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Time Warner Boots LA Area Boss
After Adelphia & Comcast integration headaches...
by Karl Bode 10:05AM Friday Mar 16 2007 Tipped by hobgoblin See Profile
The Los Angeles Times reports that Time Warner Cable has given the boot to Roger Keating, the head of the LA market, after the company struggled to integrate Comcast and Adelphia networks in the region. According to the article, complaints from LA customers nearly tripled in five months, and tens of thousands of customers dropped the service across the troubled market.

Keating was handed a pretty difficult task: Time Warner Cable's subscribers in the region jumped from 350,000 to 1.9 million. Rumored TWC acquisitions are a long shot until the Adelphia integration can be worked out. As one Verizon tech notes in our forums, the company has looming Verizon FiOS TV competition to look forward to in the region, too.

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tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1

TW didn't prepare

Who's fault is it that TW wasn't prepared nationwide? There have been issues from coast to coast because of the acquisition, and LA had the biggest increase. It's unfortunate that Mr. Keating is taking a fall for what seems to have been a nationwide issue.
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Cato @ Liberty »www.cato-at-liberty.org -|

VZtech111

@cox.net

Just Wait...

March 21st Verizon will be offering TV service in Huntington Beach, and Long Beach CA...

NoRCN

@rcn.com

Time Warner Cable OWNS LA

Time Warner Cable OWNS LA.

RCN left the marketplace in Gardena and Compton. And now Time Warner is strengthening the LA marketplace thank goodness.

Got word that RCN is leaving the Compton and Gardena marketplaces without a sale of the company. It is just shutting down all its customers which means those customers will now have to use Time Warner Cable.

Thank goodness Time Warner booted the boss, since competition is diminishing in the marketplace.

I wonder what is going to happen to RCN's fiber pipes in the region since it is NOT selling out.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 edit

Customers increased 5.5 times; complaints only trebled

Time Warner's Southern California operation grew from 350,000 customers and became the five-county area's dominant cable company, with 1.9 million customers.
Complaints from L.A. customers nearly trebled in five months to 1,732, according to city figures. Other cities reported similarly huge jumps in complaints.
Doesn't sound so bad to me. The number of customers increases by 5.5 times, but the number of complaints trebled.
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Techie714

join:2005-08-02
Anaheim, CA

2 recommendations

TWC....SPEAK ENGLISH!

No joke, I called TWC twice last month because my cable TV & HSI went out for 4 days & was on hold for 1.5 hours the first time & about 45 minutes the second time just to speak to someone. But what REALLY pissed me off was when the lady picked up the phone & started speaking SPANISH to me rather than ENGLISH. Her response was "We are told to great everyone in SPANISH".....TOTAL BS!!

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

Re: TWC....SPEAK ENGLISH!

Don't you mean 'We are told to greet everyone in SPANISH'. When I am in Canada, everything is in English and French... and English speaking is probably more than 80%. Here in So Cal, its probably closer to 50/50, and Spanish is increasing.

FiL
Premium
join:2005-08-16
Silver Spring, MD

Re: TWC....SPEAK ENGLISH!

mmmmmmmmmmmkay.

So you were told, in ENGLISH, that they were told to greet everyone in Spanish. Doesn't seem like a headache situation to me. lol.

Don't get ya panties wet. Least you are being serviced.

batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ
said by en102:

Don't you mean 'We are told to greet everyone in SPANISH'. When I am in Canada, everything is in English and French... and English speaking is probably more than 80%. Here in So Cal, its probably closer to 50/50, and Spanish is increasing.
You know that the frogs in Quebec are your biggest headache. Nothing like different languages to divide people.

RideRed
Vista needs a popup blocker for Vista
Premium
join:2005-06-18
USA

2 edits

No complaints here...things are looking better every week

Given the absolute NIGHTMARE that Comcast's cable system was in my area (and if my area is any indication of the rest of SoCal) it's no wonder that TWC is getting complaint calls. They can't fix all of Comcast's screw ups in a few months.

