Time Warner Cable Forced To Pay $229,500 For Robocalling The Wrong Person...153 Times

from the dysfunction-junction dept

Time Warner Cable continues to be incredibly good at being incredibly bad at what it does. The cable operator already enjoys arguably the worst customer satisfaction ratings of any company in any U.S. industry, below even Comcast. Its horrible customer service is legendary, and things have actually gotten worse as the company has sat on its hands waiting to be sold off to a rotating crop of equally dysfunctional suitors. When you're this bad at what you do, you have to be truly creative in finding new and imaginative ways to annoy your customer base.

Time Warner Cable's latest incredible display of ineptitude? The cable giant has been sued for robocalling a woman 153 times regarding an overdue balance. The problem? Time Warner Cable was calling the wrong woman, who ultimately had to file suit against the cable operator to get them to stop annoying her:
"King, of Irving, Texas, accused Time Warner Cable of harassing her by leaving messages for Luiz Perez, who once held her cellphone number, even after she made clear who she was in a seven-minute discussion with a company representative. The calls were made through an "interactive voice response" system meant for customers who were late paying bills."
Time Warner Cable is being ordered by the courts to pay Araceli King $229,500 (or $1,500 per call) for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, not a bad payout for the woman having to delete 153 unlistened-to voicemails. The truly amazing part is that Time Warner Cable still managed to robocall the woman an additional 74 times...after the suit was filed:
"He also said 74 of the calls had been placed after King sued in March 2014, and that it was "incredible" to believe Time Warner Cable when it said it still did not know she objected. "Defendant harassed plaintiff with robo-calls until she had to resort to a lawsuit to make the calls stop, and even then TWC could not be bothered to update the information in its IVR system," Hellerstein wrote."
That's pretty impressive even for Time Warner Cable's low standards of operational efficiency. Some bad news for Time Warner Cable: the FCC actually just got done making Robocall restrictions a little tougher for violators. Surely Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus, set to potentially make $97 million as an exit package via the upcoming Charter merger, is working tirelessly at making his company much less professionally annoying.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 8 Jul 2015 @ 10:35am

    " $97 million as an exit package via the upcoming Charter merger,"

    I wish I could get laid off for that kind of money.

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

  • identicon
    JustShutUpAndObey, 8 Jul 2015 @ 10:47am

    ALMOST unbelievable

    I would refuse to believe such a level of ineptitude would be possible from any corporation. Except, this is a cable company we're talking about, so it sounds like business as usual.

    Ms. King is my hero for today.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 8 Jul 2015 @ 11:42am

      Re: ALMOST unbelievable

      I find it pretty easy to believe. Major corporations tend to be inept at anything other than increasing short-term profits.

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

  • icon
    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), 8 Jul 2015 @ 11:00am

    This is funny: I wrote about this judge just yesterday...

    (On Monday Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein issued a fantastic order scolding copyright troll Malibu Media / XArt.)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2015 @ 11:05am

    Re: About damn time...

    Now how about just outlawing it. If one is too lazy to dial a phone number with their finger maybe they shouldn't be calling in the first place.
    Not a good idea. I work on a system that robocalls parents and students. It is strictly informational but is a huge help to parents and students. It generally only calls to inform parents of their student's skipping classes, late start, early release, snow days and any special events. Occasionally someone will call in and say that they don't have a student and I go in and remove the number. What surprising is it takes me only about 2 minutes to trace and remove a number. That is an expensive 2 minute fix for Time Warner.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 8 Jul 2015 @ 11:40am

      Re: Re: About damn time...

      I assume that the system is opt-in, not opt-out. I don't have a problem with offering a robocall service that you have to actively sign up for. All others should die a fiery death.

      Especially debt collectors. I got my current phone # a few years back. The person who had it before me skipped out on a lot of debt. To this day I get a couple of calls on a daily basis from debt collectors looking for that person. I've never been able to get this problem fixed.

      I loathe robocalls.

