West Side Stories

A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.

Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.

Time Warner and the Tenth Circle

Things that bug me

“Due to unusually high call volume, you have waited longer than we would have liked. Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold for the next available customer service representative. “ 

As I began writing this, I was on hold for 25 minutes with Time Warner. The irony is that I was calling about my high-speed internet service, which doesn’t seem to be very high speed at all.


What they should have said on that recording would be a line from Dante’s Inferno:

  “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”  


Here are my two initial thoughts as I sat there on hold:


1. If my call were important, they would have staffed sufficiently to be able to answer my call in less time, which is what I would have liked.


2. Not sure who thought that repeating the above message every 30 seconds would make me feel even more valued or less irritated.


And so began my descent into what could be best described as the tenth circle of hell (Dante wrote about nine, but he didn’t have Road Runner) – Time Warner Customer Service.


Look, I understand that when a company becomes successful, they grow. And when they grow, it’s tough to continue to offer truly personal customer service. But during my odyssey (a total of about 3 hours on the phone), I spoke to no less than six people – six! I started out patiently explaining my problem and just when I felt like the person to whom I was speaking understood my dilemma, they transferred me somewhere else.


Each time I was transferred, a seemingly nice person would listen to me, apologize for my troubles and express empathy for my frustration. But then, every time, I would have to repeat the same information that I gave the person before them.


Along the way, my patience diminished and the follies multiplied. For instance, the first tech support person told me to reboot my modem by unplugging the power cord. Great idea, except that we also have digital phone (All the Best!) and that small action disconnected my call. My dog Millie cowered in the corner at that moment as I shouted at the now non-working phone: “Are you kidding me?! Are you KIDDING me?!”


It seemed like every person I spoke to contradicted the person before them.


After numerous rebootings and multiple speed tests, it was determined that I’m only getting half the typical Road Runner speed. Um, yeah. I kind of knew that. That’s why I’m calling!!!


So, next week, I get a personal visit from a Time Warner truck to, pardon the pun, try and get me up to speed. My expectations are rather low. Yes, I have already abandoned hope.

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