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Charter or customers?

Posted Friday, October 10, 2008, at 9:47 PM

As i write this blog item Charter Cable has been out almost six hours and counting.

Charter is selling a service. When that service isn't available, who should be out, customers or Charter?

It hasn't happen in the past and it won't happen this time, but Charter should have a rebate on their next bill. Is it fair to ask customers to pay for a service they have't received?


Comments
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If they do give you a "rebate", it won't really offset the inconvenience of not having internet connectivity. Especially for someone that uses the internet for a business or for research for his/her job...like a journalist. There is such a thing as an SLA (Service Level Agreement), but I'm betting you can't get an SLA from Charter. Basically an SLA is a contract between you and the ISP stating that if there is an outage of over a specified period, they will pay you a specified amount (or credit your account). Generally though I've noticed that Charter/Comcast/AT&T tend to offer you one day's worth of service as a credit. My cable bill (including internet) is approximately $120 a month. That means that if I lose one day's service they're going to offer me $4...not worth the amount of time I would have to sit on hold.

-- Posted by Thom on Fri, Oct 10, 2008, at 11:09 PM

This is awful!! we are paying for service that stays out more than it stays on. And when you ask if you are going to get some kind of discount because the service has been out ALL DAY, the response I always get is, "WELL THERES NOTHING WE CAN DO" I bet you darn well if you don't pay your bill on time it does not take them all day to cut your service off, your service is off sometimes before you can get your feet out the bed the next morning to even go and pay the bill.In other words, Charter is very QUICK and in a HURRY to disconect service for non-payment, but CHARTER is not in a HURRY to refund any money when service has been interrupted all day for tech. issues.

-- Posted by giggles71 on Sat, Oct 11, 2008, at 12:05 AM

After we held awhile through all the choices, and again in espanol, we finally got an announcement that Shelbyville sevice was out.

I do think they should offer some kind of "credit" for THEIR problems. Even if only $4, and enough people requested it, they'd know we the people don't want to pay for service not received. Maybe.

-- Posted by mmp84 on Sat, Oct 11, 2008, at 9:04 AM

Charter IMO was the worst service provider I have ever dealt with. We lived in Shelbyville for about 10 months and it seemed we always having one issue or another. I was also visiting my parents two or three years ago and remember the internet was out for nearly a week. No excuse for such.

We now have Comcast and there was an brief outage yesterday. Seems that construction workers at Six Flags Over Jesus aka World Outreach Church(there building new santuaries I hear)damaged a cable. It was however repaired fairly quickly, though. Needless to say, I don't miss charter.

-- Posted by gottago on Sat, Oct 11, 2008, at 10:17 AM

Hi Bo:

Why do we have to accecpt this treatment from Charter Communications? In our dozen or so years of doing business with these people, we have suffered one mistreatment after another.

Is it the responsibility of our civic elected leaders to respond to this outrageously poor service? Is there a state agency to whom we can make any meaningful complaint?

Tullahoma seems to be getting their act together with new service from another provider and, it is my understanding, that they have a local commission to oversee the service.

At any rate, if there are enough folks interested in attacking the problem, we should be able to band together and make the necessary complaints to the necessary people. Drop me an e mail - if enough response, will set up public meeting!

-- Posted by garhawk on Sat, Oct 11, 2008, at 12:11 PM

What service is going on in Tullahoma? please tell me FIOS. I want that so badly here.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sat, Oct 11, 2008, at 12:28 PM

Monkey, I live in Tullahoma and I'm seriously looking at this service. Here's more information.

http://www.allbusiness.com/technology/co...

According to a job posting from our utility:

"This network will pass almost 10,000 homes and businesses and TUB expects to connect at least 40% of passed locations. TUB's new Passive Optic Network (PON) system will offer state of the art cable television, internet and telephone service via an all fiber GPON network. Video will be delivered via IP with an RF overlay for basic cable services."

They've laid the lines right down my road, and what I've seen so far of their channel line up is encouraging. Their packages are also cheaper and they are offering blazing Internet speeds. The lowest speed offered is 10Mbps all the way up to a 100Mbps tier, although that is real pricey for most folks.

-- Posted by Brian Mosely on Sat, Oct 11, 2008, at 2:13 PM

Ok any pricing been announced for their tiers? The 100Mbps sounds good to me, as long as it is upstream and downstream. If it is pretty competitive then I am all for it.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sat, Oct 11, 2008, at 4:38 PM

Yeah, I had issues with Charter when I had cable and evetually just got rid of their services. What is even worse is the rude customer service they provide in the local office here in Shelbyville . . . the women in there always acted as though you were always disturbing them of something more important when I would go in.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Sat, Oct 11, 2008, at 8:36 PM

I didn't have a problem with the local office, but the one in Tullahoma was or still is the worst ever.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sat, Oct 11, 2008, at 10:25 PM

I wrote a blog Aug. 14 about our partial cable outage through Charter. We had no internet & only the very basic cable channels for 4 days. Two different individuals with Charter told me we would get a credit, & we got a nice one. However, we would have rather had our connection.

-- Posted by bettyhbrown on Sun, Oct 12, 2008, at 12:42 AM

My cable, phone and internet was down. It went out about 4:30pm and stayed out at least to 11:00pm that night. The children and I watched movies instead, but it was very uncomfortable not having phone access as well as the other services. In the past I notice when the cable went out, a new service popped up and everyones bill went up as well. I really don't feel that is right, especially if you did not ask for it. They always say they got to be competitive. We need more competition here to help keep the prices and services in tact.

