Guy Sues Time Warner Cable For Deceptive Acts & False Advertising Over Bogus Promotional Rates, Hidden Fees

from the transparently-non-transparent dept

For many, many years, plenty of people have complained about hidden fees and bogus promotional rates offered by various broadband companies. It appears that Jeremy Zielinski has had enough. He's actually sued Time Warner Cable in NY for "deceptive acts and practices" and "false advertising." Specifically, he signed up for Time Warner Cable at a promotional $34.99/month package, only to discover his first bill was for $94.45. The $34.99 had magically morphed into $39.99 plus a $5.99 "internet modem lease" fee and a $47.99 installation fee -- all of which he insists were never mentioned anywhere in the original offer. The modem lease and install fees are fairly common these days -- and it's ridiculous but they're the kinds of things that people should absolutely clarify before signing up for new internet service. The wrong promotional fee, though, seems really questionable. Zielinski then had a rather typical customer service experience with a big broadband player:
On or about the next day, Plaintiff called the defendant's customer service number to complain about the overbilling. Plaintiff specifically informed TWC that the prices and services billed for were neither advertised, explained, nor agreed to. After waiting on hold for some time, a representative claimed that the $34.99 was a "promotional price" that should not have been on the website anymore and that the "modem lease" fee and installation fee were "standard" and could not be taken off. Inexplicably, the representative nevertheless agreed to remove the $47.99 "Internet, Install fee" from the bill.
A few calls later, TWC promised to lower the price to the advertised $34.99, but did not (of course). After many more complaints, TWC did temporarily lower his bill to $19.99 (plus the "modem lease fee").

Zielinski also notes some other practices that he suggests are unfair or deceptive, such as leasing certain modems that the company insists will not work on its system if you buy them (thus pressuring people into the lease fee):
Another page on TWC's site, taken down at an unknown point in the last few months, contained a list of which modems TWC will "approve" if owned by a consumer and which modems TWC will "lease" to consumers. The list of modems which are compatible with its services is substantially larger than the "approved" list. Many modems which TWC falsely claims "will not work" because they are not on the "approved" list are the very same ones that TWC "leases" to consumers and charges them non-advertised fees for. Exhibit H.

For some modems, the only distinction between whether consumers can use it to receive TWC services is whether TWC or the consumer owns the modem. If the consumer owns it, TWC will not allow the consumer to use it, but if TWC owns it—and can charge the consumer a monthly "modem lease" fee for it—the modem is perfectly acceptable to TWC. There is no legitimate technological reason for this distinction.

Many of the modems which TWC falsely claims "will not work" with its services are substantially cheaper than the ones on the "approved" list. TWC's false statements about which modems are compatible with its services, and its refusal to "approve" consumer-owned modems which are actually compatible with its network, have no legitimate technological justification, and are intended to deter consumers from purchasing compatible modems and to coerce them into paying exorbitant and unnecessary "modem lease" fees.
He also claims that Time Warner Cable sold him a speed upgrade, which was never actually delivered, though the company continued to bill him for it.
Despite TWC's email, Plaintiff observed that his upload and download speeds did not seem to have improved in any noticeable way. He began conducting a series of speed tests and discovered that his upstream and downstream speeds were the same as they were before the upgrade, even though he was now being charged $10 per month more for TWC services.

Plaintiff then contacted TWC customer service using its online chat portal and spoke with several representatives attempting to resolve the problem.

The first representative revealed after checking Plaintiff's account that the modem TWC had previously provided was not compatible with the higher speeds. According to that representative, in order to receive the services advertised, Plaintiff would have to travel at his own expense to the local TWC office and swap out the modem for a newer one.

The second representative proposed the preposterous solution of giving Plaintiff a one-day credit for the services TWC was apparently incapable of providing, then canceling the upgrade and going back to the lower speeds.

When Plaintiff requested to speak to a third representative, that person initially said the first representative was wrong and that the modem was compatible with a "Turbo" Internet access line, then after a speed test showed the same sub-advertised performance it had a few minutes before, changed his mind and said the modem was not compatible.
One interesting note in all of this: early on, Zielinski made the decision to pro-actively opt-out of TWC's mandatory arbitration clause, which most customers just accept, and which would significantly limit the ability of most users to go to court. Here's one of the exhibits in his lawsuit filing:
Companies like Time Warner Cable have been able to get away with these sorts of questionable and non-transparent practices for ages. If I had to guess, I'd imagine that this lawsuit won't get very far in court, but it's still interesting to see someone fighting back...

