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Time Warner Cable says it wants to stop having awful customer service

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Time Warner Cable would like you to stop thinking that it has terrible customer service, and it's making improvements to get there. The provider is starting to run advertisements poking fun at the well-deserved perception that customer service from cable companies is universally awful, while pointing out what it's starting to do differently: it's offering one-hour windows during which you can schedule in-home appointments, its customer service reps can call you back rather than making you wait on hold, and it'll come by your house within 24 hours if your service goes out.

TWC is now competing with Comcast on customer service

"We get it. We know how you feel about cable companies," TWC writes in an ad that ran in newspapers over the weekend. It says that it's "made some changes to get better. Changes that we hope add up to more respect" for customers' time, money, and expectations. It also promises to roll out more improvements soon. "We know we still have a long way to go and we’re determined to deliver even more amazing things to you in the future."

The customer service features that TWC is touting today are not new, nor are they particularly unique. But the fact that it's advertising them goes to show how much attitudes are changing in the cable world. Over a year ago, Comcast was being widely derided for a painful customer service call that was recorded and spread across the web; since then, it has introduced similar customer service features to those that TWC is highlighting. And while TWC has never been as big of a target on the customer service front — although it joins Comcast in ranking at the very bottom of the American Consumer Satisfaction Index — it clearly now feels compelled to compete there.

Here are two of TWC's new TV spots. Be warned, they're kind of painful: