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Oh you can vent here ...

I have been doing the bundle thing long before it was sold to us as a bundle. Internet, cable TV, VOIP. I think close to 8 years.

I buy every cable channel offered. I have a small business grade Internet connection.* I have two phone lines. I pay $279/month.

I live in a rural area and Charter Communications is my only option, and I pay a lot more than I'd like, but the service is pretty good. Really good acutally.

So I changed checking accounts the other day and forgot to change my auto payment with Charter Communications, so my service got shut off today.

Below the fold a surreal encounter ...

I called to change my payment methods. Paid them.

Now I wouldn't say I am "cheap" but I often call Charter asking why as a "power" user I can't get some of the deals I hear them advertise on TV. I am always told only for new users.

As I ended the conversation with the support person she said I could get everything I get now for $279 for $169.

I was like WTF. I couldn't wrap my mind around how for months I was paying more than $110/month for the same service.

I asked her why nobody from Charter connected me. She said they did. They didn't.

I make a good living. But fucking $100/month is a lot of money where I come from.

*Charter doesn't know I work out of my house, but I am honset with them and pay more ....

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Looked At It, $989 (12+ / 0-)

    more they charged me then they should have. Just bend me over. I think of the phrase from "Full Metal Jacket:"

    You didn't even have the common curtesy to give me a reach around ....

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:33:03 PM PST

  •  they probably called while you were out (6+ / 0-)

    or showering or maybe you, like most people, do not want to pick up for unknown calls.  Just be thankful you are now going to pay less

  •  For me the last straw was the DVR extortion (14+ / 0-)

    I can't even rightly call it a fee since I didn't even have a DVR but they tried to get me to pay for it AND charge me late payment fees for it as well.

    It took me a couple of hours, multiple phone calls, and eventually they admitted that I didn't have a DVR. At that point I told them they also no longer had a customer.

    To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:40:23 PM PST

  •  You've always got to ask (7+ / 0-)

    The standard price for internet, cell phone plans and cable is always 'flexible'.

    I've been getting ATT DSL PRO for 24.95 for like two years because I call and threaten to cancel - they then offer me 12 months of a 'special price'.

    Last month I wanted to upgrade my speed from 3megabits but found that was the fastest they offered for DSL.

    So I hung up, called back and asked for retention. Explained that I wanted to quit because I couldn't get anything faster. So they offered Uverse at 18mbs for 30 bucks a month plus they waived the ridiculous 200 or so dollars worth of one time 'installation fees'

    I don't have any of the uverse tv services but who cares - I can now stream hd from multiple machines including my xbox simultaneously.

    The point is this: Always ask. And then threaten to cancel. There's always certain leeway they can give you.

    Power-Worshipping Fascist

    by campionrules on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:45:44 PM PST

  •  Yup. I pay 41 a month... (6+ / 0-)

    Because I have a bundle.  I only wanted the internet, didn't want cable tv, blah blah...

    Long story short, I have to have the box hooked up to the wall, because if I don't they'll charge me twice as much.  No logic whatsoever.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:47:30 PM PST

    •  I hate that too (7+ / 0-)

      I just want internet, but internet alone is sometimes crazy expensive in my area...so they try to force you into a bundle.  At one point getting both TV and internet was the same price of just having the internet!??  Makes no sense.  And trying to find out what the prices reset to after the introductory offer is sometimes harder than it should be.  I have done the "cancel and renew" option multiple times just to keep the same price.  I even told one of the customer reps, "Listen, why not just renew the $29 right now?  We both know that if you don't, at the end of this call I am going to cancel and just call back tomorrow and restart it again."  Nope.  So every six months I have to do the same stupid song and dance.  One time, my internet went from $29.99/month to $72.95/month!  That is just stupid.

      "When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along." --Carl Sandburg

      by Mote Dai on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:59:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you have good internet ... (9+ / 0-)

    Why do you pay for Cable? I canceled cable/Satellite 3 years ago ... never looked back. Get everything I need from the internet.

    •  Sports. Especially baseball and the ridiculous (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, JGibson, Aunt Pat, glorificus

      blackout policies. I live in St. Louis, and MLB has decided that the only way I'm going to watch a Cardinals game within a 200 mile radius of Busch Stadium if I watch it on a TV channel (usually Fox Sports Midwest). The game is blacked out on MLB.tv (their online service) if I'm in either in St. Louis or the city of the team they're playing.

      "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

      by yg17 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 01:08:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because often times cable is the only "good (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, glorificus

      internet" available.  Unless of course you like HugesNET with their 150MB/day cap or 3g cellular with their 2-4GB/month caps.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 02:15:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you want a better deal on Cable or Satellite, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chimpy, Aunt Pat, SteelerGrrl, glorificus

    just cancel your service on the next end date.

    They leave the satellite receiver on the house; they don't even unhook it.

    Notice: This Comment © 2012 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:48:57 PM PST

  •  My parents switched to U-verse and canceled (6+ / 0-)

    Charter back in 2008 and never heard from them again. Until a few weeks ago, Charter left a door hanger on their front door that said something along the lines of "We found that your house was receiving service from Charter even though you are not a Charter customer and were not being billed for it. We disconnected service"

    Now they're worried they're going to get a bill for 4 years of cable service. Keep in mind that they canceled service and returned all of their Charter equipment to the local office as soon as the U-verse installer left and no Charter service was actually coming into the house (The U-verse installer ripped out all of the Charter coax in the basement and replaced it with a new coax line from their NID. My parents couldn't use Charter's crappy service if they wanted to), and more importantly, if Charter never actually disconnected service from their house, that's their own god damn fault. It's going to be an interesting fight if a bill ever shows up in the mail.

