I had an interesting conversation this morning with a Time Warner Cable (TWC) Disconnect Technician. I went out to get my paper and he had the cable junction box open. He was clipping the wires going my house and my neighbor’s house. We had both switched to Verizon FiOS TV and were no longer paying for any TWC services.
He came over to me and asked if he could ask a few questions. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but he was very friendly. He is a Disconnect Technician. He was driving all over town, clipping the cable wires to houses that had switched from TWC to FiOS. Since FiOS TV went live in Bethlehem last month, TWC was bleeding customers all over town. He didn’t give me any numbers, but he said a lot of people had already switched and TWC management are pretty upset.
He is also a disgruntled ex-employee of TWC. At one point he was a TWC employee with the full benefits, at some point they terminated his position and hired him back as a contractor to TWC. He was not happy about the change from being an employee to being a contractor. He wasn’t the only employee that they did this to, it must have been a cost cutting move on TWC’s part.
He asked me about the services that I was getting and how much I was paying. Oddly enough, he though I was getting the TV channels through a dish. He literally didn’t know that FiOS TV was a Verizon package of channels. He said that he was thinking of getting FiOS service for himself.
He did say a few times that the local TWC management were upset over the subscribers losses to Verizon. They don’t have much to offer existing subscribers who want to switch. They can’t compete on the technology side, but they can compete on the cost. Raising their rates a month before FiOS TV rolled into town, was not one of their smarter moves.
When I went to the local TWC office to cancel my service and return the equipment, the staff there made no attempt to keep me as a customer. They asked where I was moving to, and they were surprised when I said I wasn’t moving. But they did not ask why I was dropping the service or ask if there was anything that they could do to get me to stay with TWC. It would have been a pointless effort, I was already on FiOS TV and there was nothing that TWC could offer to get me to switch back. Still, it’s general business sense to keep your existing customers.