Sunday, August 4, 2013

Eye Poking: TWC vs. CBS, Part 2

“An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” -- Frequently attributed to M. K. Gandhi. The Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence states that the Gandhi family believes it is an authentic Gandhi quotation, but no example of its use by the Indian leader has ever been discovered.

But, it's good enough for The Blog.

And seems like an appropriate way to begin tonight's post.

*Yeah, yeah, I know... This is still not the promised final Zimmerman rant. But, The PC promises that he will remove that albatross from his neck before the next week is out.*

A few nights ago, The Blog discussed the heated negotiations for the price of re-transmission rights between Time Warner Cable and CBS Networks.

The Blog called it a "game of corporate chicken" and predicted that one party or the other would blink first, (It only just dawned on The PC that both corporate entities embroiled in this dispute utilize stylized eyes as their logos, therefore, all the poking and blinking analogies,) and predicted that the dispute would be settled at the eleventh hour.

The Blog predicted wrong.

At 5:00 PM EDT, TWC put a block on CBS and it's subsidiary in it's four largest markets as well as several smaller ones.

At 2:00 PM PDT in Los Angeles, programing on CBS channel 2 and channel 9 was replaced with this...

Similar messages are being displayed in other markets.

While The Blog usually enjoys watching giant, multi-national corporations shoot themselves in the foot, this battle is having an impact on his life on a personal level.

And, even though The PC is an employee of CBS Television, he is so far down on the totem pole that he has little sympathy for his billionaire parent company.

The PC has also been a loyal customer of TWC, (since the days before TWC acquired Westinghouse's "Group W Cable.") He has had nothing but excellent service from TWC. Even when there were tech problems, TWC has always been prompt, courteous and on top of the problem.

Never a complaint here.

Until now.

Last night, The PC attempted to call TWC at 1-800-TWC-ABLE, to lodge a complaint.

It should come as no surprise that he was plunged into an automated system that insured that that complaint would never register.

Next, he went to's "Contact Us" page.

He was directed, first, to a phony chat page that accepted his complaint, but only displays positive feedback, along the lines of...

"Stand your ground TWC!!!! Don't let the greedy CBS get away with this."
 ...Along with about 20 other messages.

The Blog gets the feeling that these are the same people that believe that Sarah Palin is a shoe-in for the 2016 presidency.

After a bit of digging, I found email links to several departments at TWC, and sent complaints to all of them.

The Blog got no response from most of them, but he did receive an automated response from the "Customer Service" department.

Here is the email that I sent...

feedback-topic-text :

*The email link page offers several topics for the subject line. "Kudos" was one of them. There was no "Complaints" subject line available.*

"Briefly summarize your feedback :"

"Kudos?" No. A complaint. I pay TWC to provide my television. I expect that to include ALL of the major broadcast networks. If this does not get resolved quickly, I will find another source for my television and internet and TWC will be down one customer. And I doubt that I will be the only one leaving.
The following is the response I got from the TWC Customer (No) Service department.

*I am reposting the email response, typos, punctuation and grammatical atrocities unedited. I will post annotations and comments in red.*


Hello [PC,]

Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable Email Support.

I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you and understand that you wish to have CBS back.

I would like to inform you that we have been unable to reach agreement with CBS Corporation, and as a result, Time Warner Cable may not offer certain CBS-owned channels

In order to carry programming on our lineup, we negotiate with each channel?s owners to determine the price and conditions under which we can offer those channels to our customers.  In this case, one company?CBS?owns the rights to each of these channels, and we are negotiating for all of them right now.

I would like to inform you that CBS is making outrageous demands for the right to continue carrying their channels. We are holding the line against broadcasters who continue to make their stations available free over-the-air and online while they demand more from cable customers without delivering any additional value.

"I would like to inform you," twice in three paragraphs. Pompous and condescending much?

And, "Fuck broadcasters who provide their content for free, via the publicly owned airwaves and the internet, while they actually expect to be paid by people like us who make you pay for the convenience of receiving their content via our paid service."

Unfortunately, these kinds of blackouts have occurred more frequently over the past few years?last year, over 80 broadcast TV stations withheld their channels from all kinds of video providers, including cable, satellite, and telephone companies.  It?s not just Time Warner Cable?every provider is at risk for losing the right to carry these channels that are available for free over the air to an antenna. Switching to another provider won?t prevent similar blackouts from happening to you in the future, and you could miss some of your favorite programming, like NY1 in New York City.

"Every one else does it, (we claim,) so we will, too. So go find someone who loves you like we do."

However, virtually the entire prime-time CBS lineup is available for free online at within a day or so of airing and we are providing replacement programming for Showtime and TMC.  We will do everything we can to help you find other ways to continue to watch your favorite shows.

"So, hook up an antenna and go on-line. Subscribe to Netflix and Hulu. See if we care."

Also, if you have Time Warner Cable High Speed Internet and you're unable to view shows on, it is because CBS may be blocking access to Time Warner Cable internet customers for content that they otherwise offer free to any other online user.  We encourage you to contact CBS and let them know your opinion about denying you access because of your choice of online providers.

"Because it is CBS who are the greedy assholes, not us."

You can reach CBS nationally and locally at the following:

CBS Corporate: 212-975-4321
KCBS (Los Angeles): 818-655-2000
WCBS (NY): 212-975-4321
KTVT (Dallas):  817-451-1111
SHOWTIME: 212-708-1600

"So go ahead and harass CBS corporate at these phone numbers. Good luck calling us at 800-TW-CABLE. We gave our call center operators the week off, so you will spend your life on hold, if you call us to complain."

I encourage you to visit to find out more on the negotiations.

"Because at, we have set up a phony chatroom that only supports our position."

We deeply regret begin forced into this position by CBS, but we?re prepared to stand by our customers and do what it takes to fight programmer demands for outrageous increases.

"Never mind that "outrageous" fees for providing you with television is what we are all about."

However, I would appreciate your understanding that this is not something that we have done intentionally to interrupt your services.

Of course not.

We apologize, we won?t be able to provide you any discount or credit for CBS; however, for Showtime, we?ll provide you Starz and Encore in place of it. This may take 48 hours from now.

Because, "We are Time Warner Cable. So we don't give a shit. Fuck you."

If you have any further questions, please respond to this email or contact our Live Chat at the following link:
Customer support is available 24x7.

Good luck with that.

Time Warner Cable Online Customer Service

Thanks for your condescending bullshit, Brady. (If that is your real name.)

Thanks, Time Warner Cable and "Brady" for treating your customers like they are idiots.


 All hope is not lost.

TWC is taking a pounding on their Facebook page.

The Blog invites his blogglitts to go there and chime in.

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