dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
'Conversations' With Time Warner Cable Rather One Sided
Company Feedback Website No Longer Allows Feedback
by Karl Bode 10:38AM Thursday Jan 10 2013
Last summer Time Warner Cable launched a new website named "Time Warner Cable Conversations," purportedly to engage in dialogue with consumers about cable TV prices and the company's efforts to slowly but surely impose usage-based pricing. The "conversation" began after Time Warner Cable's rather disastrous attempt to force caps and overages on subscribers, an effort since replaced with a voluntary cap tier that doesn't offer much value and as a result unsurprisingly hasn't seen much user adoption.

Amusingly though, Stop the Cap notes that the Conversations website is a decidedly one-sided affair. When launched, it initially allowed users to post comments to the website, though users complained that critical (or even just inquisitive) comments about usage-based billing weren't being published. The company has since eliminated past comments and the ability to comment -- from a website supposedly dedicated to user comments -- entirely:
quote:
Click for full size
Despite sharing our two cents (and several of our readers tried to add their own as well), we noted none of these views ever appeared online. This week we checked back and discovered the dialogue had decidedly turned one-way: namely from Time Warner Cable to you. The company deleted the few views that were published on cable television programming costs and removed its comment section altogether.
It's a rather perfect example of Time Warner Cable's tone deafness when it comes to usage-based billing and customer interaction. Consumers have repeatedly and insistently told Time Warner Cable their proposed pricing lacks value, and Time Warner Cable has repeatedly refused to listen. Granted, since Time Warner Cable doesn't see healthy competition in most of their markets, there's no market forces requiring them to.

view:
topics flat nest 
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

yet they keep writing checks....

Consumers have repeatedly and insistently told Time Warner Cable their proposed pricing lacks value

Alex J

@sunwave.com.br

Re: yet they keep writing checks....

Not for the tiered usage-based plan they're not. Time Warner Cable refuses to reveal any subscriber numbers for it, which almost always indicates it's not selling. If it were selling like hotcakes you'd be sure Time Warner Cable would be crowing from the rooftops....
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Re: yet they keep writing checks....

Anybody who is on the internet knows that any big company forum or blog is heavily edited or redacted. That is why you go to forums like stopthecap or dslreports to have a more democratic exchange of ideas.

This is just a reaffirmation in the fact that company forums are useless unless it's for technical purposes. The marketing people can simply troll social networks to gather BI data, they company forum is just a feel-good I checked the box good internet corporate citizen.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 edit

Re: yet they keep writing checks....

Agreed. However, when a company sets up a site for the explicit reason of having 2 way communication you would expect them to act a little different and to expect a few pies in the face.

As noted though, they really have no competition and apparently didn't like the flavor of pie being stuffed in their face.
big_e

join:2011-03-05
Do the words duopoly or monopoly mean anything to you? Most people can only choose between DSL or Cable for broadband if they have any choice at all. Cable and telcos ended whatever price competition they had for broadband years ago.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

Re: yet they keep writing checks....

I was actually thinking about their TV service, which sees never ending price hikes, yet the vast majority of the sheeple continue to subscribe to it.

Broadband hasn't seen the yearly price hikes that TV has, it's gone up over the years, but when you factor in bandwidth increases and inflation the overall cost has actually come down.

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Cord Cutters have listened ...

Apparently TWC, as well as many other cable companys, are only able to hear one thing ... the empty hollow sound of their once-full coffers as subscribers leave and never come back.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Avoiding caps

One way to avoid caps is to subscribe to cable or satellite. When you start streaming Netflix, that is when you start blowing through caps.

I think the cable companies should waive caps if the customer subscribes to expanded basic or higher.

I use 50 GB at most per month. I get my TV through Comcast.
Expand your moderator at work
Androidian

join:2012-12-14
Purcellville, VA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Avoiding caps

Another way to avoid caps is to have the unfair and ridiculous limitations removed to begin with through passage of a law intended to benefit consumers rather than corporations.

Unfortunately our legislators seem more concerned with lining their pockets and handing out corporate welfare rather than representing the constituents who elected them and passing laws to bring fairness and foster additional high speed broadband competition nationwide.

NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
said by IowaCowboy:

One way to avoid caps is to subscribe to cable or satellite. When you start streaming Netflix, that is when you start blowing through caps.

I have never had a cable/satellite subscription. Nor will I ever. Not so long as they don't offer the shows I want to watch, or offer them as eight-minute segments between seven-minute commercials (I timed them on Sci-Fi).

I don't think my usage would blow through Comcast's proposed caps; but with a provider that has none, I am not watching.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum
Donut

join:2005-06-27
Romulus, MI
Yeh, but its cheaper to get a netflix sub then it is to rent a cable box from comcast.
--
Mr. Donut
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

One Sided Blogging?

