dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
    ISP Rolodex Intro Local ISPs Members U-Verse FiOS FiOS Soon
spc

spacer




how-to block ads



Charter page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 2329 reviews (885 good) (884 bad)
bullet Submit a review by email click here
bullet login for new review notification feature

Review by shreezbot See Profile

  • Location: Pelham,Shelby,AL
  • Cost: $109 per month
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "The speed during the day when I'm not at home is great!"
Bad "The speed during peak hours when I'm actually at home using the internet is atrocious and unusable..."
Overall "Don't use Charter in Pelham, AL if you want to use the internet between 7:00 PM CST and 12:00 AM CST"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I've had issues with Charter for over a year now. I'm on the ultra 100 plan, and I've been fighting with support and we've run the gambit of possible resolutions. We've laid new wire in the yard and replaced the tap outside, and checked and replaced a number of other components They can't send someone out during the times when the problem is actually occurring, so they send a technician during the day and surprisingly they can't find a problem because everything is working as expected. I ask if someone can come out during the times I'm having troubles and they say they don't have anyone working during those hours. After a year of this mess, I was told that the switch to all digital on 7/22/2014 would help because capacity would be added to the network as a part of this upgrade. Since then, the problem has gotten worse during peak hours, and during non-peak hours, my speed has been cut in half. I was then told that it would be another month before more capacity could be added on August 8th.

Just to put my review in perspective, before the switch to all digital, I could at least get 100 mbps during off-peak hours. During peak hours, however, I usually can't get more than ONE (1) megaBIT per second (yes, bit, not byte!)... Now, since the switch to all digital on the 22nd, I can't get a speedtest over 50 mbps ever, even during non-peak hours.

UPDATE 9/2/2014: Speed issues seem to be mostly resolved with the rollout of Spectrum in my area. This would seem to be consistent with my theory that Charter had capacity issues and was oversubscribing my area and still charging customers who were having problems full price.

I've also asked them about the possibility of updating either the price or speed of the Ultra 100 plan to bring it in line with the 60 Mbps of Spectrum, and the laughed at me (literally laughed at me on the phone). I stand by my suggestion that if anyone has an option other than Charter that they take it.

member for 127 days, 16 visits, last login: a few minutes ago
updated a few minutes ago

Comments:

Review by HAL2014 See Profile

  • Location: Birmingham,Jefferson,AL
  • Cost: $100 per month
  • Install: about 8 days
Good "Is pretty good service when there is nothing else to compare it with"
Bad "Bad tech support, bad service, techs on the field are as bad as they get"
Overall "Last resort if no other choice is present"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

I had the 100 Mb service for a while now. For the last several months it was acceptable, but never got up to 100 Mb as paid. &5 Mbps was the best in a good day, and the norm was about 50-55. It was always the "other guy" fault - in this case the customer. Let me think of some examples: " your home network is the cause"... " your computer is too slow" , " we can send a tech out " who never ever found an issue, but wanted to charge me 35$, or... " we can upgrade you to our finest business account".

Overall the service is ok when it works. Most of the time is a roller coaster, like is either crawling slow, or ping times are horrendous, to service is completely out.

Calls to their support is a joke. If ones call several times, you can pretty much learn the script. I was so well versed on the script at some point that I knew when they skipped a question or a "test" and I pointed it out to them. No sense of humor on the other end when you do that.

Overall, is a service to be used as a back up. I would not use this as my main source of Internet. But then again, it could have been Comcast... Yet Charter is getting close to that quality of service.

Fair warning: reviewer joined this week
updated a few hours ago

Comments:

Review by kf6uzf See Profile

  • Location: Grover Beach,San Luis Obispo,CA
  • Cost: $29 per month
Bad "Tech Support doesn't have a clue"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings well below consensus)

Internet service was down for 17 days. 5 technicians later still no internet. Symptoms were partial routing of traffic. For instance, if I traceroute to a site north of me (i.e. bay area) it would succeed. If I traceroute to a site south of me (like charter.com) it timed out in a charter router. I couldn't get them to understand that if a Charter customer can not get to the charter.com website that there is a problem. They kept trying to get me off the phone by saying that it was my router and/or the speed test passed even though they wouldn't accept the fact that I had my computer plugged directly into the cable modem and the speed test site was north of me so of course it passed.

Bottom line their tech support reps and their technicians will saying to get off the call or leave the site if the problem is not within their 'canned' list of problem/responses. From the initial installation to this ultimate call I have little faith in anything Charter does except sending the bill on time. Seems they have that business task down pat.

Ultimate cause of my problem was an invalid DHCP IP address and netmask. Seems when the entire area went down for 4 hours and came back up, my cable modem acquired a new DHCP lease which was not routed in certain charter routers. Even modem reboots did not help because typical DHCP servers will pass out the same IP address base on MAC address if the lease hasn't expired. 17 days of problems were solved by simply renewing my DHCP lease and getting a new IP address.

Thanks Charter....I fixed it myself!

BTW - I called billing to get pro-rated for the outage days and they would not give me the credit for the 'router problem' and 'speed test' days even though it was one problem all along.

member for 5.7 years, 1 visits, last login: 1 days ago
lodged 1 days ago

Comments:

Review by Serpardum See Profile

  • Location: Long Beach,Los Angeles,CA
  • Cost: $40 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Excellant internet"
Bad "Give me past disconnect notice when my bill isn't due"
Overall "Another great company ruined by business practices."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Excellent service. When I ordered for July I asked when the bill would be do. They told me it would be made on the 21st or so but wouldn't be due 'til the beginning of the month. So on August 4th I paid the $60 ($40 + $20 install) for a bill that was over $100.

