dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
New Charter CEO: Company Was 'A Mess'
CEO Responsible For Shuttering All Extra Online Support
by Karl Bode 08:53AM Thursday Mar 07 2013 Tipped by zed260 See Profile
New Charter CEO Tom Rutledge this week informed investors that Charter Communications was "a mess" when he took over the company one year ago. "There is no other way to describe it," said the CEO, who added that the company was a "diamond in the rough" and that "we spent the last year trying to straighten it out." Rutledge's moves since taking the new position have drawn some hard lines, such as simplifying the company's usage tiers to just 30 and 100 Mbps and eliminating support for customer-owned modems entirely. Rutledge is also responsible for shutting down the company's entire "UMatter2Charter" social and online support department despite consistently ranking last industry-wide in customer service and support. Those changes have helped the balance sheet, but at the cost of further eroding an already struggling consumer brand perception.

view:
topics flat nest 
AndyDufresne
Premium
join:2010-10-30
Chanhassen, MN

1 recommendation

Captive audience

Amazing what you can get away with when you have a captive audience. Suck it up or head over to dslowland. Cable guys alawys thinking short term and by the time it bites them in the ass that CEO will be gone, king of like our government officials.
Expand your moderator at work

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter

Rutledge also moving HQ from St. Louis to Stamford

Add to Rutledge's decision: paying $10 million for new headquarters building in Stamford, Connecticut. The current headquarters is in St. Louis, Missouri.

»www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/ar ··· 0197.php
megarock

join:2001-06-28
Catawissa, MO
Reviews:
·Charter

lol

Tom is a moron. Thanks to killing off the online support after my recent issue I realized that things have gone backwards several years. Support was horrible, the tech they sent out didn't know his a** from a hole in the ground (how do you get to a command prompt??), and just like the old days it took FIVE technician trips to repair a very simple problem at the tap. Luckily the corporate escalations department is still there otherwise it would likely still be broke. Only offering the choice of one of two expensive tiers? Brilliant move! And from what I've seen of your stock the damage Tom is doing to the satisfaction rating of this company isn't making much of a dent in stock prices.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: lol

said by megarock:

Tom is a moron. Thanks to killing off the online support after my recent issue I realized that things have gone backwards several years. Support was horrible, the tech they sent out didn't know his a** from a hole in the ground (how do you get to a command prompt??), and just like the old days it took FIVE technician trips to repair a very simple problem at the tap. Luckily the corporate escalations department is still there otherwise it would likely still be broke. Only offering the choice of one of two expensive tiers? Brilliant move! And from what I've seen of your stock the damage Tom is doing to the satisfaction rating of this company isn't making much of a dent in stock prices.



I now fully believe that Tom is setting the company up for a buyout by another MSO. There is no other reason to gut a company other than to sell it, at least not in the manner that he is doing it, and this nearly confirms it. The company was not in a "mess" before, it was improving, greatly, which is what you don't want if you have plans of buying or selling yourself.
Chuck_IV

join:2003-11-18
Connecticut

1 edit

1 recommendation

Re: lol

This is blatantly obvious now. I dunno if the board actually wants him doing this or if he is doing it on his own, so he can get a big payday, but it is extremely aggravating none the less.

As you stated, this company was on the rise and not a mess. It took a while but they were making serious strides. Cableboy Rutledge has undone the last 5 years of advancement, in less than one.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1

Glad I live on the Comcast side of the bridge

I live in Western (Springfield) MA in an area dominated by Comcast and Charter. Over the bridge in Ludlow they have Charter.

According to some of the locals, Comcast is the lesser of the two evils.

gattaca
Premium
join:2003-05-28
USA

Re: Glad I live on the Comcast side of the bridge

As a Ludlow citizen, I have long wished for Comcast to buy out our area. Charter is truly awful. Their direct support forum on this site was the only thing of value.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: Glad I live on the Comcast side of the bridge

said by gattaca:

As a Ludlow citizen, I have long wished for Comcast to buy out our area. Charter is truly awful. Their direct support forum on this site was the only thing of value.

Tom rutledge came from comcast, and hes running charter just like he ran comcast. Both companies are shit, but Tom ruined 5 years of progress in less than 1. Charter was on the rise, with vastly improving customer support, and much improved physical and online presence. Now, its going the other way. Comcast is worse than charter tho in many markets.

Camaro
Question everything
Premium
join:2008-04-05
Westfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
·Comcast
The only feature Charter had when I was a customer years ago when I lived in Chicopee that was cool, is you could hook up a external hardrive to there boxes and get so much storage space, that was oh 7 years ago, so thank god Comcast finally gave us this feature.

