Bright House Networks

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Why a monopoly is a bad thing.
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CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA -- I am usually very patient with companies I do business with, and I understand that no business is perfect. However, I don't think I have been so angry, so fed up with any company as much as I have been with BrightHouse. I could write a novel about the problems I've had with them, from having a simple hookup take four days (complimented with me jumping through hoops to get it done) when it should have only taken 30 minutes, having them auto-debit over $300 in unauthorized charges from my bank account, having my Internet crap out on me because a tech guy couldn't get the repair done right the first time, etc. I'm just going to just talk about today's incident.

I was scheduled to have my Internet disconnected on 8/25/11 from 10am to 12pm. I even have the email confirmation that has that info. I planned on turning in my modem that morning because I'm moving to another area and have to get service at my new place hooked up all over again. Well I come home this afternoon to find out that the Internet has been shut off. I called BrightHouse and they told me that apparently the disconnect was put in for TODAY the 24th. You don't know how angry I was, especially after the customer service representative acted like it was my fault for somehow not knowing about the disconnect date that was obviously a screw up on their part. To add insult to injury, they couldn't even send out a tech guy to come back and reinstall the cable because their only tech guy went home for the day.

Under normal circumstances, I would just take my business elsewhere, but unfortunately BrightHouse has a monopoly over Cable Internet, and most apartment complexes only allow you to use them. What a load of crock!
     
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At Your Service on 08/24/2011:
I agree. This is frustrating.
trmn8r on 08/24/2011:
I'd like to know about the $300 of unauthorized charges.
Anonymous on 08/25/2011:
Great review! very helpful, welcome back to my3cents!! We missed you Jeech!
Alain on 08/25/2011:
Good warning for other folks, Jeecheroo. Drop a complaint to the FCC, FTC and myfloridalegal.com just for good measure.
The_Jeecheroo on 08/25/2011:
trmn8r, it was actually over $400 now that I do the math. They took out $170 one month and, after disputing that charge with my bank, BrightHouse took out $260 the following month. I had to disable my auto-debit as a result. Of course, customer service acted dumbfounded as to why this happened and said there was nothing they could do. Luckly, my bank was able to refund me, but I had to go through a lot of hassle because of it. I'm going to go off on a limb here and say it's possible they didn't properly terminate my service at my old address, and as a result whoever moved in got to freeload off of my account.
The_Jeecheroo on 08/25/2011:
Alain, a lot of people do that already. In fact, it has become a mandatory step just for them to get something done a lot of times. Why should I have to go through the FTC just to get them to do something they were supposed to be doing in the first place?
trmn8r on 08/25/2011:
If the reason they took money out was because the service wasn't terminated, wouldn't the charge be the same each month? And why would they say there was nothing that they could do? I need the novel version, I guess. It seems to me taking $400 from you is worse than cutting your service a day early by mistake, and not being able to come back after hours to reconnect it.
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Deceptive Rate Increases by Separating Equipment Fees From Service Rates
Posted by on
SANFORD, FLORIDA -- I was receiving a service package from Bright House Networks with a base rate of $97 plus taxes and fees for a total of around $105 per month which included high definition cable TV and 10 MBPS internet speed.

In October 2012 they began charging a $2 monthly fee for the internet modem which they provided for using the service increasing the rate to ~$107, then in February 2013 they increased that fee to $3.50 which made the monthly rate to ~108.50.

When I got my most recent bill in April, I found that my bill was now $116.50! When I called about this they informed me that the $8 charge is for the digital cable receiver. I asked why I am now being charged separately for the cable receiver and the representative answered that now they separate the equipment charges from the service rates to make the bill easier to understand.

I responded back that the fact is it still makes the bill higher and she responded that the services and charges are always subject to change at any time however she did apply a substantial credit to my bill to offset this change, and they were still friendly and cordial as I normally expected. Still this does seem like an unscrupulous way to say "hello friend", to start charging additional fees for the equipment rather than having them included with the service rate as it used to be.

