Media reports of nightmarish interactions with Time Warner Cable representatives are common, yet just the tip of the iceberg. After completing my own 26-day crusade to terminate my service with TWC, I put together a simple way to make sure service is disconnected without having to endure the gauntlet of robot menus and retention agents who will do anything to keep you as a customer despite your pleas.
Step 1–Return all equipment
Go ahead and schedule at least 1-2 hours that you can return all of the equipment at one of TWC’s regional storefront offices. Put everything in a box and bring it in. You will need these items:
- Cable/DVR boxes
- Remote controls
- Necessary cables
When you arrive to the storefront, you may be asked to take a number. Wait times can easily exceed one hour during peak times, so it helps to bring a book or distract yourself with Angry Birds or Candy Crush.
When your number is called, advise the representative that you are cancelling all services and that you are not porting your phone number (unless you want to keep it). Make sure they acknowledge that all services are to be cancelled. Write down the representative’s name and employee number for your records. If the representative advises that you have to call a separate number to cancel the phone, calmly advise them that this is inaccurate information and that you will wait at the window while they call a supervisor over to correct their mistake.
Step 2–Submit written cancellation request
There is a remarkably high chance that your services will not be cancelled despite your clear instructions. This is intentional. Retention employees are rated on their save percentage, so they will do just about anything including unethical actions in order to prevent your cancellation. Since their supervisors also are rated on this measurement, they will frequently overlook unethical acts by their subordinates.
To fully cover yourself, draft a letter that clearly shows today’s date and the date of cancellation. State exactly what should be cancelled. If you do not want to port the phone number, then you must explicitly state this in the letter.
Mail the letter via Certified U.S. Mail and include a return receipt so that you receive a stamped and official document that confirms that TWC received your letter. Include a copy of your letter for your records also.
The letter may be mailed to:Time Warner Cable Inc.
60 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10023
If you do need to contact someone about the cancellation, it is recommended that you skip the seizure-inducing customer service number entirely. Instead you may contact a corporate representative by calling 212-364-8300 (select option 2), or better yet, email them at TWC.COTP@twcable.com. An email is preferred because it gives you full record of any correspondence.
By taking these two simple steps, you can avoid hours of frustration. Understand too that this approach is an elevated action, so there is no need to allow for any of the usual errors. If the service is not properly terminated or if the usual inflated bill is received following your cancellation, you can generally skip any follow-up with the company and immediately file formal complaints. The two best complaint venues are:
- Federal Trade Commission: File an online complaint (Choose “other” and “Satellite and Cable TV Provider”).
- Office of the Attorney General for your state.
It is vital to keep all records. A correspondence log of all communications and all emails, letters and phone calls should be documented. TWC is notorious for continuing to pursue false balances. If they refer these to a collection agency, your credit record could be affected.
If you have all records that shows that TWC failed to honor your cancellation request and are continuing to pursue payment from you, a small claims lawsuit can be a final solution. Often times this step forces a corporate employee to fully research the issue prior to the court date, and a solution can frequently be finalized without actually going to court.
You can take your chances if you dare and follow TWC’s recommended steps to cancel. It is not advisable to do so, and you might learn from the challenges that I faced to ultimately complete what was nothing more than a simple cancellation of service.
Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.
Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.
In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.
Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!
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