On 7/31/2014 I got a disconnect notice from them. I asked why they told me my bill was past due. I talked to supervisor, same thing. I told them when I registered for this server I was on disability and I got my checks on the 3rd and made sure it wouldn't be a problem. Now it's a problem. And the lady says she's never heard of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

So, yeah, don't use unless you like being abused.

Fair warning: reviewer joined this week
updated 3 days ago

Comments:

Review by cc2iscool See Profile

  • Location: Portage,Kalamazoo,MI
  • Cost: $100 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "When the connection works properly, it is as-advertised. 100 down, 5.5 up even during peak hours."
Bad "Constant packet loss issues, up to 30% at times. Managers don't follow up, ever. Techs lie so they can leave without fixing."
Overall "If you have another option, I'd recommend taking it."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I moved into the Portage, MI area into an apartment in late 2012. We bought the 100mbps/5mbps package (Ultra) immediately. The sales rep didn't tell us anything about a $200 setup fee for this service during the entire interaction via phone. I wasn't too concerned about it, as it was listed on their site (but was unbeknownst to me until after the fact). The techs came promptly and setup service. I was impressed. I was told that the Ultra lines were top priority support, almost like business class lines over the phone and by the tech, which made me even more impressed and happy that I chose to pay $100/mo and have a $200 setup fee for this "special" service just because I needed the upload speed (backstory - internet streamer).

Move on to a few days later, we started having issues with the line. Again the Charter techs came quickly, replaced some splitters in the apartment, and things were pretty decent. We got near sync speeds all the time, and were impressed at the quality as we had heard that apartments tend to have many more issues than what we encountered. We had a few issues, and had a few times where they had to test the line and the tap, but nothing too serious, we were still consistently impressed with the service.

Nov 2013 - 8 channel downstream bonding comes out in the area. We start getting about 10% packet loss on the line to all destinations. Techs come out and replace modem after modem, and even more splitters with the same result, we had 10% packet loss for weeks until we finally got a tech to realize the issue. We found that when the modem was unprovisioned, the line worked correctly, but when it was provisioned on the 100mbps plan with 8 channel bonding the issue returned. They finally got a line tech to test the first hop and they resolved the issue, or so we thought.

Things were good again for about a month or two, and then the problem returned. Random bouts of 10-15% packet loss throughout the day. Again techs came and went with no resolution, another 3-4 modems were replaced and lines were tested with tools not designed for 8 channel bonding. Consistently we were told that since their tool didn't see the problem, that it wasn't an actual issue, even though we provided clear evidence through a pingplotter result test as well as a ping test while the tech was in the apartment. One day, the problem simply stopped, after being very irritated and having a tech out near every week, wasting hours of everyone's time replacing modems and splitters, and being consistently lied to that they would setup a line tech to look at our issue.

Ever since, we have had issues with 10-15% packet loss. Sometimes this goes on for weeks, other times we get a week or two where everything is grand.

April-Jul 2014 - The packet loss issue has returned, and not gone away. 5-10% packet loss consistently, and it has been exceptionally worse since the move to all Digital which happened early in June. We have had literally 13 different modems in the past three months, three of which were confirmed by Charter staff to have been re-deployed in other locations without issue. We have had the splitters in our apartment changed 6 different times since Nov of 2013, wall plugs changed twice, and ends of cables changed even more often. Every time we call they send a tech, every time the tech finds nothing with his tool and doesn't care enough to try to fix our problem. Calls to managers go unreturned, as we continue to pay $100/mo for sub-standard service. I don't have a choice though, other internet plans in the area do not have enough upload speed to support streaming.

July 11th - 30% packet loss. Yes, 30. The connection is near unusable. Again we call, again they say they will send another tech out. I doubt we'll get anywhere. We called again, got some credit, for once, and more run-around garbage. We'll see if anything comes of it. Most likely they'll hit it with their tool that only gets one channel, say nothing looks wrong, and laugh in my face as they walk out the door, stating that they'll contact a line tech, which will never happen.

July 14th - Luckily we ended up with a tech that cared about actually getting his job done today. With the immense amount of packet loss, a line tech was finally dispatched to the area. We actually spoke with him, and apparently this was the "first he had heard" of this issue, and he is the only line tech for this area, which is really frustrating, as it confirms my suspicion that all of the previous techs had never submitted anything up and just told us they would so that they could leave without resolving the issue. So he was out today at the node (literally) cutting cables to lines that had too much noise on them. As of this evening, we're back down to 3-5% packet loss, which at least makes the net usable.

July 16th - We called another tech out as we were hoping the packet loss would have been gone by today due to the maintenance, but it was not. He confirmed that the packet loss was happening at the tap for our apartment, as well as the box that splits to a few of the buildings in the area. He raised a ticket with the line tech. Line tech will be here tomorrow.

July 17th - Line tech stops out again and talks to us directly, is able to see the packet loss in all the locations. Tells us that he's going to do some work now and they'll need to do some work on the lines tonight at 1am. Packet loss is down to the low 2%, so it's better but not fixed. Here's hoping!

July 18th - So far today we have no packet loss. Things are looking up.

July 19th - Still no loss, will update in a few weeks if nothing happens.

August 26th - We're back to having pretty consistent 5-10% packet loss along with mini-outages again. These seem to last a good most of the day. We caught a Charter tech outside another apartment and he said they were fully aware of the issues and that it "is ridiculous" but can't do anything about it. so we had just over a month of a decent connection, guess I'm finally getting my $100/mo worth out of this connection. No alternative to Charter or I'd bail.

member for 8.3 years, 84 visits, last login: 5 days ago
updated 5 days ago

Comments:
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Channel Frequencies

Where does the packet loss start? First hop or deeper? If it's not the first hop, the issue may not have anything to do with your modem, drop or node.

