dslreports logo

story category
Charter Hikes 'Service Computerized Fee'
From $2 to $3 Every Time You Make Change
by Karl Bode 04:19PM Wednesday Jan 02 2013
Charter is informing customers that a dubious fee will be getting slightly more dubious during 2013. As it stands, Charter automatically charges users a $1.99 "Service Computerized Fee" should customers make any changes to their service, be it to change programming packages, or downgrade/upgrade your broadband speeds. Users in our Charter forum note they're being informed the fee will now be jumping from $2 to $3 for every change.

Click for full size
The fee is not listed on Charter's site listing of fees, and users say it's often inconsistently applied. Users also say that they've occasionally been able to get Charter to reverse the fee, depending on the customer service representative they get on the phone.

The fee is of course only one of numerous fees ISPs use to jack up the cost of television and broadband service while keeping the advertised rate the same. It joins a shift toward also charging customers should they want to pay over the phone, pay in person, or manually use a credit card instead of enrolling in auto-pay.

The fee increase also comes on the heels of Charter's decision to save a buck by completely killing all extracurricular customer support, which ranged from Twitter support to free, private support offered here in our direct forums.

topics flat nest 


Spencer, MA

3 recommendations

Charter kicked to curb effective today...

Installed an outdoor antenna a month ago. I get about 15 channels over the air, most in HD. Called Charter today and cancelled my service, they didn't even try to keep me from cancelling once I told them I was going OTA. Supplementing with a Netflix streaming sub., and use a VPN to access BBC programming. First time in 28 years I have not been a cable tv subscriber. The rate hikes stopped here with me this year... Hope more people cancel, it's the only way to stop the price hikes, BS fees, and garbage customer service.

Chesterfield, MO

Re: Charter kicked to curb effective today...

Who provides your HSI? There's a trend to shift lost video revenue into the cost of that service.

That makes sense because without real competition (not just one or maybe two others that aren't even comparable), cable, telco and wireless are like the government. They'll get their revenue one way or another. Since they aren't the government, they aren't allowed to print more by tossing a few IOUs in the social security "lock box".


Spencer, MA

Re: Charter kicked to curb effective today...

Verizon DSL, I'm within a few blocks of my CO my speeds are 13/1 (admitted, not typical of DSL). Wife keeps a landline for her to talk to her elderly mother in Germany (cell quality doesn't cut it for these conversations). Verizon DSL + phone is $72 a month.

Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Tulsa, OK
That's exactly what Cox is doing here. They keep shifting the price of broadband up for anyone who doesn't want to keep paying for PayTV. It's penalty pricing and they know that most "Cord Cutters" are only cutting PayTV not internet.... so they keep increasing the price of the Internet.

Caps and overages are an extension of this same idea. They are going to keep increasing their prices even if you choose not to have PayTV.

The more people turn off PayTV the more they increase internet prices.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

many people have, it has not stopped anything.


hulu + netflix +ota here Broadband via cox im thinking of adding amazon if their original programming will be any good when they do it. also have a vpn


Nashville, TN


That's my screenshot of my bill I posted in the Charter forum.

united state

Re: ScreenShot

You little attention whore

said by compuguybna:

That's my screenshot of my bill I posted in the Charter forum.


I'm the one who started that story in the Charter forms. Your screen shot was just a reply to my original post!!

My version of attention whoring!!

Really sucks that if you cut out a service they charge you $10 (at least it used to be) for not having any other service other than HSI. That simply proves what those other services are worth, IMO!
The Firefox alternative.

What Would Earl Do?


What's next?

After the "Change of Service Computerized Fee" (do they even have a non-computerized option?), will there be an "Ask us a question fee" (computerized = $2.50; non-computerized = $5.00)?
"...but ya doesn't hasta call me Johnson!"

Bill Neilson
Arlington, VA

And why not? ISP's charge us to pay the bills

unless we do so in the cheapest form FOR the billion-dollar ISP.

They can do it because....who will stop them? How many stories will we see where an ISP's rakes in millions/billions and pays 1/100th of it as a 'fine' for doing such a service?

Nothing New...

Dish Network has had a $5 downgrade/sidegrade fee going back as far as at least 1998

Watertown, MA

Re: Nothing New...

As does RCN cable. $5 to uncheck a box and check another lol
My views are my own.
Yea.. this is old news.. this has been going on for over a decade, and quite honestly it's one that I agree when it comes to a "fee" as Karl likes to use as a slanderous word loosely associating it with taxes and fees.

The "fee" is there to discourage customers from ordering, say, HBO, but something comes up on Showtime they want to watch so instead of just ordering showtime they'll call up and "swap" the service.. and then next week they'll want HBO back. This has been the reason why the account change service fee was put into place over a decade ago.

So really.. what's the big deal? ... those people answering the phone don't work for free. $3 to make a chance to the account is a drop in the bucket.

Re: Nothing New...

I forgot about that. Yep, people take advantage of the premium movie channels. People will order HBO or Showtime for a big boxing match and then cancel the next day. I remember people posting they would order HBO on Sundays for The Sopranos and cancel the next day. They’d end up paying like a dollar or two or HBO, meanwhile the MSO had to pay HBO or Showtime for that subscriber for an entire month and they’d be losing money on that subscription because of some dolt being cheap and using HBO or Showtime a their own personal pay per view service.

The downgrade and sidegrade fees are there to prevent abuse.
iPhone: 4” 1136 X 640 Display, 1.30 GHz Dual Core Processor, 1 GB RAM
MyPhone: 5” 1920 X 1080 Display, 1.50 GHz Quad Core Processor, 2 GB RAM
So tell me, why is exactly is the iPhone so great?
Droid Does What Jobs Won’t Let You Do.

Brooklyn, NY
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

attack of the unfees

unfees, get rid