Danielle (toodani) wrote in bad_service,

charter stories

Recent post about charter made me relive my experiences with them, so i'll post my own story here, although it's more about company policy as a whole, and not an individual employee.

first, i got charter a little over a year ago, march/april of 04. I used only their internet service at that time. A year later I moved and transferred my service over, adding their tv service to the bill as well. My payment, since I first opened an account, is due on the 16th. march 16th 05 goes by fine. a little dissatisfied with cable tv (i prefer satellite), but it's not THAT big of a deal, april 16th came and went. Oops i forgot a payment, paid it on the 18th. MAY 16th the bill shows a $4 late charge from last month. No problem I pay this one on time. On the 20th of may i receive a statement saying my bill for june was ready. I'm a little confused, as i've JUST paid the May bill four days ago. So I pull up my account to look at it, and it tells me my June bill is due on the 1st.. in TEN days. having a serious 'wtf' moment, I call up the service reps.

First we go through all kinds of hoops because they have my telephone number wrong in the system. Your phone number is how they identify your account, so obviously, that's a stumbling block. we figure out that they'd transposed two numbers and get on with the call. What it boils down to is that when i transferred service/made changes to the account 3 months ago, it changed my due date to the new activation date. apparently they don't do any type of prorating. He says he can't change the due date back. but what i CAN do is just pay my bill late. because they have a grace period. We talk for a little while longer, with me trying to figure out how to beat the system. I'm not really getting anywhere with the tech (and i'm not mad, he's just doing his job), so I hang up with him and write up a letter to Charter.

I am sending this e-mail because I just hung up with your support rep and he was not able to help me, though it wasn't his fault. I have been a Charter customer for a year. In March of 05 I transferred my internet service to a new residence and upgraded my account to include Cable TV as well. From the time of my initial account setup in 04 to May of 05, my billing due date has been the 16th. I paid my May bill as recently as 4 days ago. Today I received my bill due for June with a new due date of the 1st. Today is the 20th, so I have ten days to pay my bill. I feel that this is extremely unfair. I had no prior notice that my due date would be changing. I explained to the rep that it will be impossible for my bill to be paid by the 1st or even before the 12th of the month. I am a waitress so my budget is extremely tight. Having my bills spaced accordingly is crucial.

The option the rep offered me was to call the center around the 1st of every month because they do allow grace periods. However, that is a waste of the rep's time every month and a hassle for me. I do not want to pay my bill Late every single month, dancing around grace periods and hoping the payment clears in time. And if that is the case, and you have grace periods in place, why was I charged a late fee on May's bill when my April payment was only 2-3 days behind?

And my final problem is that I am not receiving a paper bill in addition to my e-mail notices. This has happened for the months of April, May and June notices. My address for the account is correct, and I am receiving mail from other places, so I can only assume the problem rests with your company.

I love Charter internet and would hate to lose it over something as simple as a non-doable due date. I am really hoping we can come up with a working solution to this problem. Thank you.

I was pretty proud of myself because i was screaming mad by that time. but i work in customer service, my family members do too, so i know better, screaming doesn't always work. Here was the reply I got back pretty soon after

Thank you for contacting Charter Communications. I appreciate the opportunity
to serve you.

I do apologize, however we cannot change the due date. The only way it would
have changed is if a change was made to the account.

I can update the account for you to receive both email and paper statements.

If you have any additional questions or need assistance please contact your
local customer support center.

soooo basically nothing. Didn't even mention anything about late charges, etc etc. I wasn't asking WHY my due date was changed, I knew why. So i looked around at satellite prices, even bought a tv antenna so i could still watch my shows during the downtime between the switch.

I called the charter rep again to find out when was the best date to cut off service, because it seemed to me like I was overlapping payments. again, hassle with the rep because my phone number doesn't match my account. Him asking all types of personal questions, asking me to spell my name THREE TIMES. Yes it's a difficult name, but if you LISTEN before you go rapid fire typing away you will hear the right way to spell it! So he finally gets into my account, looks at my phone number and says "oh i see, you gave us the wrong phone number here on your account" so by this time i'm not really holding back my pissiness so i snap back "oh ok well the next time i come to the call center and set up my own account and type my phone number into your system i'll try to get it right!" he was pretty quiet at that. so anyway he also tells me that when my account is canceled I have to make sure to bring back the cable box to avoid more charges. I... hae to bring YOU .. the cable box.. that you gave me for free??? pointless but i'm not arguing with the idiot company any more. I hang up.

a few days later i drove down to the office to try a third time. this time there was a nice lady behind the desk.. so i turned on the tears. she actually took the time to EXPLAIN to me why they weren't allowed to change the due dates, told me that I really had until the 16th to pay because they have a 15 day grace period (which no one had told me before - the actual LENGTH of the grace period, not just some arbitrary point in time), then she looked at my account and took OFF the old late charges (something no rep had even offered to do yet). She apologized for no one giving me a heads up about the due date change and told me to come back to her if i had any more problems.

people like her is why i want to make customer service a career.

bad service is every employee who said "screw you, i can't fix your problem"
good service is doing everything you can within the company rules to help people out in bad times and alleviate the actual situation at hand, not just the one problem they encountered because of it. *sniff* i think i love her.

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