If packet loss starts with the first hop, does it vary with time of day? If it varies, does the time of day correlate with anything else (peak period, neighbors home/gone, other devices you use)? Does your modem provide the frequencies of the channels? If so, document if they change between good/bad periods. If they change, perhaps there's ingress from a nearby source? Pay more attention to the upstream channel as that's generally a much lower frequency. Lower frequencies are much more sensitive to environmental ingress.

Regarding neighbors, sometimes folks in apartments "share" cable -- if you know what I mean. Is it possible your line is tapped by someone else? Their equipment could be causing ingress or interference.

I know the cable company should do this for you but if you can figure it out on your own, maybe you can solve it on your own...or at least throw ideas at the techs.

Another thought is do you have any friends in the apartment complex? If so, try your modem with their drop.
cc2iscool

join:2006-04-22
Portage, MI
Reviews:
·Charter

1 edit

Re: Channel Frequencies

Issue starts at the first hop. It's not a signal/line/noise/neighbor/plug/etc issue. They've taken our modems and plugged them direct to the tap on a different port, they just stated that it was within spec and couldn't do anything for us, since their actual tool didn't detect a problem.

Trust me, we've been through all this. They've got a ticket in to look at the node finally sometime this week. The techs checked for noise on our lines, replaced modems galore, no change. No noise, nothing out of the ordinary. It took the rest of the complex hitting 40-50% packet loss and not being able to actually use their networks before they finally decided to investigate. Luckily he actually took a few minutes and found that the BER was out of spec, and checked a few other areas in the complex that were complaining of internet issues and was seeing the same thing at other locations connected to our node. They believe it may either be an amp or the node itself. Although it's been 2 days since the ticket was submitted, and he hinted at the fact that if it was the amp that he expected it within a day.

Finally things are looking promising. It's just really unfortunate that I've had to deal with it for so long.

Edit: Just for clarification, this is an all-day thing with the packet loss. It sometimes gets slightly worse, but it generally stays about the same up until last week where we started hitting the 50% range.

Here you go: »i.imgur.com/fsGjGZa.png
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Channel Frequencies

Does the modem provide upstream transmit dbm? If it's 50 or more, there's probably an issue (depending on how many splits between it and the pedestal tap). Curious, BER problems cam also affect VOD. Do you have a video package and an STB? If so, try some of the free VOD titles. Does it also have issues starting or doing things like pausing, rw/ff? If so and you still don't get results soon, perhaps try ragging about VOD. Maybe it'll go to a different group that tries different things.

Hopefully it's something they get fixed soon. Good luck.

I've been very fortunate in STL. Charter recently upgraded everyone to at least 100Mbps and it's been nearly a decade since I've experienced packet loss issues and peak period slow downs. Unfortunate that their customer experience varies so much from one area to the next.
B4Knight
Premium
join:2014-03-20
Colon, MI
Reviews:
·Charter
I hope your issues are resolved soon. Has Charter figured out if it was an amp or node issue yet?

In my experience Charter has been great, but there have been some outages here and there. I've never experienced a significant amount of packet loss though, aside from when I had to have my drop replaced because of squirrel/water damage.
cross12095

join:2011-04-10
Hillsboro, AL

delete

delete

Review by B4Knight See Profile

  • Location: Colon,Saint Joseph,MI
  • Cost: $55 per month
Good "Consistent Speed, Pretty Reliable, Customer Service Has Been Good"
Bad "Upload Speed Is Lacking"
Overall "Overall Its Been Great, But YMMV"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

Became a Charter HSI only customer in June or July of 2011 and started on the 15Mbps/3Mbps plan @ $29.99/month for 12 months. I bought my own modem which was a Motorola SB6120 (now using a SB6121) to avoid Charters then $5 modem rental fee. After the year promo had ended I think the price went to $45.99/month. Sometime in late 2012 early 2013 I was offered a chance to upgrade to Charter's 30Mbps/4Mbps plan @ $54.99/month which I am currently still on and speeds are always consistent with what was advertised. I suspect that the consistency is due to living in a small town connected to a node which has little to no congestion.

Install was quick, tech (local contractor) showed up on time and didn't have to do a whole lot inside besides reroute some of the existing wiring that was installed prior to us living in this house.

We've had I'd say about 8-12 outages since I've had the service and most of them were weather/power outage related. The first time I ever had to have a tech come out was towards the middle of Feb. 2014 due to squirrels damaging my drop line causing moisture to build up in it.

Aug 06, 2014 - Service is still excellent. Still waiting for Charter Spectrum to be available. I have a feeling it will happen soon.

Aug 07, 2014 - Spectrum Internet has gone live! Getting around 60 Mbps/4 Mbps and PowerBoost/Traffic Shaping is no longer active.

Estimating capacity:

Upstream: 4039 Kbps.
Downstream: 89122 Kbps.

The measurement will take up to 3.0 minutes. Please wait.

Checking for traffic shapers:

Upstream: No shaper detected.
Median received rate: 3957 Kbps.

Downstream: No shaper detected.
Median received rate: 63317 Kbps.


Attachments:
Click for full size


member for 165 days, 249 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 6 days ago

Comments:

cpsf856

@169.145.3.x

Charter - Apple TV vs Verizon

I am on day 3 of charter service. The reason that I moved off of Verizon to Charter was when I tried hooking up my apple TV to verizon DSL I was seeing 6 hour download times. After doing a little research I found that for $5 more a month I can try Charter. It came with a 12 month commitment, which is sub optimal but I figured give it a shot because as of now Apple TV is useless.

So the review - internet is faster, can download / stream content from anywhere instantly. I am amazed at how fast the download speed is. I hope the service stays as consistent over the course of 12 months. For now, moving from Verizon appears to be a good move.
B4Knight
Premium
join:2014-03-20
Colon, MI
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: Charter - Apple TV vs Verizon

12 month commitment? Charter did away with contracts and commitments years ago.. Maybe they still offer them to people who want to lock in a lower rate, most likely bundled. They do have a 30 or 60 day money back guarentee though.

