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The W - Random - I hate Charter Cable
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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

Since last post: 9 min.
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.86
I had my cable turned on in my house on the 27th of last month. I had a box top receiver, internet modem and a DVR that was supposed to be installed. The clown they sent could not get the DVR to work. So, while he was doing that, I hooked up the box top receiver and the cable modem myself.
The guy was supposed to come back the next day (a Saturday) and fix the DVR. He never showed up. Then, Charter sent somebody to my house to set it up on a Monday when I was at work (without asking if I was available). Three days later, the same jackhole from the first attempt comes back and still cannot get it working (I suggest the box is bad, he says it can't be the box). He wants to come back the following day, so once again, I wait around for him, and he no shows.
I go to the local office and complain and they assure me that he can be there on Saturday after I get off work at noon. So, FRIDAY afternoon he calls and asks if he can stop by and fix it, and I hang around the house waiting, and when he gets there he finally decides that it's the box that's fucked, so he tells me he'll be there the next day between noon and one. Two Thirty rolls around and he no shows again.
I go BACK to the office and complain, and bring the DVR with me. I tell them the story again and tell them I don't want the incompetent guy back at my house. Then the lady tells me that she'll make sure somebody else comes the next time (today). Well, five minutes ago, the same jackhole calls and says he's running late and can I wait around until 6PM.
I think if I can't get it hooked up right this time, I will burn the Charter Offices to the ground.
Or switch to dish.

What would you guys do?
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DJ FrostyFreeze
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

Since last post: 16 hours
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.84
Read it and weep, fella


Switch to Dish. How many more chances do these douches deserve? I hate being held "hostage" by a company like that.



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Mr. Boffo
Scrapple








Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 400 days
Last activity: 361 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.30
Cable companies suck, and they don't even care because so much of their territory is exclusive. You either go with them or with a dish. It's ridiculous.
Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.95
I used to work for a cable company, and was very loyal to the industry.

Charter cable drove me to DirecTV.




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Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.95
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo
    Cable companies suck, and they don't even care because so much of their territory is exclusive. You either go with them or with a dish. It's ridiculous.
This is actually not true at many cable companies. Believe it or not, they like making money. They realize you won't keep buying their service if you don't like it.

A cable company helped me buy my first house, helped train me to be a database administrator, gave me the skills to set up this board, and a pension plan that will be funded 30 years from now.

I'm sorry you don't like the cable installer that you last worked with, or the CSR you last spoke to. Have you ever sat down and talked with anyone in Cable that wasn't a front line grunt? Because... and this is a little secret between you and me... front line grunts in all industries suck.

Tell me an industry where you are happy with your customer service experience.

Examples of front line people that suck, but companies that don't suck:

* Car Stereo installers
* Cable TV installers
* Phone company guys
* Water company delivery guy
* Copier repair man

The reason for this isn't that all people who do these jobs suck - it is that the people who suck at these jobs stick around and the people who are good get promoted out of entry level and do something interesting.

Believe me there are assholes on both sides of the equation. For every bad experience you've had with the cable guy, they've probably had 5-10 bad customer experiences. Homes filled with trash, rotting food, babies who needed changing and were getting ignored, flies, dangerous conditions, etc.

Don't be fooled by the facade you see on main street - People are absolute pigs and the cable guy has seen the worst of it, in your own homes. It can make anyone a little jaded. Add to that the fact that people have no remorse ripping into cable guys and claiming they are all morons.

So yeah, your cable guy might have been bad. Sorry to hear it. His day was worse than yours, I guarantee it.




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Mr. Boffo
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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 400 days
Last activity: 361 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.30
I'm not attacking you personally, nor any of the millions of people who work for cable companies. I haven't had any issues, because I decided many years ago that I'm not going to pay the exorbitant rates that the cable company monopoly charges in my area. The price of cable increased 60% in 8 years in my area ( http://www.wewantchoicewi.com/ratesupimage.html ). The basic analog package with 13 channels was $40 bucks a month last time I checked. They do digital cable with 200 channels for $60 a month, but I don't have an HDTV anyway, and about 180 of those channels are ones I have no interest in, and two of the channels I would be interested in (NFL Network and Big Ten Network) are unavailable. Bottom line is it sure seems to me like the cable companies (in my area, at the least) have taken advantage of their monopolies and therefore I refuse to support them.
Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 40 min.
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo
    They do digital cable with 200 channels for $60 a month, but I don't have an HDTV anyway, and about 180 of those channels are ones I have no interest in, and two of the channels I would be interested in (NFL Network and Big Ten Network) are unavailable. Bottom line is it sure seems to me like the cable companies (in my area, at the least) have taken advantage of their monopolies and therefore I refuse to support them.


