COWPENS, SOUTH CAROLINA -- CHARTER COMMUNICATION, ARE YOU ROBBING ME WITH MY EYES WIDE OPEN? Is it me, or am I the only one whose cable bill is slowly rising every month? Tell me Charter Communications, how can my bundled bill, phone included, start out at $125 a month and end up $245 a month? When I haven't added nor ordered any movies to cause my cable bill to be sky high. Are you seriously robbing your customers with our eyes wide open and think we wouldn't notice it? I think it's time I started shopping for a new internet and cabal service. ANY SUGGESTIONS ANYONE. MOST DEFINITELY NOT AT&T.
WHITTIER, CALIFORNIA -- Charter Communications should really be re-named because they do NOT know how to communicate. They increased our introductory price of $29.99 to $49.99, after they did a complete switch-over across the board by discontinuing contracts. No contracts usually means a good thing, but to be honest, I would have rather had a contract that ensured a lower price, than to pay a ridiculous amount every month without contract. Unfortunately, 3 or 4 months after they raised our price to $49.99, they increased it AGAIN, to $54.99. We had to call them to make sure our price did not go up to $54.99. Paying fifty bucks for internet is ridiculous, but another 5 bucks, no matter how small it may seem, was NOT going to happen.
Anyway, we got fed up, and called to ask them to lower our bill, and even after speaking to the representative and supervisor, nothing came of it. The supervisor also told me that "we do not HAVE to offer anything to customers," which I stopped her in her tracks to tell her that they pick and choose who they offer lower prices to. Then we got into an argument, which at the end just gave me grounds to move on to a competitor.
A basic round-up of why you should NOT go with Charter goes as follows:
FORTSON, GEORGIA -- Charter enticed me to come back by offering reduced rates on bundled services and promising to buy out my current contract with another provider. After not be able to use their website to file for the buyout, I called and received a physical address to submit the documents required to qualify for the Buyout. After several months, I called Charter and informed them that I had sent the buyout information by certificate of mailing two months earlier and gave them the number. Three days later I received an anonymous e-mail from the Charter Buyout Team informing me that I had not submitted the info within the required 60 days.
I called Charter again and informed them again that I had a certificate of mailing and copies of the documents I had mailed. The representative was very apologetic but said he could do nothing. It was not until I filed a complaint with the State Public Service Commission that Charter requested the docs and cert. of mailing. Even then it took another two weeks for verification that the $200 was credited to my account. And I still will have to wait another month for the credit to work off my account.
During the course of this process I spoke with over fifteen representatives from over the entire country. Each time I had to wait on the phone and with each representative, I had to start over from square one. The process took over four months and I have also filed two FCC complaints because Charter has not complied with Federal and State laws mandating that Charter provide contact information of the local franchise authority.
They have acted in bad faith and although I will finally get what they promised, it has cost me hundreds of hours in legal research, telephone calls to Charter, the FCC, the Public Service Commission, the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection, my state senator's office, etc. I also attempted to resolve the issue by driving 20 miles to the local Charter office, which by the way, does not have a telephone number which you can call. You must call the GETCHARTER national number. The process is designed to discourage the consumer from seeking a remedy.
My local state rules and regulations do not provide penalties or fines that I can find although the state law provides that the Governor's office of Consumer Protection "may" provide for fines and penalties. Charter lobbyist are strong in my state and work closely with some of the elected officials. The FCC requires that the provider, Charter, identify the Local Franchise Authority but Charter did not provide all the information on the bill and will not provide it in spite of numerous e-mails and phone calls. Charter also misrepresented the facts during the PSC complaint, which is processed on line.
My experience is that Charter abuses the consumer with impunity in spite of state and federal laws. I costs the consumer too much time and effort to force Charter to abide by the terms of the contract. Since there are no fines and penalties available with the informal consumer complaint processes, Charter and other providers little incentive to follow the laws. The only thing they are concerned about is the number of complaints that are documented and most people are so demoralized after the long waits on the phone and the inability to speak to the same person, that they do not document their complaints.
When a cable provider wants to expand their territory, the authority who issues the franchise will check the number of complaints lodged at the PSC, BBB, etc and then and this information is considered when determining if a franchise license is issued in a new area. So if you want to protect others from these predators, document these complaints and file them with the PSC, FCC, etc... One can also file complaints with many of the local franchise authorities but this option is hidden from you by the providers.
