ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI -- I don't think that this really reaches the CEO of Charter but here goes. I am totally disgusted with my cable service and especially how I have been screwed from day one. Sorry for using the word screwed but there is no better word for it. My story begins. I have been using Charter for many years. I've been told on many occasions not to switch to Charter as those around me suggested that they all had a lousy experience joining Charter. I never had any major problems with my service, so I figured why not. After a year of deliberation I decided to go full till, all three services (telephone, cable and internet).
I logged online at charter.com and signed up to get my $150 gift certificate. I selected the $99 but the online service would not accept my address as being a valid address. I was already a charter customer with basic extended service so why was my address coming back as invalid. I called into Charter to report my sign up issues at charter.com. I was told that I could be help in person to complete my order.
I ordered the $99 service plus an additional $5 for the DVR recorder. After all of the added features and fees to get my 3 services going I thought my bill before taxes was $105 plus taxes. I asked over and over for clarification as I wanted to be 100% clear and have no confusion in what my monthly will would be.
Our installation was scheduled between 12 pm and 4:30 pm. At 6:30 pm with no notice the tech finally arrives. When the Charter installation came, they forgot the HD DVR that I was talked into ordering. The tech had no batteries for the remote and no pamphlets on the internet, phone or cable services. He did not even have a ac power cable for the cable modem so he just reused my old SBC DSL power cord. It was a joke. The tech seemed nice but he had brought nothing with him. I was told another tech would have to come out to replace the cable box. Three days later, I had to take off work again but I thought everything was final.
On Oct 28 I received a bill to my credit card for $169.42. Wow, but this included the cable and internet fees and installation charges. For 3 services the charges seemed to add up. Two plus weeks later I called in because I had a few concerns. Was my bill correct? Do I have HD channels as mine seemed very blurry? When do I get my $150 gift certificate?
First, my bill was only for 2 of my 3 services. The telephone bill had not been added yet. They reset my HD box from the office. (Still today the image on all my HD channels is blurry. Just compare my Cable HD to my aerial HD Antenna. My aerial HD antenna's picture is way clearer than HD picture provided by Charter. My HD cable picture is terrible. To get a tech to come look at the picture will cost me $$$. So I am stuck with a lousy picture.)
I was not entitled to the $150 gift certificate because I ordered by phone. (I was never told that by ordering by phone I would not get my gift certificate. I would not have ordered the 3 pack of services. To make up for the deception of not getting my $150 gift certificate, the Charter representative gave me a $10 bundle package for 1 year free.) Today I saw my auto bill for another charge on 11/28 for $297. You have to be kidding me. There must be a mistake. I already paid $169 on 10/28. Over $450 to change to Charter's 3-bundle. I must be crazy, something must be wrong.
I called into 1-888-charter today (11/30/08) and was told my bill was correct. How could my telephone bill be $297? I already paid for all the installation and fees for my cable and internet. This is outrageous. The first Charter representative I talked with had no clue how to explain why I had a $297 charge. The second representative (manager, Nicki) spoke so quietly I could barely understand her. From her I learned that the free $10 service I was given when I called in to ask about my gift card was not free at all. After that nothing is clear. Nicki removed my $10 "free" service and my $105 service is now $139.
How $139 goes into $450, there is no answer. How I paid $169 for cable and internet and I still owe $297 for telephone is a mystery to me? Why I did not get my $150 gift certificate? When they knew I could not order online? Why was I given free $10 upgrade to only have to pay for it? I really thought Charter was wanting to become a first class company. C'mon. $50 plus to change to $104 service. This disgusts me. I have been a long term satisfied customer. To play games like this is very sad. I hope you will respond in kind and explain to me my situation clearly. Otherwise you can keep your services.
HALLSVILLE, TEXAS -- Okay, just typing about this company makes me want to hit something. To make the extremely long story as short as possible, here goes: I called to have basic cable and internet hooked up. The first appointment was on a Saturday 10-12. We were sitting at home, the phone rings and I didn't get to it before it hung up. I called RIGHT back and spoke with a rep who said she would make sure the tech knew we were home waiting. Well.... no one ever showed up. I called back and they said that no one could come back to my home because I didn't answer the phone and they had other jobs to do!
