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  #1  
Old 11-04-2013, 08:20 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Charter Rant

Let me start by saying that I really like Charter's internet service I have. For the 'bottom rung' of their service, I get a steady 32Mbps down any hour of the day.

My HDHR died a painful death, so I lost my OTA channels. Installed an old DVICO Fusion5 in the server to get locals back (single tuner though). In the meantime, did some shopping, and found a great price on an HDHR Prime on eBay, and snapped it up, with the intention of adding cablecard to get all my basic cable stuffs (3 tuners again will be quite nice after a power surge took out 2 of my R-5000HD VIP-211's through Dish Network).

So, last Monday, i call Charter to set up a CableCard for my account. ask about self install, but as expected, they still had to roll a truck to remove the trap at the curb. okay, fine. Well, since they were going to be coming out anyway, I figured i'd save a little dough and add the phone service (bundled price was cheaper than just internet and tv for the first 2 years). I had charter phone a few years ago, and had no complaints, but just lost the need for a land line, so i shut it down. Sales rep even says I can use the old number I had back then - I'm perfectly okay with that.

So the appointment is scheduled for Thursday, Oct 31st, 3-5pm. I get the confirmation robo-call the night before, all is good. I even took the time that night to straighten up my mess of a media closet, so access would be quick and painless. by 6pm, no one has shown. I call, and after a 45 minute call, the reason I get is that they 'think the tech had to leave early'. I never got a call or anything stating that they weren't going to show. I reschedule for Monday, Nov 4th, again at 3-5pm.

So this evening, by 5pm, there's still no show. I get right on the phone again. After about 25 minutes, they say there was a problem with the '3rd party verification' for the phone line, and that is why the appointments were not met - with no notification to me about the issue, and that I had to call another number to sort that out. Fine, i'll play your games. I call that number, and they say 'no, there was no problem with the verification, but the number that you had is still held by PacBell (who had been purchased by SBC 18 year ago, then AT&T 7 years ago), and that I'd have to re-activate it first with them, then port the number to Charter. argh - i didn't even care about the phone service, and now it's holding up my CableCard. So i tell them I'm canceling the order, and call the regular service line back. I tell them I want to change the order to JUST the CableCard. I finally convince them that all i need is the tech to roll by and remove the trap, and I'll stop by the office and pick up a CableCard and tuning adapter and do a self install (what I wanted at the beginning).

So, tomorrow morning, i hope to stop by the office and pick up a card and adapter, and hopefully they'll stop by soon to remove the trap and see if I can get this crap activated. What a mess. In the 8 years i've had charter I have had no problems with their product, and problems with their service every time I've needed it (thankfully, that has not been often - maybe 3 times in that 8 year stretch).
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  #2  
Old 11-04-2013, 09:23 PM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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I have the same issues with TWC. Just for internet. I upgraded my speed from 30mbps to 50mbps because my 1 year "discount" expired. They set an appointment for someone to roll out to do the "upgrade". I call and simply state that I don't need that and they need to push whatever update to my cable modem and be done with it. The tech proceeds to tell me my modem says it isn't compatible. I ask "why is a DOCSIS 3 cable modem that is on their compatibility list on their site that they are charging me for "not compatible". The tech agrees and pushes whatever it is that they push. Modem restarts. Magic happens. 50mbps speed. Yay.

Not sure if they just try to automate everything or what, but it just seems like they can't get anything straight. Annoying.
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  #3  
Old 11-04-2013, 09:32 PM
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Fully on board with the frustration. TWC here has been completely helpless. I finally just cancelled them and moved on.
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  #4  
Old 11-04-2013, 09:39 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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It's a problem that stems from centralization of support structures. You'd think that would be a good thing, but when it changes from the old paradigm, of the service desk at the local office handling all of your service, to 5 different departments (sales, internet/phone installation/service, tv installation, phone pre-installation, retention, local dispatch, etc) spread across the country all dealing with a very small part of your service experience, with little direct connection between the departments. I know this is a problem, and admittedly should have just gone to the local office from the beginning, but didn't. I'll definitely remember it next time...
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unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #5  
Old 11-04-2013, 10:35 PM
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tvmaster2 tvmaster2 is offline
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same thing with Cox...trying to get a cable card working in a Tivo is akin to getting Apollo 13 back to Earth - there's a secret department in Atlanta who are incredibly hard to find via Cox CSR's, but once you hook up with them, you wonder why it's so difficult to get to them in the first place, as they're actually trained to deal with cable cards, and know how to get things done. Problem is, no one knows they exist.
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Last edited by tvmaster2; 11-04-2013 at 10:40 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-05-2013, 05:56 AM
rgroves rgroves is offline
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Not to add fuel to the fire, but Woot.com has the HDHR Prime (3 tuner) for $99 today. LOL

