One of the things businesses -- especially the subscription-based ones -- rely on is that customers won't make the effort to switch to a competitor when problems arise. The author had four or five service appointments with Time Warner since signing up for its Road Runner Internet and cable television offering in mid-2007 -- all of them Internet-related. One time, he got two different stories on the same call -- first his router was conflicting with Road Runner, causing some sort of mystical Internet Protocol loop that left him unable to connect, then the problem was a weak signal. The last service appointment came after a complete service interruption in April 2008 -- not just Internet, but television as well. The problem with Time Warner Cable is simple: They're using the wrong mascot.
MARSHALL LAGER, JULY’S CHI
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