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As the world's third largest TV and entertainment company (when measured by revenue), Time Warner clearly receives high marks for racking up crazy profits. However, when taking into consideration the company's latest name-calling incident, it looks like the same cannot be said for the media conglomerate's customer service. Continue reading to see what led to one customer's being called a very unflattering four-letter-word, beginning with the letter “c.” You know the one.
The poor choice of words came in the form of a letter from Time Warner Cable that began with “Dear Cunt Martinez.” The incident occurred after one of their subscribers, by the name of Esperanza Martinez, hit up their “live chat” feature to resolve a problem with her cable box. Why it escalated to name-calling proportions is anybody's guess, but this isn't the first time a cable company prompted a question with seemingly no logical answer... and if history serves as any indicator, it probably won't be the last.
The customer service's follow-up letter, brought to light thanks to ARS, attempted to address what Time Warner apparently had filed in their database regarding the cable subscriber's recent problems with their service. Not only did TWC botch their customer's first name (and pretty badly we might add), they also seemed to have no idea as to what her original issue was in the first place. The letter, which incorrectly stated "We know you recently decided to cancel your services,” was focused solely on retaining Ms. Martinez's business. While it's nice to see the cable company was interested in keeping Martinez as a customer, the fact that they didn't even address her source “live chat” conversation in any way, has to make you wonder what kind of records they actually keep.
Apparently, Martinez logged into Time Warner Cable's (TWC) “live chat” feature back on February 12 to discuss an equipment-related issue she was having with her cable box. The fact the company was unable to fix her issue and later had to send out a technician turned out to be the least of her frustrations. Receiving the letter really just put the icing on the cake.
It is a letter stating I requested to disconnect my service, which I never did. ...The only information they could provide was that the name change was made on 2/12/15, which happens to be the same day I used their 'live chat' feature online and called in and spoke to a representative regarding an issue with my cable box. ...I have no idea why a TWC employee would do this and risk losing their job. It shows what type of companies TWC and Comcast are by the people they hire to represent them.
Time Warner's not the only company to treat its subscribers poorly. Comcast, the company which only a year ago announced its plans to purchase the former conglomerate, already has a fairly bad reputation with its own customers, and it was responsible for getting one of its subscribers fired from his job. Oddly enough, they have even been at the center of similar name-calling incidents themselves. One such incident took place only weeks ago and saw Comcast customer Lisa Brown receive a bill with her name doctored to “Asshole Brown.”
Years ago, this kind of thing probably wouldn't have too much of a negative impact. However, with cord-cutting numbers on the rise, issues like the above may prompt subscribers to actually start looking at other options. With many cable alternatives already in existence, such as Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, Amazon Prime, (and soon enough, HBO standalone) the idea of cutting the cord is starting to look more and more enticing to the average cable subscriber.