Take Thrice Daily, With Food

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Someone Is Holding Time Warner Cable Hostage For Free Cable

UPDATE (10:03 AM 10/6): And I'm in the Village Voice! Also, cable went out again last night. Is the super up to more shenanigans?

UPDATE (3:10 PM): The Cable and Internet are back! Either Time Warner broke into the building or caved and gave the super what he wanted. Now I can go back to griping about a faceless cable company instead of griping about some random guy.


I live in the East Village. My Internet and Cable have been out since yesterday. I missed last night's Yankees game. I couldn't watch Monday Night Football. My friend in London who is using a Slingbox connected to my TV to watch American television is stuck watching episodes of bizarre British game shows.

I called Time Warner Cable. I was instantly hit with a recorded message that there's a service outage in my area affecting internet, cable, phone, you name it. The message said the service reps have no additional information. I waited on hold to speak with one anyway. I wanted to know what the hell was going on.

Finally, I connected with a service rep. He sounded young. Stumbled a little bit over the script he was reading. I assume he's new. This will be important in a moment. I asked him what the heck was happening. And he told me this:

The box that controls the cable, internet, pretty much everything else for Time Warner Cable in my area of the East Village is located in the basement of a building. In order to service this box, Time Warner Cable needs to contact the super of the building and be let in.

The super of the building, according to the service rep, REFUSES TO LET TIME WARNER INSIDE.

"Why is he refusing?" I asked.

"He wants free cable," the rep responded.

Apparently, Time Warner has tried to reason with the man, but he refuses to budge. Today, he's refused to answer the door or his phone. He's cut off all communication.

"It's a very unusual situation," the rep said.

This pisses me off to no end. So some super on a power trip is the reason that myself and who knows how many others can't watch TV or go online. We all have to pay, and this super asshole thinks he's entitled to free internet because Time Warner has a box in his building. The super doesn't give a damn that he's screwing all the rest of us.

"Where's the building?" I asked.

Now, an experienced rep, I would imagine, would never tell this information. But I'm guessing the friendly script laid out in front of the reps doesn't cover a scenario where a rogue super holds his community's cable service hostage.

"It's on 2nd Ave. I'm not sure I should tell you the exact address," the rep said.

"I understand," I said. "It's just that its ridiculous that one man should stop everybody else from getting cable."

"Yes sir," the rep agreed. "How close are you to 2nd Ave.?"

"I live between 1st and 2nd, closer to 2nd. I'd love to go over there and try to speak with the super to help resolve this."

"Well," the rep said, "I can't see any reason I can't give you the address."

I can see a few reasons. And for those reasons, I won't post the address here. Yet.

Should I call the guy and try to end this standoff? Visit the address and knock on the door? Release the address? Or just the Super's name, so I can publicly shame the guy?

Or should I do nothing, hope Time Warner Cable gives the guy free cable before I get home from work?

Help me decide, America.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Screw him. Post the address and harass him. If he gets free cable, you should cancel your subscription and just start going over to his house.

Adam said...

Haha, I love that idea. Hope he has a comfortable couch.

Graydon said...

Before you post an address, go talk to the super to find out if the story Time Warner told you is true. Time Warner is not the bastion of truth.

Anonymous said...

Post his address. I live on 1st between 3rd and 4th and need the Internet because I work out of home and often keep very late hours. This a-hole is screwing me over

Jay Klein said...

Give the bloody guy WHATEVER bits and bobs he wants - your very good looking and quite charming friend in London town really needs his slingbox...

Anonymous said...

Time Warner needs to get its own sh*t together and MOVE THE DAMN BOX. who cares if it's not convenient or free for TW to do this--it's part of the cost of doing business.

U.N. Owen said...

Legally, if you publish/post the super's EXACT address, you WILL be held responsible.


Sucks, I know - sweet revenge (annoying the frak outta someone SOUNDS like fun) WILL bite YOU in the toochis.

I think what you do FIRST do is contact the building's OWNER. Let him/her know what his employee is doing.

DON'T throw your weight around - yet. All that will do is make the landlord throw THEIR eight around - even if they think YOU are right.

Most people - landlord's included - usually respond to kind words. Also, this super's actions can ultimately COST the landlord $$$, which they don't want to have to spend - especially on something that the landlord is doing at their detriment.

In the meantime, get prepared.

Have everyone you can get - on your block, in your building, in that building - sign a petition.

Contact the block association. Contact the neighborhood's association, and any other neighborhood group you can think of.

It's NOT just you, being affected.

MIGHT IN NUMBERS.

Just remember to try the 'kind' way first; NO threats, intimidation to the landlord. Just speak with THEM - IN PERSON (people are MUCH more honest in person, than with a faceless voice).

Anonymous said...

I am siding with the Super on this one. TWC is the worst company known to man. I am including all companies in North Korea and Iran.

Hot Mama said...

reThis is hysterical and so New York. Your post and the comments should go viral. Is this a grand tale about one little guy sticking it to an evil corporate giant or one little guy (albeit one "nut case") messing with his yuppie East Village neighbors? Either way it's a New York story: little guy grabs the power.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised Time Warner is telling such a story. Normally, they can invoke the right of eminent domain, assuming the state has an appropriate statute. They can call the cops and can forcibly enter the building for the purpose of repairing the cable.

Kevin said...

Wait, your internet is back up? Mine is still down (since I checked before I left for work this morning) and it's October 5th.

Anyone else's still out?

Anonymous said...

Mine is still out as well. I am on 5th and Ave A.

Anonymous said...

Awesome that for once a mystery gets resolved. Thanks!

If you don't post the address and name of the super, you might consider leaving clues throughout the East Village and make it a treasure hunt a la "Geocache a information super highway blackmailer".
-VK

Anonymous said...

I'm on 5th betwee And B. Wed 4pm - still no service. Wtf! Its going on 3 days.

Anonymous said...

Here's a doozy; I don't even have cable and my TV is out due to this issue. I use the cable-ready connection provided when you first move in in order to watch TV (network and local channels only). Last night around 12:30a my screen turned to snow. It's Playoff AND Football season for crying out glaiven!!! Thank goodness for my guitar and the sports bar down on C.

Adam said...

What's the sports bar? I may need to go there to watch tonight's Yankee game.

lomotil said...

The lack of cable service can't solely be blamed on the super. Time Warner, in the interest of serving it's customers, could just give the guy what he wants until a more permanent solution is found. But apparently they don't care enough about their customers to do that.

Anonymous said...

hey u a-hole thank a lot for posting this if u were plaining on increasing the unemployment rate, u were successful

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