They have to make the Local Franchise Authority point of contact known to you but they do not let you know you have the ability to file complaints with most of them, especially when there is no competition in your area. Read Susan Crawford's book, "Captive Audience" which exposes the fact that US rates are higher and service is inferior to countries such as Sweden, Korea Japan and even China. So the consumer pays more money for an inferior product and along the way suffers from Customer Service that does not meet the standards set by the FCC. Look up section 76.309, Customer Service, contained in 47 CFR 76. 309.
Tired of being placed on hold for up to ten minutes? Pay special attention to subsection (C) of 76.309, where it specifies that telephone answer time by a customer rep., including wait time, SHALL not exceed 30 seconds. Go the FCC web site and file a complaint. You can talk with an FCC representative who will assist you or even file it for you. Until we all take the time to document the abuse and file complaints, cable and internet providers will continue with this massive theft and hire more lobbyist which will ensure that service will continue to suffer.
GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA -- Me and my husband scheduled an appointment for Internet to be installed at our house. The appointment was made for a Saturday between 8 and 10. My husband called Charter at 10 to see where the installation man was and they said we had the wrong address. So they fixed our address and said we had to wait until the next Saturday now.
Well come Saturday at the end appointment time my husband called again and they still had the wrong address. I ended up calling the manager and speaking with him about the service that we had received and he apologized and said he was going to try to get it set up for the very next day. He did call us back that night and told us that he tries but the dispatch hadn't answered him yet so they ended up being able to come out on Monday from 10 to 12.
Come 12:05 the guy still wasn't here and my husband called. The lady on the other end said he's going to be there at one. Come 1:05 the dude still isn't here. My husband calls and cancels because we both had things to do. The guy showed up 30 minutes later and wasn't even aware the service had been cancelled. Yesterday I called another manager and I was telling him what happened and he was just acting like he was tired of talking to me and wasn't helpful at all.
My husband called this morning to make an appointment for Sunday at 8 and while I was at school I got a call from a lady who said we changed your appointment to today at 3... so I called Charter to cancel the appointment and they told me I couldn't because my name wasn't on the account. I told them if they showed up on my property I was going to call the police and report trespassing. They still wouldn't cancel the appointment and we didn't even make it. Needless to say my husband just called and chewed them out. We will now be doing our business with AT&T.
FOND DU LAC, WISCONSIN -- I initially called on July 10th to move my service from one city to another. I didn't need phone service, so wanted just Internet service. I was paying about $40 for both services. I was then told that I would be paying $49 for just Internet in the new city. This did not make sense to me and I asked if I could just move my current deal and this also was not an option. I told Charter I sure didn't understand why I'd pay more for less. Perhaps I should just cancel and have my Wife register the new address as a new customer. I then told them to cancel the relocation as I had some research to do.
I called back on July 20th to cancel my account. The Charter representative on that day told me that I COULD move my account to Internet only and get the $29.99/month deal for 12 months as my move would be considered a new account since the address was changing. I asked her to make sure since that differed from what I can be told. She assured me this was the case. I then told her to go ahead.
My first bill arrived and it was for $49. Called Charter and they said sorry - that's the deal. The second representative was wrong. After trying to get them to understand that they had created this situation with a misrepresentation - they refused to budge. They said I was free to cancel and have my wife call to start a new one. I told them to cancel the account. My wife called and they said she was "authorized" on the old account which she certainly never was and they refused to open a new account. Supervisor also refused to help or honor what we were told on the 20th.
I again called to try to understand why were are now blacklisted. The representative I talked to this time said I had "leveraged" my account to try to get a better deal. Calling around until I got a representative to say what I wanted. I explained that I had only called once on the 10th initially and then once on the 20th. The representative said we had lost the ability to transfer our old service package deal when they processed the cancellation.
So I then verified that I COULD have transferred my bundled voice and Internet service to the new city for the original $40/month? He then got very non-committal and said he couldn't deal in "IFs" or suppositions. He was very uncomfortable as I pressed him about this point.
Charter is in my opinion operating as a bait and switch for these types of moves. Essentially they told me something when I called to actually cancel to keep me as a customer and stop me from going to their competitor. They then processed it as Internet only to the higher monthly rate. In the process they destroyed my ability to transfer my existing deal. Now they have "no way" to restore anything. I am a Chief Information Officer. I know for a fact that for any "system", anything is possible if the company wished to honor the deals that had been communicated by their representatives.
Charter created this situation and now they refuse to correct it or even give me the deal I actually WAS eligible for before they pulled the bait and switch. Unfortunately they are losing a good customer. In the words of Clark Howard, "Customer no-service" unfortunately.
