A massive service outage caused Time Warner Cable and Internet subscribers across the country to lose their connections for several hours this morning. While the outages were largely fixed by 9 a.m. EDT, the damage to Time Warner’s already bruised reputation had already been done.
Wednesday’s outage happened at 4:30 a.m., during “routine network maintenance,” Time Warner said in a statement, according to CNN. “An issue with our Internet backbone created disruption with our Internet and On Demand services.”
The lack of a Wi-Fi connection didn’t keep the company’s subscribers from going to social media to express their outrage. By 8 a.m., Time Warner and several news outlets had tweeted about the outage.
Between 7 and 9 a.m., Time Warner’s customer service Twitter account responded to dozens of tweets from customers who wondered when their service would return. The cable and Internet provider operates in 28 states and has been no stranger to customer complaints in the recent past.
Time Warner was ranked second in a Ranker.com user poll of companies with the worst customer service. AT&T topped the list, which was voted on by over 4,500 people. MSN Money also placed Time Warner in their 2013 Customer Service Hall of Shame article, which is made up of 10 companies annually.
The service provider has also drawn the ire of several companies in recent months as it prepares to merge with Comcast in a deal worth more than $40 billion. The two companies are awaiting approval from the FCC, which could come in 2015, according to Forbes.
The impending merger sparked some cynicism among Twitter users after news of this morning’s outage spread.
Comcast bought Time Warner Cable, right? Nationwide Internet outage this morning. Coincidence?
Earlier this year, Time Warner came under fire when cable subscribers in Los Angeles lost service during Super Bowl XLVIII. Customers lost service for about an hour during the game, according to reports from CBS News. The company ended up reimbursing affected subscribers with either a $5 gift card or a voucher for an on-demand movie rental.
Just last month, a writer at Yahoo! Finance documented a phone call with Time Warner’s customer service department that last two hours, “the vast majority of which was spent on hold,” Kevin Chupka wrote.