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  • icon
    RadioactiveSmurf (profile), 12 Nov 2014 @ 12:41pm

    What's interesting is that what he has described is not at all unusual when dealing with a broadband provider. Everything is by the book and consistent across every provider. Good on this guy for trying to do something about it as there isn't anyone who is okay with this, but instead beaten into submission.

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  • identicon
    Call me Al, 12 Nov 2014 @ 2:06pm

    Price changes

    This is something that really annoys me. I had my own case of it in the UK. The website stated a price, I signed up and when I received the confirmation email the price was now higher than the advertised price. When I complained I was told that the website shouldn't have show the price I signed up for anymore. In the UK though I believe there is some case law for when an offer has been made and accepted then that price is agreed, which is why the website allowed me to cancel the whole thing. I probably could have pressed for the original price but the aggravation and hassle wasn't worth it.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2014 @ 2:23pm

      Re: Price changes

      I'm terribly sorry for the inexcusable issue you are experiencing sir. This is absolutely unacceptable and I will ensure that it is correct at once.
      Thank you for your patience. I have corrected the issue. If you'll refresh the website, it will now show the correct prices.
      Have a nice day and thank you for choosing __________.

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  • icon
    tqk (profile), 12 Nov 2014 @ 2:26pm

    If I had to guess, I'd imagine that this lawsuit won't get very far in court, but it's still interesting to see someone fighting back.

    Which is sad since to anyone else out here it looks open and shut. They padded his bill with hidden charges, then took them off and added others. Their technical support is poorly trained if not incompetent. TWC wouldn't have done anything unless he'd first wasted his time and researched then forced the issue.

    If this is what consumers should expect from compliant providers, somebody's not doing their job regulating them.

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  • identicon
    Christenson, 12 Nov 2014 @ 2:29pm

    FTC, where are you????

    And my state's AG, too....this CAN'T be within the law...lol

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    • identicon
      PRMan, 12 Nov 2014 @ 3:32pm

      Re: FTC, where are you????

      The FTC and state PUC are nowhere until they get classified under Title II.

      I had the same conversation with TWC. I signed up for a new internet plan and the very first month it was a different price. I was told I could have it for a year. They checked the notes and fixed it. The price has remained since (thankfully, since there is virtually no recourse).

      I had a line crammed on Sprint and I called them repeatedly on it. Finally after the third call, I called the state's public utility commission. They got me in contact with the dumbest "executive" I have ever dealt with in my life (and that's saying a lot, she didn't know the difference between a balance and a credit) but I eventually got it taken care of with one phone call once the PUC was involved.

      That's why it's so important to have the ISPs classified under Title II. It gives you a recourse when they treat you like crap.

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  • icon
    Keith (profile), 12 Nov 2014 @ 3:43pm

    This is so crazy

    There is just too much of this going on. These fees aren't for anything. You see this where ever you go. I worked at a car dealership that started charging a "shop fee". When I asked what it was for the service manager told me it was for the disposal of any fluids or parts that come off the car. It was just money for nothing. The customer got nothing out of it. A way to raise prices without raising prices. Give the fee a name and somehow that makes the charge legit.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2014 @ 4:05pm

    Not the same.

    "For some modems, the only distinction between whether consumers can use it to receive TWC services is whether TWC or the consumer owns the modem. ... There is no legitimate technological reason for this distinction."

    Uh, no. Leased modems usually have custom firmware and are *not* the same as visually similar retail models. Sorry.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2014 @ 4:40pm

      Re: Not the same.

      It's not really a modem, is it?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DocGerbil100 (profile), 12 Nov 2014 @ 5:23pm

      Re: Not the same.

      From the article:
      "[...] a list of which modems TWC will "approve" if owned by a consumer and which modems TWC will "lease" to consumers".

      If some retail models - which would not conceivably possess any "custom firmware" unique to TWC - are compatible, then it follows logically that most models that meet basic specifications should also be compatible.

      The only plausible way it could be otherwise would be if TWC has deliberately nobbled its network to reject unapproved hardware, purely in order to levy a fee.

      Either way, it's clear that TWC has engaged in an unethical and immoral trade practise, for the sole purpose of gouging its customers.

      While this might be common behaviour among ISPs in the US, in the UK, this kind of behaviour isn't normal or legal and would almost certainly result in a legal slapping by regulators.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:47am

        Re: Re: Not the same.

        "If some retail models - which would not conceivably possess any "custom firmware" unique to TWC - are compatible, then it follows logically that most models that meet basic specifications should also be compatible."

        Different modems with different firmware can behave totally differently even if based on the same basic hardware design.