http://www.woot.com/offers/silicondu...prime-3-tuners
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  #7  
Old 11-05-2013, 06:31 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgroves View Post
Not to add fuel to the fire, but Woot.com has the HDHR Prime (3 tuner) for $99 today. LOL

http://www.woot.com/offers/silicondu...prime-3-tuners
Got mine a bit cheaper than that on eBay... The going price on eBay if you look at completed listings is $80-90.
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unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room

Last edited by Fuzzy; 11-05-2013 at 06:35 AM.
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  #8  
Old 11-05-2013, 06:35 AM
Paul H Paul H is offline
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COMCAST!!!!
Two weeks ago;
I find one of three cable boxes DOA, take box to local Comcast office and get replacement (12MI round trip) connect up box and call Comcast to have it enabled - 4 hours later box is still initialising. Call Comcast again, get robot that can't find my account, hang up and I call back, get connected to service dept.Another hour goes by while phone 'drone' tries different things, 'drone' says new box is bad.

Next day, another drive to Comcast office to exchange the 'new' box for another one. This box appears to work but after a couple of hours the channels above 108 are saying "not authorized". More calls, cable swaps reboots with no results.

Third day back to Comcast for another box. Get home hook it up same results. Call Comcast, try various things with no positive results. I ask phone person to wait while I take 'new' box into another room where I have a second cable connection that is only used for internet. Hookup box and IT WORKS fine. Cable person agrees to send tech to check line.

Fourth day tech arrives ON TIME! tech looks at my setup and freaks out. Says that the cable distribution amp I use to connect the three boxes is causing problem because the boxes cannot 'talk back' to the supplier. I show him the specs for the D-amp explaining that it DOES allow talk back and I've been using it for 5+ years without problems.
Cable tech is inching towards door trying to blame my equipment for problem, after agreeing to hook up his tester to cable that would go to wall (cable feed) he is showing me noise on line he says is coming from my system. I disconnect items from D-amp and find that when I remove another cable box the the noise goes away!!!!!
So, I have two Comcast supplied cable boxes that went south. Tech replaces other box, I reconnect up everything. It took four days but system is back up and running.

BTW when the tech first sees my setup he asks "why don't I just get (rent) a DVR?" I explain that I can record seven channels (4 OTA & 3 cable) .
His comment "So you built your own Internet?" DUH

