Tuesday, March 18, 2008

THE TOP TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT CHARTER HIGH-SPEED INTERNET SERVICE


The Top Ten Things I hate about Charter High-Speed Internet Service:

10.) Having to keep a diary of all the times I’ve had to call Charter Customer Service and be put on hold in the last two and half weeks. For example:

February 29—first call made for service outage.
March 2—two technicians replace cable line from building to the box on the street edge and leave it lying exposed on the grass. Next day we get 8 inches of snow.
March 5—another technician comes to fix outage and says its my modem which is a problem—I replace it with new one.
March 13—two technicians come back to “bury” the exposed cable in the grass—internet goes off for good and they disappear without a word to either me or my neighbor whose digital cable TV has vanished as well. I call and speak to “Irene” at customer service that evening and stay on phone for approximately 45 minutes. She promises things will be taken care of within 24 hours. (It’s not.)
March 16 –tech call that afternoon, the internet goes off and stays off within two minutes after technician leaves after adjusting my modem/the cable box on building.
March 17 – on in the morning, Internet goes off at approx. 1:30 pm and comes back on three separate times by unplugging/re-plugging in the modem until goes off for good at 2:45 pm. Another call to customer service where “Victoria” promises me technicans will call me within the hour (this said at 3:15 pm). No calls received within the hour—or the day. Or even the next morning... Why am I not surprised?


9.) Having to push “0” over and over at every automated switchboard prompt until I get a real live human being. (Keypad on phone now worn thin.)

8.) Having to repeat my sob story over and over again to these helpless Charter customer service reps who do not live in my city, state—or possibly country.

7.) Having to pay for Charter High-Speed Internet Service in the first place because AT&T hasn’t set up the lines so we can get DSL Internet service in this neck of the woods.

6.) Having to pay my cell phone company for the minutes that I went over my plan this month because I was put on hold so many times calling Charter High-Speed Internet Customer Service.

5.) Being promised a rebate on an $89.99 modem I got in August when I signed on with Charter High-Speed Internet —the modem that at least one technician told me was “broken” and I needed to rent one from Charter at an additional fee per month. The modem rebate (promised within 6 to 8 weeks) has yet to arrive. All emails sent to the email address for questions about rebate not answered, either. Charter Customer Service reps say they “know nothing about the rebate program” yet Charter’s icon is plastered on the web site and they provide the modem. If they contracted this incentive program from an outside source, they are responsible for it ultimately—right? Why else would you advertise it and put your company logo on it?

4.) Not being able to send doc files to my telecommuting positions as expected—missing out on potential income and creating ill-will with potential customers because I’m not able to respond to their email requests in a timely manner.

3.) Missing out on promotional activities online because I cannot get online and stay online. Not being able to update my web sites in a timely fashion. All lead to lost sales and advertising opportunities for my books.

2.) Having to buy gasoline at over $3.09 a gallon to drive to other places to use public Internet—and then finding they have a “nanny blocker” on some of these public WiFI access points so I can’t even access my own publisher’s web site!

And the number one reason why I hate Charter Communications High-Speed Internet Service…

1.) Those damn flashing green lights on the modem when it’s kicked me offline for the upteenth time in the last five minutes!


If you have a similar tale of woe (related to Internet service problems or not) please feel free to share it in the comment section. After I've calmed down somewhat, I might do a drawing for a little prize of one of my backlist books or something. Thanks for your understanding. I think I will take a Valium and go lie down now before I'm tempted to buy a shot gun...


UPDATE: I thought that the "pen was mightier than the monopolistic cable company" but I was wrong. Here's the continuing saga of wonky Internet connectivity:

March 19—Internet service works fine the day before, then goes off and on again all afternoon on the 19th but eventually stays on until my bedtime.
March 20—Internet service goes off within approx. 10 minutes of turning on computer.
Online 8:25 AM
Offline 8:36 AM
On again 9:37 AM
Off again 9:45 AM
On again 10:00 AM
Off again 10:15 AM
On again 10:26 AM
Off again 10:30 AM
Online again 11:04 AM
Off again 11:09 AM
On again 11:20 AM

I will continue to keep this blog updated until I have this problem addressed to my satisfaction, I find out where the president of Charter lives so I can throw a rock through his bedroom window, or I have hypertensive episode and wind up in the hospital intensive care. Your prayers and comments (below) are welcomed.