It doesn't matter if you have a HDTV or not, next Feb you will need digital service with your cable company if you want to get a signal.

Unless you don't want cable, then you'll need a digital set-top box for getting OTA digital signals.




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PeterStork
Sujuk








Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

Since last post: 652 days
Last activity: 16 hours
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo
    I'm not attacking you personally, nor any of the millions of people who work for cable companies. I haven't had any issues, because I decided many years ago that I'm not going to pay the exorbitant rates that the cable company monopoly charges in my area. The price of cable increased 60% in 8 years in my area ( http://www.wewantchoicewi.com/ratesupimage.html ). The basic analog package with 13 channels was $40 bucks a month last time I checked. They do digital cable with 200 channels for $60 a month, but I don't have an HDTV anyway, and about 180 of those channels are ones I have no interest in, and two of the channels I would be interested in (NFL Network and Big Ten Network) are unavailable. Bottom line is it sure seems to me like the cable companies (in my area, at the least) have taken advantage of their monopolies and therefore I refuse to support them.


There's no question that a portion of the rise in cable rates has been due to their ability to raise profit margins, but there's a lot of other costs in there that are out of their hands. Direct and Dish have been digital from day one; the conversion over from analog has been costing cable money that their competitors in the sky don't have to worry about. Yes, not their customers' fault, but absorbing those expenses without passing them on could drive them out of business. Programming costs also have skyrocketed, an unavoidable expense that knows no technological boundaries, and thus both satellite companies have also raised their rates several times over the last few years as well. Not as much as cable, but still higher.

Cable's biggest problem is poor customer service from a select few companies, namely Comcast and the absolutely horrible Charter. But DirecTV has its issues as well, and there are plenty of good cablers out there. Mediacom treated me well, for one, though their channel lineup was sad.

In my opinion, cable is the superior technology; the two-way communication enabling real OnDemand and internet is inherently better. But since New Wave sucks and has literally six or seven high def channels we have DirecTV.

    Originally posted by Zeruel
    It doesn't matter if you have a HDTV or not, next Feb you will need digital service with your cable company if you want to get a signal.

    Unless you don't want cable, then you'll need a digital set-top box for getting OTA digital signals.


Cablers - especially in poorer areas - may choose to downconvert the digital channels to analog and have a longer transition period. This would be dumb, though, since analog is currently killing their ability to deliver high def channels and this is the perfect opportunity to terminate that bandwidth hog and blame the government for it.

(edited by PeterStork on 22.7.08 2105)


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Leroy
Andouille








Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

Since last post: 3 hours
Last activity: 3 hours
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.86
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Have you ever sat down and talked with anyone in Cable that wasn't a front line grunt? Because... and this is a little secret between you and me... front line grunts in all industries suck.


Most consumers have the general feeling that they are in a vulnerable position - that they can be easily ripped off and have little to no recourse - and, hence, they already approach these types of industries with suspicion from the get-go. Our cable company, for example, tried talking us into paying $60 to attach a $2 cable from the wall to the cable modem - something that took me all of 5 minutes to do.

Having said that, I think the actual service we get from our cable company is far superior to my previous satellite company - but the customer service from the satellite company was far superior to that of my cable company. Honestly, I don't interact with the CSR but very once and a while, so that is not as important.

    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Homes filled with trash, rotting food, babies who needed changing and were getting ignored, flies, dangerous conditions, etc.


My father began his long career working as a service tech for the phone company - and the horror stories he had about the conditions of the homes he walked into were pretty severe. Needless to say, he wasn't a service tech for very long.





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JALman
Boerewors








Since: 7.7.02
From: Almost there

Since last post: 32 days
Last activity: 2 hours
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.93
    Originally posted by Zeruel

    It doesn't matter if you have a HDTV or not, next Feb you will need digital service with your cable company if you want to get a signal.