I am just going to list the sequence of events, and not add any of my personal thoughts or opinions. The facts clearly speak for themselves. Monday, 5/3. Around 1:00 PM. Brief power outage. When power restored, no internet. Called Charter, got a recording that said that there was a problem in my area, service would be restored in a couple of hours. Still no service at 8:00 PM, so I called Charter, got the same recording. Wrestled my way through the voice prompts to finally get a live person on the line. After trying many things, tech said that modem was bad and promised to overnight a replacement.
Tuesday, 5/4. No replacement. However, internet access most of the day was OK. Wednesday, 5/5. No internet. Replacement modem arrives. Swap modem, no internet. Spent a long time with support - couldn't get internet. Will have to send a tech out.
Thursday, 5/6. Tech arrives, but we have internet access when he gets here. Tech checks, have had the internet for the last few hours. Tech says that other houses on our street have had similar problems - he was at our neighbor's house the day before, and the person across the street was also out. Tech leaves. 10 minutes later, no internet.
On phone with support for a long time, they need to set up another call. I tell them that the problem is clearly not inside our house, since multiple residences have been affected, but this doesn't appear to be useful information to the support person. He needs to set up a visit with us. The visits are difficult to arrange as my wife and I both work during the day. We finally set a firm appointment for between 5:00 and 7:00 PM on Friday.
Friday, 5/7. I leave work early, had to leave part way through an important meeting, to get home by 5:00. No tech shows up. I call and I am told that the tech came between 1:00 and 3:00 on Friday. I get disconnected and have to wade through the voice menus and start all over again explaining everything. I request that a tech be sent out today, as we have been without internet since Monday, and they screwed up the scheduling. Sorry, can't do it.
I ask to speak to a supervisor, am put on hold for 28 minutes, finally get a supervisor, doesn't help at all. Appointment set for Saturday between 1 and 3. My wife and I have to cancel plans for Saturday but we really need the issue fixed, so we do.
Saturday, 5/8. Tech shows up and seems competent. He replaces the line coming into our house, and reports that some piece of equipment outside needs to be replaced, will have to order the parts. Internet working when he leaves. A short time later, no internet. Call support again, finally get the internet back but only when computer is connected directly. Support person promises to call me on Monday with a status on the parts and next visit out.
Monday, 5/10. No call from support. Internet access available intermittently when one computer is connected directly.
Tuesday, 5/11. Still no call from support. I call support from work and I am told that someone was out to replace something on Monday, 5/10, but that DHCP had not been turned on for our account. Support person turns it on and I am told that we have a good internet connection. I ask why I wasn't notified that the work had been done. Support person doesn't know. I get home and yes, the one computer has the Internet, but when I connect it to the router, nothing.
I plug the modem back into the one computer directly - no internet. I call support again (and, on every call, I have to wade through countless voice prompts to finally reach a support person who once again has to verify all of my information and then has me describe the entire problem all over again). This person says that no, nobody came out to my house on Monday. And also that there are no service calls scheduled for my house. Then I get disconnected.
I call back, having to again go through all of the voice prompts and then have to again verify all of my information and then have to start over explaining everything to the new support person. I am told that I need to buy a new router (mine is a high-end Cisco router, 3 months old) as it is messing up their DHCP. By the way, at this moment my router isn't even turned on, and the modem is plugged into the computer directly. I realize that I am not likely to get anything useful out of further conversation.
We schedule a tech to come out the next day, and the only time that they can give me is between 4 and 6 PM, as there is nothing available in the evening. This is very difficult to arrange, but we go for it. I then get a call from their automated system asking me to confirm that the appointment scheduled for between 8 and 10 AM tomorrow morning is OK!!! I just got off the phone after scheduling it for 4-6 PM, and 5 minutes later it has already been screwed up and set for 8-10 AM.
I couldn't call them back as I broke the phone when I slammed it down in frustration. We have been without the internet for 9 days now. Anyone reading this sequence of events can determine for themselves the competency of an organization that has handled a problem in the fashion that I have outlined. The fact that appointments are scheduled for one time yet somehow end up at a different time, more than once, is mind boggling.
Every complaint about this company that I've read on these pages rings true for me... I've experienced many of the situations described by others: Frequent/chronic mystery service interruptions to both cable and Internet service - in which the company often advised the problem wasn't theirs, that it must be my personal equipment (although the problems were, without explanation, always *resolved* on their end without involving my personal equipment at all); endless transfers during customer service phone calls, re-telling my story over & over.
Being placed on hold for over 30-minutes by an overtly rude customer service representative when I asked to speak with her supervisor; and being yelled at by the supervisor when I advised how frustrating the situation had become to get resolution to a chronic service-interruption problem. About a year ago I decided I'd rather be without TV/Internet at all than use this company any more. I had them remove all of their equipment from my home & canceled all services. (I now have wireless Internet service - without one single service interruption ever!)
