It’s fashionable to complain about the cable company oligopolies. So let me add to the pile.

I’ve had Spectrum since 2013 when it was Time Warner Cable. I was given 3 very old cable boxes that they’ve been charging me $9.99 a month for — so I’ve paid about $1040 over just about 8.5 years. These boxes are absolute garbage, unresponsive, loud things that pretty much always sucked.

My AppleTV collection is impressive. So impressive, I thought to myself, “why continue paying for these cable boxes when you can use your nice AppleTVs?” It should be easy enough to go drop off a few boxes and have them take charges off my bill.

This is where the fun begins.

I visited the Spectrum store on 6/21. We waited about 35 minutes while an irate customer tore into the rep for having to wait. The rep had very poor bedside manners, but that’s irrelevant to my story.

They had just rolled out a complete system upgrade to their stores and given their reps 4 hours of training. The same rep was able to collect my boxes, but he was afraid he’d mess up my account trying to do the billing changes on an unknown system. He gave me receipts for the boxes and asked to call the support center to handle the billing changes.

Okay, fair enough. I totally get system upgrades and poor training. I head home and call. After a 20 minute hold, I am told that I actually have to go back to the store to handle this. The rep was apologetic for me getting the wrong information.

Back to the store a week later…

After another 30 minute wait I get some new reps who seem to be able to help. At this point, I’m in total “trust but verify” mode. But, I see the cable boxes have been marked as returned and I am hoping all is right in the world.

At 7am this morning, I got a text about a service person visiting my house. WTF? Why is a service person coming here? I do not have your equipment, Spectrum.

After a lengthy live chat, I’ve learned that this is “just the process” when someone no longer uses Spectrum cable boxes. Apparently this service rep needs to check my cable outlets and make this change himself?

This makes absolutely no sense. There is a 90% chance I’m going to watch this person get on a phone and call the same office I was already speaking with. I will never be convinced that Spectrum has inventory management issues and this is their way of making sure I am not hoarding their boxes.

Feeling this right now for sure…


The tech called me around 1:16pm:

Rep: You already returned the boxes?

Me: Yeah, I’m honestly not sure what you’re supposed to be doing but they were quite insistent that you needed to come…

Rep: I’m just supposed to pick up the boxes.

Me: Well I dropped them off at the store and have receipts.

Rep: Okay then, have a good day!

Now I get to call back and make sure this guy knows whats going on.

This was a pretty short wait, around 7 mins this time. The rep I spoke with was finally able to help get everything sorted. It turns out, the reps in the store accidentally marked my return to have a tech come pick up the equipment.

I’m glad I finally got it sorted out and shaved $43 from my bill, but man was that frustrating!