Comments on news posted 2012-12-07 10:29:48: Update: Charter has confirmed they're not only killing off all online social media help, but they're pulling their technicians from our private, direct forum, where countless Broadband Reports readers have gotten additional private assistance above a.. ..
I try to keep my business with Charter at an absolute minimum, but it's been my experience that their standard phone support has never been able to resolve an issue and in fact their sole purpose is to lie to customers to try to get them to upgrade packages. The only way I've been able to get thing taken care of is through the folks on Twitter and through a contact in the local office. The official customer service is infuriatingly inept.
As a call center worker that try to do the job right we don't get to sit in any company meetings that make this kind of move. We just get the axe. If I don't read or do just what I am told I out so fast I don't get jack.
First I would like to say thanks to the folks of Charter SM, and especially the "Charter Direct" employees, who have helped me in the past. You folks were a shining light in the darkness that is Charter tech support.
It seemed like Charter was making great strides in customer service and service offerings over the past decade. This new "leadership" has made some of the poorest business decisions I've ever seen. It appears as if they are actually trying to drive customers away. There is no other explanation. I feel like I'm in a position to critique. I worked in the communications sector for many years (yes I even worked for Charter). I am a business owner myself and still closely tied to the communications industry. I realize that sometimes unpopular decisions need to be made. But - the route that Charter has taken in the last several months leaves me absolutely baffled. From the choiceless package "choices" to the cable modem debacle, punishing existing customers with mega price hikes, and now this.
I've had to call Charter phone support in the past. Let me tell you, it's painful. More painful than any other foreign based tech support I've ever encountered. Basically, Charter is giving a big F.U. to the customer. Charter may be the fastest player in town, but they aren't the only player in the game. I really wanted to like Charter. Quite honestly, I was starting to like Charter until just a few months ago.
When I first started my career at a "real job", an old timer gave this sage advice: "It takes a lot of 'atta boys' to cancel one 'Oh Shit!'".
Charters been making a lot of "Oh Shit" decisions, and they don't have too many "atta boys" to back those up. -- If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.
I am guessing they are a mostly unregulated monopoly (or half of a duopoly) in most of their service area, so the only reason they would provide any customer support whatsoever is to reduce the risk of further regulation. Management only has to please stockholders.
Who the hell is FIRING social media people? This has got to be the ultimate bonehead move. Our company is hiring social media people like they are gold, and they are. I guess they didn't get the memo on the 1 billion people on Facebook.
My customers LOVE social media folks because it is so much more EFFICIENT and a BETTER customer experience. You also get to KNOW the folks, almost like a COMMUNITY.
These CEO's are turning into real douche bags, they need to stop listening to actuaries. I was once told by a operations CEO (meaning a CEO w/ a ops background - a bean counter) that the only valid expense was themselves, everyone else was an operating expense. And he was serious. Of course he got a nice 8 figure bonus when he whacked 5,000 people later than year.
Now you know why I have been lambasting CEO Mr. "Tommy Boy" Rutledge for the past months since he has been hired to DESTROY Charter's amazing comeback.
The Charter shareholders ought to be SICK with worry now because being penny wise and pound foolish by dumping the social media people (like those from Umatter2Charter) will definitely start the ball rolling downhill faster than ever for the ailing company.
I personally was greatly helped by the Umatter team and it made the difference between me sticking with Charter or going to another provider.
I'd like to thank everybody at Umatter2Charter, you improved the customer service at the company by leaps and bounds.
Things looked increasingly optimistic with former CEO Mike Lovett at the helm, sure perhaps the profit margin wasn't the best BUT he was obviously thinking about the long term health and well being of the company, not just tomorrow.
I wish I knew the address to contact the Board of Directors at because moves like this are going to buy the shareholders a couple of more steak dinners initially and then make the company go belly up in the long run.
Mr. Rutledge, you sir and your executive manglement team are fucking idiots.
Sounds harsh doesn't it? Well it may be the only way to get through to the shareholders.
The support here is by far one of the few things Charter had actually done right in recent years. If we are all forced back to their feeble phone support things are going to go right back to hell, customer satisfaction numbers will plummet and people will go right back to filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau and destroy their rating there.
I guess if that's what they want then more power to them. I still know the number to Escalations and i suspect those poor people are going to start getting pounded with calls. Might want to give them a raise so they don't up and quit on you.
Just when they started to become a decent provider they are apparently doing everything they can to destroy those years of hard work.
2012-Dec-5 5:59 pm: ·
IowaCowboy Iowa native Premium join:2010-10-16 Springfield, MA kudos:1
Some of the surrounding communities (Chicopee, Ludlow, Wilbraham, East Longmeadow) are served by Charter while I live in Springfield and the communities of Holyoke, West Springfield, Agawam, Westfield, and Longmeadow are served by Comcast. In the local forums, Charter is considered the worst of the worst. They also use those Junky Cisco Set-Tops and equipment. Here, Comcast uses the better Motorola boxes.