Personally I couldn't be happier with the switch...my 500ms latency is gone (now less than 15ms), speeds are up at least 30% and prices are down more than 30% (no more INSANE bundling penalties). And of course no nastygrams and unlimited usenet.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

where all customers go

quote:
and tens of thousands of customers dropped the service across the troubled market.

for what, satellite or OTA antenna? lol

RideRed
Vista needs a popup blocker for Vista
Premium
join:2005-06-18
USA

Re: where all customers go

DSL, fiber...
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Re: where all customers go

TV doesnt come in on DSL unless its Uverse, and Uverse only have a couple thousand customers last I read. Fiber, since when is FIOS that big in CA that it covers a region so much that is can cause a serious dent in subscribers? And Surewest is a incumbant cable co AFAIK.

RideRed
Vista needs a popup blocker for Vista
Premium
join:2005-06-18
USA

2 edits

Re: where all customers go

It appears from the LA Times article the complaints come from HSI migration problems so apparently they are fleeing to DSL, fiber or other HSI.

antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: where all customers go

said by RideRed:

It appears from the LA Times article the complaints come from HSI migration problems so apparently they are fleeing to DSL, fiber or other HSI.
Too bad I am stuck on TWC. I can't get DSL, FIOS (in Verizon area), etc. It is either dial-up, satellite Internet, or a T1. Of course, those are bad options.

jimmah

@rr.com
10,000

Rick
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-06
Waterbury, CT

1 recommendation

Scapegoat

pretty much sums it up. It's when the hammer comes down from on high (CEO's office) and hits the successive heads of all those in the corporate chain below.

And finally, it stops at the one whom it will crush, generally the one with a sufficient enough title to pass the whole buck on to but who probably never really had the authority in the first place to do as he would have wanted to staff up and fully prepare for what was to come.

What's sad about it is this guy will be the one they present to the public as the reason things went wrong.
And obviously, the LA Times is already facilitating that very thing. He's the valve for the public's anger about what occurred..the one who's position they opened up to let the steam out of the organization itself.

Welcome..to corporate America.

Personally, I think that a market that went from 350,000 customers to 1.9 million was something MUCH more than just the local management could handle and the responsibility for this rests much higher up the ladder than with him.
Heads, should have rolled off his superiors, and his superiors superiors. This was their job to really help oversee. And, probably they did. Until it came time to take the blame for whatever went wrong.

And really, I think it's worth examining what did go wrong.
Complaints tripling to 1732 in the LA area in the face of them adding 1.6 million customers doesn't really strike me as being excessive. That is a very low percentage given the complicated technology at work here.

And, what about the loss of 10,000 customers. Was that REALLY a lot? I would point out that that number is just a little bit over 1/2 of 1% of the total of new customers they acquired.
A reasonable churn rate could account for that much.

Perhaps some of that wasn't even due to problems. Maybe some of these people simply decided to take that opportunity to not have to deal with a transition in the first place and look elsewhere for service.
In the months leading up to my adelphia to comcast transition, the thought also crossed my mind as well.

I point these things out for the sole purpose of reverting back to my initial statement.

SCAPEGOAT...
The inability of weak kneed management to defend what otherwise might not have been too bad a track record.
To look for the easy answer..and way out.

And that way out was named Roger Keating.
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chelman
Chelman

join:1999-10-21
Cypress, CA

Justice has been served!

Being one of the affected I can say that is the least TW could do. The next thing is to work hard on their tech support and speed drops. If they don't, Verizon will eat their market in no time.
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Sncerely,

Manny
So. California

Greg M

@rr.com

Time will tell...

I moved from an Adelphia service area to Time Warner LA- West Valley a few years ago and had outstanding experiences with TW customer service and overall service. Having been in Adelphia's area and viewed the problems my parents had in that area, the challenges facing TW in taking over the system were tremendous.

I saw several Adelphia nodes in the Van Nuys area that looked like something you would see in a 3rd world country. They had patches on top of patches and they looked like a total disaster. There was also little customer service unless you complained to the City Cable Commission. There is no doubt that people were complaining to Adelphia, but no one was listening. Complaints to TW went up because the customers had someone who was listening finally.

Once TW took over, they listened but were unprepared for the mess they took over. Maybe Keating got the boot for not being better prepared. However, people tend to want immediate gratification and the changes needed in Adelphia's system couldn't happen that fast. The true test of the success of transition will be whether complaints go down and customer satisfaction improves in time. They are trying to fix the system. TW has many different contractors employed to replace the seriously neglected equipment they inherited. I see them working all the time in the new areas replacing main cable lines among other things. This is a huge capital investment.

