Charter Communication Sucks

Here I sit all 5 feet, hundred and some odd pounds of consumer fury to share my latest rant. It was during a customer service call to Charter Communications that I realized this nowhere-near-multibillion-dollar-non-Corporate-American wields enormous power. The internet is MINE!

At least to the 9 subscribers to my blog and my 200 plus Facebook friends.

I decided to switch from Charter Communication’s internet service to Verizon FiOS for no other reason than it is a better deal. For less money, I can get faster upload and download speeds. I never suffered inordinate pain at the hands of Charter. My internet access, over the last 4 years of service, has been mostly up. Occasionally, there would be problems where I would have to reboot, but as a former professional computer geek, I know this stuff is just part of life. It was all about the money.

After my FiOS service was installed and working for several days, I called Charter Communications to cancel my service and find out what to do with the modem. I won’t let the rant devolve into a discussion on the annoying aspect of calling the number, getting the automated voice thing, inputting my account number, figuring out which department I wanted, only to have to repeat all when I human picked up the line. Instead, we’ll just assume I reached a human without any unusual mishaps.

“Good morning, this is Nicka. How can I serve you today?” the English speaking American living customer service rep asked.

“Good morning, this is Mikki Popovich and I’d like to cancel my service. I would also like to know if I need to turn in the modem.” I stated.

“Is there some reason why you want to cancel your service?” the customer service representative asked.

“Yes, I no longer want it. Please cancel my service and tell me where I can turn in the modem.”

“I’m authorized to lower your bill by $5 a month.”

“No thank you. Please cancel my service and tell me where I can turn in the modem.”

“I have a plan for $29.99 a month.”

“No thank you. Please cancel my service and tell me where I can turn in the modem.”

“Is there something wrong with the service?”

“No, I no longer want it. Please cancel my damn service and tell me where I can turn in the modem.”

“I also have a plan for $24.99.”

It was here that I lost my temper. I told her that I didn’t want their service at $60 a month, I didn’t want it at $29.99 a month, I didn’t want it at $5 a month. I just wanted it cancelled and wanted the information on where I could turn in the modem.

As most of you know, when I lose my temper, it’s not pretty. Fortunately for much of the population, I was on my cell phone in my car with the windows rolled up. I do not just get angry, I get red hot. My extensive vocabulary deserts me and is replaced by as many 4-letter words as I can string together in a breath. None of which are accepted on the Scrabble board.

“Ma’am, there is no reason to use that kind of language.” She was right of course, but that just made me angrier. If she had just cancelled the service in one of the first 4 times I asked, I wouldn’t have had to get so angry.

The line goes silent for at least 15 seconds. It is obvious that she is either waiting for me to calm down, hang up or inquire if she was still there. I did none of those. Neither one of us said anything for a while when she comes back on the line, and says,

“Thank you for being patient with me. We also have a plan for $20 a month.”

At this time, I just hung up the phone. I called back to get a different customer service person on the line and told her what had just transpired, and that I was NOT interested in a repeat. I wanted to just cancel my service and given the address where I could turn in the modem. I also wanted her to know and to make note of in her notes that if my situation ever changed and I was in the market for a new internet provider, I would NEVER do business with Charter Communications based solely on this (lack of) customer service call. She cancelled my service, gave me the address and I hung up.

After calming down, I remembered how Charter Communications had filed for bankruptcy protection in early 2009. Not showing a profit in the 10 years since going public I’m sure their service reps are instructed to try to sell other services and not back down.

A strange strategy for retaining business.  I just can’t believe that customer service by force is the right way to improve the bottom line.

So if you’re in the market for new internet service, keep in mind signing on with Charter Communications  sounds like the gang-style way of doing business…you can join, but you can never leave.

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One Response to Charter Communication Sucks

  1. Pingback: Vonage Sucks! « Vita Senza Limiti

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