A friend of mines said her cable was out since wendesday (3) days. I would be boiling mad. When I called charter friday I got a recorded message saying they knew it was out. So I called back again and acted like I had technical difficulty with my phone on the automatic recordings until I got a real person on the phone, She claimed their was a cut fiber that they had to repair and said it should be on shortly, that was at 7:30pm. It was, or almost was Midnight when everything came back on. I heard they were crediting some people for the outage. The local ladies at charters office here in Shelbyville seems nice to me. It may have been a long day that day or something.

After all if people are angry about something with charter they probably fuss and show their anger towards the 2 ladies in the office. There isn't nothing they can do about it, except take payments, order services, repairs, and cancel services.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Sun, Oct 12, 2008, at 1:36 PM

I am sure there is some way to have 'a back-up plan' in case of technical difficulties of ANY variety. I wonder if any of these providers have pondered such.

Losing TV is one thing,losing internet is quite another. So many people work from home (at least part of the time)and cannot not have internet.

-- Posted by gottago on Sun, Oct 12, 2008, at 5:57 PM

I just go with the flow....What can we do when it goes out ???? No matter how much we don't like it there is not much we can do but WAIT for it all to come back on...

-- Posted by rebelrose on Mon, Oct 13, 2008, at 9:09 AM

For TV service you should stick with Satellite and only use the local guys. MidSouth Satellite on the Square. 931-680-0068.

-- Posted by joshua on Mon, Oct 13, 2008, at 12:55 PM

Joshua,

Why would someone pay additional money for satellite and cable and phone? Doesn't make sense with all of the fees. The satellite internet is junk, you can't do 80% of the stuff that most people use the internet for.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Mon, Oct 13, 2008, at 12:58 PM

If you live in the rural areas of the county, we still do not have a choice of bundle packages. I can get telephone and high speed internet from my phone company, but have to depend on an alternate source for TV, either cable or satellite.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Mon, Oct 13, 2008, at 9:48 PM

Did you know they are closing the Charter Office here in Shelbyville?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Oct 14, 2008, at 12:15 PM

I work for a company that provides a service. I understand how frustrating it is when that service stops working because I talk to customers everyday concerning issues like this.

Sometimes things just break and we can't control everything. We take for granted all that technology has provided for us. Please remember that these companies are going to get the issue resolved as fast as possible. If we don't then we risk loosing the customers that pay for our service.

-- Posted by flat creek girl on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 4:16 PM

I used to have Charter cable for TV & Internet. The TV cable worked fair, but the internet was down more than it was up...this was probably 5 years or so ago. I complained over & over, but never got any satisfaction from Charter. I switched to BellSouth DSL. Not only did I get more reliability, but my connection was faster too.

Most people do not know that you can get a stand alone DSL connection without a phone line for 19.95 a month and AT&T (BellSouth) has not done a very good job of advertising it...actually they have been accused of hiding it.

I read the story in the Tennessean, but now to see the story it must be purchased from their archives, however I am posting a link that gives most of the details I am relating:

http://www.benton.org/node/8635

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 7:31 AM

-- Posted by Pony on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 9:26 AM

I must be using a different charter than everyone else

I have been here in shelbyville for 3 years now and can count maybe 10 as the number of time service has been interupted One time someone with a tree trimming truck (No names please)took out the cable to my house and my neighbors Not exactly Charters fault another time lightning struck the little box on the pole I dont think Charter has much to say about lightning either

in both cases Charter was out the next morning and fixed it up with an apology from the tech I might add

There is an old saying about not putting all your eggs in one basket

I have a cell phone and it is the only phone I have owned for ten years (well not the SAME phone but the same provider)

If memory serves Charter (and I suppose the rest of them) don't disconnect until you are 2 months past due and I have heard that when the tech comes out and someone is home they will come to the door and I know that they will take a partial payment.

Its entertainment folks and if you run a business on the internet then you need the business plan which has a guarantee of service. Of course you pay extra for that

-- Posted by Pony on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 9:38 AM

Well my cable, phone, and Internet all went out again last night about 6:45 again and did not come back on untill 11:45. I called them 5 times by cell, and it kept hanging up on me. I told them I want a credit for all the down time, they told me to call them back once I get my bill.

I thought I was saving money by having the charter bundle package, but I have to agree with pony about putting all your eggs in the same basket. (NOT A GOOD IDEAL). I was ok with bellsouth, but I do not like AT&T. I am definitely changing my bundle package services, this is becoming rediculous and upsetting that all 3 services go out at the same time instead of just 1 or 2, and coincidentally comes back on at exactly the same time each day it goes off. I watched the Cable men driving down the streets looking up at the poles trying to figure out where the problem was. I wish we had more cable competition. Is Satellite better than Cable?

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 11:27 AM

I switched to DSL and Direct TV about a year ago.

Never looked back and have never been sorry. If I lose TV signal it's seldom ever off more than 10 minutes. The one time that it was down for a day, they gave me a weeks rebate. Im very satisfied.

-- Posted by cherokee2 on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 2:31 PM

Momof3,

Satellite TV is ok, I had both Directv and Dish, I wasn't impressed by either. It would go out if a bird farted. Had several tech calls and still never resolved. I have had charter for 7 years, I have had 6 outages, this last one being the longest. I do not have my phones through them, I have mine through Vonage. They are pretty good and I like some of the features that allow me to forward the calls to my cell phone if I am not home.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 6:23 PM

Thanks cherokee2 and Evil Monkey, I know I need to change something, I'll have to see what is best cost wise.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 6:53 PM

I love DirecTV. It hardly ever goes out even if it storms. The few times it has, we've still been able to watch what we had saved on the DVR, so it didn't really hurt anything. We also have DSL through United Telephone, and it's great. It hardly ever goes down either.

-- Posted by tamb on Mon, Oct 20, 2008, at 10:09 AM


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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette.
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