Saturday, March 28, 2009

Scum Sucking Bottom Feeders.

Well, my intention was for my next blog post to be about my trip to Seattle. But we interrupt that fantastically happy post with a rant about your friend and mine, the cable company.

I hate them. $^%!$*& Charter. Did you know that JD Power ranked customer support across ALL companies, and all three major cable companies fell into the top ten WORST? More evil than lawyers, more evil than insurance companies. Their customer (dis)service? If they were Aetna employees, they'd be fired before the ink was dry on their timecard.

I can't even remember how many times I've called technical support in the last 72 hours. Each time I had unique, but painfully bad, and incorrect service. It turns out that they have a support center in Mexico City. It turns out that English skills are not a priority. After being given incorrect information for the third time, I asked for a supervisor. This supervisor told me that she had the most technical knowledge of anyone at Charter. But there might have been a language barrier. She might have meant to say she was a middle management drone who could read a script more carefully than the people under her.

So, I called the City Cable Coordinator because I was told that's where I would file a complaint. It turns out that internet falls under the jurisdiction of the FCC. So if I don't like it, I've gotta take it to the Feds. Interesting. I had a very nice talk with the Apple Valley Coordinator, a very friendly and chatty man who agreed that it would be more fun to have my internal organs pulled out by rusty hooks than to try to get internet technical support. Another interesting fact? Cable companies DO NOT have any kind of non compete agreement. What they do have, thanks to our friends at the FCC, is a setup where all of their lines are their solo property. So for another cable company to come in, they would have to run all new underground lines side by side with the existing company's. Very expensive, so it really doesn't happen. This practice is not legal for the phone company, so why does the cable company get this deal? Good question.

I was told that either my modem was broken or my lines were bad, both of which absolutely could not be fixed without an onsite technician. I was given an appointment time for a technician to come to my house next Thursday (my internet would be down for a week, so much for working!) Then I was told they set me up with an appointment yesterday, but that turned out to have been a lie (shock). I now have a confirmed, set in stone appointment for today between 2 and 4 pm.

So imagine my surprise when I went into my office this morning and saw my modem was working.

Cable company, heal thyself.


Pete Nelson said...

Oh, I remember charter internet. I whole-heartedly agree they are the worst internet service in the area. I dropped them many, many years ago, and switched to Frontier DSL. Works much, much better, with hardly any downtime.

When I tried to cancel my charter internet, it wasn't exactly easy. They told me I had to cancel my contract through High Speed Internet Corp (the contracted internet provier, at the time), who in turn told me I could only cancel my contract through Charter. I ended up with several extra months of internet bill I wasn't willing to pay for. Finally, I spoke with a reasonable supervisor at Charter (who I'm sure has since found a better job), who when I proposed canceling my cable service with charter unless they could clear the internet bill, agreed and cleared up the issue.

Cable companies (one-way medium) should NOT get involved with telecomm (multi-way medium). Bad, Bad idea. Frankly, they can't do it.

Now, imagine if you had your phone from Charter as well ... say goodnight, Gracie!

(thanks for letting me join the rant! ;)

mindakims said...

not to argue with your dear brother, but we have comcast cable internet, and they seem to handle it just fine. We have had very reliable service, no billing issues and no outages over a few hours one time in the last two years.

I still think you should rent out the house and move to a fabulous apartment in Bloomington!