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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Time Warner Outage Update

Don't count on Time Warner Cable to replay the season finales of "Grey's Anatomy," "CSI," "ER," "Scrubs" and other shows that digital-level customers missed last Thursday night due to a Time Warner computer failure.

Time Warner folks told me Friday they considering asking the networks for permission to replay the botch episodes locally. It's not going to happen. All Time Warner plans to do is alert me (us?) when the networks have scheduled reruns for those missed shows. Some help. (Actually I can tell you when the season finales will repeat: The week before those shows return in the fall. The season finales always rerun the week before.)

If you don't want to wait until September, Time Warner folks suggest that you go to the networks websites and watch the missed shows there. In other words, after paying TWC each month, you should go to another method of delivery to see the shows you paid for and didn't get. Some help! (And what about "ER" and "Scrubs," which aren't streamed by NBC? You're outta luck, I guess.)

For the record, here's what Time Warner Public Affiars Dir. Karen Baxter said today:

"We have made inquiries and we will let you know when the season replays are scheduled to air.
"Replays of network programs are solely at the discretion of the network and the option to replay a program is not a local decision. We are certain that the networks will be rebroadcasting these popular programs.
"The best option for fans to catch last week's episodes as soon as possible remains the networks' web sites. All of us at Time Warner Cable are very sorry for this inconvenience. Many of us are fans too and we know how upsetting it was to have your favorite shows interrupted."


at 5/21/2007 3:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

So everyone ticked off about missing their finale finale should call TWC and demand their $20 credit. If they don't give it, take a stand and switch to DirectTV. In the pocket is the only way TWC will change their behaviour. Which to now is predictable and usual. So what is this thing they have been airing on Local 12 on the morning news about contacting your politicians to get access to more competitive cable service?

John? Any idea?

at 5/21/2007 5:53 PM Blogger SophiaZ123 said...

I forgot to call about a discount from the two outages this week with TW.

BUT, a few months ago I kept having issues with once again DIGITAL BOX shutting off when they "upgraded". I went out two days during TWO DIFFERENT SHOWS. to me that meant I should get a refund and the girl on the phone said it was less than 24 which I said WHO WATCHES TV 24/7?

If I only turn on my tv in the evenings, and get SCREWED out of two shows on two different days, that adds up to TWO DAYS w/o cable. Also, if you do not like the first person on the phone, call back and get somebody else.

Also, I ALWAYS tell the poor person on the phone if I am REALLY UPSET to not take my "tone of voice or anger personally" and to have a sense of humor about it folks.

A sense of humor along with the gripe and having empathy for the phone support can get you a DISCOUNT. TRUST ME.

So all that are griping here should call TW! I got my discount of $20 just about 8 weeks ago so will cut them some slack since I watched the end of BOSTON LEGAL on rabbit ears...or was that the night it was storming? Anyhoo.... nice but BE FIRM.

And if they still refuse, I say we all fill up the local consumer guys email boxes and get TV COVERAGE on two channels. :-)

at 5/21/2007 5:55 PM Blogger SophiaZ123 said...

The problem with SWITCHING to satellite are CONTRACTS and if parts break or boxes go bad, WE THE CUSTOMER must pay.

That is what a local consumer guy told me when I emailed him. He said TW gets' a LOT OF GRIPES but NOTHING compared to the Satellite emails he gets. So, I stay with the devil I know I guess.

Sheesh...just my two cents on this topic.

at 5/21/2007 6:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

they have a web site:

at 5/21/2007 6:33 PM Anonymous Kurt said...

Offering a competitive service in Cincinnati is the only answer. I still cannot watch HD on a regular basis because it just doesnt work. TWC's attitude and lack of service has gone on long enough. Im in a condo or I would switch to a Dish instantly. TWC is mismanaged and an overall lackluster product.

at 5/21/2007 8:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey if TW has people convinced that they should pay money for TV shows that they could watch over the air for free, then why wouldn't they assume that people would just go along when they do their latest trick.

at 5/21/2007 10:12 PM Blogger SophiaZ123 said...

Does anybody NOTICE if their DIGITAL box clocks are NOW running about a minute or two fast??

We use VCR's still in this house but this is ANNOYING.

EDIT: I called TW and as of 10:06, nobody ELSE is noticing this problem.

But when the new show should be coming on, it says the top of the hour and another minute or so goes by before the new shows start. While I realize that is a trick for SWEEPS, I was watching some off beat channels, Fox and CNN news and had the same issues on all the stations.

Anybody else notice this? I realize 90 seconds is not a big deal but with all the other issues lately . . . .


at 5/22/2007 7:22 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

when the reset occurred, whatever engineer reset the system poorly reset the time. yes, 90+ seconds fast. How many DVR recordings will be screwed. Way to go TWC.

at 5/22/2007 10:10 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plus, usually, Greys anatomy rebroadcasts on Fridays, but not this time since they had to premiere the bingo show which tanked. Up until now I have not had a problem with TWC,but will weigh my options.
from the neighborhood

at 5/22/2007 11:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the exception of RR, TWC is horrible. I switched to DirecTV a few years back and realized I should have been with DirecTV from the very beginning.

TWC customer service is horrible. I've seen the HD channels on TWC and the quality isn't near what I see using rabbit ears on my hdtv.

at 5/22/2007 12:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are pros and cons with both TWC and Direct TV, they both have poor customer service. I had TWC and switched to Direct because of their HD package. Then this winter (during the ice storm) here is an exact conversation I had with a direct TV employee

Me: I'm not getting a signal (They then looked up my account information and said)
DirectTV: Sir have you had an Ice storm in your area
Me: Yes
Direct TV: OK that is the problem, you have probably have ice build up on your dish.
Me: Great, what do I do?
Direct TV: you have to wait until it melts.
Me: It is supposed to be below freezing for the next 5 days. So your saying I can't get TV for a week?
Direct TV: Sir the only other thing you can do is chip off the ice yourself.
Me: So my options are to wait for the spring thaw or go up in 20 degree weather on my slanted ice covered roof 3 stories above concrete to chip ice of a satellite dish.
Direct TV: sorry sir

at 5/22/2007 1:49 PM Blogger SophiaZ123 said...

I have heard similar stories about ice on the dish needing to be cleaned off.

ALSO if their parts break, it can be MOST DIFFICULT to get the piece delivered and fixed. AND it is on the customer's dime.

Also, if the box breaks, the CUSTOMER is responsible. If you are a satellite customer and have had NO PROBLEMS, consider yourself blessed. Otherwise, this house would've dropped TW years ago.

How about opening up COMPETITION for cable to be in the same area? TW does not even give you a TV GUIDE unless you upgrade to digital. My brother has COMCAST and they give you a tv guide channel on BASIC.

he cannot BELIEVE the way TW bundles certain stations and charges so much.

at 5/22/2007 5:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do yourselves a favor and get Dish Network. Way more HD Channels, NFL Network, and all the local channels in HD, which your DVR will record with an antenna plugged into it. has the Terk HDTVa for 34 bucks. Or DirectTV which delivers the locals via satellite.

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