        "The only plausible way it could be otherwise would be if TWC has deliberately nobbled its network to reject unapproved hardware, purely in order to levy a fee."

        I would ask you to provide some justification for that comment, but being an engineer with experience designing such devices I recognize you statement as pure bollocks and wont waste my time.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          DocGerbil100 (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 7:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: Not the same.

          After reading your comment, I decided to look further into the matter. To my complete surprise, I discovered I probably am talking bollocks, at least in part. Ook! Looking at what I've written, I could probably have bluffed it out, but I'd rather be honest.

          My mistake - and a very noobsome mistake it was too - was in confusing cable modems with routers. Yes, I actually am that stupid sometimes. Dear lord, I wish I could say I was surprised.

          In my defence, I'm in the UK, where cable modems aren't all that common - I'm only aware of them being used in Virgin Cable installations and the still-relatively-uncommon fibre setups, where in both cases they're provided by the ISP. I've never seen one available for purchase from UK retailers.

          In rebuttal to my defence, I've read a fair amount on the topic, on Techdirt and other places, so I really should have known better before opening my big, fat gob. Also, I actually do have a cable modem, since I am on a fibre connection. D'oh!

          In rebuttal to the rebuttal to my defence, my cable modem has sat hidden behind a permanently-open door since it was installed and the number of times I've looked at it is probably still in the single figures.

          I've no reply to the allegation of general ignorance and stupidity, though. It's a fair cop, guv.

          So, now that I've both annihilated my credibility and actually have researched the issue somewhat and have a slight idea of what I'm talking about, what do I think?

          I think it's still suspicious.

          Actual retail models won't come with TWC firmware on board, that makes no sense at all, so they're presumably updating automatically as they're connected to the network.

          It seems highly questionable at best that certain models can't be updated, when TWC clearly already has firmware for those models, which they're already leasing and selling to customers.

          I concede that I can envisage a situation where there are issues with certain hardware that isn't properly compliant with the relevant standards and must be updated in more direct fashion than is normally the case.

          I also concede that I can envisage a situation where one party or another has slapped stupid licensing restrictions on how their hardware is updated, forcing a cumbersome workaround.

          Both of these scenarios seem like a stretch, however, since hardware providers don't seem likely to gain from not fixing such issues. Lack of compatibility seems unlikely to be a useful selling point.

          It still seems far more plausible that TWC just wants to make more money by chewing on its customers for extra fees.

          You seem to have some knowledge of the matter, AC. Perhaps you could enlighten us as to what the issues actually are?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2014 @ 11:26pm

      Re: Not the same.

      Technically that is true. But as long as a modem is based upon a particular standard (docsis 2.0 or 3.0) generally it should work. A leased modem might have custom firmware to enable certain features buty its not like that custom firmware is what makes the service work. Any modem that conforms to the docsis standards should work.

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    • identicon
      themaxwell, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:00am

      Re: Not the same.

      Yeah the 100% proprietary "custom" firmware....has the TP-Link logo swapped out for the Time-Warner logo on the login page. That's pretty much it. They are standard devices now, passing through T-w hands doesn't make it magical.

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      • identicon
        linda, 6 Feb 2017 @ 8:35pm

        Re: Re: Not the same. The bigest rip of f!!!

        Everybody are involved in this scandal and rip off. The modems like Arris(Motorola),TP-link or any other that have to drop their logos are built by those mfg. to specs regulated by Time warner or Comcast,Charter,Spectrum. The firmware is NOT -UPGRADABLE by customer or end user,only the cables company's can upgrade the firmware.As a results of this they directly control the operation and behavior of the mmodem accordingly to them and if no internet access is provided from them they telling customers that customer have faulty equipment.They can throttle down the bandwidth ,the amount of channels on downloads and uploads they do have total control over the firmware of Modem.Conclusion - STOP buying any new modems and wasting your money !!!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:07am

      Re: Not the same.

      You're right, and as soon as they plug it into the service, it downloads their firmware, making it just like one of their modems.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Dirkmaster (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 1:09pm

      Re: Not the same.

      BWAHAHAHAH!

      Yeah, and you know what makes it "Custom"? Their logo.

      Go peddle your soap somewhere else, troll.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 7:46pm

      Re: Not the same.

