HOMEWOOD, ALABAMA -- About 3 weeks ago, I called Charter and set up an appointment with them to get their phone, cable, and internet bundle installed in our home. They were to come between 10 am and 12 pm Monday morning. By 1 pm, there is not one. At 1 pm Monday morning, (on my cell), I get an automated message telling me that the technician is running late (really? Thanks for helping me figure that one out!) and will be at my house between 2 pm and 4 pm. Okay, my husband is off, we can wait. 3 pm rolls around, no tech and another automated message.
I go to work and when I get back, I find out that the tech never came but they scheduled us an appointment between 8 am and 10 am Tuesday. Okay, no problem, I am off. 11 am - no tech but an automated message saying the tech is running late. This happens all day until the tech shows up around 5 pm. At least the tech is here. But he doesn't have all of the proper equipment with him due to the setup of the house. We schedule another day and finally on that day by 6 pm the cable and internet are installed but someone different has to install the phone.
We schedule an appointment for the phone to be installed. Same saga but it gets done. The tech leaves and we need to use the phone. It doesn't work. We call the number the tech gave us and he promises to come back out. He never does. We call Charter and set up yet another appointment. The tech misses this appointment. I call Charter again and by this time, I have lost my patience. However, the lady on the other end puts up with my rant and sympathizes with me. Over my cell phone, she directs me as to what to do to get a dial tone. We find out that the tech had plugged something into the wrong port on our modem. At least we have a phone...
Only, it only works in the downstairs jack. Good thing it is a portable phone. Well, the very nice and very helpful lady on the phone sets up another appointment with a different technician to get the upstairs phone jack working. This time, only one automated message saying that the tech is running late. He comes over around 1 pm and leaves at 3 pm with no results. It is too complicated, he will have to get his supervisor and a lead tech to come over. He tells me he put in the work order and his supervisor will call Monday (This is now two weeks after the cable and internet has been installed) to tell me what time he will be over. Perfect, my husband is off Monday.
No one shows up Monday. Tuesday, I call the number on the work order believing it is the tech's number. I explain the situation and find out the number is the supervisor's number. The supervisor tells me, he remembers being told about this (I guess he thought Tuesday was Monday?-it happens right?) and he will be over with his lead tech as soon as they are finished with the job they were on. The techs show up after 5 pm and leave around 7 pm. The jack does not get fixed. The solution: "You have to buy a satellite phone".
Through this entire ordeal, the techs that we dealt with were very nice but the one person who made the whole ordeal better was the lady we spoke with on the phone who went above and beyond to assist us. In the end, we do have phone, internet, and cable. It only took nearly 3 weeks to get the Charter bundle.
GEORGIA -- Last year, Charter came out with a digital box system for their system. I went down to the office and inquired about why we could not get certain channels. We were told that we were to RENT boxes to get a signal and that their techs had to come to my home and install these boxes. We had to make an appointment, we did. Two contractors showed up smelling of alcohol, one heavier than the other. They put a large box on, the side of the house. Requested that this box not be installed. It was to prevent rain from making contact with the Cable. They grounded their system to an insulated power company box.
Ask what was wrong with the ground rod that was installed by them in 1981 that was 8 feet long? The installer said that was not an acceptable ground. He strung wires all over the side of the house. We have experience at wiring houses since I am an electrician. These gentlemen did some sloppy work that would not be acceptable in our profession. They left and come to find out we were not getting an HD signal of 1080, just a 480 DPI signal and one of the boxes did not even work at all. Still did not get all the channels that they advertised.
Called Charter service department. I was told it would be at least 2 days before they could get back to me to make adjustments to the system. We waited and in the meantime a fellow electrician went about removing the big box from the side of the house and reinstalling the ground wire to the ground rod. We ran the wire inside the house and made all connections inside the house and took pictures of the shoddy work that was done before by the techs.
On Sunday one tech came by and found the problem and reset the box and found 'filters' on the pole at the street. He stated that the install techs should have found this problem and had corrected it at that time. Showed him the pictures of the shoddy work that the install techs did and how it was corrected by my electrician friend who installs computers and low voltage service. Told us that we had done a very professional job. Told this tech who works for Charter about the techs who came out to install the system and their "condition." He called his supervisor.