    "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

    by yg17 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 01:04:02 PM PST

    •  Don't Worry (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, glorificus

      You will no be charged they just did an audit of your "tap" and found the wire still connected. Your parents probably live in an area where the cable comes in "aerial" from the pole and the disco tech did not want to climb the pole and closed he work order as completed with out climbing or if underground you got a coffee shop disco. The cable company will not bill you even if you were "steeling" it. just disco you and try to turn you into a paying customer.

  •  Also, it's just not worth it. Cable, that is. (5+ / 0-)

    It is filled with junk. It reminds of that garbage continent out in the middle of the Pacific.

    HD charges and unit rental charges and all kinds of dings and dangs along the way.

    It's a rip-off.

    I have Comcast, for the record and they are crap.

    I will say that my internet has just about never gone out though. And for that I am grateful. AT&T's internet was spectacularly poor.

  •  Charter are billing charlatans, and ripoff artists (2+ / 0-)

    their pricing makes no sense, their service level has gone form reasonable to crappy (digital outages all the time, black screen, frozen channels) while their pricing has gone from barely sensible to outright ridiculous.

    Today's latest outrage:

    Charter has SHUT OFF the analog signal that used to be on the cable feed. No more using a cable-ready TV to view channels without a "digital receiver" - it's free today, but for how much longer?

    Worse: absolutely NO notice of the impending change.

    Also, their Customer Service techs SUCK!

    For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

    by dagnome on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 01:42:40 PM PST

  •  Very timely diary, for me (4+ / 0-)

    I just got done talking my Dad out of falling into the Comcast bundle trap.

    We have Century Link DSL, it works, and I don't like Comcast one bit. I acquiesced at first and said, "Ok, Dad, have them hook it up, but don't disconnect the DSL first, keep them both for the Comcast 30-day trial period, that way we're not screwed if we decide to pass on the Comcast and stick with the dsl."

    He agreed, but Comcast didn't. They wanted us to disconnect other other service first, or gave that impression at least.

    No go. Dad told them to shove it, thankfully.

    -
    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 01:54:44 PM PST

  •  I remember as a kid thinking how no one (3+ / 0-)

    would ever PAY for TV or water. I mean we had three channels! But a kid I knew lived in western MA and the only way they could get TV was by paying for it! Pay for television?
    And if you told a person in the 11960's that people would be buying water in bottles they would have thought you were nuts. Water comes from the faucet! Why would you ever pay for it?
    LOL!

    (and, yeah, cable sucks. But I hear so does FIOS. Pretty much all monopolies, IMO. No competition on price.)

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 02:31:53 PM PST

  •  We're the only phone company in town (3+ / 0-)

    and we act like it.

    There was a time, oh a century or so ago, when progressives fought this kind of crap with regulation. And by creating a parallel economy of public/non-profit organizations to compete against corporations. Public power against corporate utilities. Rural electric cooperatives. Credit unions. Labor unions.

    The Internet was supposed to overcome this kind of crap. Then we let the phone/cable companies take it over. We let Verizon buy up all those phone companies we broke Ma Bell into.

    It is not a coincidence that we started down the long road to economic ruin and income inequality when we pushed the deregulation button.

    A society is judged by how well it cares for those in the dawn of life, the children. By how well it cares for those in the twilight of life, the elderly. And, by how well it cares for those on the edge of life; the poor, the sick, and the disabled.

    by BobBlueMass on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:21:13 PM PST

  •  I know I am paying way more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DickCheneyBeforeHeDicksYou

    that I should be - I don't even have my phone plugged in!  But they said the "bundle" was less than getting it individually so I have to pay for something I don't even use.  I hate cable companies.

  •  That's how Charter lowered my bill.... (0+ / 0-)

    I walked into the office and asked what did I need to do to cancel? They asked why and I told them it was too expensive after the two years of the bundled internet/cable tv (I refuse to do telephone service with a cable company).  Prior to this I asked if they had any specials going and they said ONLY for NEW customers.  They always come down when you threaten to cancel.  I need to call AT&T to see if they will lower my land line if I switch to Charter.  I hate Charter but I hate AT&T more.

  •  No Cable Where I live (0+ / 0-)

    So internet is DSL through Verizon, and TV is either Directv or Dish. Period. I have Directv because Dish tells me they cannot deliver the right local channels. So I pay Directv for 100 channels of useless crap, including 7 religious channels, just to get Comedy Central and my local sports net. Which does not even include my local college sports network (Pac-12), because Directv is having a war with the network.

    Where is anti-trust and racketeering law enforcement when you need it?

    We will never have the elite, smart people on our side. - Rick Santorum

    by easong on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:47:43 PM PST

  •  What? You don't like paying for (0+ / 0-)

    25 minutes of commercials every hour?

    And half the channels turning into infomercials at night? And I swear, they put on MORE commercials during weekends.

    I still got my big dish in the yard. Reminds of days when TV was something WORTH watching. I used to buy channels a la carte. I used to be able to watch shows/sports WITHOUT commercials and on "wild feeds". I used to get about 10 different satellites with all kinds of free tv. I used to pay about $25 a month, with feeds from east coast, central and west coast included.

    But I think a lot of money got put in some congress critters pockets, stations stopped providing shows to big dish subscription companies and we got commercials and ridiculous prices and lousy service, instead.

    What a country!!!!!

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