SO... I was mad, but I made another appt. No Sat. appts were available so my husband took off during the week. The tech comes, hooks up everything but doesn't check the cable inside to see if it worked. It didn't, so I called back again, and was told I would have to wait another 6 days for an appointment and it would have to be during the week. The rep said she would be sure to put the visit as an "in home visit" so the tech would come inside. SO.. hubby takes off work again, sits at home. No one called or knocked on the door during the appt time.
I called and the rep said the tech showed he had come to our house. HE NEVER CALLED ANYONE NOR DID HE KNOCK ON OUR DOOR OR COME INSIDE!! I was furious and told them that he needed to get back out to our home immediately. Needless to say, the tech couldn't be reached and no one came. My husband called to file a complaint with the manager so the rep filled out a form and said someone would call us within 24-48 hours... yeah right, no one has called to this day over 2 weeks later.
I made 1 more appt just because my husband would be at home one day last week waiting on Lowe's to come to our house, so I made the appointment during that time. The rep again said that she would tell the tech to call and come inside.
Hubby was at home, no call, no visit from Charter!! I called back and immediately asked to speak with a supervisor (who also don't know their heads from their rear ends) and was told that the tech had come at 2:00 PM (1 hour before scheduled) and he put the job as done!!!!! OH MY GOSH, IF I WEREN'T A CHRISTIAN WOMAN, I WOULD SAID SOME VERY UGLY THINGS! I told them this was unacceptable and that if the tech was not back at my home by 5:00 PM I was doing business elsewhere. The supervisor I spoke with had the nerve to tell me that because dispatch had other jobs to do, they MAY OR MAY NOT be able to come back out.
Needless to say, I immediately cancelled my service and as soon as I did, another supervisor called me and told me that the problem with the cable was that our main wire needed to be replaced!!! What the crap! So after all that and all the people I had talked to, it was that easy to tell me what was wrong. The tech didn't tell me, the other 20 reps I talked to didn't tell me, the 5 supervisors I talked to couldn't tell me. I have paid for an entire month of service I have not had! I WARN YOU, DON'T DO BUSINESS WITH THESE PEOPLE!!
NEWTOWN, CALIFORNIA -- Charter Communications offers the only cable television network in Newtown Ct. May of this year I had trouble with my connection. I experienced interrupted services and problems with On Demand on a regular basis. I contacted the company. Unfortunately, before you are able speak with a live person to schedule an appointment, you have to spend in excess of 1/2 hour receiving instruction from an automated service.
Finally I was able to get a scheduled appointment to check the problem. The first tech. checked all the wiring in the house but could not locate a problem, the second tried to rewire the cable inside the house. He spent over 6 hours at my home and actually mistakenly drilled holes in my hardwood floor approximately 50 feet from where they should have been drilled. IT WAS IN ANOTHER ROOM.
After this I received promises from the area manager that expert techs would get on the problem and resolve it asap. They did not follow up and I had yet another tech. come to my home. He discovered that it was my underground cable and he would get someone out right away to lay new cable. He rigged a temporary fix, which is exposed on the outside of the house so I could at least get television service.
After several complaints they told me no one was schedule and they had had problems and delays with their contractors. In Sept. they rescheduled a new contractor who visited the house, measure the cable line and put in a couple of red flags. He told me he would be out to install the cable in a couple of weeks. Needless to say he never came.
I called again this week to find out what happened, only to be told THEY ARE NOW ON THEIR WINTER HIATUS and policy dictates that they will not do any installations until the spring and they are required to have in by June 1st of 2008. (In the meantime they keep contacting me to switch my phone service to them, hahaha.)
BIG PROBLEM NUMBER 2: Because limited service is better than no service I am forced to make the full payment and then contact them after the fact to request a credit because I am not able to use the services. In other words, they are forcing me to pay in advance for services I don't have.
Now the area manager will not return my calls, and the customer service department refuses to help me. They CLAIM THEY CAN'T REFER ME TO SOMEONE WITH ANY AUTHORITY TO CORRECT THIS PROBLEM. I will be filing a formal complaint and have contacted the local television stations to feature my plight on their scam piece.
