Tag: charter

More fun with Charter Support

You know it’s good when you start with the virtual agent putting you on hold. 

Actually, 2 of the 3 support humans I talked to just now were good. Admittedly, it did take a half hour to resolve the problem, but that’s unsurprising. The third one (which was the front line and the first actual person I spoke with) well… let me back up.

Last night, we get into bed and turn on the TV. Message says our cable service has been disconnected, which is disconcerting as we pay our bills on time and the TV downstairs (the troublemaker with the cable card and tuning adapter) worked fine when we were down there. But, it’s late and I don’t want to deal with Charter so we watch some Hulu. 

I get home from work today, still not working. Call up after dinner and battle to get the automated system to understand me. Finally convince it to give up and get a human whose name I have forgotten. First she sends a hit, then she tries to pawn it off on a partial outage in the area. I play dumb and ask “What time do you show that outage having been reported?” (Kelly starts laughing at this point as she knows where I’m going.) 

“4 PM.”

“Okay,” says I. “It’s not that as we noticed the problem at 10:30 last night, so it can’t be the outage you’re seeing.” 

“Well, maybe the outage didn’t get reported right away.”

“Somehow, I doubt that an outage went unreported for nearly 20 hours.” Unsaid was “Why don’t you try another line?”

Apparently their reps aren’t used to be called on bullshit. She got rather flustered – I’ve never been thanked for “educating” a rep, which makes me think “thank you for that information” is the standard reply to anything they get told now. She did transfer me to another rep, who tried to recalibrate the box before passing me off to the third. 

She was able to see the problem right away – the cable box was inactive in their system. She reactivated it and all was well. Of course, me being the curious sort, asked how that would have happened. Turns out, the tuning adapter wasn’t properly noted in their system and something triggered in their system so it deactivated everything but the TA. I’m not completely sure that makes total sense, but both TVs are now working with all their channels, so I’ll let it go. 

More Charter Joy

8:30 AM: Just got off the phone with another tech, who asked if we were having problems. No, I just enjoy calling you guys up and not getting anywhere. 

So this tech asks what the problem is – I explain it, again. “So the cable card isn’t the problem?” No, everyone on Charter’s side has said the cable card is most likely the problem. “So I should probably go get a cable card?” Yeah, probably a good idea. Tech says he didn’t even read the report. Suggested he grab a tuning adapter while he’s there too.

11:30 AM: The technician just left, after having spent 2 hours here. I’m not sure he’s the same one I talked to on the phone. However, in short, the problem could have been solved with the person on the phone the first time if they had just updated the Host ID like I suggested. Supposedly the escalation team is going to be contacting me. I am unbelievably unhappy with them at this point. Oh, and our on-demand was turned off at some point, and to turn it back on would force us to move to the new pricing tiers. 

3:00 PM: Spoke with the escalation team. She took notes, offered a credit, which I accepted. Turns out the person who didn’t update the host ID is the same one who turned off On Demand for us. And they can’t turn it back on without putting us on the new pricing… but the new pricing is more channels for less money. Still not particularly happy we went through all this when it could have been resolved in about 10 minutes. Thinking I might need to write a letter to the Department of Telecommunications and Cable. We’ll let that stew for a bit though. 

Dammit Charter (again)

Previously on “Dammit, Charter“.

So this weekend was tax-free in Massachusetts. We’ve never been super happy with the TV in the living room, so we took advantage and upgraded the TV… which meant upgrading the TiVo too in order to get the full 1080P experience. 

Of course, this means I’ll need to make sacrifices to the demons of the cable cards. If you haven’t had the pleasure, the cable card is a painfully sensitive device which allows a receiver (such as a TiVo) to decode cable channels. They are super finicky and as far as I can tell, no one at Charter Communications understands them or can set them up. We’ve had problems in the past, and while a number of Charter reps have hinted that the cable card was liked the cause, they were able to fix it via the network and so, never replaced the card. Paired with the cable card is a tuning adapter, which basically provides a channel list to the TiVo and tells Charter what channel I want to watch. It seems to be just as delicate as the card. The requirement to have both is, I assume, something drawn up by a resident of one of Dante’s circles. 

Anyways. I’m moving the cable card from the old TiVo to the new, which means the host ID is going to change, which means a call to Charter. Historically, this has been a conversation with a very nice person which is completely incapable of supporting the technology Charter is using. I explain to the rep that I just bought a TiVo, moved the cable card, and am missing channels and get a screen that says to call them with the host ID and card ID. She sends a few initialization hits, which do nothing. We reboot. I suggest that perhaps she should verify the host ID because the one in their system won’t match the one on my screen. She can’t do that, so she calls in a supervisor. About 5 minutes on hold go by, she comes back and they send some more initialization hits and another reboot. Still nothing, so I get to schedule a visit for 1-3 the next day as it’s likely to be replacement time for the card or the adapter (or both).

I’m going to avoid the obvious jokes about cable companies and their concept of appointment windows. Suffice it to say, the stereotype exists for a reason and I saw no evidence to change it. 

The tech introduces himself, calls the dispatch. More hits, more reboots. Apparently having the tech call it in is different than what they did last night. He finally decides that it’s probably the card or the adapter. However… he doesn’t have one. I’m not sure why that would be, since that’s what the tech the night before said it probably was. 

So now I have another appointment on Wednesday morning. I fully expect this tech will bring the adapter and card but forget some other vital piece of equipment like pliers or something. 

Dammit, Charter.

I was all kinds of excited to see that HBO Go was being pushed out to Apple TV. Finally, no more monkeying around with Airplay Mirroring from my iPhone. Download the update, open the channel, get the code, figure out the password for authenticating to HBO Go through Charter. Doesn’t work.

Reread the articles. Charter isn’t allowing their customers to use HBO Go on the Apple TV. (And no matter what they say, that’s what it comes down to – someone at Charter chose not to do it.) I’ve had my problems with Charter. Their cable card support is craptacular at best, they barely have any techs who know how to support it and they eliminated their Twitter support which was the only consistent way to get anything done. They teased us with the rollout of TiVo and then cancelled it saying they were working on something better – which as tar as I can tell is a total lie as they don’t talk about it at all anymore. And now they aren’t letting us get HBO Go on Apple TV because they “didn’t get the rights”? 

How did every other cable company that offers HBO Go manage to figure it out except you guys? I’d say I’m shocked but honestly, this is the level of incompetence I’ve come to expect from these idiots.