In other words, they're increasing the monthly bills, without "increasing the rates" or adequate disclosure of their intentions.
     
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Alain on 04/11/2013:
This is good information for Bright House users. It does seem like they're doing the separation of fees more for the money than the clarity of the bill, but at least they were friendly and gave a credit to your bill. That's doing a better job than some of the cable/Internet/phone providers I've seen reviews on!
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Poor Customer Service
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I was surprised by the reaction of the customer service representative at Brighthouse when I called to report that my internet service had gone down AGAIN! It seems that at least once a week I lose my internet connection and several times a week that I have to unplug my Brighthouse router to get the speed to increase. When I called this specific time to report the lose and to BEG them to send someone out right away since I work from home and had a very important report due to my VP, I was told sorry we can get someone out tomorrow. When I mentioned that I was tired of losing my connection and was going to look into another carrier the representative told me "well you do what you have too". When I said look all I want is to have my connection working today it's important he said "what do you want me to do, cancel someone elses appt just for you". Needless to say, I am switching to AT&T and I don't think Brighthouse even cares. If you have an option in your area I would recommend staying away from Brighthouse. I have spoken with several people who also have trouble with Brighthouse and are considering the switch!
     
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Chris Berry on 06/27/2010:
My name is Chris Berry and I work for Bright House Networks. My apologies for your recent experiences. Please send me an email at Christopher.Berry@mybrighthouse.com. I would like to hear more about your experience. Thank you - Chris
Floridalizardqueen on 01/07/2012:
I used to have Brighthouse for cable and internet service, and I hardly ever had problems with the service. Whenever I did have problems, the customer service did everything possible to fix them.
Puppy.friend on 04/10/2014:
I had Brighthouse, kept getting knocked off. I called numerous times, did speed tests, sent signals etc. One rep told told me it now costs $50 for a tech to come out on THEIR equipment. Couldn't get new modem, office only had used, tried 3 times.. Three years AFTER this problem started, a tech (no charge) came out, gave me a new modem, tested it, and discovered the cable coming into home was defecttive. 3 Years of raggravating, eally bad service! No $ off bill!. It was a rip off worth about $15 mo. until corrected.
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Blasting Commercials Loudly
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HOMOSASSA, FLORIDA -- I recently contacted Bright House (Tampa office) about the problem with the volume of commercials. When watching television and a commercial comes on, the volume increases so much that the TV must be turned down quite a bit. After the commercial finishes, the TV must be turned up again to hear the program.
I previously had cable service with the same company, using the same television and did not have this problem.

Bright House made an appointment for a service call, and on the day of the appointment I received a call from the service tech that there was nothing that could be done about my problem and that he was not coming.

I cannot imagine that Bright House thinks that they are doing a service for their advertisers by blasting the commercials so loudly. I guess my only alternative is to mute the commercials since this is the only cable service currently available in my area.
     
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Anonymous on 02/04/2009:
I think that all the broadcasters are doing this. I seem to recall that way back (maybe early 80's) when they started doing this that the FCC made the practice illegal. I never heard that it no longer is illegal, but clearly that are doing it.
tnchuck100 on 02/04/2009:
It's not Bright House that is controlling the volume. It is controlled by the program/network provider.

I have never understood the logic of the advertisers. Years ago the commercial breaks were limited to one minute. Not enough time to really go do anything. And remotes with a mute button did not exist. You pretty much saw the commercial.

Today they run five minute, excessively loud commercial breaks. Now we hit the mute button and go fix a snack or put in another load of washing, etc. There is plenty of time to get back before the show returns. The odds of that advertiser gaining your attention has been greatly reduced. Personally, I seldom hear or see ads today.

It would seem the advertisers would demand shorter commercial breaks so as to improve the odds of their ad being seen.

