Relief at last.
MISSOURI -- Charter's service, I must say was nearly perfect as far as good cable signals, few service outages, and price, that is until about three months ago when everything began to fall apart. First our cable was turned off a week before it was supposed to be and then after it was turned on at the new place the signal in one room was terrible.
I exchanged cable boxes, bought a new HD television and exchanged boxes again and called customer service more times than anyone should ever need to. Finally, a repairman came out to check the box and signal. He unhooked all of my equipment not just the cable box or TV and said that my personal DVR was causing the problem. Not true! Not only did he take a rude stance but he complained the whole time that he was in my bedroom, where the television was located, that his back hurt and he was going to get in trouble yet again for missing work to go to the chiropractor. First of all, how does that concern me or my cable signal? He asked to sit down and because I was, at this point, simply wanting to get him out of my home as fast as possible I said yes, so he could write up what he did and click through the channels to check the signal. After this he left and was supposed to check the line at the pole in front of my home. I watched him and he did walk out to the pole and look up but that was the extent of his attempt to be certain there wasn't a problem with that connection.
We had another problem with our signal and we called to report a problem and even though we did not schedule a repairman to come, because of the fear of the last guy returning, Charter sent the same man out again, unscheduled. I told him we did not schedule an appointment and told him to go goof off for whatever time he was supposed to be at my home, mostly because I wanted him to just go away and because he wasn't coming into my home again under any circumstances. Another occupant in the home reported this unprofessional behavior to Charter to which they apologized that we were unhappy...that really, didn't, make me feel any better.
Then we began having trouble with all of our cable boxes and took them in to the local office to switch them out, they did this without problem but we had one that couldn't be activated, this was when the real trouble began. About two weeks after this activation problem and repairman visit, it was a different man this time and he was very professional, we had a problem with Video On Demand. I rented a movie that didn't remain available in MY RENTALS for at least 24 hours. I tried to call it up in MY RENTALS and it was gone. No one, no one no matter how many times I asked could tell my why it disappeared but they wanted to send yet another repairman. This time I requested someone with lots of experience come out, they said they sent a supervisor. He came out couldn't really do much, because he too was baffled as to why the movie disappeared.
Next...our telephone stopped working. It dropped calls, so I called and they wanted to send another repairman out. OK, so this time they said they would send a supervisor out again. I told them I just had two different guys out in three weeks time but they were certain the problem must be in my house, or with my equipment. OK, so I scheduled the visit. On the Friday night before the week he was supposed to come...
my Internet stopped working. UGH! I called technical support because I've had to have the IP address reset a couple of times and that fixed the problem right away. I understand that all services can have outages...but this was getting ridiculous.
So, the tech representative wanted me to reset all my network settings on a brand new computer that was working fine only moments early, and no changes had been made to any setups, so I said no. She was rude to me and said she had been doing her job a long time and I informed her that I am tech savy so I know how to troubleshoot my own equipment! So, I ended up telling her that when the repairman came, he would check everything from inside to the pole!
He showed up and was very thorough. He checked the modem/router, the line to the computer, the signal strength of everything, the lines coming into the home, the line to the pole where he changed out a rusty connector, the box on the house that holds the split cables to our many rooms and even AT&T's phone box and phone lines for noise. He could find absolutely nothing wrong. So...
After he left everything worked fine for a few hours and then out went the Internet. I called and demanded a credit.
I called to ask about disconnecting all services and they promised me things that did make a difference and would have made it worth my while to put up with the problems until they could figure out what was causing them and fix them, but....
the girl who helped me and promised me things wasn't well trained enough to get the promotional codes into the system. She tried so hard and she was more upset and frustrated than I was by the end of the call. If she ever reads this, I still plan to name a heroine in a future novel after you!!!!!!!!!
She came back to me after trying to get a supervisor's help and said she didn't have any help and she was so sorry she couldn't do what she promised and asked if I simply wanted to disconnect everything...poor girl I think she may have quit her job! I said I understood how it was to be thrown into the fire and left to figure things out on my own and told her to note what we talked about and I could call and see if another agent could help me.
I did this and the man I spoke to next was the rudest person ever, he said he couldn't find any such notes, couldn't promise me anything close to what she did and basically didn't give me what he promised anyway. He promised to upgrade my Internet to the fastest speed free for a year...well I checked this and it never happened in fact my service went out two more times after our discussion.
I finally called back to see how long it would take to disconnect services and was granted by a supervisor to have the penalty dropped for breaking our contract because we had suffered so many problems.
We shall see if this turns out to be true.
My services are being disconnected and still while I was trying to schedule the disconnect they tried to get me to stay with promises I know from experience won't be kept.
It is sad because prior to the last month or so, our service wasn't that bad. The phone always worked, the cable was a little problematic but not too bad and the Internet was the best thing ever...it is too bad that their customer service department and tech department couldn't find the problem or do something to make up for all the problems.
But...relief at last. I switched to AT&T and DirecTV. I've heard bad things about DirecTV and the contract makes me nervous but if it doesn't...plan C will be put into place which includes Netflix, HuluPlus, CinemaNow, Amazon.com, or whatever rentals and purchasing means necessary to view the movies and shows I want.
I hope that the satellite and cable companies realize that the technical revolution is approaching when consumers will be bombarded with choices that no longer make their services necessary! I will be on the front lines signing up for better services and better pricing!