Someone should survey the transition customers after one year and see how they feel then. I'm still happy with what I have and the service is getting better all the time. If they haven't worked out the problems in time, people will continue to move away and eventually fiber will take its toll.

lml2000
Whazzup

join:2000-08-17
Los Angeles, CA

1 recommendation

About Friggin' Time

Move was necessary to show that TWC means business & is intent in getting LA system, & all of SoCal for that matter, to a level that's on par with QoS of other larger markets.

TWC system in SF Valley was the gold standard in LA prior to the merger. I'm sure a lotta folk thought that it would be automatic for all the Adelphia & Comcast systems to immediately be on par with TWC's legacy system in LA. NOT.

Dunno much about Comcast, but by my own experience with Adelphia is not positive. Even though its systems underwent a complete rebuild, the system always had problems, & whoever you talked to for the most part was clueless. Never really got the impression that those who built & operated the system really had a good handle on things.

Unfortunately, when the merger closed, the same folks running things prior to the merger remained. Nothing really changed much @ the local level. I used to vent that that QoS would not improve until TWC brought new top management @ the local level. Replacing Keating is the first step. Bringing in outsiders from the NE is the 2nd. Cleaning house is the 3rd. Getting operations in shape is # 4.

It's unfortunate it took TWC six months to realize this had to be done. The positive is that eventually LA will have a well-structured, well-operated system. But a lotta pain will go along with it. Customers have been suffering much the past 6 months, now it's gonna be shared by the legacy local management who's days are numbered.
mstrlogcrw

join:2002-11-23
Granada Hills, CA

Re: About Friggin' Time

I am a TW Cable user in the SF Valley and the quality of service, at least for me has been atrocious.

1. First they slowly take channels away from the analog lineup and move them to digital. Eventually when enough channels are moved, we're forced to switch to digital cable to get the channels we actually want.

2. Sign-up for digital cable, an angry and smell sub-contracted technician with little or no grasp of the english language installs 2 boxes and tries to leave. We try doing some channel surfing and the boxes don't get all channels all the time. Technician says there's nothing he can do, he only brought 2 boxes.

3. Wait 3 days for another technician to come and swap the problematic box out.

4. All is good for 3-4 days until we notice that the voice track and picture are not sync'd. Instructed by TW to "reboot" the boxes everytime this happens.

5. Problem becomes more frequent, rebooting boxes daily, call and TW says to bring in the boxes for replacement.

6. Replace boxes with new boxes, still have sync problems and some channels are never recieved. TW says that sunspots and atmospheric conditions should be expected to interfere with our service.

DirectTV here we come for a cheaper bill to boot.

JamesPC

join:2005-10-12
Orange, CA

service

I was a comcast customer and now TW but the integration was SHITTY! They did not know which way was up, even though I like there internet service.
Chainsaw6

join:2007-03-16
Porter Ranch, CA

Roger got out before the fall of cable companies.

The way I see it, Roger Keating is a smart man. He rode the wave of the dot com boom in the late 90's by founding Zatso.com (»www.findarticles.com/p/articles/···59650740). He rode the wave of satellite companies balking and going to cable for their combined services from 2003 forward. Now, I would keep tabs on what he does next because it might be the next big indicator of a successful industry.

Cable TV companies are already starting to feel the pinch in video distribution though IPTV provided by the phone companies AT&T and Verizon - and now they have new competition in town for providing internet... Sprint is coming to Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin with WiMAX.

»www.intomobile.com/2007/03/14/wo···ork.html

Good for Roger for getting out of the upcoming period of gloom for the cable TV companies.

Quiglag
God is Love
Premium
join:2004-09-19
Ontario, CA

1 edit

Not Surprising

After TWC took away a few really good channels like Travel, Animal Planet, Speed, and more. How did they expect their customers to act.

*Edit* Not to mention that Verizon TV is available in my area, and the only reason we haven't switched yet is because TWC has offered us a discount for 6 months. If TWC doesn't change something soon we will be making the change.

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hobgoblin
Sortof Agoblin
Premium
join:2001-11-25
Orchard Park, NY
kudos:10

Re: Not Surprising

said by Quiglag:

After TWC took away a few really good channels like Travel, Animal Planet, Speed, and more. How did they expect their customers to act.

You don't Get those channels in SOCAL?

Hob
--
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
ignorant6

join:2006-03-26

Re: Not Surprising

I get all three of them in SoCal 216 Animal Planet, 266 Speed, 217 Travel. All of them are on the Variety Tier.