If I ever had to move, service providers would be a factor in choosing a new place and Comcast along with Time Warner are good in my book. I would also go with Mediacom if I moved back to Iowa.
2012-Dec-5 6:21 pm: ·
KoRnGtL15 Premium join:2007-01-04 Grants Pass, OR kudos:1
At this point...
That new CEO needs a swift kick in the nuts and a reality check! Just like the others in the last few years making poor decisions. These guys have always been extremely helpful and get things done. Always on top of things and quick to resolve issues. Call in and they know nothing. Btw. Even though we cannot resolve the problem. I see that you do not have tv service. Lets make a deal. GTFO!
How companies that make millions if not billions a year & are far from getting into the red are always crying, about how they have to let people go, the very people who helped them get to where they are. My guess is all this crying is about nothing at all, & wanting the minimum amount of people to keep making their billions. That goes for other companies to, I'm sure there are plenty of jobs they could be hiring people for, but its the mindset of greed, in the last 10 years that has screwed this country, along with the banks & wall st & the government allowing corporations not to pay taxes at all like GE & allowing them to send manufacturing jobs over seas, without penalty. Just like JP Morgan & Carnegie had local and state officials in their pockets in the mid to late 1800s so do they now, thru lobbyist & other such facilities that allow, what no politician alive today would dare say, the U.S government is monopolized, by major corporations, period... One thing is for sure, the way things are being run today are very unsustainable. Ok end of rant, sorry guys & gals.
The word is stupid - not "ill-conceived" or "unwise." STUPID.
No jobs are being lost so they are not saving any money on salary. Somebody at the top simply has never used a forum and thus sees no purpose for their existence or for participating in support forums on other sites. He woke up one day and said "Why am I paying these people to chat online? Let's find real work for them to do." I assume that shortly after that he lit his oil lamp and waited for his horses to be hitched to the wagon for his ride to work.
Forums are available now, 24/7, with no waiting. If one common problem is solved the same solution will help hundreds of other people who never have to call since they can read the solution and follow it themselves. Man's knowledge isn't responsible for his success; his ability to disseminate the knowledge is the key to helping large groups of people.
Maybe it's about performance metrics. After all, if you didn't answer x number of calls today how can they rate your performance? If one of your answers helped 10 people today they have no way of knowing.
Note that I once wrote the scripts for techs to use during the dialup era for a nationwide ISP. I've worn the headset. Try fixing a computer that can't go online to test because you're talking on the same line the modem dials in on. That was life in the 90s!
Looks like Charter is trying hard to get back to that time. Every other modern company is trying to expand their service to every medium possible.
Oh yeah, and I am a Charter Business customer too - voice and data.
Actually according to the story here it mentions that the current employees must either migrate to the phone CSR or leave the company. How much do you want to bet that quite a few WILL end up unemployed?
2012-Dec-5 11:20 pm: ·
KrK Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy Premium join:2000-01-17 Tulsa, OK
Short term thinking
It's always the same. Cut customer service costs now to make more profits.
Long term, it results in less customers and lower profits.
Everything in the US is about the short term. Long term be damned.
They are probably counting on a captive market and future caps and overages as a way to keep profits flowing in and customers stuck with nowhere to go. -- "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
I cannot even begin to say how STUPID of a move this is. As an IT consultant, I need someone with technical know-how to speak to when my customers have issues with their internet. The Charter Direct forum is the only place where I can get such support.
One of my clients had sporadic problems with his internet for over two weeks. On the phone, I could not reach ANYONE who could help me. They all insisted that the problem was on my client's end.
Once I informed the folks at the Charter Direct forum, they immediately identified and resolved a noise issue with my client's node, which was affecting his entire street. An crew of Charter technicians came over and worked on their lines for 3 days to resolve the issue.
I just want to say thanks to the Charter Direct technicians who have helped all of us in the past, and hope that you guys find a better, more respectful company to work for in the future.
That's the sad part, you have earnest, diligent and hard working charter reps ACTUALLY assisting the customer, solving problems and in the end KEEPING PAYING CUSTOMERS FROM LEAVING CHARTER, yet these executive IDIOTS (yep YOU Mr. Rutledge!) are stopping that valuable asset which helps you drive customer referrals, and retaining paying current customers. STOOOPID!
As I see it the LEAST valuable employees at Charter are the EXECUTIVE MANGLEMENT TEAM, THE CEO, AND THE BoD.
Shareholders WAKE UP! Fire this lot of incompetents short sighted bean counters!
News on this has got to spread to Engadget, Gizmodo, WSJ, Business Insider ect. Its got to spread like wildfire fast enough so as many can see this anti-customer move.Then watch shareholders make the right call as they did for HP when their former CEO thought it bright to prematurely shut down and squander assets.
OT: Maybe Rutledge watched this while thinking it was not a parody and it was all this department actually did:
It is WAY cheaper to keep an existing customer than go find a new one. The media support was a cheap way to keep existing customers.
These guys are all dumbasses. It is idiocy like this that has Charter the only MSO losing money with those losses INCREASING. How the F do you lose money in the cable oligopoly? You do stuff like this.