Actually, cable companies can go digital any time they want. The February date is for over-the-air signals going digital. However, the FCC has extended by a few years the date cable companies can carry local TV stations over analog.



Corajudo
Frankfurter








Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 55 days
Last activity: 6 days
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.73
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Tell me an industry where you are happy with your customer service experience.

Directv

The personal financial services industry; at least Vanguard and Fidelity. Especially Vanguard; they're second to none.

Others: The exterminator. Retail, generally speaking. My ISP and phone company (Verizon, FWIW). There are a number of industries I could list.

Overall--most locally owned businesses--our plumber, restaurants, security/alarm monitoring company, etc. Basically, it seems that the more choices available to the consumer, the better the service provided. That's why cable customer service was so horrid for so long. It's better now because it has to be better. That's why locally owned businesses tend to provide better service (at least the ones that want to survive). They have to if they want to compete with the big providers. For the most part, they certainly can't compete based on price.

Cable has a bad reputation for customer service. IMHO, it's deserved, even if they're working to change it.

And, Guru, I disagree with the idea that all front line grunts suck. I haven't found that to be the case. Many do, but I think you're painting with too broad a brush. The same way Mr. Boffo was painting with too broad a brush.

While we're talking about front line grunts, I should have listed one of my pet peeves as people who rail on front line grunts. They make little money working a thankless job where they spend a bunch of time getting yelled at for stuff that's neither their fault nor something they can change.
spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

Since last post: 33 days
Last activity: 8 hours
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
Ironically, one of the companies that I had very good customer service experiences with in the past had been Comcast. However over the last 12-18 months either they have become much more thorough in the outsourcing, or the company they subcontract their CSR's through is of lower quality. The people on the other end whenever I call now are almost wholly ignorant of Comcast's products/services, and have an extremely shaky grasp of the English language and are nearly incomprehensible over the phone.

I personally never had a problem with Directv customer service in 7 years, and if my building allowed us to put up dishes on the roof I would go back to them in a heartbeat.



2007 W-League Fantasy Football champion!
Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 3 hours
Last activity: 3 hours
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.95
See, I was a front line grunt. I moved on. The people who didn't (whether they didn't want to or couldn't) - they really weren't the best and brightest. I'm not saying by being a CSR you are bad, I'm saying as a % and due to the law of averages, if you call anywhere you are probably getting a bad CSR.

The job sucks. Sane people with other options don't keep it for long. People with other skills move on. The people who stay CSRs either don't have a lot of other options or really need the insurance.

You don't get the best and brightest by offering $10/hr and micro managing people with phone stats.




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Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 40 min.
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by JALman
      Originally posted by Zeruel

      It doesn't matter if you have a HDTV or not, next Feb you will need digital service with your cable company if you want to get a signal.


    Actually, cable companies can go digital any time they want. The February date is for over-the-air signals going digital. However, the FCC has extended by a few years the date cable companies can carry local TV stations over analog.


I thought I read something on DCRTV.com about everyone needing to switch to a digital box but I've searched their site and I can't find the blurb. Either it was pulled or I am mis-remembering the details.

They were talking about how in Feb, Comcast is making everyone have digital service. But, since I can't find the source...

I did find this from the DTV.gov faq. http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html#faq29

    Can my cable company make me get a box to receive the cable channels I receive today without a box?

    Some cable companies have decided to switch to digital service. This is a business decision made by the cable companies and is not required by the federal government. Your cable company may decide to move certain cable channels off of its analog service tier and onto a digital service tier, or it may decide to switch to all-digital service at once, so that there is no analog service tier for any subscribers. If your cable company decides to move some or all of the channels it provides onto a digital service tier, it may notify you that you need to get digital cable equipment to continue receiving that cable service. This may include renting or purchasing a digital cable set-top box or purchasing a digital cable ready TV equipped with a CableCARD slot. The digital cable equipment is different from the digital-to-analog converter boxes that are used to receive over-the-air broadcast signals.


That is what I might have read about.