Charter is the only cable provider in my town and Frontier offers DSL with a maximum speed of 6mbps download and around 1Mbps upload. A few of my neighbors had Frontier and could only pull about 3Mbps download even during off peak hours. So for me Charter was a no brainer as Frontier would never meet my needs. Welcome to Charter and I hope your experience is just as good as mine has been for the past 2+ years

BinaryXtreme

join:2013-07-04
Sparks, NV

Re: Charter - Apple TV vs Verizon

I'm on a 12 month commitment. I am bundled but neighbor isn't. He's on a 12 month commitment as well.

Review by bkoeni1 See Profile

  • Location: Fort Worth,Tarrant,TX
  • Cost: $30 per month
  • Install: about 8 days
Good "Very fast and stable"
Bad "Price is reasonable only if bundled"
Overall "Fast feed and stable connections"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·AT&T Southwest
Update 04/18/2014

Charter upgraded my line to 60/4 without an increase in the $29.99 monthly (bundled) fee. I've got TV and phone also. Everything has been very stable and speeds have been very consistent since the upgrade in March, 2014. I continue to be pleased with their service.

***************************************************************************************************

Update 04/01/2013

Still on the 100/5 plan and service has been very stable. Speed has been consistent so, I'm getting what I pay for. Cost has increased from 59.99/month to 85.00/month and I have no other services through charter.

Update 07/01/2012:

Upgraded to the 100/5 plan for 59.99/month for 6 months. Speed tests daily show that I'm getting what I paid for. Very pleased with speeds and service. Very few outages. Just wondering what the price will increase to after 6 months. Could be too high to afford. I own my own modem right now.

***************************************************************************************************

Installed on 01/01/2011. Very fast speed (18/2) and very stable. I have everything at my home on backup batteries and when the power goes out, I lose my cable internet connection although the cable modem is on my backup battery supply.

Update on 01/24/2012. Seeing about 37/3 and still very stable. Currently subscribed to the Plus package and pay $70 / month which includes a $25 / month upgrade fee.

member for 13.7 years, 5981 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 7 days ago

Comments:

Review by whiskeyjimbo See Profile

  • Location: Billings,Yellowstone,MT
  • Cost: $133 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Tv Quality, Internet speed is as advertised."
Bad "If you're in the 'Mountain Region' you're pretty much a bastard stepchild with no access to actual charter"
Overall "its ok"

Overall the quality is fine, overpriced, but as cable companies are price fixing behind the scenes anyways you cant really do much.

If you're in the mountain region for charter, you are pretty much a bastard stepchild. You have to jump through hoops to find bill pay, you dont get any extra features (hbo go max go etc).... but its alright i guess.

member for 42 days, 1 visits, last login: 12 days ago
lodged 12 days ago

Comments:

CharterCust

@66.87.3.x

WiFi

My family and I have had this service forever. Why, because it's the only service we can get in our region. The cable and the phone service we have no problems with but the WiFi is absolutely HORRIBLE! We have changed our modem and modem location in our home at least 10+ times in the past 3 years! If we connect our cell phones to the wifi is usually never works and then takes almost 10 minutes for the actual cell service to come back. If I could get a different internet provider I certainly would!






Review by OpTiC See Profile

  • Location: Temple City,Los Angeles,CA
  • Cost: $75 per month
Good "clear tv picture quality "
Bad "lots of problems with scientific alanta box"
Overall "Best option for TV if Uverse or Fios isn't available"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

May 2011- I recently moved to a Time Warner cable area. So I disconnected my Charter services

July 2010-My promo ended for expanded basic with basic channels. Now I'm paying 67.99 with tax.

June 2009- My promo ended for expanded basic with basic channels, but luckly I get the promo renewed

May 2007- I signed up for Charter TV services the plan I signed up for is expanded basic with basic channels. I received the Scientific Atlanta 2000 cable box.

==============================================================

In the end, they are a decent choice an area with very little to no other choices, except MAYBE At&t Uverse.

member for 177 days, 202 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 17 days ago

Comments:
passerby

join:2013-03-22
Monroe, MI

Best option if Uverse isn't available...

Have you tried Uverse TV? I've seen it first-hand and know a few people who have it. It's a mixed-bag for sure.

anonymous103

@charter.com

crap

Charter has nothing but issues. Disappointed to the max. Horrible internet telephone and television service. Don't recommend charter anything to anyone, by far the worst customer service ever. The technicians aren't anything special either.
OpTiC

join:2014-03-08
West Covina, CA

Re: crap

Now I have Time Warner Cable which is alot better than charter. I hope I won't be transferred to Charter after the Comcast TWC merger due to older equipment.
surferwoman

join:2014-04-23
Hesperia, CA

Unburied Cable

I was digging in my yard trying to get it looking good. All of a sudden I unearthed a cable belonging to Charter. It was real close to the surface. It goes all across my yard. My neighbor said Charter didn't bury the cable deep enough. I called Charter and they were supposed to come out to bury it but they never did. I keep tripping on it. I don't know what to do. It is ruining my plans for my yard.

dataice
Premium
join:2002-10-27
Crisfield, MD
Reviews:
·Charter
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: Unburied Cable

A quick pass with your lawnmower will take care of that rather effectively. I know it's a last resort. They will come out when whoever that cable supplies services to calls to report an outage. Charter did the same thing at my last residence. Ran a cable across my back yard just a few inches below the surface to my next door neighbor.

I complained for over a year and finally after I ran over it with my lawnmower Charter had no choice but to come out and bury it deeper. It helps if you are home when the technician comes so you can monitor his work. There is no reason why you or anyone else should have to live with that. Good luck.