I have been told that forcing me to pay for a service I don't receive is illegal. I have also contacted an attorney. THIS IS BEYOND BELIEF AND IS AN OBVIOUS RESULT OF THEIR SERVICE MONOPOLY IN MY AREA. I can only hope that this won't happen to anyone else.
KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE -- I called to inquire about seeing if Charter phone service was available in my area for my business. The agent could barely speak English and couldn't even answer if they had business service in my zip code or not. I kept telling him it was for a bar; a night club; a place of business where alcohol drinks were sold. He told me that yes, he could help. He said, "Call AA" and hung up!
TOWN AND COUNTRY, MISSOURI -- I'd like to preface this by saying that I've never had an issue with Charter billing practices or their service. It's their customer service department I have issues with. I am also not saying this to get free service. I've tried resolving this on the phone, but all I get is apology after apology with clever wording each time to not accept responsibility. Tuesday, October 31st I called Charter and spoke to 'Chris' about setting up new service at my new home. I told him that I could take "this Friday" off (9/3/2010) of work to be there for the tech. The agreed upon time was between 1 pm & 3 pm. The order was for 2 HD DVRs and charter service with HBO, MAX, Showtime & TMC.
Done and done. No. Friday September 3rd comes & at 3:17 PM no Charter tech. I call and "Brian" (if I recall) tells me that "no, the appointment is for Friday September 10th." This is incorrect. I tell her. She apologizes and tells me that the only thing she can do to reschedule is to set the appointment for 9/22/10. I ask to speak with a supervisor & I'm put on hold for a bit. She comes back & tells me that she's trying to get a supervisor. Apologies again. She tells me that she'll have a supervisor call me "soon".
4:45 (approximately) and still no call. I call again. This time I get Yolanda & I tell her that I've been waiting for a call back from a supervisor and she somehow manages to get one for me. Apology after apology. But still, nothing is done for this. I'm told that it's a "miscommunication". This is no miscommunication. I know what was said between myself and Chris. I know what "this Friday" means. I have notes that I relayed from Chris as to exactly was expected of me. She even talks to "dispatch" but I already know that there's nothing that can or will be done.
On top of all this, I had to give up a vacation day for this. So I could be at my home to bring the TV out of storage, set up on the entertainment center. I am never going to get that vacation time back and it was a huge waste of my day. Again, I realize that I'm a drop in the bucket, but at $109.99 a month, this is over $1,300 per year. This is not a minor investment. Except for my mortgage, this is the single highest bill I'll have for this house. I mentioned to the person I was talking to that I should at the very least have a month of free service. I had a similar issue with Verizon a few months ago and this is what I got for my trouble. I was told, "That's against Charter's policy."
"Then why am I even talking to you?" Really? Is the time and effort on the part of your customers so insignificant that you're unwilling to sacrifice a little for customer retention? I work as a customer service representative for a medium sized technical company. My company SERVICES companies like Charter. If I said or did this to them, we'd lose the contract, no questions asked. I am not allowed to give my customers this kind of run around service. If someone asks for a supervisor, they are not made to wait like this. We're certainly not going to insult their intelligence by "apologizing for their inconvenience".
In my area there is one other television provider. At this point I am still weighing my options. I've been told that FiOS is coming into the area within a few years and that is an option as well. Fast forward to today. I got an automated message that a Charter tech was going to be at my home tomorrow between 1 & 3 and to have $109.99 ready for the technician. What? This was NEVER mentioned to me at any point by anyone.
When I called just a short time ago to confirm this, I was told by another "Brian" that "We apologize for the miss-communication." This is not miscommunication issue. It was never mentioned to me that this was required. A quick search on Google tells me that this isn't an isolated situation. I hope this counts as the first months fee. If not, I'm going to cancel. I never want to hear an empty apology again.
At the beginning of the second week of November, just about the same time the new phone book came out, I, the owner of a local "home-based" Carpet and Rug cleaning company started getting phone calls from customers wanting prices for cleaning everything from suede jackets to complete suits. Repeatedly, I informed the many callers that we did not provide the services they were requesting. For over a week the calls kept coming in for laundry service but none for carpet cleaning, one woman even came to my place of residence to drop off her garments for cleaning.