      Firmware can be updated. TWC could even provide an update disk for various modems -- they obviously have them in house.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jan 2015 @ 7:52am

      Re: Not the same: Cable modems reference

      I don't know if what you say is correct. The document did not say "visually similar" retail modems. It said the same. It would seem that if Motorola made an XYZ modem and the model number on the label is the same,manufacturing criteria would mandate that the units' connectors, wiring, capacitors, construction, etc., are consistent, exactly the same inside. So why would 'leased models' require customized firmware instead of just "firmware"? Why would TWC have to CUSTOMIZE their firmware for the unit to function in a technically duplicated environment?
      When people suddenly had the choice of buying their ATT phones (long ago) instead of leasing them, the service didn't stop working properly the minute you connected other units...lol. I use this example because, regardless of the sophistication of the internet vs basic phone service, the "same" units SHOULD be interchangeable---
      --unless for some reason the "customized firmware" is designed for use in some diabolical manipulation of the unit--like being able to auto-reduce speed or shape bandwidth traffic in high demand periods or areas...heh.

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  • identicon
    Benjamin Wade, 12 Nov 2014 @ 4:23pm

    How can I contribute to his legal costs?

    Anyone have any ideas?

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 12 Nov 2014 @ 5:49pm

      Re: How can I contribute to his legal costs?

      Anyone have any ideas?

      Supreme court of New York. Albany court clerk. Susan F. Partington, notary public, ... It's all there in the supplied brief. Shouldn't be that hard.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jordan, 12 Nov 2014 @ 6:10pm

    Just happened to ME!!!

    look at TWC home page!!! we got a standard $35 internet package with a bonus offer up to 50 mbps. The standard package gave us 15 mbps. A week later, their $35 package now starts at 50 mbps and called "extreme". before it was just "standard". we were told that we had the wrong modem, that we needed to trade it in for a more expensive one, blah blah blah

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 12 Nov 2014 @ 7:09pm

      Re: Just happened to ME!!!

      A week later, their $35 package now starts at 50 mbps and called "extreme". before it was just "standard".

      Quelle suprise. What's that old saw, "There's a sucker born every minute." Don't feel singled out. They do it to everybody. You're not special.

      I am so thinking Casablanca right now for some indefinable reason. Mmm, Ingrid Bergman, gurgle, slather, rouf, rouf, rouf!

      [That wasn't intended to be as disgusting as it looks, sorry.]

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  • icon
    JP Jones (profile), 12 Nov 2014 @ 6:37pm

    We recently went through the process of canceling TWC ourselves and it was a giant hassle. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much you can do about it.

    We've had TWC for the last couple of years and finally got fed up with incredibly poor wifi and overall low speeds. We were paying for the 100 Mbs service and were lucky to get 60...our average was 50-55. Our upload was generally 5-10 and our ping 30-120, averaging around 70.

    A local ISP offered a better deal so we finally decided to make the switch. We have the same advertised price...100 Mbs...and so far average around 80 Mbs (our peak was actually 110 Mbs!) with uploads averaging around 20 with a peak of 30. It also costs $30 less per month *including* basic cable and DVR (interestingly it was cheaper with cable than without...I don't use it but my wife enjoys Jeopardy).

    Either way cancelling TWC was a mess. My wife talked to a service representative about canceling and they put her on hold for four hours...then the call just disconnected. She ended up calling a general customer service line having to threaten to just drive our rented modem to the local office, make a huge fuss at the office, and tell our credit card company to cancel them if they refused. It still took her three more hours to finally cancel the service.

    Seven hours to cancel, three of which were on the phone with actual people. Even when she told them directly "I'm canceling" they still tried to argue and offer reduced rates and better service...all of which was BS.

    Honestly the sad part is this guy's situation doesn't even seem that abnormal to me. All I could think about was "yeah, sounds about right."

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2014 @ 10:23pm

      Re:

      hmm.. déjà vu, same tactics as AOL retention... i think they just got reincarnated into TWC.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John85851 (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 10:02am

      Re:

      At what point do you hang up on them, tell this story to your credit card company, and file a chargeback?
      What would happen if more people filed a chargeback? Would Visa or Mastercard cut off their credit card account if they got too many chargebacks?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tim A, 12 Nov 2014 @ 8:09pm

    Two peas in a pod

    It's perfectly understandable why Comcast would want to suck them in.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Charles Rowland, 13 Nov 2014 @ 5:17am

    Same TWC issues

    I've had the same issues, with the same promotion right down to the scripted bs that the website had the wrong pricing. Just getting them to turn on my Internet was a week long hassle because they were screwing with and then disconnected our neighbors service ad not mine (we found out later after living in the neighborhood a while). the whole time they insisted my personal owned modem was not compatible even though it was the top tier modem they lease... There are zero providers where I am at that can give me more than 6mb download... I live in Raleigh NC, a freaking technology hub.. Being a freelance motion graphics artist I have zero choice but to put up with them.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:08am