We wound up taking one box back and told the office about this. They reduced our rate and thought it was a good thing and that would be our rate from now on. We are retired. Well today a letter arrives saying that or rate was going up by $5. Went back into the sales office and ask why. It was not going up by $5 but by almost $20 per month. Was told that we had 125 channels, on demand movies, and music channels. If we want music we turn on the stereo. Do not have time to watch movies and do not watch the shopping networks or the Spanish channels. Wish we could get only the channels that we want and forget about the rest of them.
Charter wants us to bundle, no way and will not come off their price at all. So now we are looking for another service. Look forward taking their boxes back into the office and doing away with Charter.
When I signed up for Charter services back in March of this year, I was told by a sales representative that my installation fee would be waived and my bill, INCLUDING, taxes would come to $150 a month. I was fine with that. It turned out to be an issue with the apartment I was supposed to move into and the rental office let me move into a different apartment. I call Charter and inform them of this before two days before the tech was scheduled to come for the installation. The process was flawless.
So, I'm enjoying my new Charter services quite fine until I get the bill which is over $400!!! That's a huge jump from $150 that I was told my service would come to. So I call Charter. Not only do I not receive a bill from Charter until the 28th, when I open the bill it states that I have a past due amount! So I'm at a complete lost wondering how I incur a past due amount on my very FIRST bill from Charter??? My services were installed April 2nd or 3rd... but apparently my billing due date turned out to be the 10th of the month but of course I didn't receive a bill until the 28th of the month, so how was I supposed to know? Anyway, that's neither here nor there.
I promptly call Charter only to be told that they bill a month in advance and that I'm late on the payment. Let's keep in mind I haven't even had the service for a full month yet. So I asked the woman, why wasn't I told upfront that I would be billed a month in advance? Also, my bill is supposed to be $150, so billing a month in advance shouldn't make the bill come to be over $400. Well, apparently I was charged $49.95 twice for tech having to come out and install new service; one charge for internet and cable and another charge for phone service.
OK. Now I am upset because I was told the installation would be free. And no, people, I don't have that in writing because it was done over the phone and a verbal agreement had been made which is just as valid as a written agreement - granted harder to prove but in a court of law still can be proven since all their calls are recorded. But anyway.... so I argue with the Charter representative. After some quick calculations, there's nearly $60 in charges that is unaccounted for. And no, that $60 is not from the taxes.
Anyway, regardless of my bill being over $400.... a $100 credit was supposed to have been applied to my account from a deposit I had made. So technically that should drop down the amount owed to being around $300. I eventually ended getting a representative who actually knew what she was doing and she goes in and fixes everything for me. My second bill is like $80 something after all the credits and what not the very nice lady added for me. Third bill.... right back at $400.
So I call to cancel my service because I refuse to pay $400 for service. So I get another representative who offers my credits and promises to give me a $24 month guarantee under a contract, stating that Charter can't and won't change my bill under the contract no matter what. He says "pay $400... the next bill will be lower... and then it will level off." Mmmhmm... like I really have $400 to throw away.
Anyway, I decide to remove services to see if that would lower my bill. I was told I could sign up for free 30 day trial to their Epix movie channel and cancel anytime if I was not satisfied. OK. Fine. I tried it. Found that they showed mostly really old movies. After about two weeks, I cancelled only to be told that my "free" trial would be pro-rated on my next bill. Really?
Apparently, this is seems like a common practice for Charter as I have spoken with many other Charter customers who have complaints about the bill. An acquaintance of mine that I ran into said she canceled Charter service because she too was sent a bill for $400 and all she had was internet service. My co-workers who have Charter all have similar stories. Apparently, for people on bundled packages, it seems like many of them never get a bill for lower than $200.
I will admit all Charter services work great and they're really good at getting technical issues resolved quickly but their billing practices leave something to be desired. In my opinion, if Charter wasn't screwing me over with the bill, I would have nothing but a glorified review of the company. The only reason I went with Charter in the first place is because I had cable at my old address from a different company called Bright House and I never, NEVER, had any problems with them. The bill with Bright House fluctuated at times but never that dramatically where I felt I needed to call customer service to get an understanding of how and why it happened.
Unfortunately, where I moved to, Bright House doesn't service the area. Charter does and it's been a complete nightmare with the billing. I'm on a budget and by Charter not honoring what they said my bill would be really puts a strain on me financially. Honestly, I would have been OK with Charter billing me a month in advance if they had been upfront about that from the beginning so I could have prepared to pay the bill. But I will definitely be cancelling my service, leaving my only other option for service being AT&T. And heaven knows I hate DSL but I really can't afford Charter service.
