Time Warner Cable Gift Card Promotion Angers New Customers

Michael Bateman was fed up with billing problems and service issues from Frontier.

Then he received bright orange postcard in the mail from Frontier's competitor, Time Warner Cable, offering a $300 Visa reward card if he switched over.

"I figure, what do I got to lose?" Bateman said.

The postcard worked. Bateman signed up for a $90 cable package and even added on an extra DVR, something allowed in the fine print. Then Time Warner told him over the phone he didn't qualify anymore.

Bateman said he was told he had "changed the plan" within the first 90 days. He did change the plan by adding on that DVR at an additional $14 per month.

No gift card for him.

"It really irritates the heck out of me," Bateman said.

Many companies offer gift cards to get customers to switch, but it comes with a catch, says Rigo Reyes of the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs. Customers must sign up for that specific offer and can't be late paying bills.

"(There) could be other customers that are going through the same thing," Reyes said.

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Sure enough, the NBC Consumer Investigative Center found other customers complaining of the exact same problem.

Nancy says after 10 phone calls she is "still not receiving the reward card." And Fatima says she has "yet to get an answer."

The I-Team found 19 pages of complaints on Time Warner Cable's own customer service page.

So what's going on here? A spokesperson for Spectrum, which now owns Time Warner Cable, wouldn't say.

"The promotion ended in June. We don't have anything else to add to our statement about it," the spokesperson said, and "The important thing is that we addressed Mr. Bateman's issue."

Instead of a gift card, Bateman agreed to receive a $300 credit.

"At least they did the right thing, you know?" Bateman said "But I mean you kind of had to beat it out of them, so it doesn't really make you happy."

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