    Class action? ...same thing happened to me

    Is there a class action possibility here? The exact same thing just happened to me in NYC, except rather than an "installation fee" I was charged a $9.99 shipping fee for an "upgraded modem," which the phone rep insisted was completely free and being offered to everyone in my neighborhood ("new rollout of improved service," naturally). I was sold a $34.99/month plan, but my first bill was for $39.99/month + $5.99/month modem lease. After hours on the phone, I was told that'd I'd be switched back to the $34.99 rate and that the $9.99 fee would be removed, but I won't believe it until I see my next bill...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Steve in Moorpark CA, 13 Nov 2014 @ 6:26am

    TWC - False & Deceptive Services

    Just like Jeremy, I was lured into low fees and accepted TWC internet and phone service. The reality was that TWC installed by using my AT&T incoming cable without telling me. TV service was cut off. TWC techs revisited, shook their heads and told me it was an ATT problem and my cost. Long story short, I cancelled TWC services after 4 days, July 5th, and re-installed ATT. TWC agents guaranteed my installation fee to be refunded ($71). The reality - I have been billed every month for service since July. My account was sent to collections by TWC, yet I still receive monthly bills. Calls to TWC are pointless; agents simply don't believe I am not using their service, and tell me they have no means to check, despite returning their modem, never having phone service, etc. In despair, I wrote to TWC regional head office executives. Not even the courtesy of a reply. An absolute sham. I hope Jeremy wins his suit, good luck!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      glenn, 27 Nov 2015 @ 1:17pm

      Re: TWC - False & Deceptive Services

      i'm also having the same crap lowlife fraudulent services.has anyone ever heard that ole saying. if ya don't have your word you don't have shit?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:58am

    TWC owned modem vs. the same modem that the consumer owns.

    Here is an idea. TWC (and other cable companies) offer free hotspots for their customers. I know Cablevision has tons and tons of hotspots that I can connect to. Obviously Cablevision isn't putting up hundred's of thousands of wifi routers, it comes from their customers modems. TWC does this also.

    I wonder if a TWC owned router is built to allow others to access the free TWC hotspot while a customer owned router would not?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 16 Nov 2014 @ 4:28am

    Justice so blind it simply cannot see the victim.

    Here we go again.

    1.Big Bizness breaks the law and rakes in a few million bux.

    2.Big Guv "fines" Big Biz for a portion of the take.

    3.Big Biz walks away with the lion's share of the illicit proceeds.

    4.Big Guv walks away with their percentage.

    End of victimless legal process.

    Little Guy - the victim - get screwed outta his cash once again.

    Like I said, this is a business model.

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    kacy, 13 Mar 2015 @ 12:26pm

    who is the legal firm handling this class action lawsuit?

    who is the legal firm handling this class action lawsuit?i'm interested in joining. and unfortunately, i can't find out online - i called the albany supreme court who refferend me to the county clerk but they haven't called back yet...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jeremy L, 27 Mar 2015 @ 3:10pm

    Contact for Mr. Zielinski's counsel?

    I have just cancelled my TWC service after receiving my first bill. I have a work order from March 1 which states clearly "Total Monthly Charges 135.49" There's fine print about taxes and fees - no problem. Should have worked out around $160/month after the junk fees. The "best" offer the retention person could offer was $170 before equipment charges, fees, etc. and this would include a downgrade of my internet service bandwidth. I was told that there was fine print in my work order explaining that existing services were in addition to the quoted 135.49.... I produced the 4 page work order contract and asked where this could be found in the document. We agreed it was not spelled out in this document at all and I made a decision to place the order based on the quoted price. I was then told that in spite of that fact, the price/program they offered me in the order didn't exist so there was no way the could honor that price. This is clear bait-and-switch. I invoked another clause in their fine-print and cancelled service prior to hitting the 30 day mark. I have no desire or need to recoup damages but I would gladly offer my work order dated March 1 2015, my monthly bill of March 26, a voicemail left on March 27 by the TWC customer service rep and my personal testimony in support of this effort. Since I am certain TWC records the calls there was a 40 minute call in which some interesting remarks and acknowledgements were made by their representative. Not only was I sold under false pretense but TWC's competitors are losing subscribers unjustly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tqk (profile), 23 Apr 2015 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Here's my story

    The phenomenon is industry wide (in North America, at least). I signed up with Shaw Cable (Canada) for Internet only (no cable TV, no phone, delivered over coax) and the introductory rate was "half price", ca. C$22/mo. At the end of the introductory six months, I now pay C$66/mo. When I questioned them on it, they saw nothing wrong with this and proceeded to offer to let me go for the "5" vs. "10" per month package instead, for five bucks less per mo. (woopee). Er, whut? 10 / 2 == 5, so shouldn't that make it 66 / 2 == 33? Silly me.

