Suggestion: Outage Alert Feature

TWC/Spectrum should offer customers a feature that proactively alerts them to outages in their area. This should be offered with the option to receive notifications by alternate means such as SMS/text and phone calls (per user preference as elected via user account). Would greatly reduce frustration caused by, for example, unnecessary troubleshooting of router or iterative phone calls to TWC/Spectrum customer service line). This type of alert service is routinely provided by other utilities (who, notably, dont impose steep annual rate hikes for use of their services). I’m frankly surprised that this feature isnt readily provided by any ISP in the USA in 2018 (much less in a tech hub like RTP). 

6 REPLIES
Established Sharer

Re: Suggestion: Outage Alert Feature

I think you realize that the reporting schemes used by the public utilities you mention are at least partially based on the general population reporting their home service outages to a specified location, usually a utility telephone number.  Therefore if you or your neighbors don't report that the power is off, the electric company doesn't know about it, they don't roll a service crew into your area, and their web site doesn't include your outage data.  The same is already true for information services such as internet service and cable TV, except that [thanks to deregulation and the repeal of network neutrality] the FCC has decided they are considered to be specifically NOT public utility or common carrier services, even though they are still regulated by the Public Utilities Commissions of each state. 

You are asking for someone else to remotely determine if both your area's home cable connections and various network devices within those homes are working.  Only you can determine that, nobody else monitors it.  For your proposal to work you'll have to do the upfront diagnosis and then report an outage. 

 

Seasoned Contributor

Re: Suggestion: Outage Alert Feature

At the VERY least, they should bring back the scheded maintenance page. I remember once upon a time this was actually linked directly from the support page of Time Warner.... back when we were transitioning more fully into DOCSIS 2.0 level plans.
Seasoned Contributor

Re: Suggestion: Outage Alert Feature

But those systems are more than just automated notification applications.

They are also automated reporting systems.

As in, you dial in, press a number that your service is out, it either notifies you of a reported outage (possibly even with an expected repair status/time to recovery)... or prompts you to report the outage and opt in to either call back or text message when service is restored.

No "please hold for the next available representative", putting you in the call queue for who knows how long, only for them to tell you they see no outage for your area, insisting on walking through all the basic troubleshooting steps even after you tell them you have already done all of them, are reading them details from the logs, as well as any additional testing/research you may have down (possibly even using spectral analyzer as part of that process) that quite clearly indicate it is NOT CPE bound... and then want to schedule a tech to come inspect said CPE--two days later.

This is one of those things that should actually be automated. Especially in this day and age, and with all the technology at their finger tips. Currently, we can call in, hit *99 for touch tone mode, press a number for tech support, another number for service is out, and IF an outage is known, we get a message about it. If no outage is reported, it goes into basic troubleshooting instructions, giving us the option to skip that if we have already done them.

At this point, we should get the option to report the outage directly to the system for our location and opt in/out of automated notifications. But no... we get sent down the rabbit hole to the call queue that can lead to a frustrating exercise in futility.

I have actually been on the phone long enough during this process for someone somewhere to actual fix whatever the upstream problem was.

There is simply a better way to manage outage reporting. The technology is there... in their hands. Streamlining it properly is a win-win for both the company AND the consumer. It can reduce call congestion, promote more active reporting, potentially get those notices handled faster, and may reduce potentially unnecessary home inspection scheduling so the technicians may have more time to actually work on the aging infrastructure likely at fault for a lot of the issues in play.
Highlighted
Established Sharer

Re: Suggestion: Outage Alert Feature


@RAIST5150wrote:
At the VERY least, they should bring back the scheded maintenance page. I remember once upon a time this was actually linked directly from the support page of Time Warner.... back when we were transitioning more fully into DOCSIS 2.0 level plans.

I STRONGLY support this suggestion, since only the cable company itself knows where work crews are scheduled at any given hour of the day.  It still won't be able to cover localized real-time responses to problems caused by outside events like traffic accidents, damage from falling tree branches, or flooding of underground cable and equipment, but it's a start.

