23 July 2009

The Pains Of Being Sideways Maneuver

Let's talk about customer service.

I'm certainly not the first person, or the 100th person, to lament the sad fucking state of customer service in this world of ours today, but I'm going to do it anyways.

Charter Communications...

Apparently my June payment got lost in the mail, because on July 7th I got a NOTICE TO DISCONNECT letter from Charter, stating that if I did not make full payment for June and July ($126.37) by July 19th, my modem would be disconnected. I sent a check for the full amount to Charter on the very same day I got their letter/bill.

On July 12th, 7 days before their July 19th deadline, my service was disconnected.

So I called Charter's billing department, explained the situation, and they were kind enough to mark my account as "promise to pay", and after speaking to three different people/departments, my service was reconnected.

On July 16th my service was disconnected again.

So I called Charter again, and explained that my service was disconnected PREMATURELY for the second time in 4 days, despite my previous call to Charter and the "promise to pay" note on my account. I noted my frustration about this, but then became incredibly pissed when the service rep proceeded to tell me that my payment had been received and applied to my account at 11 o'clock that morning, seven hours prior to the most recent disconnect.

Naturally, my first question was "Why was my service disconnected 7 hours AFTER payment in full had been applied to my account?" The rep tried explaining that a disconnect order for 6pm that day had already been placed on my account prior to payment received.

"But payment was received. Surely Charter is saavy enough to recognize that the account is paid in full and the disconnect order can be immediately removed with a couple mouse clicks."

"I'm sorry, but the disconnect order was already placed."

"Yeah, which brings me to my second issue - that disconnect order was placed for a date and time that preceded the actual JULY 19th disconnect deadline that Charter had stated clearly in their Notice To Disconnect letter."

"Yes, sir, but the disconnect order for 6pm today was already placed on your account."

"But don't you understand, that disconnect notice for today is 3 DAYS PREMATURE. Just like the July 12th disconnect was 7 days premature. If Charter tells me I have until July 19th to pay before service is disconnected, then my service shouldn't be disconnected before then, and especially TWICE in four days."

"I apologize sir for the inconvenience."

Blah blah blah...After making excuses for a minute or two, the rep then informed me that I would be charged and addition $2.95 on my next bill for a "reconnection fee".

I could only laugh at this and say "whatever".

After being transferred again from Customer Service to Billing to Tech Support, my service was reconnected. In the past week, there have been three different service outages in my part of Madison that totalled almost 8 hours. This is pretty normal for Charter in this area, but I've never been able to claim any credit on my account because of it.

Is it any wonder Charter Communications has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection? They charge ridiculous rates for crappy service. My only other option around here is TDS, and from what I've heard from customers and a friend who used to work there, TDS sucks just as hard as Charter.

Now, I thought about sharing my recent woes with Staples, but I've bitched long enough...

Hotcha! Hank

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Blogger Umatter2Charter said...

Hello Hank,

My name is Eric Ketzer, and I am a Manager with Charter Communications. It really disappoints me to read blogs like yours. There is absolutely no reason that should have happened to you or any customer for that matter, and we would like to help in any way we can. Please e-mail me at Umatter2Charter@chartercom.com, so we can review the notes on the account and issue any appropriate credits. Also, we will have our Tech Specialists review the signal levels at your residence to make sure everything is in spec.

We look forward to helping you out and providing the fantastic service that you deserve.

Thanks for your time, Eric

July 24, 2009 7:39 AM  

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