. Any plans to bring back MOXI?
[Gadgetress: I doubt it. The Moxi boxes are a holdover from Adelphia. Time Warner is trying to unify operations by offering all customers the same channels, same equipment, same everything. ]
7. When TWC rolled out an update to your DVR service, why did you remove features from the guide? It is not possible to “flip” through the “favorites” without changing channels anymore.
8. How come when I hit my saved listings on the DVR does it always skip to the middle of the first page? Why can’t it default to the top or where I just watched?
9. Since channels are switching numbers constantly, why can’t I search by station name?
10. Please let us block channels without having to view a splash screen “this channel is blocked.”
11. Why has the amount of information given about the shows has been significantly reduced.
12. What is the wait-time policy for phone calls? I had to wait 30 minutes during non-peak hours.
13. Why do I have to keep submitting a death certificate to get TWC to cancel service at a deceased relative’s home?
14. Why don’t you rectify everyone’s bill when the cable goes out? Why do I have to call, wait a year for someone to answer, and have to ask for a rebate?
15. How often is the “Cook Book” or “Phone Answering Script” or “Trouble Resolution Flow Chart” used by the first level support people updated?
16. Can TWC first level support be trained in Set Top Box configurations or set up? Most first level support personnel know very little about the various normal configurations. e.g. Customer says “I want to do xyz.” and the first level support can’t say “This is how to go to this menu option and then…”
[Gadgetress note: Time Warner consolidated its call center operations earlier this summer, just one step in improving how customer service reps handle calls.]
17. Will prices ever go down? Why is cable TV so expensive?
[Gadgetress: Time Warner just launched a new marketing campaign in an attempt to explain why cable prices keep rising. It's TV networks that demand more money every year and in order for Time Warner to offer the channels, they have to pay a per-user fee. Read the earlier story, "Hate paying more for cable TV? Time Warner is taking a vote]
18. What’s the likelihood of a pay-to-watch model or a pay-when-you-watch model?
[Gadgetress: Unlikely for the near future. Time Warner supports the National Cable & Telecommunication Association's viewpoint that allowing consumers to pay for only the channels they want will only increase prices. Time Warner is expanding into an on-demand TV service online called TV Everywhere, but it's only for paying subscribers.]
19. Why do you charge a “technology fee” for the DVR service? A DVR doesn’t cost any more to operate than a regular box, so why do we have to pay more per month for the DVR and then more again for this “technology fee”?
[Gadgetress: I'm a Time Warner customer too and have 2 HD DVRs. I don't see this fee on my bill. Anyone else notice this?]
20. How come our rates have not decreased for channels 2-99 when we now have only fuzz where we could previously watch a program?
21. Are the fast Internet speeds offered a constant speed or only ‘bursts’ that get you to that speed when no one else is using the Internet?
22. TWC supplies an anti-virus (CA) to its internet customers, but why is it not compatible with Vista?
[Gadgetress: More details on Time Warner's anti-virus software is HERE. You can download the software HERE. Why no Vista, Windows 7 or 64-bit XP support? Not sure such software is available from CA. ]
23. I would like to know when we will get more reliable (and faster) internet speeds here in OC, especially the Costa Mesa area.
24. Multi-room DVR? When and how much?
25. Can you offer more variety in set-top boxes or DVRs? Some customers want to record more than two channels simultaneously.
26. When will Time Warner offer a bigger hard drive on the DVR?
27. Why does Time Warner disable the ports (e-sata, firewire) on the DVR so we can’t connect an external hard drive – especially when the DVR manufacture allows it?
28. Will Time Warner’s existing equipment support 1080p broadcasts? Is 1080p on-demand in the works?
29. Why did TWC stop letting customers send e-mail through their servers even though they pay for monthly ISP service? We can’t send e-mail because our domain is not registered with TWC. Why didn’t TWC let home-based business customers know this so we could prepare?
30. How come since TW took over Comcast whenever I watch something on demand, in the middle of it, it turns black and white?
31. Why do I get pixelization on some shows, and some channels?
32. What are Time Warner’s public access opportunities for citizens in its service areas?
33. When will the West Coast get 4G wireless?
34. Why is it so easy for a field tech to disconnect my cable phone line/service in order to give my connection to a new (neighbor) subscriber? Apparently there are only four connections available on the pole and they were all being used, so the tech disconnected mine to give it to someone else. I was without telephone service for three days, so for three days my alarm/fire system was not being monitored and no access to local 911.
To read more about Time Warner Cable in Orange County, visit the Gadgetress page for the cable provider: HERE.
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