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We're back online!

Posted Monday, August 11, 2008, at 11:31 PM

We have had almost no cable for four days. It's hard enough for me to understand having cable, even no cable, but to have it partially made no sense at all.

Friday morning I awoke at 4 am and couldn't go back to sleep. When that happens I usually go to the computer, because I don't want to make a lot of noise and wake my husband. Besides, who does real work that time of day?

Well, there was no Internet connection. I unplugged and replugged, but it just didn't want to work for me. Next I went to the TV in the great room. The TV there got only the lower channels, and they were grainy. Stations from the 20s to the 60s came in by sound only -- no picture. I called Charter to report this and was given an appointment for Monday (today), between 10 and 12. Meanwhile, over the weekend we received as many as five calls to notify us that the outage in our area had been resolved. It wasn't.

My husband is a TV person. He loves nothing better than to do his work outside and then come inside, stretch out, and enjoy a good western movie on TV. Unfortunately, all weekend he had to do without his westerns. Fortunately, the Olympics have been on. We certainly saw more of the first few days of the Olympics than we ever have before.

For me the punishment was doing without the Internet. I have a Palm phone that receives my e-mail, but I don't open large attachments on it. I knew what was coming in, and I could respond to folks, but I thought of fifty things I wanted to look up on the Internet. The Palm phone also has the Internet, but it's really small.

Finally, this was Monday, the day the Charter technician was to come between 10 and 12. I was ready, but no one came. Now why did that not surprise me? Each time I would dial the number for Charter, that automated voice would tell me that I had a scheduled appointment today. Evidently everyone knew it except the technician.

In the early afternoon we noticed the picture on the TV was sharper. Sure enough, those stations that had been grainy were now sharp as a tack. Those between the 20s and 60s that had only sound before now had pictures. Progress was being made.

At 3:30 I could stand it no longer and decided I had to talk with a human at Charter. I called, waited, and someone came on the line. He checked and found out that dispatch had sent the wrong technician to the area. They wanted to reschedule, which wasn't convenient with me. I waited longer. They said someone would be here today, but it would be after 5. That was OK with me. I would be here too. That person didn't show up either.

Now here's where the strange part comes in. We were watching a show on TNT (good sound, grainy picture), when all at once the screen went blank. Then the picture was back -- clear as could be. We checked, and every channel was working. We had our extra movie and music channels. I checked the TV in the bedroom, and everything was working in there. We have an HD TV in that room, and the picture was filling the width of the screen on every channel I checked. This was something new. Then I came to the computer, and the little lights on the modem were flashing. I'm back in business!

Was all of this some effort on the part of Charter to get additional HD signals to our TV? I have no idea. Whatever it was has been most inconvenient. Why did we have to do without the connection for that length of time? We did notice a Dish TV van in a neighbor's drive today and figured they may have gotten tired of Charter.

Showing comments in chronological order
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You want the e-mail address to the CEO at Charter? I've used it once and received PHENOMENAL results. If so, e-mail me at tnbwill(at)yahoo.com

-- Posted by Thom on Tue, Aug 12, 2008, at 7:26 AM

yeah Paul Allen's assistants are great problem solvers.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Tue, Aug 12, 2008, at 9:34 AM

I experienced a lot of problems with Charter internet when I had it.. This was back in 2004, when I first started MTSU. When it worked, it was phenomenal but when it was out (on multiple occasions) it took days to get it back up. The technicians were very helpful and friendly but when you pay $54.99 a month for internet you expect it to work seamlessly.

We built our new home in 2007 and have since moved literally two miles south of where we were, but on a different road. The only internet available now is satellite, and we use WildBlue... a HughesNet competitor. Besides the sometimes slow upload speeds it gets the job with little to know outages, EVER. *knocks on wood*

I am not sure if Charter was doing some sort of phased upgrade, but one would think you would be notified, so you wouldn't wonder why your service was at best, insufficient for an entire weekend.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Aug 12, 2008, at 11:33 AM

Paul Allen? Neil Smit is the CEO of Charter. But using that e-mail, I received a call at my office (Charter doesn't have my office number) from one of the VPs within an hour of clicking send. I didn't even tell them where I was, what my address was, nothing except for my name. And I e-mailed them from my Yahoo e-mail account while I was at work. Now THAT'S impressive...and a bit scary after I thought about it for a while...lol.

-- Posted by Thom on Tue, Aug 12, 2008, at 2:48 PM

Darrick - do you like WildBlue? I looked into them but since their website doesn't state prices for their plans, I'm a bit leery to go with them.

-- Posted by cfrich on Tue, Aug 12, 2008, at 4:04 PM

They are ok.. If satellite is the only option available in your area.

Their prices are pretty steep.

We pay $79.95 a month for 1.5Mbps download speed. That is the highest speed they offer at this time.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Aug 12, 2008, at 5:42 PM

We lost our phone and Intenet last Thursday at 9 am and just got them both back on late yesterday afternoon....Guess what we have NO PHONE once again since 4pm this afternoon...I called them again and they said they would send someone out tomorrow between 3 and 5 pm...For 5 days I was without Internet and a Phone...Now I am without phone again and it has not even been 24 hours since I got it back....They best take something off my bill....I pay my bill every month on time..For 5 days every time I called them I was told it was a work in progess....

-- Posted by rebelrose on Tue, Aug 12, 2008, at 9:24 PM

The Charter rep I talked with by phone on Friday morning indicated we would get a credit of $26+. Then a rep Mon. afternoon indicated another credit would be added.

Things like this are what keep me from changing our phone from AT&T to Charter. Besides, I don't know how much it will cost after that initial year is over. It may be as much as AT&T then.

-- Posted by bettyhbrown on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 10:52 PM

We lost our service last Thursday too. After daily calling, calling, emailing, emailing, with no effort to resolve the problem they "finally" sent a technician late yesterday (Wednesday).

The Tech said another cable guy would have to come out before it is fixed but we might have a "sporadic connection" now.

Even though we pay for a service we have not been receiving they offered us no credit.

-- Posted by daisy mae on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 8:43 AM

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