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

      • icon
        R.H. (profile), 8 Jul 2015 @ 3:36pm

        Re: Re: Re: About damn time...

        In the district where I went to school the robocall system was opt-in, kind of. Every year you had to have your parents fill out and sign an emergency form with an address, phone number, and emergency contact information. That form noted that the primary contact (parent/guardian) information could be used for automatic calls but, if a student didn't turn in the form they'd be suspended until they did. So, the system was effectively opt-in or home school your kid.

        I don't know if it's changed since my youngest sibling graduated high school but, somehow I doubt it.

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

      • identicon
        John Scott Rugg, 13 Mar 2016 @ 3:56am

        Re: Re: Re: About damn time...

        HI John:

        Ther might be one smigin of hope yet. I have this exact same problem. I've only know of one possible solution I thought I might share w/you. I work as a consumer advocate. When I got these calls, I would call back the collection agency from my cell phone explaining that the number has since been recycled. I give them my name and the one their trying to reach and I direct them to my website where they'll be able to see THAT number with my name. Then I ask the to call THAT number while I remain on my cell phone. As they're able to confirm that it is, in fact, the same person, they'll finally take me off their list. My website doesn't discuss this yet only because I've been unable to axis (modify) ever it since Yahoo became a piece of sh_t and offers no more Customer Service. I'm dumping them real soon. I can elaborate more on that later. If you don't have axis to this method, please email me and we'll figure something out for you. Honestly, I will!!!

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

    • icon
      John85851 (profile), 9 Jul 2015 @ 4:43pm

      Re: Re: About damn time...

      Yes, but you have to admit that there's a huge difference between robocalling parents from the school that their child goes to and randomly calling people about "fixing their credit" or trying to collect a debt from someone who's long gone.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2015 @ 12:16pm

    Let's hope that the Judge overseeing the RightsCorp and it's rightsholders case that involves robocalling comes to the same conclusion and rules against Rightscorp and its rightsholders for the abuse of robocalls made to innocent people with threats etc.

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

  • icon
    Paul Renault (profile), 8 Jul 2015 @ 12:55pm

    Almost, almost...coulda been poetic justice.

    If only it had been the RIAA that had called ms King. Then we could have heard them denounce the fairness of statutory damages...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2015 @ 3:45pm

    Taking bets AFTER the judgement they continued to call her.
    I know people who've been called by TWC with sexual harassment, death threats and other nastyness simply because call centre staff are bored and have zero management looking over their shoulders.....

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

  • icon
    badrasputin (profile), 8 Jul 2015 @ 4:42pm

    robo call prevention

    Had enough of robo calls, so I enrolled with Nomorobo to intercept robo calls and trash them. Have not had a robo call in 2 days. Peace at last. Service is free if your isp has voip. I used ATT U-Verse. So far it's working great.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2015 @ 7:46pm

    I've been robocalled 27 times in the last 32 days by Capital One, even after they acknowledged that I'm not the person that they're looking for. I ended up filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Commission. Capital One acknowledged the complaint, and even had an "executive" contact me and promise to stop. They've since robocalled me every day but one (they gave me July 4th off), for a total of 16 times since promising to stop.

    Anybody have a phone number for plantiff's lawyer?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2015 @ 8:43pm

    They must have been calling this poor woman at least two times a day, every day, for months on end.

    *ring ring ring*

    "Hello, Miss King. We couldn't seem to reach you during normal business hours, so we've added a 2am robo call to the mix. We assume you work 3rd shift seeing as we couldn't reach you."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2015 @ 10:15pm

    Up the Ante

    "...Time Warner Cable still managed to robocall the woman an additional 74 times..."

    Hope Hizzoner will add the product 74x$1,500 to the existing award.

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

  • identicon
    David, 9 Jul 2015 @ 3:39am

    That should teach them

    For that kind of money they could be paying 100 support staff members for a year. At current prices, this makes easily for 300 tons of bananas or I don't know how many peanuts.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.