The Short Story:
• After putting me through over seven months of effort, more than fifteen phone calls, and a tremendous amount of aggravation, Time Warner/Saveology (subsidiary of Elephant Group, Inc.)/Private Network Communications, Inc. could not even provide the full $100 that they promised when I signed up for their Fios “Triple Play” promotion. In the end, I only received $93.50.
• Ms. Luci at Private Network Communications has not returned my calls thus far.
• Almost all of the people that I spoke to (below) were very polite. This was such a drawn out series of lapses and inactivity that it seems unfathomable to me that overall, it was simply an issue of incompetence or indifference among staff level employees. Is Time Warner/Saveology (subsidiary of Elephant Group, Inc.)/Private Network Communications, Inc. actually making a good faith effort to honor and issue all of the “gift cards” due to Time Warner’s customers or is something else happening here?
• When Time Warner outsources, they need to take some responsibility for the actions of the organizations that they hire.
• Does Time Warner effectively have a monopoly in NYC? Personally, I have no other option for cable television services.
• On the gift card instruction sheet provided by Saveology, no mention is made anywhere of “Private Network Communications” although they perform most of the customer services and administrative functions regarding the “gift card”.
• Many of the calls that I made to Saveology have not been documented.
• I spelled the names of all employees phonetically; they may be misspelled.
The Long Story:
1. On 10/12/2008, I signed on for Time Warner Fios “Triple Play”, and was promised a $100 Mastercard gift card.
2. On 11/16/2008 I completed and mailed the “Time Warner Cable Promotion Redemption Form” in order to receive my $100 Saveology gift card. The form indicates that a card should be received 16-18 weeks after all qualifications and subscriber obligations are satisfied.
3. On 2/2/2009, I spoke to Jennifer at Saveology, requesting the status of my $100 gift card. She informed me that I did not use the proper rebate ID in completing the redemption form, and instructed me to add the proper rebate ID to my copy of the form, and fax it to Saveology.
4. On 5/8/09 I requested the status of my card from Jenel at Saveology. Jenel informed me that they did not receive my faxed, corrected, redemption form in February. When I stated that I have the successful fax confirmation, she again stated that the person who receives all faxes was not able to locate it. She asked me to fax it again, and told me that she would call me back to confirm that they had received it this time.
5. On 5/8/09, after not hearing back from Jenel for a several hours, I called Jenel myself, and she confirmed that she did receive my corrected redemption form. Upon my request, Jenel stated that since they have been delinquent in processing my card, she was willing bring my redemption form to her supervisor in order to expedite it more quickly.
6. On 5/28/09 I requested the status of my card from Deedee at Saveology. Deedee stated that my redemption form was in fact escalated to a Supervisor on 5/11/09, but that no progress had been made. Deedee stated that she did not know what the issue was or why the Supervisor had not acted since receiving the form on 5/11/09. Deedee volunteered to look in to why my card had not been processed and call me back on 5/29/09.
7. On 6/3/09, I attempted to call Saveology five times using the “Offer Redemption Center” phone number provided on the Redemption form of 1-877-405-5035, but each time I receive a message stating that the phone number is out of service.
8. Again on 6/3/09 I finally reached Saveology by calling a phone number on their website, once again to request the status of my card. I reached Amy (ID#191) in Customer Service, and requested to speak to Deedee. I was told that Deedee was having lunch. I explained my frustrating situation to Amy, and Amy stated that if she could put me on hold for a few minutes she would find out as much as she could about my situation from her colleagues. Within five minutes, Amy discovered that my card had indeed been mailed to me in March. When I asked why nobody else at Saveology could figure this out for me, Amy did not have an answer. Amy provided me with the name and phone number of the person at the company who is responsible for issuing the cards. Amy did not know the name of the company who had this responsibility.
9. On 6/3/09, I spoke to the Executive Vice President of Private Network Communications. He informed me that a card had been mailed to me in March, but that it did not have any charges against it. I told him that I did not receive the card. He confirmed my name and address, and said that I should have my card within 7-10 days.
10. I received the card with its instructions in the mail on 6/10/09.
11. On 6/11/09 I attempted to activate the card through the automated menu, but did not have the required PIN number to do so. The instruction sheet that the card came attached to indicated that the PIN number should be on the instruction sheet, right where the card had been attached, but there was no such number printed. I reached a customer service rep who was able to activate the card anyway.
12. On 6/12/09 I attempted to make a purchase with the card, but apparently any use of a debit card requires a PIN number, which I did not have.
13. Also on 6/15/09, I called Saveology for help, read my card number to the customer service rep, and they told me that my PIN number would be right behind where the card was attached on the instruction sheet. I told them that no such PIN number was printed, so she transferred me to “Cardholder Services”, which is part of Private Network Communications, Inc.
14. After reading my card number to Robert, at Private Network Communications, told me that my card actually did not have a PIN number, and needs to be used as a Credit Card, as opposed to a Debit Card. When I explained to Robert that my card has “Debit” printed on it, and the instruction sheet indicates that I should have a PIN number, he apologized, but offered no explanation of what may have gone wrong.
15. Also on 6/15/09, I successfully made a $79 purchase using the Saveology card as a credit card.
16. On 6/16/09 I attempted to make a purchase using the remaining balance on the card. I attempted to make the $21 purchase using the card first as a credit card, then as a debit card. Both times, the card was rejected.
17. On 6/17/09, I spoke to Jenel at Saveology and explained that the previous rep that I spoke to transferred me to Cardholder Services in an attempt to help resolve the issue of my remaining balance, but I cannot reach anyone there because the automated menu requires a PIN number, which, in my case, I do not have. Jenel told me that there was nothing that she could do because Cardholder Services is handled by an entirely different company.
18. Also on 6/17/09, I called Saveology again, and reached Casandra. I explained my dilemma about the remaining balance on my card, as well as the fact that I do not have a PIN number. Casandra was able to provide me with a different phone number for Cardholder Services which does not require a PIN number.
19. Also on 6/17/09, unable to reach anyone in person, I left a voicemail for Theresa Luci (spelling?) at Private Network Communications, using the phone number given to me by Casandra. In my message, I explained the issue about the remaining balance on my card, and asked her to call me.
20. On 6/18/09, I left a second voicemail for Theresa Luci at Private Network Communications, asking her to call me. I tried to reach Ms. Luci five different times by phone between 6/17/09 & 6/18/09.
21. Also on 6/18/09, at a store, I was able to determine that there was actually only $14.50 remaining on my card, and that was why the $21 purchase had been rejected.
22. After all this work to obtain my “gift card” and to actually get it working, Time Warner/Saveology/Private Network Communications had only given me a $93.50 “gift card”, not the $100 actually promised.