(edited by Zeruel on 23.7.08 1343)


-- 2006 Time magazine Person of the Year --

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Lise
Mrs. Guru








Since: 11.12.01

Since last post: 368 days
Last activity: 35 days
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.92
Apparently my parents just got their digital converter box, and now they get some kind of chinese news channel. There must be some digital non-cable signals that aren't currently available on analog in some places. Anyone else get their converter box already that has plugged it in? We only get a very grainy CBS rebroadcast signal over the air here, so there's no point for us.
CRZ
Big Brother
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Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.16
    Originally posted by Lise
    Apparently my parents just got their digital converter box, and now they get some kind of chinese news channel. There must be some digital non-cable signals that aren't currently available on analog in some places. Anyone else get their converter box already that has plugged it in? We only get a very grainy CBS rebroadcast signal over the air here, so there's no point for us.
I didn't get a box, but our HDTV has that kind of tuner, and we had to rely on it for what felt like longer than necessary until the cable company set us up. We discovered that we have the potential to pull down a slew of channels that aren't available on our cable system if we don't mind having ugly antenna sprouting from the TV (I didn't, but she did ;-) ).

Most of them were digital, but a few of them were LP stations (which can stay analog after the cutover) airing nothing I was interested enough in watching to watch.

Incidentally, with digital it should never look grainy... it'll either look perfect or not come in at all. (If you ARE in-between, it'll be have more of a "digital coleslaw" look)



Lise
Mrs. Guru








Since: 11.12.01

Since last post: 368 days
Last activity: 35 days
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.92
It is currently the only over the air channel we get with any ability to watch (I watched very grainy Perry Mason at lunch while we waited for cable hookup) so it should in theory be the only repeater station that would have a digital signal after the switch over. There are mountains between us and Portland that cut out signals.

I am suddenly struck with the knowledge that I probably don't know much about how the "new" digital signals are going to be transmitted.

(Well the first informational page I came upon while using "THE Google" is in minesota-- http://www.kimt.com/about/6447417.html )

Ok, here's a more general explanation:
http://hometheater.about.com/cs/beforeyoubuy/a/aahdarcfaq1a.htm

It appears that if we are too far away from the transmission we will see nothing at all. So only stations that have the mountain repeaters (and these repeaters have to be digital, who knows if they are doing that) will be able to be received with the DTV tuner.

Remember, knowing is half the battle.
Mr. Boffo
Scrapple








Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 400 days
Last activity: 361 days
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.30
Everytime I get argumentative on here, I feel bad about it and I try to cut back. This thread and the current events thread are two examples, so I'm just going to offer this and be done. Please read this as basically an unemotional account, because that's how I mean it.

I did have a bad experience with cable recently. I forgot about it. At work, we decided to switch from cable internet to DSL. Because while the DSL is quite a bit slower, it's fast enough for our purposes, but quite a bit cheaper.

We got DSL activated, so we called Time Warner Cable and told them we were cancelling. They told us that we weren't going to get any money back because the service goes for the entire month. However, 30 minutes later we can no longer download our e-mail using our Road Runner address (we had been running on the DSL for several days, so it didn't stop working because of the switch). If we've already paid for the whole month, then how can they disable access to our e-mail? My boss returns the cable modem.

Several weeks later we get a bill in the mail for $180 for the cable modem. He saved the receipt, luckily, though he hasn't yet succeeded in getting them to remove the charge. The same thing happened with Charter Cable when I returned my boss' digital cable box after he had to move out of his house (into an area that had a different cable provider) after his house burned down. So two different cable companies are 2/2 in not bothering to mark equipment as returned.

Then a week later we get a bill in the mail for another month of cable internet. The billing period started after the date we had already disconnected.

I can only assume that they just try to charge their former customers (because what does it matter, they're former customers now?) for every possible extra charge. It almost worked against Charter Cable because once my boss' house was rebuilt after the fire, he was almost ready to not go with them because of the problems they gave him about his digital box. But satellite has its own negatives, so he went back to them.

I've had problems with phone companies and credit card companies doing the same kinds of things. Heck, I've heard of a bank running an EFT wrongly (they did 12 payments all at once when they were supposed to run monthly), then charging its customer $30 per transaction for each overdrawn item, which ran into like $500 in bank fees, which they refused to remove. Shit like that is why I'll only go to credit unions. So there are plenty of companies that do stuff like this, and I hate them all equally.
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