    It's certainly a strange sort of arithmetic they use. I'm not done with them. I really want to know why they think 22 * 2 == 66.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Davneet, 22 May 2015 @ 12:52pm

    If you need support in your case, add my example. TWC did the same thing to me. I hope they get what they deserve.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TWCScam, 5 Sep 2015 @ 5:46am

    STOP TWC IN THEIR TRACKS - NOW!

    I would love to be part of your case as well. This past August 2015, TWC prematurely stopped my promised 12 months promotion with a $300.00 gift card, and billed me for more than what I was supposed to be paying. I literally had to call them “every month” to have them re-adjust my bill and I had to watch my account to make sure that my Visa promotional card was still active. This was not an easy thing to do. FYI” when you see a Time Warner Cable commercial taunting this Visa Gift Card Promotion, you are most likely to NOT get it without you keeping tabs on each monthly bill, whether it’s your fault or Time Warner Cable’s. If you are late on your bill anytime within this promotion – say goodbye to that Visa Gift Card. If Time Warner Cable makes a mistake and you don’t catch it on time – say goodbye to that Visa Gift Card. If you change your service, equipment before the 90 days without it being noted into the computer from the customer service reps. – say goodbye to that Visa Gift Card. Just read all the Time Warner Cable complaints online and you will be surprised of how hard it was for the customer’s to receive their TWC Visa Gift Card though the promotion. “READ ALL TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE OFFER! It’s right there in small 3- point reading font for you to squint to.

    TWC will also do this trick where you will get overcharged on your bill. When you call them and try to explain, to not just one, but to several reps. about their "billing mistakes" they will up sell you on why they are the best compared to other TV and Internet providers by stating you will never be locked into a contract with Time Warner Cable.
    When they finally adjust your bill after being on the phone with them for an average of 2 hours or more, they will do the following:

    For example say you were overcharged by $25.00, what they do next is tax you on that over charge “mistake or not” on your current or next months bill, when they claim to have just credited that money to your TWC account, and saying you should be able to see it in the following months bill. So when your next month’s bill comes you may or may not see it credited but you’re most likely to see an "unpaid balance" on your bill. This is a scare tactic which works really well for them; to have you call because of coarse you don't want to be delinquent on your bill.

    So now you call them again and explain yourself as to why the charge should be removed. Plus you literally have to take notes of who you spoke with and what transpired. Just try asking for their full name and they will pause... and say "I'm not allowed to give out my full name or location but I can give you an ID. I'm sure we all been to this point on the phone. They have our full name and social security, but we can’t get their full name or location either?

    The person that sued TWC whether he wins or not, has the guts to follow through on what all of us American’s believe is the right thing to do, but will most likely think this type of company is too big and has lots of government backup so anyone who goes against them will lose. We’ll here is one way to start the winning, “put it on (TV and Radio media news)" of how you are being treated unfairly with YOUR hard earned money and let the public decide on what is justice with this type of price gouging.
    Don't believe me then take out your current and previous TWC bills and look at each charge -item by item- and chances are they will not be the same rate for everyone, not even if they reside in the same location.

    Finally, retention does absolutely nothing to help you get any further then with a regular TWC rep. If you want to get your bill corrected without spending hours on the phone, then do this:

    Call customer service, billing dept., or retention, it doesn’t really matter. Don't ask but demand to speak with the manager or supervisor on duty, the retention reps. absolutely hate this because they are rated on their customer service experience with you the CUSTOMER. If you get passed them and connected to the manager or supervisor on duty, then consider yourself close to 90% on your way to really getting your issue resolved. The key here is to be very nice and stick to the facts of what is wrong with your bill or service. If you are not rude to them they will really listen and help try to resolve your issue. I’m talking about the manger or supervisor. Don’t get me wrong, there are really good representatives on the phone, but the problem is, they are limited as to what they can do, such as giving credits or just understanding your specific billing and service issues. The reps. depend on the notations on the computer screen, they have everything that the previous rep. discussed with you on the phone, so if you can be very specific on what your issue about, you will get a better response as long as it compares to their notes.

    "Reason for this venting"

    You get a new promotion that was guaranteed for 12 months (1 year) and you are happy that very day. The following month's bills are due, guess what??? You are now being overcharged by $25.00 on each bill, plus your $300.00 promotion is in jeopardy of being cancelled. Now you are forced to call TWC to get all this mess resolved but unfortunately this is the same song and dance until you finally decide to CUT THE CORD with TIME WARNER CABLE and save thousands of dollars, of your money.

