I have been with Charter for almost 4 years. I have had less then wonderful service and the act of renegotiating my services every year is reminiscent of buying a used car. I would love to let everyone know about my recent experience with this company and hope to warn others considering this company what they might be in for if they chose to go this route.
My yearly "promotion" just ran out. I am accustomed to this and was ready to call and re-negotiate, hoping this time I could drop my phone as well. My phone is something I have tried to drop for over two years but was told I had to keep it or my price on other services would go up and I would pay the same price with or without it. I found that odd, but OK. Before I got around to calling, my statement came through my email and it was beyond belief. My bill had gone from $128. per month to $208.00. Seriously? I quickly got on my phone and called. I learned a lot on this call.
I learned that I had been paying for faster internet the past year, but not getting it. When I told her about how awful my internet service was and that it was too slow to even use Skype, she told me that it was because my modem couldn't support the faster speeds. I explained to her that Charter had installed that modem when I upgraded to faster internet, and asked why they would install a product that wasn't compatible with what services I had upgraded too. She wasn't sure, but did offer to have a tech come out and upgrade my modem for me. Gee, thanks! How about a refund for the service I obviously wasn't getting?
I have terrible cable service as well. My TV service has not worked well for a long time. We had countless techs come out to fix it and we finally gave up. It is better than it was a year ago in terms of the screen not being pixalated as often, but we have never gotten the sound part fixed. It cuts out often and I don't remember the last show that we got to hear everything without having to use the DVR to rewind and re-listen. We actually went as far as taking a video of the TV acting up with our cell phones to show the tech so he wouldn't think we were just making it up after all the calls. It still is not fixed and probably never will be. They did offer to have another tech come out, but told me I would either have to pay $45 for the visit or put line insurance on my account for another $5.00 a month and then drop it after the tech comes out. Is this really good business practice? I think not.
As for my phone, I really don't need it. I have been jammed into having a phone for the past few years in order to keep my cable prices down. I was told I could get rid of my phone this time and my cable would not increase more and would in fact go down by $19.95. Congrats, one good move for Charter!
As I spoke to the Charter representative, I asked her why Charter prices are all over the internet at a much cheaper price than what I am being quoted. Apparently, those are new customer prices. According to the website, and confirmed by the rep, I could have internet and TV for $89.95 a month if I was a new customer. Since I am an existing customer who has regularly paid my bills and had bad service, I get to pay a lot more. I did learn that if I stop my Charter service for 2 months and then come back, I can get a better deal. My question to Charter is this, rather than having me discontinue my service for two months and then restart, wouldn't it be better to just keep customers happy and retain your customers. I am a good customer, have never been late, put up with obviously bad service, and this is how you thank me? I am considering setting up a hot spot through Verizon for my internet and just watching Netflix, Hulu, or just going directly through the networks websites to watch my favorite shows. It seems to be a viable option.
I am not asking for free handouts, and I don't think most people are. I am asking to get a fair deal, good service, and the services I think I am paying for. If this is really how Charter chooses to do business, then I think we should all be afraid and find something better.