Recently, I caved & decided to give this company another try for cable TV. Wrong decision. When ordering a service package (that included TV/phone) & arranging installation, I was quoted a specific monthly cost. I verified verbally *3 times* with the sales representative that the cost he quoted to me was exact and I wouldn't be charged a single penny more than he'd quoted. He confirmed clearly & absolutely that the quoted price was firm, not a penny more, for 12 months.
Three days prior to scheduled installation, I received a call from a different customer service representative to confirm my order - she quoted a new monthly price that was nearly $40 more than the original quote. I told her of the original quote; she denied that original quote as having been valid, and advised that the additional nearly $40 in monthly fees were taxes. (Seriously?) At this point I told the service representative to cancel my installation order; that I wouldn't be renewing service with this company after all. She said she couldn't, and gave me a different phone number to call.
I called immediately, stated clearly that I was canceling my service request - that I would not be doing business with this company. Two days after canceling the installation appointment, I received a phone call from the company to confirm that installation representatives would be at my house as scheduled to do the installation. I called *once again* to state clearly (once again) that I wanted no service from this company - now or ever - and that no installation representatives should arrive at my home because it would be a waste of their time.
The operator I spoke with said the company didn't even have the phone number on record that was used by them just hours earlier to advise me that installation was confirmed: Installation that had already been canceled. Hopefully, I've learned my lesson. Never in my life have I personally experienced worse vendor service or encountered worse customer service. I actively let my family & friends know about my personal experiences with this company when I hear they're considering becoming a customer. My instinct when hearing of this company and its services is to turn and walk away; as fast as possible!
PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK -- Since I live in a little tiny town in the middle of nowhere, the choices around here are limited. Needless to say, after this month I will no longer be an unfortunate subscriber to Charter Communications' cable TV service. One year ago, I had no complaints. Everything was OK, I could manage but within the past 6 months it has been a nightmare. First, the internet service works when it wants too. I have been through 3 modems and it seems like #3 is almost dead now. At least once a week, I have to deal with a speed that is comparable to watching turtles race. They have no good explanation as to why.
I would cry computer problems but I know that is not the case. Now for their TV service, pardon me while I laugh for a moment. A good 25% of my channels either drop out or lose audio. It is the same on all TV's in the house, so it being my TV's problem has been ruled out. The DVR service has a mind of its own, it will pause, skip to either the beginning or end of the taping whenever it chooses. I have replaced the boxes, as they suggested and yep... still does the same thing. Any channel above 200 will randomly drop out and cause this god awful audio screeching after about 20 minutes.
Except channel 303 and thriller Max, they just don't come in at all anymore. I will say that their HD channels look great (when they actually come in). Charter has disconnected me when I have made my payment. Then when they admit to me that my services should not have been turned off, they don't hesitate to charge me the reconnect fee. This is after I get confirmation that they will not charge me since it was their fault to begin with. I gave up paying over the phone since their 'not seeing my payment' was rampant that way, now in the past 2 months it has occurred even when I paid in person.
I know they are in debt but screwing people with the nickel and dime stuff is not helping. I would gladly pay extra if it worked but it seems like every time they raise rates around here, the service goes from worse to horrid. The past two times I have paid in the office, I had to wait an extremely long time to get to the desk because of the long line of people terminating and returning their equipment. I found that hilarious, apparently the little dishes popping up like crazy in this area is not getting through to them about the quality of their product.
For the past two years, I have someone on the other line telling me, "it will get better once we get the telephone service running in your area." Well, if their telephone service is as great as their cable and internet, then No Thanks. I have contacted satellite and in a couple of weeks, it will be I who is standing in a long line telling them what they can do with their service and sub-par equipment.
ST LOUIS, MISSOURI -- Charter cable customer service is absolutely terrible. Over the last 4-5 years that we have had Charter we have experienced several nightmares. First a tree fell across the street and brought down the power and cable lines. Charter connected the service by laying a cable in my front yard in the grass and it took me about 14 calls and several personal visits to their office over nearly a year to get them out to hang the cable. Second our internet service never worked properly. A tech came out and ran a new cable from the house to the pole and it worked better for a while. After a year, the cable is still laying in our yard.
Third, about 8 months ago they called to ask if I wanted to upgrade to a digital package with a six month "trial rate" lower rate than we already had, so I accepted. They told me the tech would be out a few days later and we arranged a time. He never showed at the stated time and they never called to confirm or check it out. I noticed several statements later that this upgrade was on my bill but since I was getting a better rate for six months, I blew it off until the "trial rate" was over.