Last edited by Paul H; 11-05-2013 at 07:31 AM.
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  #9  
Old 11-05-2013, 08:32 AM
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Skirge01 Skirge01 is offline
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Poor customer service? From a monopoly (or near monopoly)? Whodathunkit! It's truly a shame that we have no recourse at all.
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  #10  
Old 11-05-2013, 09:03 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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They actually have little to no Monopoly in my area. I have a choice of Charter, UVerse, Dish, or DirecTv - and FiOS is right around the corner. The problem resides in their national support infrastructure though - which is why if I had just gone down to the office from the start, I likely would have had little to no problem.
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unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #11  
Old 11-05-2013, 09:54 AM
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Skirge01 Skirge01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
They actually have little to no Monopoly in my area. I have a choice of Charter, UVerse, Dish, or DirecTv - and FiOS is right around the corner. The problem resides in their national support infrastructure though - which is why if I had just gone down to the office from the start, I likely would have had little to no problem.
Wow. That kinda makes the situation even worse. Even with plenty of competition, they still won't fix their customer service issues.
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Storage: 2 x Addonics 5-in-3 3.5" bays, 1 x Addonics 4-in-1 2.5" bay, 24TB
Client: Windows 7 64-bit, Foxconn G9657MA-8EKRS2H, Core2Duo E6600, Zalman CNPS7500, 2GB Corsair, 320GB, HIS ATI 4650, Antec Fusion
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2013, 11:36 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skirge01 View Post
Wow. That kinda makes the situation even worse. Even with plenty of competition, they still won't fix their customer service issues.
Well, i went to the office this morning, and the experience is completely different. Walk in, say what I want, and it gets done. I have a feeling this is BECAUSE they have competition here, so the local guys actually seem to give a damn - nationally, though, it's pretty bad. Unfortunately, I still won't have a working card until tomorrow, as they still have to come out and remove the trap - but at least I have confidence that it will get done this time.
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unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2013, 06:55 PM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
Well, i went to the office this morning, and the experience is completely different. Walk in, say what I want, and it gets done. I have a feeling this is BECAUSE they have competition here, so the local guys actually seem to give a damn - nationally, though, it's pretty bad. Unfortunately, I still won't have a working card until tomorrow, as they still have to come out and remove the trap - but at least I have confidence that it will get done this time.
I've had better luck dealing with the local offices from most of the cable co's I've worked with. I usually try calling them instead of the national line because of this.
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  #14  
Old 11-05-2013, 07:04 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Yeah, really hard to call our local office directly, they've only got 2-3 people working there usually, so they really don't answer the phone, even if you CAN find out the number. Better they work the line.
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unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #15  
Old 11-05-2013, 10:01 PM
flavius flavius is offline
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Where I live I have seen Comcast employees taking pride in knowing what's going on. When I came in and asked for a cable card for a TiVo Roamio the guy behind the counter made sure that I knew that I was in good hands.

If you want your local branches to continue to exist, you have to go there.
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  #16  
Old 11-06-2013, 06:41 PM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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flavius, I have the strange feeling that the only way to get these companies to perform is to select other, less-conventional options at this point (Netflix, Amazon). They have just become too big to care, and I really don't believe that they listen to their customers one tiny bit - large groups of people have to hit their bean counters before they listen.

I think the simple fact that they penalize long time (faithful) customers with higher monthly costs, yet reward new customers with lower prices speaks for itself. These companies are deaf to anything but the wallet of the many.
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  #17  
Old 11-06-2013, 08:11 PM
Dargason Dargason is offline
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I've had similar experience with Charter in the St Louis area... great service (internet anyway... not happy with the crappy dvr system, but that's why I have SageTV) but the customer support isn't very good. On the plus side, I think they've actually improved over what they were. And, like you, I got better service from the local office than when I waited on the phone.

Not impressed with their packages, pricing structure, etc... I get really pissed that all of these give you such great deals to get you on their service and then 6 or 12 months later your rates go through the roof because you don't want to switch every 12 months.

Just charge me what the damn service costs and stop using loyal customers to finance your new customer programs.
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  #18  
Old 11-06-2013, 11:02 PM
flavius flavius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KryptoNyte View Post
flavius, I have the strange feeling that the only way to get these companies to perform is to select other, less-conventional options at this point (Netflix, Amazon). They have just become too big to care, and I really don't believe that they listen to their customers one tiny bit - large groups of people have to hit their bean counters before they listen.

I think the simple fact that they penalize long time (faithful) customers with higher monthly costs, yet reward new customers with lower prices speaks for itself. These companies are deaf to anything but the wallet of the many.
I have no alternative where I live. It's Comcast or nothing and I'm not even that rural in NH, just out side of Concord. The monopoly is the real problem.
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  #19  
Old 11-07-2013, 09:51 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Most municipalities no longer have exclusive right-of-way contracts with their cable-co's, meaning there is nothing legislatively blocking other companies moving into the area. However, if the market can't support another provider, no one is going to spend the capital to do it. The markets like mine that HAVE had enough demand to attract 2nd and 3rd providers are great - but since pricing is still set on the national level, the competition doesn't reduce the price. It does, however, improve quality - because if my internet, for instance, started to get saturated at peak times, and my bandwidth dropped off, it would be incredibly easy for me to switch to another provider.
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unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #20  
Old 11-07-2013, 06:56 PM
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Are you all up and running, Fuzzy?
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