Trusted Helper

Re: Suggestion: Outage Alert Feature


@RAIST5150wrote:
But those systems are more than just automated notification applications.

They are also automated reporting systems.

As in, you dial in, press a number that your service is out, it either notifies you of a reported outage (possibly even with an expected repair status/time to recovery)... or prompts you to report the outage and opt in to either call back or text message when service is restored.

No "please hold for the next available representative", putting you in the call queue for who knows how long, only for them to tell you they see no outage for your area, insisting on walking through all the basic troubleshooting steps even after you tell them you have already done all of them, are reading them details from the logs, as well as any additional testing/research you may have down (possibly even using spectral analyzer as part of that process) that quite clearly indicate it is NOT CPE bound... and then want to schedule a tech to come inspect said CPE--two days later.

This is one of those things that should actually be automated. Especially in this day and age, and with all the technology at their finger tips. Currently, we can call in, hit *99 for touch tone mode, press a number for tech support, another number for service is out, and IF an outage is known, we get a message about it. If no outage is reported, it goes into basic troubleshooting instructions, giving us the option to skip that if we have already done them.

At this point, we should get the option to report the outage directly to the system for our location and opt in/out of automated notifications. But no... we get sent down the rabbit hole to the call queue that can lead to a frustrating exercise in futility.

I have actually been on the phone long enough during this process for someone somewhere to actual fix whatever the upstream problem was.

There is simply a better way to manage outage reporting. The technology is there... in their hands. Streamlining it properly is a win-win for both the company AND the consumer. It can reduce call congestion, promote more active reporting, potentially get those notices handled faster, and may reduce potentially unnecessary home inspection scheduling so the technicians may have more time to actually work on the aging infrastructure likely at fault for a lot of the issues in play.

Wow!

 

I'm giving this post a +5!  One of the best I have seen on the forum in years!  I agree 1000%.

 

Satch

Trusted Helper

Re: Suggestion: Outage Alert Feature


@Satchwrote:

@RAIST5150wrote:
But those systems are more than just automated notification applications.

They are also automated reporting systems.

As in, you dial in, press a number that your service is out, it either notifies you of a reported outage (possibly even with an expected repair status/time to recovery)... or prompts you to report the outage and opt in to either call back or text message when service is restored.

No "please hold for the next available representative", putting you in the call queue for who knows how long, only for them to tell you they see no outage for your area, insisting on walking through all the basic troubleshooting steps even after you tell them you have already done all of them, are reading them details from the logs, as well as any additional testing/research you may have down (possibly even using spectral analyzer as part of that process) that quite clearly indicate it is NOT CPE bound... and then want to schedule a tech to come inspect said CPE--two days later.

This is one of those things that should actually be automated. Especially in this day and age, and with all the technology at their finger tips. Currently, we can call in, hit *99 for touch tone mode, press a number for tech support, another number for service is out, and IF an outage is known, we get a message about it. If no outage is reported, it goes into basic troubleshooting instructions, giving us the option to skip that if we have already done them.

At this point, we should get the option to report the outage directly to the system for our location and opt in/out of automated notifications. But no... we get sent down the rabbit hole to the call queue that can lead to a frustrating exercise in futility.

I have actually been on the phone long enough during this process for someone somewhere to actual fix whatever the upstream problem was.

There is simply a better way to manage outage reporting. The technology is there... in their hands. Streamlining it properly is a win-win for both the company AND the consumer. It can reduce call congestion, promote more active reporting, potentially get those notices handled faster, and may reduce potentially unnecessary home inspection scheduling so the technicians may have more time to actually work on the aging infrastructure likely at fault for a lot of the issues in play.

Wow!

 

I'm giving this post a +5!  One of the best I have seen on the forum in years!  I agree 1000%.

 

Satch


Yes Spectrum,

 

Bring back the old TWC scheduled maintenance page for sure.  I remember that!

 

Satch