Both company's are evil lol, Comcast just has the better network.

Daniel D

@embarqhsd.net
Charter is a pretty horrible company and I've had my run ins with them as well mostly due to customer service which is awful with them. I had trouble setting up just an install with them for my mother and that isn't something that should be complicated. However the person on the other end that was obviously outsourced and could barely speak English made it difficult. Charter has a horrible rep in my area too, many people avoid them here and unless it's just a last choice won't even sign up with Charter.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26
said by IowaCowboy:

I live in Western (Springfield) MA in an area dominated by Comcast and Charter. Over the bridge in Ludlow they have Charter.

According to some of the locals, Comcast is the lesser of the two evils.

Same here.

Comcast is right outside the village I live in and easily used to be the worse of the two, but not anymore.
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonk ··· amonkey/

Joe1234

@limited.com

Charter = just fine

I've been a Charter customer for 10+ years in various parts of Michigan. I can honestly say we have had very few issues with either the internet or TV service. The TV service is lacking in organization and DVR box interface, but fine.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Re: Charter = just fine

said by Joe1234 :

I've been a Charter customer for 10+ years in various parts of Michigan. I can honestly say we have had very few issues with either the internet or TV service. The TV service is lacking in organization and DVR box interface, but fine.

I've been a Charter customer for about 16 years and although the internet has been absolutely perfect, for the most part, as has my lousy expanded basic tv, I still consider Charter one of the most stupidly ran companies I've ever seen and this moron Rutledge has made it even more of a dips**t company!

I live right next door to Comcasts area and of the 2, I used to say Comcast was the crappiest, but definitely not anymore! Comcast has made and continues to make strides here where as with Charter, they are doing nothing but going backwards!

Considering I only have expanded basic tv, even that isn't the greatest though as I get all kinds of stuttering and lagging crap on a regular bases.
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonk ··· amonkey/
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Customer Owned Modems

I recently lost Internet access and after a call to customer support it was eventually restored by various support-initiated reset operations. They suggested I get a new modem and offered to roll a truck. I told them I can go by customer support to get a new modem.

The next day I learned that new modems are not free and they wanted to charge me $7/month. Apparently I was on "old pricing" (a two year agreement) and I did not qualify to get a "free" modem. I told them I still have time left on the agreement and if I cannot buy my own modem, where does that leave me? They told me I can still buy my own modem and that often the support folks provide incorrect information.

Long story short, I ordered a new Moto SB D3 modem, installed it and the auto-provisioning mechanism did not work. I contacted support again and after 20 minutes of fussing, it's now working fine.

Random Thoughts:

- Customers can still own modems

- From a customer's perspective, Charter is still a mess

- Tom -- you get an "F". The last time I purchased a modem, the auto-provisioning could not have been easier. This time it sucked -- probably because you are phasing out customer-owned modems and still have a huge internal mess since there are still conflicting stories coming from your own people.

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

Company was "A Mess"?

Bullsh*t. Look at what you've done with Bresnan Communications. You took a perfectly running company that cared about its' customers and employees and screwed it all up.

His "baby" my ass. Tom Rutledge is the "mess" here. What's funny is that everything's the same before they became Optimum. Just the prices are increasing.

Now that he's in control of Charter, I'm seeing him screw that company up, too. It doesn't surprise me one bit. Unfortunately, Optimum here has been bought out by Charter, so we'll get screwed over even more soon.
--
Bresnan 30M/5M | CenturyLink 5M/896K
MyWS[PnmIIX3@3.2G,8G RAM,500G+1.5T+2T HDDs,Win7]
WifeWS[A64@2G,2G RAM,120G HDD,Win7]
Router[2xP3@1G,2G RAM,18G HDD,Allied Telesyn AT2560FX,2xDigital DE504,Sun X1034A,2xSun X4444A,SMC 8432BTA,Gentoo]

nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms

From Mess to ClusterF**k

Before this guy showed up, Charter was making good strides. I was paying Charter $130 / mo for services.
Then... the new management team took over. Support absolutely sucks again. Now when I call, I get people who are extremely difficult to understand.
Their "non-choice" choices are the pits. Their services are overpriced.
1/2 way through my 2 year pricing agreement and without any warning, Charter raised the price of my service by $15 per month. Because they can. Pricing agreement be damned.

I have canceled all of my serviced excepting basic internet, so now Charter get $50 of my hard earned cash instead of $130.

Tom says he's concerned about what fixed wireless may do to the cable industry. He should be. The decisions he's been making make Clearwire look like a viable alternative. Even crappy old DSL is looking better and better.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.