time warnerI don’t surprise easily but on August 28th,  Time Warner surprised me.     Its internet service has been pretty decent for the last two years or so, but it started acting oddly — disruptions and very slow service.    I went to TWC’s web site and it was operating very oddly;  couldn’t get to a customer support site.   Moreover, the TWC site was functioning very slowly so I figured something was wrong with their network.    I used TWC’s chat support to discern its network status.    The analyst there said that TWC does not have web site at which customers can determine whether there is a network problem or not.   (see below transcript).
Then I called Time Warner’s customer service number and got a very polite Indian customer service rep whose English was challenging, but I was able to determine from him that they didn’t see any network issues and that there was no way to find out Time Warner’s network status without calling them.   I was finally able to troubleshoot the problem and it turned out not to  be the TWC network.    But it took me the better part of 30 minutes to find out from TWC that its network was functioning.   Not impressive.    I wrote Time Warner help and suggested that a real-time network monitor — like that used by other Internet companies — might be awfully useful to its customers.    So far, no response.    Even less impressive.
So if you are having connectivity issues on TWC, for now, you’ve got to call them.  The phone number is provided in the chat transcript.   But this experience will definitely spur me to begin searching for alternatives.   Regrettably,  AT&T Uverse is not a feasible option — had them for two trouble-filled years.   And wireless is a bit unreliable in my neighborhood.     Alas, I face the same Internet-connection desert that confronts most residential customers.

CHAT TRANSCRIPT

Analyst Shawn Peterson is here. Status: Working

Hello! Thank you for choosing Internet Technical Chat Support. My name is Shawn Peterson, I will help you.

Michael_>

Internet status, please?

Shawn Peterson>

I understand your concern, I will be glad to help you with this.

Shawn Peterson>

Please give me 2 minutes while I check your account details.

Shawn Peterson>

Thank you for your time and patience.

Shawn Peterson>

Since how long you are going through this issue?

Michael_>

Over 30 minutes

Shawn Peterson>

Is the internet connection disconnects frequently?

Michael_>

Yes, for a while…..and now it is very slow. Abnormally so.

Shawn Peterson>

How many computers and gadgets you connected to internet right now?

Michael_>

Hold on….before we start conducting a diagnosis, I really just wanted to find out if there are any system problems in my area. I’m pretty good at diagnostics…but when I went on the Time Warner web site, I couldn’t access a Net status page. Your site was not operating properly.

Michael_>

Please provide the URL for the real-time Net status for TWC San Diego. That would help me a lot.

Shawn Peterson>

I can certainly understand your necessity of the Link for checking the network status.

Shawn Peterson>

I regret to inform you that the network status link is not available currently.

Shawn Peterson>

You will have to contact Local office to know the status.

Shawn Peterson>

I see there is no outages at your area right now.

Michael_>
OK, so that I’m hearing is that TWC doesn’t have a real-time link about its network status, so I have to call TWC to find out the status. Is that correct? If so, what phone number do you propose that I use to call for the network status?
Shawn Peterson>
Yes, you are correct.

Shawn Peterson>

I will provide you with the contact number, please wait.

Shawn Peterson>

Contact Number: 858-695-3220

Shawn Peterson>

Toll Free 800-964-2783

Michael_>

OK. Just so you know, you may be getting bad information about Network status, as I just checked with my neighbor who is also a TWC customer and he said he’s having network interruptions and slow service. Sounds like a network problem that TWC technical isn’t telling you about.

Shawn Peterson>

I am sorry for that

Shawn Peterson>

We do not have any reported networks issues at your area right now.

Michael_>

OK. I’ll call the phone number that you suggested. Not sure there’s more that you can do currently.