Anonymous on 02/04/2009:
According to FCC regulations, the peak volume of a commercial can be as loud as the 'loudest audio portion of the sponsored program'. So, if you're watching a movie with explosions and car chases, expect loud commercials. Also, ad producers use sound compression to alter the low frequencies into the mid-range, making the audio 'seem' louder. Good question!
Anonymous on 02/04/2009:
Very interesting Doc. (BA).
Anonymous on 02/04/2009:
Check to see if your TV has a sound limiter. I have a Samsung with a feature that detects a sudden increase in sound volume, then decreases it to a 'normal' level. Vizio has something similar but doesn't work as well.
Anonymous on 02/04/2009:
Thanks Crabs. I just read that somewhere...fun facts to know and tell.

Chuck - I have family in advertising. Advertisers know we get up to fix snacks, etc. That's why they 'increase' the volume. Given a choice, I prefer loud commercials over those annoying network logos stuck all over the screen or the 'crawls' touting feminine hygiene sprays when you're trying to watch a program.
tnchuck100 on 02/04/2009:
Doc, for my part "louder" doesn't help them. I hit the mute button as I am getting up anyway.

As far as the garbage they are now increasingly splattering in the corner (and they seem to get BIGGER all the time) of what we are trying to watch, I too, find it EXTREMELY annoying.
Anonymous on 02/04/2009:
Another one of my pet TV peeves. Shrinking down the end-credits of a movie so the station can advertise the next program or their 'news' show.
old fart on 02/04/2009:
Who watches the end credits..? Does anyone care who the "assistant 2nd camera gaffer" is on a movie..? LOL
tnchuck100 on 02/04/2009:
What, OF? I thought everyone wanted to know who recorded the sound and provided the color.

Really, though, sometimes I want to know who someone was that appeared in the show. But, now, they have it squeezed so badly you can now longer read it.
Anonymous on 02/04/2009:
Yep, I admit I'm odd. I watch all of the credits. I am amazed at the correlation between a 'great' film and the use of 'great' production staff...case in point...a lot of Mo Henry's negative cutting is part of some great movies.
DeadSurvivor on 08/08/2011:
It's hard these days to find a channel where the commercial volume isn't louder than the actual program volume.
Anonymous on 08/08/2011:
Intresting review, ghostdoc I watch all the credits as well.
rb on 01/19/2013:
I just filed a complaint with BH on their own ads coming in so very loudly. If they don't address it in a day or so, I will file a complaint with the FCC.
Anonymous on 10/29/2013:
This may vary depending on the Converter you have but in general : get to the settings in the device, look for Audio Range and set to Narrow. On my box I press Settings on the remote, select Devices, then Audio:Range and select Narrow. Hope this helps someone
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Excellent Service and Very Good Customer Care
Posted by on
SANFORD, FLORIDA -- I was originally a customer of Time Warner on and off with basic cable since before 2000 and they were very good.

After Bright House Networks bought them out we upgraded to the Digital Cable package. The service has been very reliable, with only a couple days of downtime, which we have received credit for. When we had a service issue they are usually quick to send a technician out and correct the problem. In 2006 we added the high-speed internet to our service. It has been very reliable in itself and I appreciate having these great download speeds. There are no restrictions on download sizes or bandwidth usage, and they even offer CA's security suite for free with the service.

I really appreciate the Thanksgiving special in which customers get free access to the premium movie channels for a week and often there are some offers for free meals from Golden Buffet with the purchase of certain on-demand programs, and the programs themselves cost less than the meals would.

I like the "Asterisk Hunter" commercial scheme in which they advertise how they have no fine print and try to stop the asterisk, I feel really secure about using the service and it is one less thing to worry about. The reliability is excellent, the customer service representatives are very knowledgeable, and they are always available.

Overall this company gives cable a good name.

UPDATE:
On December 8th, 2008, there was a major outage causing a loss of TV service. Now Bright House is putting a credit on the affected accounts AND offering free premium movie services for the next month. What a company! I doubt many others would do that.
     
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