Saturday, March 16, 2013

Oceanic Time Warner Cable - Complete Crap

If you live in Hawaii and want TV service you won't have a ton of choices and it likely will come down to Oceanic Time Warner Cable or DirecTV (and maybe Dish, but who's buying Dish anymore?).

I've had DirecTV in Arizona before and any time you would have storm clouds you lose reception. In Arizona it's not a huge issue since it is rarely cloudy. In Hawaii, well, I'm not so sure if it would be an issue and I didn't want to get stuck in a 2 year contract if it became a problem. Rather than dealing with DirecTV I chose cable, and I chose poorly. Time Warner is just absolutely horrible all around. The HD picture isn't all that great, and that's when it works!

Their DVR system is horrible and is many years behind what DirecTV (and even Dish) can do and, at least in my case, often doesn't work right. Sometimes it records a show, sometimes not for no reason at all. The GUI is low resolution and often cuts off the name of shows so you might see "Finding..." as a show name...finding what exactly?

Go to the priority manager where you can tell the DVR which shows are most important and nothing is numbered. Do I assume the shows on top are higher than the shows on the bottom when it comes to recording priority? If so, why is it when I add a new series to record it goes to the top (DirecTV would put it at the bottom where it belongs, then you move it where you want it). And then it often records parts of a show. I might get the last 18 minutes of Top Gear UK or the last 6 minutes of Ghost Hunters. Helpful!

Time Warner will offer whole home DVR service as well but it sucks and often doesn't work. I have to reboot both boxes weekly to keep the whole home service working or get a "network error" where one box can't talk to the other. And then there is the cost of whole home DVR...over $20 per month! Oh yea, and add in another $4 per month if you want to have many of the HD channels you get on your DVR mirrored onto your second receiver. That's right, no syfy HD, no cartoon network HD, no TBS HD, and several other that are missing unless I cough up another $4 per month. Was the $20 whole home fee not enough (DirecTV used to charge $4/month for whole home DVR for comparison).

So I decided to cancel Time Warner cable TV service today. I thought they'd talk me out of it but clearly even they know what a joke it is. Instead, they wanted to charge me $18 to cancel because they need to send a tech out to my house to disconnect the cable while keeping the Internet connection alive.

$18! I asked if they could waive the fee and Tanya told me "no" even though I explained how they should be trying to ensure I remain a customer on their Internet service rather than further upsetting me. Still got a no, they can't make exceptions. Three minutes later and all of a sudden Tanya tells me (as if it was her idea) that she can waive the $18 fee because they can make an exception for me. What? I asked why she couldn't 3 minutes ago. As you can imagine, I got some BS double talk.

In her defense, she went one step further which was quite nice! I was getting a bundle discount on my Internet service for having TV service so rather than my Internet now increasing $12 / month she kept it at the current rate for the next 12 months. That was a nice touch for sure. I was just about to shop around for Internet replacement (as Time Warner Internet is pretty bad as well) but now I'll stay on for a bit at least.

For those moving to Hawaii my advice is to avoid Time Warner altogether if possible. The service isn't good, the product is crap, and overall it's like travelling 10 years back in time as far as the technology is concerned. Try DirecTV, try Dish, try nothing at all and save a lot of money (we're going to use netflix and hulu for now). If you do use Time Warner just do it for Internet, not for TV. Cable truly is as bad as the DirecTV commercials make it out to be!

Dear Google Fiber, please come to Oahu soon.

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