    Plaintiff, Jeremy Zielinski and the FTC has had enough with TWC, and so should we.

    Feel free to re-post this everywhere online, so everyone can stand up to this company and other’s like it, and MAKE THEM work NOT TAKE from US.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      twolfy, 10 Sep 2015 @ 4:33pm

      Re: STOP TWC IN THEIR TRACKS - NOW!

      Class action lawsuit? Where do we sign. So many of the same problems we have from 2014 Through present. Including the new ultra package. Can and will we all stand together and press on with a class action lawsuit?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Lisa Rogers, 7 Oct 2015 @ 11:35am

        Re: Re: STOP TWC IN THEIR TRACKS - NOW!

        Sign Me up! They are crooks who use illegal practices.
        I signed up for there ultimate package and online it included showtime. After I got hooked up I found I did not have showtime. I called and talked to several people and they told me , "oh sorry I can't help you, but I can add it for $8 More per month. When I obviously said "no I want what was advertised and sold to me for the advertised price" I was told," I understand I'll see what I can do" Then they came back with I can add showtime for $3 per month" and were surprised when I insisted on getting it for the advertised price. Guess what I got no where. My last call they hung up on me! I'd go to another provider but Time Warner is our only option for Internet. Why can't anything be done about TW!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Danil eremeev, 6 Oct 2015 @ 1:40pm

    Just called TWC again to adjust my bill. The string of statements going all the way back to may is ridiculous. They attempted to charge me a late fee 4 times, added and removed bogus $50 balance/credit, attempted to charge for a service fee where they had upgraded my speed (promised 100mb, but in reality 50mb) which the rep insisted was free, of course. I literally have to call them EVERY SINGLE MONTH to correct my bill. The service itself is fine as far as I can tell. But the day another company offers high speed at the same level I would gladly pay up to 30% more and save myself the agony. This is in addition to them signing super shady contracts with apartment complexes which milk you the worst rate for basic cable ($50 a month!) which I do not use at all and cannot opt out of. Horrible company using monopoly tactics to screw consumers!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ken, 6 Nov 2015 @ 4:07am

    TWC deceptive

    My experience was to receive an offer on a service cage for a specific price and then to not receive those services and the now downgraded services are even more than the quoted price for the originally agreed to price. A call back reveals that pricing for the same service is different depending on customer service rep that you talk to..3 different reps=3 different prices..retention could really care less about your situation. Nobody would give me a price quote in writing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    maggie, 7 Mar 2016 @ 11:14pm

    charges for services not being Install ?

    I contacted January 29,2016 got a package $75.47? TV & Internet, customer service stated the equipment will be mail out to my residence once I received it, I need tostalled my self, equipment did not work, a technician ended coming to installed it. Two days later I found out that I had 2 TV channels, nothing what I had offer when I called 1/29/16. Contacted twc customer service to cancelled all the services, my surprise was when I got a phone call stated that I have a balance of $114.00 for Feb 1 2016 services that I did not have yet, I quite do not understand why I'm getting g bill for services that were not Intall yet.. I been in contact with twc customer service but nothing had been resolved, need help

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wilson, 20 Jun 2016 @ 10:06pm

      Re: charges for services not being Install ?

      TWC charges you a month in advance before your bill is due because of their convenience pay and if you do not pay in advance when you get that bill they charge you late fees.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Arjun, 5 May 2016 @ 8:18am

    Shitty harassing TWC service

    Hi,
    I had a TWC connection from May to August of 2015 in High-point, North Carolina. My roommate returned their equipment and had the account closed on 08/22/2015 and yet they kept the account till November 2015 just for Fuck's sake!
    They charge me for a period when I wasnt using the service and during the service too they added miscellaneous charges such as one-time only $98 for online fee and always charged more than the plan stipulated that too for a service that had a 305 chance of working on any given day!!
    Retards have the worst sort of customer service which asks you the same questions and details over and over again. On one occasion I was put on hold for 25mins for resolving one fucking discrepancy in bill that too on their part!! The entire call costed me 1hr 20mins!! Never, never should anyone take up TWC!! I am gonna spam all consumer forums with complaints against their shitty service!!
    I wish I had the financial resources to screw these fucktards in a Court!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Brent, 13 Jun 2016 @ 1:16pm

    I don't like Time Warner, but...

    I have to disagree with this guy. They are very clear about billing if you just read the entire offer and listen to what they are telling you.

