What follows is a near-verbatim transcript with the third person I spoke to in Time Warner.
Me: I’ve spoken to two customer service representatives, and nobody has been able to explain this to me, so I’m asking you: can you explain, logically, how I have a 36 month price-lock that raises its price after 12 months?
TW: Well, that’s just the way it works. It starts off at $99 and then it goes up.
Me: So what’s being locked in for 36 months?
TW: Your rate.
Me: My rate was $99. Now it’s $119.
TW: The price is locked for 12 months.
Me: The price is locked for 36 months. It’s a 36 month price-lock.
TW: Well, if you read the fine print.
Me: I read the fine print, and nothing adequately explains this. That’s why I’m calling. Please, can you explain what’s being locked in for 36 months?
TW: The price is locked in... for 12 months.
Me: Don’t use the words "12 months."
TW: Service is locked in for 36 months?
Me: I don’t have a 36 month service-lock. I have a 36 month price-lock. What is being locked in for 36 months?
Me: Do you understand where I’m coming from?
TW: Yes. Yes, I do.
Me: When I signed up for Time Warner a year ago, I spoke to a man who explained the 36 month price-lock, but he never mentioned the price going up after 12 months. Do you have his name or any sort of identification number?
TW: I don’t have his name.
Me: Do you have anything? Because I have an active memory of this conversation, and what I’m hearing is you have nothing.
TW: All I have is a number that doesn’t tell me who he is, or even where he works.
Me: Put yourself in my shoes. Would you be frustrated right now? Would you not feel great about Time Warner?
TW: I can upgrade you on Internet speed. I can give you our Road Runner Service.
Me: I have your Road Runner Service.
TW: I do see that you have our Road Runner Service.
Me: So there’s no way you can lower the price to honor the 36 month price-lock? You’re the third person I’ve spoken to already.
Me: What if I cancel my contract?
TW: That will be $150. Actually, let me check. No, that will only be $120.
Me: And if I open a new account?
TW: That will be $140.
Me: Can you give me anything?
TW: I can give you our Showtime package. It brings your value up to $190.
Me: Just add the Showtime, and I’ll stop bothering you about this.
TW: It is my job to assure you get the best customer service.