Forth, and the best. At the same time our internet was still not getting good reception so I called on 11-03-08 to cancel both the digital package that I never received mentioned above and our internet service. I was told that I could not cancel my internet because I had an "outstanding balance" ($171.21) and that they "would cancel my internet once it had been paid". I immediately paid it and the 171.21 payment cleared my bank 4 days later. Guess what, my December statement STILL HAD BOTH SERVICES, NEITHER HAD BEEN CANCELED.
When I called a couple of days ago (12-31-08) to question this and get it resolved the customer service person "**" advised that when my outstanding balance was paid "I was supposed to have called them back to tell them back to remind them that I still wanted my internet service canceled".
When I told him that no one had told me I had to "call back after my payment had cleared" and asked why I had to call them back he said that they couldn't cancel my service "without my authorization". I said "WHAT"!!! I just told them 4 days before the payment cleared that I wanted it canceled and asked, "did they have record of that conversation?" He said yes, but I was still supposed to call and tell them again and that "that was the way their system was set up". I told him it's not my problem the way their system is set up. I lived up to my end of the agreement by paying in full like I was asked to.
I went through TWO supervisors, "**" and "**" and they all sounded like robots telling me the same thing and even adding that they STILL would not cancel it even now (12-31-08) nearly 2 months later because I had another "outstanding balance" ($105.65) which included the 2 services that I asked them to cancel nearly two months ago!
In other words, they are now charging me money for 2 services that I have already asked them to cancel nearly two months ago and no longer use (I have had AT&T internet since October) and one I never had, and STILL will not cancel because they want payment for those 2 services which I told them that I did not want nearly 2 months ago in the first place! It was absolutely incredible display of customer disservice and I feel may have even breached a few consumer protection laws. I am looking into that.
I felt like I was talking to people from another planet. I have never heard of someone not being able to cancel their service anytime they wanted without a contract. I was so upset I immediately paid the $105.65 and told them to cancel my cable TV now as well and did not ever want to do business with them again. Charter has been criticized for poor customer support and frequent billing consistency issues, causing the Better Business Bureau to post a warning to consumers about the company:
The Better Business Bureau has received numerous complaints regarding this cable, digital TV, and high speed internet access provider. Complainants primarily allege that the firm had improper billing practices, referred customer bills to collection agencies in error, provided poor customer service, used misleading advertising, provided defective internet or cable performance, used improper sales tactics or misrepresented the actual costs of installation and service, failed to properly install or maintain service, damaged customers' property, and failed to honor service appointments.
According to Wikipedia, PCWorld also ranked Charter's cable Internet service as worst among 14 major Internet service providers. Charter High-Speed is the second-worst-rated cable ISP on DSLreports.com  and Consumer Reports indicated in their February 2008 issue that Charter's television/Internet/telephone bundle collectively is the worst of all major national carriers. Bottom line... DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS, YOU WILL LIVE TO REGRET IT!
MCDONOUGH, GEORGIA -- 1 year ago almost to the day I closed on and moved into my new home. During the setup of all my utilities I ran into a problem getting Cable Internet from my local provider (Charter). Which I thought was weird because I moved into a neighborhood quite literally one mile from where I had previously lived and had Charter's 100mbps internet. After researching the issue a little and talking to Charter I was told that I am 400ft from a tap, which is considered unserviceable. In fact my neighborhood of over 60 homes and just as many lots waiting for construction has no access to cable internet of television at all.
I live just south of Atlanta in a pretty big town, not like I live in the sticks so I was extremely shocked that 1) Charter didn't already have cable run to this neighborhood and 2) that I was getting such a run around trying to get someone, anyone from Charter to take a look at the neighborhood and see about getting me and my neighbors TV and internet. I have called Charter's corporate number to see if I can get the ball rolling on this (I realize these things take time). I was told that all inquiries of this nature have to go through my local Charter office which is actually 5 miles from my house.
So I drove there and I was told they would have a site survey of my neighborhood to see what they could do. That was last March and I never heard anything back. So about 2 weeks before Christmas of 2013 I went back to my local Charter office to try to get some answers. I was given the same story about sending a site survey team to take a look. I was sure to leave my Name and contact information, and I also asked if I could please get a call with the site survey team's determination. I have yet to hear anything again.
After having been a Charter customer at my 2 previous addresses (both in the same city I currently live in) for 4 years I have to say that I am Extremely disappointed in Charter for giving a once loyal customer, and a person trying to get services for themselves and their neighbors this poorly. Is there anyone out there that has experience with this situation that can walk me through getting the ball rolling on this problem?