    "Additional charges apply for equipment, installation, taxes & fees, broadcast, sports programming, activation and other surcharges, Directory Assistance, Operator Services, International calls outside of the calling area and other one-time charges."

    This wasn't hidden in 500 pages of text. It is on their home page. It continues to show as you progress through the site to choose your plan. As you progress through, they outright tell you what the costs are.

    As for the TV ads, it will say something like $39.99 plus tax and fees.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 2 Aug 2016 @ 4:14am

      Re: I don't like Time Warner, but...

      Nope! They still totally bait and switch. I just ordered internet for my mother. Well I went online and ordered the standard service $34.99 dollars a month.

      I ordered it over a month ago, to have the internet kit sent to her house. The kit never came but got emails saying I needed to call them. I called them and they said everything was fine and the kit should be on it's way. But I Still kept on getting emails telling me I needed to call them about the order. Called them again, this time I taped my phone call. I told them I ordered it online, kit never came etc. I even have like 10 emails and order confirmation that I ordered it online.

      So when I call the last time for them to give me the shipping tracking number for the internet kit and square away my online order, that I signed up for $34.99. The Time Warner rep said it is actually $39.99 a month, and I ask them why? Oh the price is different when you order it online verses on the phone. I said but I ordered it online and even have emails and confirmations etc. She said but the price is $39.99 and that the website list it as $34.99!

      I got it on tape! I looked at my girlfriend during the call and my eyes got huge and after I hung up I laughed at how stupid is this company are you begging to be sued!

      Here's my back story, I won't say who I produced and worked for but I have been in and on national radio and producing news segments for over 15 years. My long time radio host friend actually who I grew up with and worked with for years has been battling with his cable company to the point he has gone on air about how these cable companies are screwing everyone over. He has gotten so much press about it, that his former cable provider is doing damage control.

      I also have a bevy of who's who of top lawyers in the country, that I have personally booked on our show and shows during the years. And I mean we do legal segments where these top attorneys have gotten major press from our show. And to boot my sister has worked in law for years and works at one of Manhattan's top law firms.

      I waited over a month going back and forth, I called Time Warner and all this wasted time. My mother lives four hours away from me so that's why I had it sent to her. And because of this not being sent a month ago, it actually screwed me because I had to cancel plans of going to my mother's with work and canceled plans. And on top of that, Time Warner decides to do this bait and switch.

      Sorry folks, but I won't stand for a company trying to make extra money off me like I am some sucker. This is pure bait and switch!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael Carlin, 13 Jul 2016 @ 9:10am

    I want to sue Time Warner

    I have been complaining to Time Warner for five years about the speed of my internet service. I had a technician out a month ago that uncovered that my modem rented to me by Time Warner was only capable of 40mbs when I was being charged for 200mbs service. I want to sue Time Warner... they had ample opportunities to inform me that I needed a different modem for the upgraded service.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Joe Bishop, 29 Jul 2016 @ 9:25am

    False promise

    After many months of hounding me to switch to TWC I did because of the bad service I was receiving from ATT. I switched in February and have STILL not received the gift card they promised me. I have already contacted the FTC. Should I do anything else?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    I hate TWC, 11 Aug 2016 @ 2:53pm

    I've had it with twc,I want to take them to court to.10yrs ago they had a program where they was going around wiping people's old bill clean,if you would get services with them.so thinking that my old bill would be wiped clean I signed up.now recently they cut my cable off claiming that what I'm saying never happened and I must pay the old bill if I want services. So here's my argument, 1st if you owe twc money FROM a previous address they will make you pay your old with your new bill portions of it.but they never did this to me, so one day out of the blue there billing me for the pass bill that was supposed to be wiped clean by there rep. So now I'm on the phone for months talking to reps,supervisors etc.so I finnaly get a super visor to investigate and he stated that at the time of when i got the services I would have fell under that program,so he said he would get back with me.so a year has went by haven't heard anything back.and when i talk to there reps they talk nasty to me,and say that I've been knew about this bill and they never had the amnesty program and I have to pay that bill. I have know problem with paying the bill,but don't scam me to sign up and then not honor what you were advertising, and play the customers for stupid, i.do not work for twc,so I'm not hooking this stuff up by myself. Meaning I shouldn't of never had cable turned on if I still had a bill,it wouldn't of had made since to get cable services when i could of paid the damn bill 10yrs ago,now I have to pay disconnecting fees, and Bill and old bill.wow please help S.O.S

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andrew Cochran, 24 Jan 2017 @ 10:05am

    He is a sex offender

    http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20FCO%2020130214126/U.S.%20v.%20ZIELINSKI?

    Google his very unusual name and new york and see what I found

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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