After more calls came in, I opened the new 2010 AT&T Real Yellow Pages phone book and was shocked to find that I was not listed where I had been for the last six years. However, after turning to the "cleaners" section, I found my company information. Completely confused and upset, I contacted Charter Business, my business phone provider, to sort out the problem. This would prove to be the worst nightmare any "home-based" business owner or any phone customer could be faced with.
For days I would contact Charter and spend valuable time on hold and/or repeatedly having to explain and re-explain the problem and the effect(s) the problem "WOULD HAVE" on my company's income (a loss of hundreds of dollars a day) to people that could not help me, to include being passed around from one representative to another (THE CORPORATE RUN-AROUND).
Finally, I started recording the treatment I was receiving from Charter Business and Charter Residential "Service Representatives". To make a long story short, AT&T proved Charter to be at fault and Charter told me to shop around for advertising for the year and e-mail the price to Charter so a form of credit could be arranged for me to advertise for the year. So did, in the end, Charter changed their minds and told me they would not and could not be held liable for "Any" damages to my business because they have a Tariff that states the following.
(This is what is printed on page one, please note that it says "residential") This tariff contains the description, regulations and rates for the furnishing of services and facilities for local and long distance telecommunications services provided by Charter Fiberlink-Tennessee, LLC to residential customers within the State of Tennessee.
3.1.4 Directory Errors and Omissions. The Telephone Company's liability for damages due to errors or omissions in directory listings will be limited to a credit of one month's basic service.
7. Business Services.
7.1. Rules and Regulations. The regulations specified herein are in addition to the rules contained throughout this Tariff and other tariffs of the Telephone Company. Failure on the part of customers to observe these rules and regulations of the Telephone Company automatically gives the Telephone Company the right to cancel the contract and discontinue the furnishing of service.
This was my "sole source" of advertising and it had worked and served me well for over six years and that a business practice of this type is what allows me to keep my prices competitively low. Now I am unsure of what I will do now with advertising prices so expensive. I have contacted the Tennessee Regulatory Authority and their stance is that they have never had to deal with this type of situation and they themselves don't even know why that disclaimer is in their Tariff, as Tariffs deal with pricing protection.
The recordings of my conversations with Charter representatives and the treatment I have received is nothing less than a primer-cap in a very big bomb of "GOIN' POSTAL". In short, because of a piece of paper written by a billion dollar industry, you too can be ruined with no course of action except eat it and smile.
GREATER WORCESTER AREA, MASSACHUSETTS -- Charter Communications is a monopolistic blood sucking business operator. They have not received ONE good review from actual customer. You can make out that good reviews are phony once you read through them. They all are stereotype opinions. I has to opt for Charter for internet & cable since there is no other service provider in my town. Here are some red flags from day one.
I called to sign up and asked if they had any good offers for new customers. The CS chuckled and said "I don't have a choice, you can sign up or be left out.' OK so I signed up for $110 for 3 Mbps internet & cable with 10 HD channels and all basic channel. Not a good deal by my standards for new customers! Not a single promotion added. This was their base price. Installation day, the guy is late. He comes at his own sweet time and slaps me with a $ 50 install fee. Hmmm. Internet speed is slow. I call CS. She tells me my neighborhood is hogging the line, I will have to suffer.
Makes me wonder maybe DSL would be cheaper, if I have to live with low speed anyway. Cable box reboots EVERY time I power on the box. CS tells me 'duh, just don't power off the box'. The box heats up beyond belief if kept on overnight. I ask for a new cable box. CS says "no, cannot do that until it goes dead." One lucky day the cable box dies finally, I ask for replacement. CS says "go to your nearest location and get it replaced else wait for 2 weeks for the next appointment." End of first year, I call to cancel service since I am fed up.
CS threatens me for 45 minutes that if I cancel they will not let me sign up again for the next 6 months and I will be left in the dark with dish. I chicken out and stick to them and end up paying $130 now with lower # of channels. Same abuse, bad service, unprofessional attitude, internet downtime, cable downtime continue for a year. Beware about their CS. If you have called to change anything on your service, please call several times to confirm, because they never make changes even when they say they did. I have heard blenders run, babies cry, vehicles backing up, crunching & munching sounds while the CS is trying to talk to me.
