Mommy McEmopants (vacillate) wrote in bad_service,
Mommy McEmopants

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Charter Communications

This is a long one, folks. And cross-posted, because I may need some advice.

Last month, we missed a bill. Charter Communications: phone, tv and cable internet. Oops! Our fault entirely, that I will admit to whole heartedly.

It's important to know here that when dealing with Charter, you must verify a lot of information before a rep will speak to you. Generally it's the phone number, address, state, and last four digits of the SSN. This is if you're calling them. Some of the same things, or at least a NAME, has to be verified, if they're calling you about billing issues.

It's also important to know we have a guest in the house, and a brand new roommate. Two people that have no dealings with talking to people about our bills.

Approximately three weeks ago, we get a call. The call is from Cable Agent, or so it says on the caller id. Our guest answers the phone, and the person on the line asks to speak with my husband. When she says he's not there, the person on the line proceeds to tell her alllll about the late bill, and tries to get our bank information from her. The new roommate answers as well, and they also tell her about it, and try to get our card number from her.

This happens several times while we are at work. Several. In the mean time, Charter also calls, and when either one answers, they refuse to give them any sort of information. Just that they're calling from Charter Billing.

This sends up huge red flags for me. Call me paranoid...and I don't get this way often...but suddenly I'm wondering if perhaps Charter had some information leak, or stolen, or a security compromise, and now this random illegitimate company is trying to get my money...

So I call Charter.

Bad idea.

The first time I call, it's bizarre, really...they answer, but there is no one there. Not really. I hear typing. I hear call center sounds. I hear other people talking to customers, but the rep that's supposed to be talking to me? Just...typing. So, I say, '...hello?' Still nothing. 'Hellooooo?' ...still nothing.

I'm a very patient woman. I wait for a few minutes...they never return to me. I hang up.

I call back. Hooray, someone answsers. I explain my situation, and though it's odd, it shouldn't be that hard to understand. Has Charter been compromised or hasn't it? The rep wouldn't answser me...which sent up more red flags. I ask for a supervisor.

Now, it's important to mention here that I'm a trainer and supervisor at a call center. I know the difference between pressing the mute button so the customer can't hear, or pressing 'hold'. 'Hold' means shitty hold music. I was 'muted', and as I said before, I'm a patient woman. I waited for almost twenty minutes before hanging up.

I had to go back to work by then.

I wish I was exaggerating this. Keeping track over the next three weeks, the 'only typing' thing happened over ten times. My 'being muted' until I hung up? Another five.

So, let's go to the Big One, shall we? Last Thursday. I was at work, and I discover that a man had come to our home (after missing one months payment) to either get money, or the equipment. Our roommate made a payment, and all was dealt with. Cash wasn't going to give access to a bank account, so that was alright. I call Charter on my lunch break, however, on the off chance that someone was going to give me an answer.

I got a HUMAN! She was nice, she understood my plight, she left a note saying that while I didn't have time to hold for a supervisor right now, I'd be calling back that evening...which I did. I'd love to write about Keith, the rep that shouted and laughed at me, but I won't...this is already too long.

I get home. My guest greets me, tells me about my son's evening (I get off work at 9pm-ish), then tells me about the Charter agent that came by.

This man, Ray is the name on the receipt, came by when she was alone in the house. She met him outside, where he explains why he's there, to which she replies, 'I'm only a guest here...I can't get the stuff for you, I can't let you in, and I can't pay you....but! One of the residents will be here in just a few minutes, he can help you.'

Ray doesn't like that answer. Ray decides he's gonna try to talk her into paying, so he chats a little, tries to talk her into letting him in, paying him, whatever, and she's getting annoyed by now...she explains again and again that she doesn't live here...but that someone who does is less than a few minutes away.

Ray stepped forward then, and reached forward. He gently caressed my guest's cheek and said to her, 'Aww, pretty girl like you can't just write me a check?'

She, of course, backed off and went inside, and called our roommate to get him here NOW. He was there in under two minutes. I've called corporate twice, wanting to know what they're going to do about it. They say they're calling me back today, but they said as much on Friday. No call, of course. I've told them that I'm a hair's breadth away from contacting a lawyer. One woman told me today that their sexual harassment policy doesn't cover customers, but that it's been escalated to management...I don't know if I believe that about their policy, but it also wouldn't surprise me.

I just don't know what my options are now. I wanted to vent, but I also need options, if there are any.
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