NY1's parent company has some news for busy New Yorkers, as by next week appointments with Time Warner Cable to set up cable service in the five boroughs will be kept to a 60-minute window, rather than the usual four-hour window. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
No one enjoys waiting around for a service, whether it's pizza delivery, the arrival of new furniture or an appointment with the cable guy. For that last one, customers are usually given a four-hour window, which is a long time for a population that prefers things to happen in a New York minute.
"Especially during the work week, that's a long time to hang out or arrange to have someone there," one New Yorker says.
"It's inconveniencing a lot of people," another says.
Time Warner Cable says: message received.
"This is really about listening to the customers. New Yorkers are really, really busy and they want our appointment times in the morning and late in the evenings and they want it on their time. So that's what the one-hour appointment windows are all about," says John Quigley, Time Warner Cable's regional vice president of operations for New York City and New Jersey.
The new policy guarantees a technician will arrive at a location during a specific 60-minute window. Time Warner Cable says it is a first for the New York market, although it's been tested by them and other providers in different parts of the country.
"It's all about convenience, convenience, convenience," says Mark Robichaux, the editor-in-chief of Multichannel News.
Robichaux says industry-wide, the service window has been shrinking for years.
"Look, it used to be six hours, then it was four hours. A lot of places, it's two hours. And now Time Warner [Cable] is trying to shave it down to one hour," he says.
Across the board, cable providers are facing challenges, from increasing competition to subscriber losses. But this can be good news for customers, who may find the companies more eager to tune in to their demands.
"They won't have a choice, because if you don't offer the one-hour service window, your competitor will," says Robichaux.
Time Warner Cable also will be extending their service hours, in some cases as late as 11 p.m. They will also send text messages to customers letting them know when their technician is on the way.
"This is what customers are demanding. This is what they expect. They need their service providers to be there on their time," Quigley says.
The one-hour window will be available across the five boroughs and in Bergen County in New Jersey by June 5.