NEFiredog

@catholicmutual.org

Charter Communications

I live in an area that only allows a single cable television provider by franchise with the local town government. Our cable system has been sold twice over the last 20 years, and we now have Charter Communications. By far, this is the worst company I have ever been forced to deal with. Their customer service is non-existent, if there is a problem with the signal it is always my fault, and the absolute worse issue is the closest walk in office to my home is over 80 miles away. My money is good enough to purchase their crappy cable service, but not good enough to provide me reasonable location for a walk in office to exchange set top box, pick up a replacement remote, or easy access to an area manager to express my complaints to.

Recently, over three billing cycles, we got a notice in our monthly bill that we were about to get CBS Sports Channel. This is great because a couple of programs I like to watch moved to this channel and a local college basketball team is sometimes broadcast over this channel. I even checked with the CBS Sports website and my zip code as listed as getting CBS Sports. When, after 8 months, we never got the channel, I called Charter. First, they said we should be getting it and they would have a tech check it out. Never heard anything, so called back a few days later, same response. Then I get a message that we are not getting the channel. So I call again, ask why we are not getting it, the rep said we were never scheduled to get the channel. But, I said, we got a notice that we are to get it. Then we get a sorry, you are not getting it. I ask for a supervisor, I get one and I asked why we were not getting a channel we were told are to get. No answer, sorry, just not to get it. Not a happy person here. I have reported my displeasure with their service to their corporate office with very little results. I have now asked my local town government to seek bids for other cable providers. I will see where that goes.
lynneblack

join:2001-12-14
Reno, NV

lots of regret for switching to Charter

I had Directv for the past 6 years and it was great but after the first year, the bill would go up every few months and when I would call about it I would get some lame excuse and an offer to save a few $ a month if I renewed or extended my contract. I had Ooma for phone service and it was great. But since I had Charter internet for the past year and it's been very fast and rock solid I bit when they came at me with an offer to save me $40 a month if I switched my TV and phone service to them.

That was a month ago, no one showed up for the first appt., and when a contractor showed up the next day two of the three DVR's he installed didn't work, but he left knowing they didn't work and two of the three remotes had coffee stains and what looked like dried snot on them. It took over a week and four or five service calls to get three functional DVR's and replacement remotes, but I had to wait another week for the phone because someone forgot to port my number. Two weeks ago they install the phone and I instantly had buyers remorse, you need to call in to activate forwarding (or deactivate it) and when I did that I found out that not all of my calls were being forwarded to my cell- some of them were just 'lost'. I called back to disable it, that took 2 days and three calls. I decided that since call forwarding was a failure I had better set up voice mail- well, you have to call in to enable voice mail too and now, 48 hours since that call when I dial my number on the phone to set up voice mail all I get is a busy signal.

I had Charter years ago and I should have learned my lesson, nothing much has changed. The DVRs are awful, you can record two shows but not watch a third, and unless you react to the onscreen message that prompts you to switch to one of the shows being recorded it automatically quits recording one of the programs. The DVR menu is awful, just awful. The quality is very good since they went all digital, but the problems with the equipment and abysmal support don't make up for what is now an acceptable HD signal.

As far as the phone - Both Vonage and Ooma allow you to enable or disable both forwarding and voicemail through their web interface, including the ability to configure simulring which allows your phone to always ring to another phone at the same time. Charter never heard of simulring =/ I'm just plain depressed about this, I sold my Ooma device before realizing how bad the features are with Charter phone and am thinking about buying another one and porting my number back to Ooma and just using Charter for faxing which by the way works far better than Ooma or Vonage.

But their internet rocks, they just went from 30-60 and I have never had it go down for more than 10 minutes and that has only happened a few times.

carolo

@24.236.209.x

I am awestruck

I ditched my ATT DSL two weeks ago and switched to Charter. It used to take 40 minutes to download a game. Now it takes TWO minutes!

carolo

@24.236.209.x

Plus.........

And about the "awful" service? ATT put my phone on vacation for some reason. I got mad, stopped in to Charters, and they had me hooked up (phone and internet) 4 hours later! I already had TV.

Review by dataice See Profile

  • Location: Crisfield,Somerset,MD
  • Cost: $40 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Quick Install, and free modem."
Bad "Only offers 8/1 in my area, but charging me for the 30/4 tier. Speeds are inconsistent, and drop dramatically in the evening."
Overall "Charter is my only option, if I want more than entry-level DSL."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Verizon Online DSL
04/23/2014: I stopped by my local office today to see if Charter is running any specials on their internet service. I was told by the lady in the office that I could get 30/4 for $39.99 a month plus $5 a month extra for a wireless router. She said if I bundle it with their Silver TV package she would knock off $10 a month from my internet service, and give me both services for $54.99 a month, not including taxes and fees. She said with those added, I would be paying around $60 a month. I thought that was a good deal and I decided to take her up on her offer.

I was told however, that we still don't have access to any HD content from Charter, even though all of our local over the air stations broadcast an HD signal. We also don't have any DVR options here with Charter, or On Demand features. Charter is truly stuck in the 90's, in my local area. But, considering she's throwing in the TV service for $10 more a month than standalone internet, I still thought it's a decent deal. I'll just drop the TV service after the one year promo is up. I have a Netflix, and Hulu Plus subscription, so I will rarely watch their TV service anyway, unless it's to watch Game of Thrones on HBO, or a breaking news or weather event.

She said there would be a one time, $39.99 install fee, and a one time $29.99 activation fee for the wireless router which she said has to be paid up front before they will schedule an install. This company will find any excuse to nickel and dime you to death. I paid the up front fees, and was given a install window of 8 am - Noon tomorrow for my install. That's a pretty good turnaround. So, I set it up and told them I would make sure to be home when he comes.

04/24/2014: The technician showed up at 10 am. He had a bit of a mess to sort out in the junction box of my apartment complex because many of the lines to the individual units were missing their corresponding apartment number tags, so it took him nearly an hour just to figure out which line was mine.