The "tone deafness" regards the benefit of throttled/capped tiers is at StopTheCap and this forum, not at Time Warner. There was no "disastrous attempt to force caps" - it wasn't even discussed, before the likes of StopTheCap and other "consumer advocates" shouted them down.

"Conversations" require that both sides are able to speak, as well as listen. I suspect that Time Warner's cessation of comment posting was a reaction to the abusive nature of those who themselves refuse to listen.

The initial offering that Time Warner was proposing for capped service was $15/month. That's half what we pay, and would suit most of our friends and colleagues. Thanks to the angry mob, that option never came to fruition.
Kamus

join:2011-01-27
El Paso, TX

Re: One Sided Blogging?

said by elray:

The "tone deafness" regards ...

tl;dr

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

There was no "disastrous attempt to force caps" - it wasn't even discussed, before the likes of StopTheCap and other "consumer advocates" shouted them down.

Wrong.

»www.wired.com/business/2009/04/t···ner-c-1/

"TWCs plan was met with customer rebellion and skeptical press coverage since it was announced earlier this month. TWC said it needed to ditch the current-all-you-can-eat plans because data usage was growing so fast that internet outages would be imminent."
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Re: One Sided Blogging?

Wrong.

The details of the offering were not published.
tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2

Comcast is the same way

Comcast has forums and they also restrict discussions. There wa a thread complaining about Comcast giving customer into to a telemarketing company (iPaceSetters). One Comcast employee was asked a question and he stated he'd check on the info. No response. I posted a message about geting harassed from iPaceSettings and that Comcast should not give out customer info and the post gets deleted. I posted it again... deleted.
jasondean

join:2009-08-28
Brooklyn, NY

Ironic...

Right on their page »twcconversations.com/tv-topics/f···options/ it says the following:

"We believe that if you’ve paid for a channel, you should be able to watch that channel on any electronic device in your home … without paying extra."

Then why am I charged $4.00 every month for "Additional DTV"? I can understand the converter rental fee but you're charging $4 for something you admit should be free!

I seriously wish there was true competition for cable service. Maybe, just maybe, prices would drop.
horseathalt7

join:2012-06-11
Reviews:
·DIRECTV

Stop giving these greedy companies your business.

said by jasondean See Profile

I seriously wish there was true competition for cable service. Maybe, just maybe, prices would drop.

The only way consumers can effectively deal with a monopolistic system like this is to get the backbone to STOP SUBSCRIBING to their service...finally when enough people do so the prices will be lowered and quality will have to increase since they will lose money.

The problem with people today is they have no fortitude to go without for even a few days with something as unimportant as pay tv.
jasondean

join:2009-08-28
Brooklyn, NY

Re: Stop giving these greedy companies your business.

I agree BUT the reality is me cancelling will do nothing since it requires a coordinated effort to work. Unless you've actualy convinced 10,000 people to cancel at once, it will never happen.

As a hockey fan, the same is true with the end of the lockout. They know most of us will come back and the ones that don't will be insignificant.

I may cancel some of my services anyway as there are alternatives for some things... but not a ful blown cancellation until I can switch carriers. (Verizon is literally around the corner... it's up to my building's management co to allow access.)
horseathalt7

join:2012-06-11
Reviews:
·DIRECTV

"But I'm only ONE person".........

This is a tired old excuse, it just gives people an excuse to not act.

You have to start somewhere, this is YOUR chance right now....If disgruntled folks reading this all called in RIGHT NOW and cancelled all at once I can promise you that it WOULD attract the attention of TWC.

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

Re: Ironic...

said by jasondean:

I seriously wish there was true competition for cable service. Maybe, just maybe, prices would drop.

Most folks outside of MDUs/apartments have choices for TV service. I have four options:

1) Time Warner Cable
2) AT&T U-verse
3) DirecTV
4) DISH Network

A good number of other folks have the option to get broadcast networks OTA, and use Netflix or other streaming devices to catch other programming they miss out on. As a hockey fan, you probably understand what keeps this from being a mainstream choice - live sports!

So, I think there's probably enough competition to keep prices reasonable. Content providers demanding ever-increasing amounts of money is, in my opinion, a much larger problem. In LA, Time Warner Cable decided to create a new exclusive network for the Lakers. DirecTV had to agree to a steep per-customer fee to get it, or else their customers would miss out on their precious basketball games.

End result - people who don't watch basketball get the shaft and have to pay higher prices. This same nonsense goes on for all sorts of channels and programming types. Either people who want the content get denied, or people who don't want it pay more. Everyone seems to blame the TV provider if they don't get what they want, so higher prices are the result.

-- Rob
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.

NotTheMama
What Would Earl Do?

join:2012-12-06

Ahhh, refreshing in its honesty...

not even pretending to listen. Woo-hoo!!

verolom

join:2002-03-23
Reston, VA

TWC Untangled

There is another website with articles by TWC employees and active comments section:

»www.twcableuntangled.com