Time Warner Cable stands by customer service in face of lawsuit

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Time Warner Cable is facing lawsuits for alleged failures in customer service, but the company appears to not be making any specific moves to address litigious consumers.

Last week, the city of Los Angeles filed a suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court, accusing the cable provider of “unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business acts and practices and deceptive advertising.”

Rocky Delgadillo, the Los Angeles City attorney, is asking Time Warner Cable for $2,500 in civil penalties for each violation. This week, the city of Costa Mesa — near Los Angeles — is considering taking up arms against Time Warner as well, with similar service complaints.

“We were surprised by the suit,” said Robyn Watson, director of PR for Time Warner Cable. “It almost seems like old news because there were some problems when we first acquired Adelphia [with] Comcast, but we're proud of our service levels right now.”

Most of the problems seem to stem from the company's purchase (in partnership with Comcast) of Adelphia Communications Corp. back in 2006. The acquisition added more than 1.6 million subscribers to TWC's 360,000-member Los Angeles base. In the midst of the transfer, the company allegedly failed to answer service calls within 30 seconds or begin repairs within 24 hours — both parts of its franchise cable agreement.

Now, says Watson, the company has made significant changes to its customer service approach and has a far-reaching strategy in place. She declined to discuss specific plans, but noted that the lawsuit did not precipitate such changes.

“The lawsuit probably sped it up a little bit, but we stand by our service levels,” she said. “We leave it up to our local marketing teams because they know what the customers want, and they were the ones who said we are in a good position now and that we should start talking about it nationally.

“Specific markets are always looking for ways to show customers that we've heard them, and we're trying to answer questions and resolve issues,” she added. “If people look at where we started and where we are now, service levels have dramatically improved.”

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