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.
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.
OXFORD, MICHIGAN -- Charter is the worst cable company ever. The cable goes out all the time. Many times for more than 24 hours. You call them and they can never tell you why it is out or how long it will be out. They are also very expensive. Unfortunately, there is nothing else in the area. You have to love a monopoly!! They stink! Would switch in a minute if there was anything else. Every time I see one of their commercials, I want to throw something at my TV!!!
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.
LAKEVILLE, MINNESOTA -- I just read the complaint of a fellow Lakeville, MN resident who had the same issues with their Moxi DVR that I did. I just upgraded my service from Charter and was told that I would need a different Moxi box than the one that I had. I dutifully took time off from work (so much for vacation) and waited for the Charter Contractor to show up. When he does show up the box he delivers is dead. He asked what was wrong with the one that I had and I told him nothing, I just went with HD and they said I needed a new one. He said he didn't think that was the case but didn't explain how I would now get the HD that I was paying for.
I figured that out after realizing they all handle HD. Within a week or two the modem stops working, there is no guide. I reported on their chat feature and was told there was a wide spread outage and they were working on it. After a few days of nothing, I called Charter and spent over an hour on the phone with a "tech" who knew nothing other than to tell me to try rebooting. She something like "that figures" when I told her the Moxi wasn't working. She was acknowleding that they don't work very well. I had already tried rebooting numerous times to no avail.
She finally said she would send someone from Charter out to replace the Moxi box and I explained that it would be on a weekend since I was done taking time off from work for their services, I was paying a bundle for. I then spent three and half hours of the four hour window waiting when the Charter contractor shows up again. I show him the Moxi and he tells me that he doesn't have a replacement and since it was a Saturday, he couldn't get one. I explained that this was his only purpose in coming to my house and that I had waited over 3 hours for nothing. I asked him to leave and he gives me the attitude of "have a nice day."
I am against getting a dish. I don't like the looks and don't want reception headaches but Charter is the only game in town. If they can't keep people who want to stay with them, I don't know who they can keep. I now have to spend another 1/2 hour on the phone with them just to discontinue my DVR service and get a refund on what I have paid. To top it off, Charter calls and wants to handle my phone service. I am thinking that for the 15 years, I have been with the phone company, I have never had to call them for assistance. I wish they'd get into cable.
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Called to have cable set up when I moved to Asheville. Before date of service got email to call them. Called and was told to fax over copy of lease because prior tenant had not turned cable off. Day of service no one showed. Called and yelled to many people at customer service demanding they set up service for phone/internet/cable ASAP.
My livelihood depends on internet service. My having to wait an additional week when I had already made the appointment a month ago was rude. Supervisor Dave was the worst on the phone. Claimed I had never made an appointment and that I had to provide proof in order for him to have someone sent out earlier than a week to give me service.
Finally got someone out here. He was fine. The amount of routers and wires (one of them resembling a conveyer belt) involved makes the whole setup look primitive. Reminds me of the original computers where everything is huge and there are wires everywhere.
Only have had service for a few hours and already there are problems. The phone won't hang up unless I unplug it and the sound on the t.v. cuts out every few seconds. Customer service seemed to care and will have one tech out one day for the cable problem and another tech for the phone problem the following day. They think that the area can't handle my two TVs with cable, internet and phone, the signal isn't strong enough. You're the ones who sold me on the idea of getting the three bills in one.
Hopefully things will get resolved but I'm already disenchanted with the series of events and that they don't even have a phonebook. Told me to call Bell South to have them mail one to me. Hello, isn't that your competitor? I just moved to the area so I really wanted a phonebook when they showed up to set it all up. They had also called me a few days before the second installation date asking that I call to speak to a third party about my phone service.
The whole process took so many phone calls besides actual tech support and complaint calls (a pain in the ass when you are trying to unpack and get settled.) This is my first time doing the three bills in one thing and I don't know if that's why it's so complex. If there is another problem though or if the sound keeps cutting out on the tv and I have to unplug the phone to hang up then I'm going to cancel them and go with the local phone company and satellite cable.
SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI -- In Missouri Chapter cable has made recent changes in their packages - what channels you get at what level of payment. The excuse was that more channels were going all digital and some had gone HD. That's all well and good but now we find that our newly re-arranged line-up has moved the more popular channels that were included before to the next more expensive tier and we have the extended plan.
We have been customers of Charter for almost 10 years, but this is the straw that broke the camel's back. Anything worth watching that we had before is now more expensive. What they have done in a roundabout way is just say - if you want the programing you are used to, pay up - a flat out rate increase (which we got as well) would have been more honest and up-front. This has finally pushed us to look at alternatives. Our rates have gone up and up.