After he came back in to begin the install, I casually mentioned what I was paying currently with Verizon for 3 Mbps DSL, and was happy to discover for about the same price I was going to get 30 Mbps with Charter. He quickly stopped me and said who told you that? I said, the lady down at the local office. He said, I don't know why she keeps telling people we offer 30/4 when we only offer 8/1 for your area. Well, that's just great I thought to myself. But, even at 8/1, it's still better than the 3/768 that I get with Verizon.

About an hour later, he finishes his install and calls in to provision my services. The picture quality of the SD digital service is poor. They are still using a late 90's Motorola DCT2000 SD receiver for our cable system. The SD digital picture is out of focus, and heavily pixelated on at least two-thirds of the channels. He asked me to do a speed test before he left to make sure everything looks okay. I pulled in just over 12 Mbps. Considering I'm only supposed to be getting 8 Mbps, I considered myself lucky.

04/25/2014: So far, so good as far as the internet goes. My speed did drop down to about 7 - 8 Mbps during peak hours from 5 - 11 pm last night, but considering I'm only supposed to get 8 Mbps to begin with, I can live with it. I am able to get 11 - 12 Mbps during non peak times.

04/26/2014: I logged into their web-site this evening to set up my account. I then discover I am not getting my services for $54.99 a month like I was told at the office. I was going to be paying $64.99 a month, plus an additional $6.99 for the SD receiver that she said would be included in the cost of the promo, for a total of $71.98, and that doesn't include any taxes or fees. With those added, I'm looking at around $80 a month. Quite a bit more than the $60 I was told I would be paying. Yet another false statement from this company.

Considering I have had dealings with Charter in the past, doing battle with them, just to get them to provide my apartment complex with services in the first place, I know it's a waste of time to get them to honor their agreement with me. They have no problem telling you one thing, and doing the opposite. I'm not about to rearrange my schedule to drive to the other side of town to deal with the lady at the local office. Shame on me for thinking that maybe they had changed. I will just keep it for the first year, then scale back to internet only when my promo is up. I'll update my review if I begin to have any issues with my services.

04/28/2014: I received an email that my first bill is due. They didn't waste any time. My monthly total with taxes and fees will be $79.23. I just loved the part of my bill break down that said I am subscribed to their Internet Plus 30/4 tier, even though they only offer 8/1 in my area, for the same cost as the 30/4 tier.

05/01/2014: I've been having to reset my modem at least twice a day. It simply stops responding. Tech support is useless. Their only option is telling you to unplug the modem for a minute, or sending a tech to your location. After checking with a neighbor in my complex who also has Charter, I discovered he's having the same problems. They send a tech out, he says our numbers are okay, and he leaves. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I'm also noticing some major issues with speeds, especially during evening hours from 5 - 11 pm. But, I know with cable internet that's just the nature of the beast. I live in a 330 unit apartment complex, so I imagine I'm on a congested node. My speeds in the evening hours are now dropping as low as 1 Mbps, and on a few occasions have dropped below 1 Mbps. I can forget trying to stream a movie during the evening hours, which is when most people are at home watching something.

05/29/2014: I suffered a 12 hour outage today with my internet. Of course when I called support their first response was to blame me. I told the CSR that I had already reset the modem and router before calling to rule out any issues on my end. Of course, he has me do it again anyway. They said my only option then is to send a tech. I've been there and done that with this company before, and they billed me for a service call, even after the tech determined the problem was on their end. Then you have to battle them for a credit. No thanks, I told the rep. I decided to wait until more people call it in. It's a good thing I still have my Verizon DSL connection as a backup, or I would have been SOL.

06/02/2014: I went down to the local office today to inquire about if/when we would see a speed upgrade. A tech who was coming back from his lunch break said, I wouldn't hold your breath. Those were his exact words. He said I don't see that happening in the next 24 months for this system, if not longer. In other words, be happy that you're getting 8/1.

06/06/2014: I returned my cable equipment to my local office today, and am scaling back to internet only. There are so many issues with their TV service, that it isn't a value, even at the promo pricing. Constant freezing of channels, heavy pixelation, and the program guide constantly losing programming information. My internet price will increase by $10 a month to $44.99 by dropping TV service. I'm probably going to sign up with DirecTV. They've been trying to get me back as a customer for several years.

07/09/2014: There was a front page article featured in our local newspaper today that the city has decided not to renew Charter's franchise when it expires on January 1, 2015. You know things are bad when it makes the front page of the newspaper. There was a local town meeting with city council and the County Commissioner last month, where apparently things got very heated, when customers were allowed to speak directly to Charter's regional manager about the dismal service. Apparently Charter said it had no plans to do any upgrades to the local cable plant here, and basically the city said, then we are done here. End of discussion.

So, now the city is in talks with Comcast about coming in to provide service to the area. There will be considerable upgrades that will have to be performed to the local cable plant, due to Charter's neglect of the plant. Comcast provides services to the northern half of the county, so this will fill in the southern half that Charter will be losing. I'm crossing my fingers, because if this deal falls through with Comcast as it is apparently tied into the swap of systems because of the Comcast/TWC merger, that will leave thousands without services. Charter is the only fixed line provider available to about two-thirds of the town's population, since Verizon stopped taking on new subs for DSL.

07/16/2014: I was able to find a TP-Link router on Amazon, so I returned the Charter provided router today to save the $5 monthly lease fee.

07/23/2014: Internet has been down since 6 pm this evening. Of course Charter has no idea why it's down or when it will be back up. So, I basically have to wait until more customers from my area phone it in before they do anything about it.

07/24/2014: Internet didn't come back up until just shy of 4 pm this afternoon. 22 hours total downtime.

