Eugene Mirman takes out ads telling Time Warner Cable how terrible it is
Though Time Warner Cable’s reputation for reliably charging you lots of money is impeccable, some customers will tell you that it occasionally falters in certain areas of customer service—which is to say that all customers will tell you that it always falters in all areas of its customer service. The cable giant is so notorious for missing scheduled appointments and mishandling communication with its clients that it’s no longer possible of even creating anger, because at this point they’ve basically crossed over into being incorrigible scamps. It would be like getting mad at the Little Rascals for putting frogs on their teacher’s chair, or at Andy Capp for napping.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped a lot of people from actually getting angry, but few have ever had the skills to articulate it quite the way comic Eugene Mirman has in this letter, which Mirman recently posted via a full-page ad in a few New York newspapers. Hey, he has to spend that Bob Burgers money somewhere. And so he spent it on telling Time Warner how much they suck—specifically for missing an appointment to hook up his new apartment, then moving it without telling him—with the same absurdist aplomb he’s used to complain to past corporations like Delta Airlines. A few choice excerpts:
Did you know that on Yelp, Time Warner Cable has one and a half stars? That’s less stars than Jeffrey Dahmer—who killed and ate people, and maybe even had sex with their skulls (I don’t really know). Obviously what I’m saying is untrue, because Yelp does not review serial killers, but if they did, his babaganoush would be better than yours, if you both made babaganoush, even if his drugged and murdered people. Sorry that got weird. Fuck you. I just made you read that confusing thing.
Mirman also channeled his disappointment into coming up with various plagues he would like to see befall Time Warner’s board of directors, namely:
1. Awkward. Every board member’s cell phone ring loudly announces their weight and also the day they’ll die.
2. Bathroom. The constant feeling that you have to go number two, but completely forgetting how.
3. Improv. Your first-born will want to be a short form improviser.
4. Popcorn. Your second born will smell like hot buttered popcorn. It’s not that bad at first, but eventually I bet it will be maddening.
After admitting that his cable was finally hooked up on May 6 by “a very nice, professional man,” and allowing that he’s had encounters with various other helpful employees, Mirman nevertheless concludes that “overall, your company is run like an ill-managed Soviet factory. I bet if Ayn Rand was still alive, she’d write a fun-to-read, but poorly argued book about how appalling and inefficient your company is.”
Surprisingly, Time Warner Director of Digital Communications Jeff Simmermon has actually responded to all this, saying he’s a fan of both Mirman and his letter (which he quotes extensively in his blog post), taking its points in good humor, and even openly apologizing. Then he lays out the company’s current five-point strategy for how they’re always “working very, very hard” to improve customer service and blah blah blah corporate speak whatever. You can probably expect those improvements to show up sometime between the hours of 9 and 5.