UPDATED UPDATE:

I thought all my problems had been solved after the latest tech call on March 22, but alas no. I've suffered "mini-outages" several days now. Nothing major, but obviously the problem hasn't been fixed permanently. I do now get more "personal attention" when I contact Charter... Perhaps all those red flags on my file saying, "Mad, whiny woman who threatens lawsuits--handle with care!" is helping?

When will this all end? Sigh!

April's Fools Update:

Things have been going fairly well this past week, although I did get a e-bill for TWICE the normal rate from Charter. (I promptly ignored it. They can send me a paper bill and then we'll discuss what I owe them.) And then I start noticing the "mini-outages" again and today--it wasn't a funny April Fool's joke to be kicked offline for fifteen minutes in mid-day.

You can be sure I'll let them know my sense of humor has been stretched a bit thin...

But your comments are still welcomed and appreciated.


6 comments:

Jeana said...

I absolutely hate the telephone. THe worst is when you get a company that you have been calling and calling for problems(my internet company) and you have to tell them what the problem is before you can go anywhere. and no matter what you do you always end up being hung up on or getting to the wrong place so you have to go through it all again. these people think they are making you life so much easier when in reality it's so much more difficult. I went though this a month ago with my computer only to have the technician tell me it's not her fault i live in a rural area and have to drive an hour and a half to the nearest store to take my computer in for fixing. not really rural, I just don't live in a big city. i hate the telephone....

Jeana
ladyjeanamarie@yahoo.com

A J Matthews said...

I can sympathise and empathise, Celine. My server was fairly reliable for years until recently when I began getting kicked off-line either at random intervals or on the hour. Some of the modem and other equipment reliability was suspect too. Quite often I'd get kicked off-line if an incoming or outgoing phone call was made.

I was lucky I guess, I got through and managed to get somewhere with them. Hang in there, kid! ;)

ddurance said...

Good grief, I feel for you sister. I have had small bouts of problems with internet and computers in general, so most of your top 10 sounds very familiar to me. I had a similar run-around with many attempts and no shortage of tears about a year or so ago with my computer. We bought it from Staple's and paid for the three years of service. When we began having trouble with it we spoke to so many different people my head began to spin. We were referred to this person and that person. Someone was supposed to come and change something out. When that was done, the computer needed to be updated, so yet another service call. After that something else had to be put in. Forgive me my simple language, for I'm no techie. Anyways, suffice it to say, I spent many evenings with a headache and puffy eyes. My husband had to talk sometimes to these folks and in the long run we were still waiting for a part, when we called Staples and were told to bring the hard drive in where they replaced the part within an hour while we shopped at the mall next door. AAAARRGGH! So, if you happen to have a service contract with Staples, instead of calling the number, try the store where you bought it first. I hated paying for internet service during this time when I couldn't use it, but if I cancelled I would have to pay a reconnect fee. I was back and forth between my internet provider and Staples service. Both were blaiming the other for my problems. Here's hoping the Valium worked for you, but in your state maybe you should stay away from the shotgun. LOL

Jeanne said...

Just fill in the words Comcast for Charter.
I've given up on my email. Today, after getting NOTHING from any groups I received three days worth at one time!
I can send and receive email - after a fashion - but I'm never sure whether it gets to where I want it to or not!
At the beginning of the year Comcast killed off the old adelphia addy but never told me!
Email never got to me and didn't return to the sender so they didn't know this! They just assumed I ignored them.
Comcast still hasn't provided all the services they said we would have over a year and a half ago and I assume we're paying for these services but who can tell with the backasswards billing they have!
Yeah, the cyber world can be just as sucky if not more so than "real world'!

BethRe said...

I'm sorry you are having trouble.
I had issues with comcast who was (not) providing me with internet service and we kept a log also. It was ridiculous. Verizon finally came out here and we switched. Is there anyway to report it to the better business bureau or something like that?

Anonymous said...

Charter Cable is the worst - I signed up for bundle package - no contract no deposit, ordered the modem got an installation date. After modem arrived and waited 1/2 day for installation called and was tol have to pay deposit because on policy that is 3 weeks old. Tried to cancel service, now being charged to cancel service I cant get, restocking fee for modem and shipping. Was misled and lied to all the way around. Stay away from these scam artists.