Time Warner Cable Support Outsourced to Foreign Countries?

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
I had the unfortunate experience of having to deal with Time Warner Cable and their customer support over the past month.

I am noticing a pattern in their operations.

My first interaction was with a support person who clearly was Chinese and his English was mighty hard to decipher.

Yesterday,  I had the unfortunate experience of needing to contact this shit company again.  This time, a native Spanish speaker.  Their English was acceptable at best.  Lots of repeat that please and restates of what the person was saying.

This morning, TWC called me.   This time an Indian support person who sounded like they never made the trip across the ocean.  Worst accent spoke at 120 MPH pretending to be English in spots.   I've worked with many people from India, never were they this hard to understand.

3-for-3 with Time Warner Cable and support sounding clearly non American.  Not just non American, but damn near impossible to understand.  Pisses me off since TWC has monopoly status, serves whole of America, most of which cannot understand these folks if they tried.  Heck, I am wondering if their support desks are even in the United States at this point.

Anyone else have a similar experience with TWC? I now fully understand why customers have nothing good to say about Time Warner.
 

HalfEatenPie

The Irrational One
Retired Staff
Not TWC but I've had terrible experience with Comcast.

Unfortunately it's not related to hiring foreigners for call support.  So I can't really comment here.
 

qps

Active Member
Verified Provider
A lot of big company customer service is in foreign countries, especially for the front line "level 1" type customer service, outside of normal US business hours, or for overflow when the US call centers are busy.  Even companies previously known for higher levels of customer service are doing it now.
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
A lot of big company customer service is in foreign countries, especially for the front line "level 1" type customer service, outside of normal US business hours, or for overflow when the US call centers are busy.  Even companies previously known for higher levels of customer service are doing it now.
What a hideous practice.   Of the three people I interacted with, just one was acceptable and perhaps decipherable.  These were long calls made longer by such.   Shame cause I am fairly alright interpreting and decoding what people are saying.   I can't imagine the public at large dealing with this folks.

Guess it's time to contact corporate and bitch and moan.   
 

AMDbuilder

Active Member
Verified Provider
I'm using TWC as well... Let's just say Comcast would be an improvement...

Praying for faster Google Fiber rollout in Durham...
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
I'm using TWC as well... Let's just say Comcast would be an improvement...

Praying for faster Google Fiber rollout in Durham...
I am right there with you.   Comcast would indeed be much better (near term).  But not endorsing a merger of these two buffoons.

Every time I run into crappy companies like this I think it's time to go start an ISP via wireless and bypass franchising and the rest of the rackets.  Amazing with all the regulations that these companies can provide such lacking services and routinely lie to rate payers.
 

qps

Active Member
Verified Provider
Praying for faster Google Fiber rollout in Durham...
AT&T is doing GigaPower in that area too, plus RST has done some work too (although it sounds like they might be running into some funding issues).

Lots of fiber initiatives going on in North Carolina.
 

MarkTurner

New Member
Verified Provider
This maybe a new phenomena in the US, but if I phone pretty much any call centre here in the UK - my bank, British Telecom, electricity company, gas company whatever - it all ends up in India with people you need subtitles to understand.

One of companies provides DSL services in the UK and we had an interconnect issue in the UK with BT, so I called BT's wholesale support which you can understand by the nature is not for some guy with a DSL modem problem, some someone with a 10Gbps trunk into one of their broadband aggregators. I was asked if I had power cycled my router, I pointed out that I was not a DSL enduser but actually the wholesale customer. The engineer said yes, did you restart your router. I tried to explain that there was no way I was going to reboot a T640 just because one trunk was down but would happily bounce the port. That wasn't good enough and was told until I rebooted the router he couldn't assist me. Needless to say I didn't reboot that router.

One of the advantages at working outside of English speaking Europe is that you can't get French, Spanish, German, Swedish outsourced that easily to China or India. So they tend to be native speakers in-country,
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
This maybe a new phenomena in the US, but if I phone pretty much any call centre here in the UK - my bank, British Telecom, electricity company, gas company whatever - it all ends up in India with people you need subtitles to understand.

One of companies provides DSL services in the UK and we had an interconnect issue in the UK with BT, so I called BT's wholesale support which you can understand by the nature is not for some guy with a DSL modem problem, some someone with a 10Gbps trunk into one of their broadband aggregators. I was asked if I had power cycled my router, I pointed out that I was not a DSL enduser but actually the wholesale customer. The engineer said yes, did you restart your router. I tried to explain that there was no way I was going to reboot a T640 just because one trunk was down but would happily bounce the port. That wasn't good enough and was told until I rebooted the router he couldn't assist me. Needless to say I didn't reboot that router.

