My division in Wisconsin (Metro Milwaukee) has had a very good track record with cable,
With only about five to ten service calls, (and it's closer to five than it is to ten) in the 25+years, maybe we have just been very, very lucky, I don't know. I mean from time to time, I'll have SDV issues and slowness. Our This TV affiliate is one station that sometimes breaks up. But if something happens, it is corrected very very quickly. My concerns with cable are the rising costs, and the lack of some features that should be there, across the boxes but are not: (Keyword Search, A Guide Filter that works on Search Screens, a few other things.)
This latest version has been very good ODN 5.2.09 even on my SA-8300HDC. But my point is not to talk about my reasonable success with TWC. I'd rather talk about its failures in other divisions who always seem to have problems, and what do you guys believe the main culprits are in this situation? I think a very poor infrastructure in some areas might be the problem. Aging nodes, questionable maintenance schedules, lack of proper training by the engineers and developers. And maybe some of them make an honest effort. This might even come down to local office managers. If they are qualified and know their systems and the people behind it, this shows good service can follow. If they are incompetent or apathetic at their main offices, all the nodes and infrastructure connections, communications and training, suffers because of a failed intrastructure. And if you are one of those TWC subs in a failed intrastructure, playing anywhere from $150-$300+ for service levels, and you have had the service calls and trouble checks for more than five years, I would drop the cable TV part of services, and try another provider OR just drop the vendors altogether and go with over-the air with an antenna (OTA) and maybe a Netfix subscription.
There remains the issue of too much variance with system quality and control of that quality. Top VIP's like Glenn Britt are marketing heads, but do they understand the issues with system quality control and the inconsistent problems associated across divisions? I say no. They think that their equipment can (or will) do anything over time. But as people have told me, it's a "pie in the sky approach." If local managers are only lukewarm about caring, to totally apathetic, that almost never gets passed on to higher-ups, resulting in communication and system breakdowns.
I don't know if U-Verse, Dish Network, or Direct TV carries its own set of problems. Over the last decades, research has shown me, with the help of those who subscribe to each service, is that cable has better HD, Start Over/Look Back, and Caller ID on TV with Digital Phone, and a huge Video on Demand Section (VOD) that the competition can't match. I also understand that the competition requires a one to two year programing commitment, where TWC does not.
Reliability at TWC with regards to the Cable TV equipment is the worst part of TWC's infrastructure. They keep trying to update old and outdated set top boxes, who's hardware and processors are outdated. Their reliance on SDV has proven to be more of a hindrance than a help, and quality control has shifted more to the excellence of their High Speed Internet and Digital Phone Service. For TWC, the care of Cable TV service became divergent, because some divisions believed that they make so much money off of Internet and Phone Service, that Cable TV no longer was at the top of the priority list. Too many different types of boxes, too much confusion over makes and set-top models has created a system where Customer A can do this and this with his box. Customer B can do this and this, but not that with his box, Customer C's box has never worked, and Customer D, has had no problems at all.
My best guess is because Direct TV and Dish Network have less box models to choose from, don't have to worry about nodes and parameters, who has what, it improves the intrastructure. The requirements of a programming commitment for one to two years, and less HD than TWC, and the loss of VOD's variety with TWC, are offset by lower prices from the competition and better equipment. Direct TV and Dish Network care about having reasonably modern boxes. Satellites' intrastructure is better. Overall customer service with Direct TV has a better "good" consistency than cable. Although unlike cable, you do have to pay for service calls with the Satellite and U-Verse companies. Cable is still better at discount deals when those promotional rates expire. But it's overall equipment reliability on the TV end of it, that always seems to be TWC's nail in the coffin.
Edited by Satch Man - 9/10/12 at 8:59pm