Time Warner Cable may have perfected the art of offensive customer nicknames

Well, that's one way to lose your job.


Mike Wehner


Published Feb 20, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 12:02 pm CDT

There must be something in the water at cable company call centers these days. More than a few Comcast customers recently reported having their account names changed to offensive and derogatory terms, and now it seems that Time Warner Cable is getting in on the action as well. One Esperanza Martinez of Orange County, Calif., has come forward with a letter from TWC that carries an outrageously rude nickname.

It seems that whoever changed the name on Martinez’s account wasn’t impressed with the arguably mild monikers that Comcast reps have been using to vent their own frustrations. The TWC rep decided to go one step further. Tossing aside milquetoast alternatives like “dummy,” “asshole” and “whore”, the as-yet-unidentified representative instead went with “cunt.”

Understandably miffed, Martinez contacted Ars Technica to share her story. Ars contacted Time Warner Cable, where a spokesperson admitted that someone had altered Martinez’s account. TWC later apologized and offered her a free year of service.

“Our investigation showed that this was done by an employee at a third-party vendor,” TWC said in a statement. “We have terminated our agreement with this vendor and are changing our process to prevent this from happening again.”

That’s a fine spin, but perhaps TWC should be looking at the reasons why employees are so unhappy to begin with. Grueling hours, unrealistic expectations, and frustrated customers all add up to a downtrodden workforce, and as a former cable company slave myself, I speak from plenty of experience

Photo via Steve A Johnson/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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*First Published: Feb 20, 2015, 1:38 pm CST