This is just a warning for anyone considering Charter Cable. Be prepared for your first bill to ridiculously higher than whatever you may have been be quoted and expect no help or sympathy from the billing representatives.
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!
RENO, NEVADA -- Please Read This Before Subscribing!
Sit down, read this, we are a retired couple, and she is on oxygen all day, for breathing. We need steady phone service for calling her Doctor, and for an Ambulance, if needed.
I joined Charter Cable, as a customer in March of this year, 2008. 1st day, the installation guy knocked on a shack hooked to the side of my house, when no one answered, he left. I had to wait 2 more weeks for my installation. (Hot water heater add on, to the home, the home is very old, and you can tell it isn't part of the house itself, but Oh Well.)
My charter phone kept disconnecting, and about 3 times a day, it wouldn't give me a dial tone for 1 to 2 hours. I called in when I started up again, and was told for the first month, that they was working in the area. Well, after 6 weeks like this, they finally send a repair guy, he check the signal, said it was very strong signal, and leaves.
The phone keeps disconnecting, and not working, about 4 to 8 hours a day, I didn't get a dial tone, but they still want full amount stated on bill to pay? Well, they send a second repair man, he too, said we had a strong signal, and leaves (why don't they ever dig deeper, and find the problem? We cannot go without a phone, when she has an oxygen machine to breathe, medical necessity.)
WELL, finally, the third repairman shows up, after 7 weeks of DAILY phone in complaints, and he hooks a laptop computer to the line, the problem was the outgoing signal, we HAVE THE PHONE SERVICE AND CABLE TV, and internet running through Co-Ax cable, instead of fiber optic. It was too much for the line, without "amplifiers" in the line. It was still a medical emergency problem, they was leaving a disabled person without a phone line for 7 or 8 weeks already. Well, they had to shut off a whole city block to work on it. It took 1 more week to work all the bugs out, but we finally got full service after about 2 months of complaints.
THEN!! (worst yet, please read)
WELL, after talking to their billing Dept. They tell us, it will be returned in 8 to 10 days (this was may, today is July 2nd, no returned money yet.) I just called them for the 10th time about this, I got all my notes right here, now I am told I will have it by July 11th, that I was misinformed, it takes up to 6 weeks to get my return.
THIS don't add up, they billed my credit card. They STOLE 25% of my income for the month by "mistake". The fact it takes 6 weeks to "refund" it is asinine. I used to own a restaurant, if I accidentally over debited a credit card, I can issue a refund right then, why does Charter Cable take 6 weeks? And if it was a credit card charge, why send me a check to refund, not reverse the charge? Who is responsible for the interest accrued? At 17.9% yearly, it is close to $8 for 2 months with $160 they stole anyway. Is it too much to ask for them to pay the extra costs accrued due to their mistake?
WELL, in my 10 years of AT&T phone, I never called them with problems as many times as I called CHARTER in this 4 months. If I can save 1 person from the headaches I went through, by stopping them from going Charter Cable, I will sleep better knowing I helped 1 person at least.
If the other service available wasn't worse in service, I would leave. But there is only 1 other option for me, and Dish TV don't always work in snow storms, and I need cable TV when I get snowed in more than any other day. BUT I did turn my phone, and internet over to AT&T, for 10 years, I called them with service complaints about 5 times, I called CHARTER that many times, in 1 week. And it took 8 weeks like that to get it fixed. NOW, I am pressing federal charges on CHARTER tomorrow, for back draft theft. Hope they can explain to a judge why they took 25% of my disability check for the month, and didn't return it for 2 months.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- Charter is the only available cable option at my address. They are ridiculously priced as I am a single student that has basic cable with only hd/DVR added and basic internet and pay well over $100 per month. The installation took 3 hours and it has been trouble for the past 7 months. Internet is constantly out and when I called repeatedly after they tried to tell me it was the router of mine, they finally on the 4th service call in 2 days sent someone after I agreed to purchase yet another service from them by renting their own router because I was so sick of having them tell me that their poor service was my fault.
So, the service call shows up literally 2 hours late after I waited at home for an entire 3 hour window only to have him call 15 minutes before the deadline and announce he was running late. So 5 hours of waiting later, He showed up and told me that he was out of cable boxes and the modem that I was purchasing and he instructed me to call back and reschedule the appointment and inform them of his dilemma. I waited 5 hours and he didn't have either of the things that Charter promised.