One of the advantages at working outside of English speaking Europe is that you can't get French, Spanish, German, Swedish outsourced that easily to China or India. So they tend to be native speakers in-country,
I didn't realize the poor citizens of the UK have to deal with support fished out to their former territory.  Shameful I think it is.   

There are good and competent folks all over, however these help desks, at least from Crime Warner side are inept.  Feels like lowest bid contract with no compete.  

I got the atypical cable company bullshit - reboot your router.   Followed by grand conspiracies as to why things just aren't up to speed.   Like I must load speed test in Internet Explorer and I need to clear my cache. They don't know what to do when you live in Linux land.  Such inept folks.

So being tired of playing along, I blew up today and let the poor curried support person have a taste of my dissatisfaction.   Amazing how quick the dog and pony show ends when you do that.   I have no freaking sympathy for the support folks.   They are are the barrier in between my service and TWC's billing.

Of course I am now after TWC for a basket of false claims, advertising what they can't deliver, etc.  Considering how much I dislike corporate abuse, well, they are about to get some outside heat. 

No doubt about it, Time Warner has to be one of the worst companies in America.  Shameful what they turned the place into, cause Warner Cable many decades ago was innovative and cutting edge.  For instance they interactive gaming (Quiz style) around 1983.
 

DomainBop

Dormant VPSB Pathogen
Time Warner Cable Support Outsourced to Foreign Countries?
Next question, so what if the phone support is outsourced to foreign countries and staffed by non-native English speakers?  Have you ever visited one of their offices and dealt with their customer service staff in person?  NEWS FLASH!, their US based native English speaking support is just as bad and incompetent. I think bad support is company policy at TimeWarner :p

Praying for faster Google Fiber rollout in Durham..
.

Are we talking about the same Google...the company with the absolute worst support of any company in the world (and I'm talking about their "support" for their paid services not the free ones)?
 
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drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
Next question, so what if the phone support is outsourced to foreign countries and staffed by non-native English speakers?  Have you ever visited one of their offices and dealt with their customer service staff in person?  NEWS FLASH!, their US based native English speaking support is just as bad and incompetent. I think bad support is company policy at TimeWarner :p
I've never had the walk in office experience with TWC.  But, their local node end is also in same location as their public walk in.   So, if they can't resolve my basket of issues via a deployed tech tomorrow, then I am doing office visit.  Can't wait actually.

I'll be looking to make the help folks if useless give me management contact for the region.

Only reason why a company so crappy like TWC even exists is due to legal monopoly position with exclusive territory under their franchising agreement.    Time that public pole right of ways gets some competitors.

Have their top package - Ultimate... Which is 50Mbps downstream advertised... Getting this:

3.46 Mbits/s

2.88 Mbits/s

3.10 Mbits/s

All tests tonight are running in that range.   That range is pathetic and basically just above their lowest $20~ entry level tier.  Some 4-5 plans downward on the menu.
 

AMDbuilder

Active Member
Verified Provider
AT&T is doing GigaPower in that area too...
I wouldn't mind GigaPower, granted considering there isn't Uverse in my area it's unlikely that will appear any time soon. One can hope for any other decent option tho.
 

Jonathan

Woohoo
Administrator
Verified Provider
The whole "for 24/7" argument is invalid. We're 24/7 and our office in Amercia is staffed all 24 hours of that. There are tons of people out there who prefer night shifts to day shifts.
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
The whole "for 24/7" argument is invalid. We're 24/7 and our office in Amercia is staffed all 24 hours of that. There are tons of people out there who prefer night shifts to day shifts.
Kudos to you on running a good shop and not false advertising about your support.

MANY MANY shops pretend to have 24/7 support. When cornered about it by a pissed customer, the story telling begins.  Oh we accept tickets 24/7.  Doesn't mean we handle them or have staff then.

I am one of those people that prefers overnights.  Glad to see others realize there is an entire, be it small subset of the population that can and will work overnight, even in 'Murica.  

My support being abroad thing I think I should slap about some more.   I think people providing support should have similar understandable speech to the customer.   Time Warner should have regional call centers.   The density of customers and their outrageous rates mean they damn well can afford it too.

I expect a customer in the UK should get support based in the UK.  Someone in Congo, well support in Congo.  Australia, Aussie support.  ETC.

If TWC isn't offshoring support, they need to check people's paperwork  / greencards / work credentials.  Surely hiring from the bottom of a smelly pickle barrel at lowest cost - as the level of the support knowledge totally sucked.  People going through human bowel movements disguised as support.   I could automate what "support" puts customer through.  
 