I am not sure where they operate from but I am sure they are definitely not trained professionals. I finally decided to stop Charter this year. Dish is not offering me anything great, but at least I do not pay for being kicked around and abused by CS. I think it is time BBB took action to fix the obnoxious attitude and low standard service that Charter offers. I am still waiting for some to drag them to the consumer court.
APPLE VALLEY, MINNESOTA -- I've been reading complaints about problems with Charter's installation, customer service, and DVR service. I shouldn't have been surprised at the ones that were coming from my same area. One of them was within the same time-frame. I've had no problem with Charter's product. My complaint is with their customer service and installation.
When we moved to five miles further south a year ago, we had to switch providers. I've regretted it ever since! I never had any problems with services from our previous provider. Problems were resolved quickly and efficiently as well as courteously.
We had 60 days before closing on our new home so I set up the appointment for service installation two months in advance. I set the appointment for the day after closing. We have VoIP and poor cell phone reception in the immediate area so I called to verify the dates and confirm the appointment at least a couple of times. In fact, I called the day before closing on our house as we weren't closing until the afternoon.
Charter showed up a day early to do the install. That was a slight problem since we hadn't even closed on the house yet! Their response was "We're sorry. We don't understand why the technician came out on Thursday instead of Friday since Friday is the date on the work order. What? You need us to come out on Friday? We're sorry, we can't do that. Friday is full. We might be able to squeeze you in next week or maybe the week after that. Yes, we realize it's our fault for this error. Sorry." We were without phone service for three weeks. Everyone else made the transition without a problem.
Once Charter came out, the technician refused to install the additional outlet ordered because it was unneccessary (we could tear up the carpet and drill a hole through the floor ourselves) and he didn't have time. Never mind the fact that it was on the order. When I complained to Charter, they offered to not charge us for an additional outlet. That was nice of them since they never put one in! My husband has a degree in electronics and has been a media technician for nearly 23 years. He certainly knows how to run wires and if he wanted to drill a hole in the floor, he would have done it. We wanted the outlet put in!
We finally got internet service (and use of our phone again) about three weeks later. I thought our troubles were over until we upgraded services in August. We sent an appointment and waited for two weeks. Charter cancelled the service call the day before because they didn't have a DVR. They sold us the service but couldn't deliver the product. They didn't know when they could fulfill it. Once again, they were "sorry".
Charter cancelled the second service call. They called our home in the morning for a 4:00-6:00 appointment and decided that we weren't going to be home at 4:00. Never mind the fact that the work order stated they were to call my husband's cell number. Customer service confirmed that number was indeed the number on the work order. Underneath it, our home phone number was also listed. We had to wait and make another appointment.
They kept that appointment. Apparently Charter technicians do not test equipment after an install to ensure that it works. My internet service didn't work after installation. Our DVR box didn't work after installation either. I see a pattern forming. By now, nearly two months had gone by. They tried to correct the problem remotely but it didn't work. Another appointment was set. Charter cancelled it again for the above reason. They did it again. I shouldn't have been surprised. Never mind the fact that we called the day before to confirm that Charter had the correct number.
This time customer service tried to claim they did call the correct number until I asked them why it didn't show up on the cell phone caller ID but it did show up on the home caller ID. The problem was finally solved (via remote) and it turns out the problem was at their end. Charter threw $14.00 at us for loss of service we were charged for but never received, cancelled service calls (due to their errors) and the countless hours we spent on the phone as well as time away from work. Everyone was happy... except us.
RENO, NEVADA -- Last night I watched "We are Marshall" and noticed an inordinate amount of commercials. I timed it for 33 minutes and found 6 minutes of movie and 5 minutes of commercials three consecutive times. It was so annoying that I couldn't keep up with the movie plot.
MINOCQUA, WISCONSIN -- Worst service ever. Gave my credit card multiple times to pay for service and sent to collections for them not running card. Paid them and got sent to collections 3 months later. This is the worst company to work with. The people are robots and read from a script and no one does anything to help you in the company. As an FYI, this is only the second complaint I have ever taken the time to go online and write about.