I still have yet to receive a new cable box because my repeatedly blacks out for a few seconds. By repeatedly, I mean like about 4 times in a one hour show. It also rarely makes it all the way through a recorded show so I miss many of the recorded shows that I am paying them to record. Charter is CONSTANTLY "working" on the lines which leaves the internet and cable down from midnight until 6 am. They are completely unapologetic and almost seem to treat me as if they know that they are the only cable option at my address.
I would pay any other company much more money if only I could get away from this cable company. I have literally cried on the phone with them multiple times. It is so frustrating to constantly have problems when I have no one to help me deal with such rude customer service. I would advise that if you have any other option that you avoid them at all cost. I hope this warning helps someone else avoid the discouragement that they have been to me.
BOONE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Charter installed a "temporary" line that ran from my backyard that lies on the ground, across my neighbor's driveway, and eventually to a pole. The line is not of high quality and I'm told that they cannot install the permanent one until the "subcontractors" have the time to do it and that it was beyond their control. It was originally installed in November 2010 and they said it would not be done until probably late Spring of 2011. In the meantime my LCD TV gets horrible resolution and the internet keeps bumping me off. I've had three workers come over and tell me three different things, and when they leave, I still have the same problem.
I keep calling the office and they keep telling me that the person coming over will bury the line and replace it. The workers that come say that it is not their responsibility, but that of subcontractors who set their own time. The last worker said that the cable box was outdated and that I should go in and replace it since he did not have one in the truck. He said it might help a little in the meantime. Why did they put one of the old ones in the first place? Each guy criticizes the previous guy, but they do not solve the problem either. I asked the last guy if all this was going to go on record, and he said there was not enough room in his "device" to enter everything.
The second guy also criticized the first for installing too many splitters. Well, when he left, the problem was the same. I am cancelling the service ASAP and would not recommend them to anyone. In this company, the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. Also, after all this, I get another call from someone who has no clue what's going on trying to sell me upgrades to more Charter services.
TRUSSVILLE, ALABAMA -- A rep came to house and we were told price guaranteed for 2 years. After first year I got a notice my bill was going up nearly $50. Called to cancel and was transferred to a "customer retention" agent. I explained how I and several of my friends had been told by the same agent that we were told the price was guaranteed for 2 years. All representative said was that prices are for one year only.
I agreed to return DVR and pick up HD box and go to lesser channel package. Still about $5 more than was paying. Now have less service for more money. Will probably switch back to Dish in the next week or two. It may require a contract, but at least I will have something in writing. Charter baits and switches. They do not honor what their sales reps tell customers.
FT. WORTH, TEXAS -- First of all I have worked in some type of customer service since I was 14. Charter's customer service is an experience from Hell. I was told one thing by the sales agent who could not have been better, that was the high then it was like jumping the Golden Gate Bridge. Installation was terrible as they did not check the TV to make sure the setting were correct leading to me not having TV service for 5 days.
In addition, the installers left trash on floor, tracked in mud and did not put furniture back in place. I called the phone number when TV was out and for 2 days was told there was an outage in the area. Finally they sent a tech out, who was 1.5 hours past the time window, and adjusted the TV then I found out they are charging me $45.00. I am so upset I would not refer an enemy to them.
SPRING TEXAS -- DO NOT LET THEM IN YOUR HOME. Pay the extra money and get a better service. The man was not professional and showed up with music blaring. The Charter sign was falling off the truck and no company shirt. Came in, was not even polite. Walked around like he lived here. Turned on my TV then turned to me and asked why I bought this TV and said it wasn't a good one. Not even a brand name. Then asked why it was so loud and proceeded to hand me the remote and said I should turn it down. Then moved the TV, took the ornament beside it and dropped in the garbage basket.
I was so upset as it was a gift from my family. Didn't even apologize or permission to move it. I was sitting right there. Next, he asked me why my dog smelled. This type of disrespect went on a few more minutes. I finally left, and went to the local Charter office to complain. Absolute disrespect... bad service... on top of that the TV was not working quite right and we had to have another guy come out. Come to find that he put in the wrong wires. So, do yourself a favor... don't go out for that weekend dinner and pay for a better cable service. Thanks.