08/02/2014: I'm trying to watch a movie on Netflix, and it's buffering every two to three minutes. And this is only a SD stream. I did a speed test to several sites, and discovered I'm averaging 1.2 Mbps right now as of 8 pm Saturday evening. I'd get better results with Verizon 3G if not for the caps. This level of service should be criminal.

08/03/2014: Yet another outage. I lost connectivity shortly after 9 pm. As usual customer service was useless. Let's see how long this one lasts.

08/04/2014: Service wasn't restored until just after 5 pm. A total of 20 hours of no service.

08/05/2014: I decided to go by my local office today to put in a request to disconnect service. Last night I was getting less than 1 Mbps. I refuse to continue to pay $40 a month for barely usable service. I'll just keep my DSL service active. It's only 3 Mbps but at least it's always consistent whenever I need it. 8 Mbps is useless to me if I can only get those speeds at 3 am in the morning when I'm sleeping.

Attachments:
Click for full size


member for 11.8 years, 2162 visits, last login: 2 days ago
updated 18 days ago

Comments:

W8vi

@24.210.166.x

Inept or corrupt

You have been ripped off. I'd be fuming and getting a price reduction for the 8/1 speed and the additional charges they did not mention to you. Then I would be contacting Charters customer relations department. If not satisfied then I would be contacting BBB, State Attorney's office and writing an editorial for the local paper explaining your recent "purchase".

There either inept or corrupt - probably a little of both. Not all providers act this way. I'm with Time Warner in SW Ohio and they haven't pulled that kind of crap with me or the family members I've referred for service -At least not yet.

Please take action against bad business practices.

dataice
Premium
join:2002-10-27
Crisfield, MD
Reviews:
·Charter
·Verizon Online DSL

4 edits

Re: Inept or corrupt

My father said the same thing to me yesterday. The more I sit and stew about it, the angrier I'm getting. Had I known the truth up front at the local office, I probably would have stayed with Verizon DSL. It's considerably slower, but at least it was consistent, especially in the evening hours when it counted the most.

The only reason I didn't cancel as soon as the tech came, is because they already had my $70 for the install and activation. I was trying to watch a movie on Netflix last night and it was buffering every two to three minutes, and that was a SD stream! I had to switch over to DSL to finish the movie.

Charter's franchise with my town is up at the end of this year. Several TV news stations here and our local newspaper have covered the situation of the poor service the county is getting. The city council has threatened to not renew Charter's franchise when it is up at the end of this year, but they've threatened to do that before and it was just a bunch of hot air.

People here are just fed up but we have nowhere else to go for service. When our local central office with Verizon DSL maxed out in 2011, it made Charter the only provider for fixed broadband in the area. And we can forget Verizon rolling out FIOS here. They stopped in neighboring Delaware in 2010, and passed right over Southeast Maryland, where I'm at.

My neighbor in the apartment across the hall, switched from Verizon DSL to Charter a couple of weeks before me, but he made the mistake of dropping his DSL line before he put his Charter connection through its paces, and now he's stuck with them. When he called Verizon to get DSL back they said no, because of the central office being full. The rep told him she couldn't add him back in, even if she wanted to. Her system blocks her from overriding it.

Knowing what I do about Charter already, I made sure to hold onto my DSL connection, just in case I found service with Charter's internet to be substandard. They didn't surprise me. I have to make up my mind soon, because I can't afford to pay $80 a month to Charter, and another $55 a month to Verizon.
csal1

join:2014-05-05
US

Re: Inept or corrupt

Holy crap!... I've never heard of any telecom company refusing to take customers because, basically, they can't handle the load. I'm from New York and out there they have FiOS. Its the best service I've ever seen. And I've also had Charter when I lived in the mid-west for a bit and they weren't bad as far as service is concerned but I had heard way before subscribing that their customer service was sub-par (similar to Comcast).

You should definitely make some noise on this. I know you said you said its a waste of time to call support based on past experiences but you cant just let them get away with this type of incompetence. I'm with W8vi, if you have to involve the State Attorney's office, do it (if you have the time because it does take time and effort)

dataice
Premium
join:2002-10-27
Crisfield, MD
Reviews:
·Charter
·Verizon Online DSL

4 edits

Re: Inept or corrupt

Verizon hasn't taken on any new customers here for DSL service since late 2010. My cousin who recently moved back to the area tried to get DSL with Verizon and was told they couldn't because the central office is full. Verizon refuses to dump any more money into POTS. It's been the case for several years now. At least in my neck of the woods. They rather focus on wireless. You can still get a voice line, but a no go on DSL here in my county.

And as far as our State Attorney's office, they simply don't care about this part of the state. It's rural, and we are largely invisible to them. I already fought a battle with Charter last year. They had refused to upgrade my apartment complex with Internet service because they said the manager had told them he didn't want them coming in, even though they already provided Cable TV service to the complex, and Internet service to the entire block, including a sub division just down the street from me for several years. They simply just skipped right over the complex.

After going to the manager, I discovered it was a blatant lie. They simply didn't want to perform the upgrades required to bring us Internet service, because they had some people in the complex not pay their cable TV bills, so they just wrote everyone off here for Internet service. Even though the majority of us pay our bills on time. Eventually, because of my efforts, and our local newspaper running an article about it, eventually Charter gave in, and did the required upgrades to get us Internet.

That was nearly a year of my life, going around knocking on doors, getting signatures, etc, with very little help from my neighbors. And our local city council whose job it is to make sure Charter is providing a service, required by their franchise agreement was worthless. I don't have the desire or time to do that all over again. Just to get them to provide a decent service people are paying for. It's a sad state of affairs in this country. You can get away with practically anything as a large company, if you know who to pay off.