DomainBop

Dormant VPSB Pathogen
If TWC isn't offshoring support, they need to check people's paperwork  / greencards / work credentials.  Surely hiring from the bottom of a smelly pickle barrel at lowest cost - as the level of the support knowledge totally sucked.
Time Warner has a documented history of violating US labor laws and paying their call center workers sh*t wages and trying to force them to work overtime for free.  2 years ago they paid a large settlement to settle a class action suit brought on behalf of their NY/NJ call center workers for forcing them to work OT without pay.

http://www.law360.com/articles/463025/time-warner-pays-3-8m-to-exit-call-center-workers-suit

...and another class action lawsuit filed on behalf of their Colorado workers for the same reason:

http://www.jpelaw.com/_blog/Civil_Law_Blog/post/lawsuit-claims-time-warner-violated-labor-laws/

They were also sued for stiffing their cable technicians on OT:

http://www.texasovertimeattorney.com/news/time-warner-cable-technicians-file-a-collective-action-lawsuit-for-lost-wages-and-overtime--2012.cfm

TL;DR 1 if you screw over your customer facing employees the customers probably won't get great service from the disgruntled workers and you're probably not going to attract better qualified employees

TL;DR 2: if you have a virtual monopoly in your service area you can afford to do TL;DR 1 because the customers have limited options due to your monopoly
 
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MarkTurner

New Member
Verified Provider
Have their top package - Ultimate... Which is 50Mbps downstream advertised... Getting this:

3.46 Mbits/s

2.88 Mbits/s

3.10 Mbits/s

All tests tonight are running in that range.   That range is pathetic and basically just above their lowest $20~ entry level tier.  Some 4-5 plans downward on the menu.
But where are those tests to and from?

If it from your DSL/FTTH/cable demarc to their network? or outside?

Most of these operators state that this is the maximum speed or even the 'link' speed but performance is not guaranteed.

TWC will be Comcast soon and then they fun will start. TWT is already Level3 and that has been a bundle of fun to deal with.
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
But where are those tests to and from?

If it from your DSL/FTTH/cable demarc to their network? or outside?

Most of these operators state that this is the maximum speed or even the 'link' speed but performance is not guaranteed.

TWC will be Comcast soon and then they fun will start. TWT is already Level3 and that has been a bundle of fun to deal with.
They can not guarantee speeds all they want.  It is like they are selling me a gallon of gasoline, 128 ounces and I get delivered 1/16th during normal human awake hours or 8 ounces worth.   Imagine if that went down at your petrol station...

I don't mind being short changed, but 50 topping out at < 4.  Meh, someone needs taken to task and in front of a court or otherwise.   Filing BBB complaint tomorrow and starting other action, cause someone needs to.

Spoke with deployed tech, second tech in a month.   Known saturation issue.  Hell, it's a 3+ year saturation issue. My gear is all primo and right, cause otherwise it wouldn't work just fine overnight (and yeah I don't have to reboot it at 2AM for it to start working).

Tech said call for account credit.  I called and another f'n foreigner who can't speak English worth a f.... .  This one sounded Hispanic.  Which makes sense I guess since their main call center is in.... Dominican Republic.  

What is the per capita income in Dominican Republic? $5,879

[SIZE=13.63636302948px]What is the per capita income in the United States? $53,041[/SIZE]

[SIZE=13.63636302948px]Geez, I wonder why they have their call center in Dominican Republic?  At least they aren't using prison slave labor, yet.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=13.63636302948px]So I get a $20 credit for my hours of lost time and sitting around today. Sitting for an appointment that was entirely avoidable for a problem that is well known and documented as my whole area / town is impacted by it and techs are many times a day in places getting slapped for it.[/SIZE]

As for the speed tests, I cobbled a front end to speedtest-cli which uses Ookla's test points.  I am testing the nearest 6 points.  Running each test point three times, taking the highest independent upload and download values for each.  Then combining the values for a total sum.  Finally dividing that sum by six to get the average.

And yes, I have another PC setup with a mutant browser and all to use Time Warner's own speed test which is consistently in line with the results I get elsewhere via Ookla.

About to drop Time Warner to their lowest tier or one up from bottom because that's all they can reasonably meet / get near.  Problem still is even with that the latency is horrific.   Packet loss with them is just shown as latency.  I might see 300ms to their POP locally often from 2PM-2AM.  Have seen higher sustained for hours.  Internet works really poorly with 500-1000ms of latency.
 

robbyhicks

Member
Verified Provider
I believe Cox outsources their off-hours residential phone support -- first time I've experienced it since moving to a residential connection, but it seems to be consistent with after-hours.
 
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