Some words from a Charter Technical Support Rep
by nozero 11:00PM Thursday May 06 2004
I've been employed by Charter Communication in Louisville, Ky for 2 years. I take calls from ignorant people day in and day out. All I hear is how bad Charter sucks and basically, how I suck because I won't fix there beloved Windows 95. I just recently read the reviews on Charters service. I noticed one similarity with every post. That similarity is that everyone bitches about issues that are outside of Charter's control. Like a break in the backbone, home router issues, and application issues. Every other post in the reviews I hear "I wish someone come in here and replace Charter!" You know what, those problems are still going to be there. The same cable lines and the same servers. Different name and different people, but still the same services.
You know what really gets on my nerves is when people bitch about the littlest things. People will go out of there way to find something to bitch about, i.e. upload speed. The common user, which makes up 93% of the Charter customer base, don't need upload only download. The ONLY reason why you would upload is to run a server. You know that running a server is against the EULA (End User Licence Agreement) and is grounds for termination of service. Charter could be mean and shut off your Counter-Strike server! But we don't! So stop your damn bitching! If you want to bitch about the upload speed try switching over to a CBN account, or hell even a SOHO account would work.
Another little thing that pisses me off. When I get good ol' Billy Bob who is pissed off and cussin' me out because he can reach his nascar.com website. I don't see how anyone can just call up cussing some one out that is 500 miles away and was not involved with his issue. What brings people to doing that? What ever happen to treat your neighbor like you would like to be treated? We are not your whipping boy, we are individuals who have feelings like you Billy Bob. So I have come to a conclusion and that conclusion is that people are stupid and ignorant when it comes to something they have no idea what they are talking about.
A pissed off Tech.
| |volntnThe VolunteerPremium
The problem The problem may be Techs who hate there customers and takes the attitude that everyone is ignorant.While this Tech has only been at charter for 2 years,i have been with them for almost 7 from one way cable to todays 3meg 2way.I have seen it very bad and at one time Charter was one of the worst ISP's there was.It has gotten allot better,but with those horror stories of years past comes a reputation,and a bad one at that,and it will take years for them to get public opinion back on Charter's side.Another problem is the closing of the local phone support,now you get someone 500 miles away,who could really care less if your cable in your town is working properly,all they are interested in is if the Wildcats won a basketball game etc etc.
If your that unhappy,take a layoff or get another job,May i suggest ditch digging,as you will not have to take phone calls from anyone and you can work out that anger with a shovel. Surely you didn't get all those certifications and schooling to get a $9.00 an hour phone tech job did you?
Disagree With Writer "A Pissed off Tech",
I completely understand that there are a plethora of users who aren't extremely knowledgeable and don't understand that their router config is what's causing problems, or that a backbone is having line or router issues, or what some worm / virus has taken over the bandwidth on the internet while it spreads.
That being said, I do think you're a little off base in your points.
1) Statement: Only users who want to run servers care about upload speed.
Reply: That's a load of bull. Upload speed is desirous for a large number of reason.
a) Sending digital pictures / home videos to family. It drives me NUTS with how long it takes to send a few pictures that are only a few megs. Forget trying to e-mail a 50 meg video file to someone (whose e-mail provider hasn't put a quota their mailbox size)..
b) Gaming - Folks who enjoy playing online video games need upload bandwidth in order to maintain a high quality of play.. and I'm sure you know that there are a LOT of people out there in this category.
c) Working From Home - I, and many others, work from home much of the week. Even if I were to pay for a "business" internet service, I would only get 384k upload speed. This just doesn't cut it. My remote X-Windows sessions are horribly slow, forget trying to work on a presentation off of a server in the office, and don't even bother trying to send anything as an attachment to fellow co-workers. So your "even go to a SOHO account" is NOT a reasonable response.
2) Firmware updates. I have a Motorola Surfboard 5100 with the original firmware. This firmware has a bug(s)in it that causes connectivity issues with my Vonage telephone adapter. I have had to move my vonage adapter behind my router, which is NOT an ideal solution because it will not take the bandwidth it might need for a high quality call.
I have spoken to dozens of support folks, senior engineers in level 2, managers, etc. FINALLY I got a manager out of the Connecticut office who appreciated my issue and even mentioned that she is aware of many other customers with the same problem. She's been great to work with.. Wish I could remember her name, she even actually called me back a couple times to give me a status update. A few weeks ago she told me that she had been able to convince corporate to approve rolling out a newer firmware revision on the 5100s -- though I have yet to see it. The firmware revision I have is 184.108.40.206 and they're already up beyond 2.1.3. From the looks of other forums like Comcast and Adelphia, customers have no problems getting this done. Charter seems to be the only provider that does not give its support engineers the ability to flash a single customer's modem with different firmware revisions. (By the way, I bought the 5100 on the advice of a customer service rep when the rate plans changed to not include the rental modem.)
I can say that for myself, Charter's level of customer service overall has been quite poor. I can't believe it took me over 10 different people at Charter before I got to someone who was sympathetic to my problem and didn't just tell me "We can't do it. We don't even have the software / tools to do it."
4) Up until recently, the price plans that Charter offered really pissed me off. The different tiers were clearly priced in such a way that it did not make any sense to get any of the basic plans. I couldn't even eliminate a rental fee by buying my own modem up until the beginning of this year. This has gotten much better (I think) and that does please me.
5) New Product Technology Introduction - From what I can see here in MA, Charter is VERY far behind other providers in their offerings. Comcast has offered 3 meg download (I forget the up, but I THINK it's 384?) longer than Charter has even had the 2 meg service. Not sure what Adelphia is at..
Also the HD Programming is significantly behind Comcast and Adelphia. Take a look at the HD channel lineups and you will see that Charter's offerings pale in comparison to Comcast / Adelphia. Take NESN (New England Sports Network) for example. Comcast has had this channel in HD since LAST September. Adelphia and Cox also offer it. Charter does not.
Then take a look at the DVR offerings. Comcast / Adelphia had DVR set top boxes long before Charter did. I'm not sure if Comcast has DVR with HD built in, but I'm willing to bet they do.
Other companies also appear to have set top boxes with DVI and firewire capabilities enabled. Charter does not.
6) Television Channel Picture Quality - I have a 55" Mitsubishi Rear Projection television, and I have to say that most channels really do NOT look very good. I'm assuming this is due to compression reasons as I have had numerous technicians come out to my house and tell me that my signal is very good.
With all that being said, the actually delivery of the services I do get has been for the most part outstanding over the past several years. My High Speed internet service is good enough that I trust it to carry my telephone line service as well. I have no land line from Verizon anymore.
My connections have been for the most part rock solid. With the exception of the past week or two, I can't even remember another time when the connection went out due to a problem not in my house under my own control. It's been awesome.
MCSE, Sun Solaris Certified Administrator (as long as we're touting our certifications)