Charter is doing the same thing right now across town from me, in a low income housing development. Charter is giving them the same runaround my apartment complex encountered. Several people who reside there are going door to door, like I had to do. Charter never ceases to amaze me. Now that it has been exposed, yet again by our local town newspaper, maybe those people will get Charter to cave. But, as I discovered, that doesn't mean you will get a service that is actually usable.

I will probably vote with my wallet and just go back to DSL. It's considerably slower, but at least it's dependable during the evening hours when I need it the most. Thank God I held on to it.

strmhawke

@71.90.87.x

Re: Inept or corrupt

Have you tried looking into Hughes net or similar? If you live in a rural area is it still possible to get a break in the bill because where you live?

dataice
Premium
join:2002-10-27
Crisfield, MD
Reviews:
·Charter
·Verizon Online DSL

4 edits

Re: Inept or corrupt

Several relatives tried satellite for internet and said it left a lot to be desired. Speeds were slower than 4G wireless on average, with low caps, and high latency which make it practically useless for gaming, VoIP, or other latency sensitive applications. My only other option is wireless with Verizon or AT&T. They're the only two carriers that have wireless coverage in this area.

I tried both, and was passing my caps every month. They only allow 10 GB's a month, and it was sending me into the poor house in overages. I tend to average about 150-200 GB's a month with Netflix and Hulu, which streaming wasn't an option on wireless. I'll have to live with 3 Mbps DSL, or stay with Charter and live with crippling speeds during evening hours.

Since I'm on a 12 month promo with Charter, I know they won't give me a break on the bill while I'm on that, which is a reasonable price at the moment. However, when I come off of it next April, that will no longer be the case for the speed I am getting. I would be shocked if they would give me a discount because they are only offering 8/1 to my area.

I read an article here on BBR recently that said, that some of Maryland's Charter systems would be traded with Comcast, as part of the Comcast/TWC merger. That's probably my area's best bet for decent service. If Comcast does acquire my system, then maybe they will do the required upgrades. Charter hasn't performed any major upgrades to our system in at least a decade or more.
wirelessdog

join:2008-07-15
Queen Anne, MD
kudos:1
said by csal1:

Holy crap!... I've never heard of any telecom company refusing to take customers because, basically, they can't handle the load.

DSL technology works on Channels. When you run out of channels you can't add more customers unless you add additional equipment. Verizon has limited the number of DSL customers in many areas.

runnoft
Premium
join:2003-10-14
Nags Head, NC
kudos:1

1 edit

DirecTV & oral offers

1. Caution on going back to DirecTV given that your beef with Charter was that they didn't honor the deal they offered you. I recently moved into a new area and wanted TV service and was faced with deciding among Charter, DirecTV, and Dish TV. I quickly ruled out DirecTV when I started reading a highly disporportionate rate, in my opinion, of reviews here and elsewhere from customers who had **major** problems getting DirecTV to do what they promised at the rate they promised it. Too many new customers, in my opinion, are complaining that DirecTV reneges and then wastes hours of customer time on the phone trying to get it resolved. If I were doing satellite, I'd go with DishTV because of the appearance of better and more honest service. Of course for any one customer in any location, the mileage can vary. But at least read the reviews and see if you think DirecTV is as good these days as you remember.

2. I don't trust what any of these telecom agents orally promote as deals in person or the phone. Notice they won't generally e-mail you the deal so you can print it before committing to it. When it's on the website, you can print it off and it's harder to pull a fast one. I did get Charter TV and Internet, ordering service online, and the deal was exactly as promised on the website. The pricing was very transparent. Add this box, the price per month for the first 12 months goes up this much. Take this channel package off, it goes down this much. And as I say, the bills have been exactly right with no gotchas. The one thing I couldn't tell online with any degree of confidence was how much it would go up when the 12 month promo deal expired. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

dataice
Premium
join:2002-10-27
Crisfield, MD
Reviews:
·Charter
·Verizon Online DSL

2 edits

Re: DirecTV & oral offers

I haven't decided yet on which service I'm going with. I've been reading some reviews for both Dish and DirecTV. Both seem to have mixed reviews, with slightly more negative reviews with DirecTV. Right now, DirecTV is looking like the better deal for me, because of local networks. Dish Network doesn't carry all of my locals like DirecTV.

I may decide to just cut the cord again, and live with Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Vudu for more recent releases. I can use an antenna to pull in a couple of my local channels for local news and weather. Until I went back to Charter in April, I had gone two full years without cable, and after a couple of months, I found I really didn't miss it like I thought I would. Thanks for the info.

Darkstar1485

@71.119.65.x

Charter

Use their chat service to get the service and the terms. PRINT OUT what the deal was - they normally re-cap it all. Print it out. All of it...every word.

If they don't meet that, you can PROVE what your expectation was and what was represented.

dataice
Premium
join:2002-10-27
Crisfield, MD
Reviews:
·Charter
·Verizon Online DSL

2 edits

Re: Charter

I would have used their chat function, but it wasn't available when I tried to use it. I assume they aren't available 24/7. Even if they had stuck by their terms, I still would have cancelled. The quality of service is beyond subpar.

Now I know why over half the homes in this town has a satellite dish. They actually used that as an excuse in a town meeting with city council recently. They have lost so many customers here to satellite, that they can't justify spending the money to upgrade the cable plant. Well, I guess we should thank them for their honesty?
cross12095

join:2011-04-10
Hillsboro, AL
Reviews:
·Charter

1 recommendation

Stop bumping your review to the top!

@dataice
I have noticed that every time someone else posts their review about Charter you quickly update yours with nothing new to add, just so your review sits at the top.
We get it, you hate Charter or whatever just stop bumping your freaking review!

dataice
Premium
join:2002-10-27
Crisfield, MD

1 edit

Re: Stop bumping your review to the top!

If you had bothered to look carefully, you would have noticed that I lowered the cost of what I pay in my review by $5 to reflect returning my router to save the router lease fee Charter was charging me.