You have three days. (What? They always say that.)

I am NOT happy with my cable company. As in, I’m ready to switch to satellite and I hate satellite because it always fritzes out when the first raindrop falls from the sky and you can’t even get local weather. But I’m ready to make the jump if my cable issues aren’t resolved. And resolved muy pronto.

Last Monday – as in ten days ago – I noticed some of our channels were blinking in and out. Sometimes they’d say they were unavailable, but we’d change channels, get distracted by something else, and then they’d come back. I thought there was maybe a blip in the service. It was annoying, but I just shrugged it off. The next night, I noticed the same problems. By Wednesday, I was downright annoyed. That was Day 3 of the Week of Monsoons in North Texas, so I thought that even though I’d never had problems with my cable service (satellite, yes) when it was stormy out, that might be the problem. The channels were coming back after a few minutes, so I figured it would clear up on its own. Until Friday night when I came home with my pizza, ready to sit down and gorge on the shows I had been recording all day. And there was nothing. None of the channels that had been blinking on and off were there. None of the shows I had recorded were there. Nothing.

I called Charter. I spent 30 minutes following all of Robot-Lady’s instructions, to no avail. I spent an hour talking to a customer service tech. Nada. So she scheduled a tech to come out to the house on Saturday afternoon. By that point I had decided the cable box was bad and figured a simple swap would fix the problem. But I didn’t want to jinx anything, so I didn’t explode when the customer service agent couldn’t guarantee that the tech visit would be free until they diagnoses what was wrong, or the fact that she only gave me a $15 credit for being without cable for a quarter of the billing period. (I don’t mind telling you all that I pay $180 for my landline, cable, and internet, all through Charter. It’s the cheapest bundle I could find.) I decided I would wait until the issue was resolved, and then figure out what the correct discount should be, and then argue for it.

Saturday arrives. I’d run around like a madwoman getting everything done so I could be home for the service window, from 3-5 p.m. The tech showed up a little before 3:30, and did tech-y type things, determining that the box was fine, but the cable signal was low. It was low at the box, so it might be the line coming into the house. Except it was low there, too. He checked the splitter up in the attic. Low there. Finally, he went out to the post where the outside line from the cable grid comes into the neighborhood, which happens to be in my back yard. The signal was low there, too. Which meant it was an outside line issue. He would have to call in the big guns, to go fix it via road construction, or, um, something similarly involved.

I was annoyed. I mean, the tech was extraordinarily nice and kind (and hott) and had gone above and beyond. But STILL – a week without cable. And none of the shows I had recorded. This was getting ridiculous. But there was little I could do, so I thanked him, he left, and we made plans for me to call the cable company if I didn’t have my channels back by Monday night or Tuesday.

You’d think that would be that. But oh no – this is me we’re talking about. I was talking to my sister an hour later and it started thundering on my head, quite loudly, so I jumped on the computer to check the radar. Except…no…internet signal. FANTASTIC!! I called Charter customer service again, determined they couldn’t see a signal and then when the agent told me she couldn’t get anybody out until Sunday, I lost my shit.

Now look – I know I sound like a pampered First World princess when I complain about not having cable and internet. I know this. But I also know I am paying WAY MORE of my hard-earned money to this company than I think a person really should be expected to pay for basic cable, a land line, and the most basic internet package available. For all of those dollars, I should be able to expect reliable service, or when things go wrong – as they do – to have the problem fixed in less than a week!! WITHOUT RUINING ADDITIONAL SERVICES!!!

I politely but firmly explained to the customer service agent why being tied to my house for a second day for something they had done wrong while they were out NOT fixing my original problem was unacceptable. I spent another hour on the phone with her while she talked to her supervisor and somehow finagled a call to dispatch and a promise that they would break policy and send someone to my house that night to fix it, even though it was past the time when they stopped issuing service tickets. Thirty minutes later, my original tech called because dispatch had called him to see exactly what he had done while he was out. That’s when I learned that from what he saw on his end, they were sending the line crew out to fix the cable issue on Sunday like had already been arranged, but NO ONE had been sent to fix my problem. After a back and forth and another few phone calls, my original tech ended up coming out on his own time to fix my internet that night. God bless him. He said I had his cell number from all the times he’d called me back that night and if I didn’t have cable by Monday, to call him and he’d find out what was going on.

Guess who still didn’t have cable last night?

I called the tech but couldn’t ever get through because, oh, hey maybe he thinks I’m a hot mess and refused to pick up the phone. Or maybe because he’s busy dealing with  other victims of Charter’s craptastic serviceless system and his voice mail was full. Either way. I finally called Charter’s customer service line again and ended up talking to yet another agent who spent half the call talking to her supervisor. She said the line guys had been out on Sunday and said they resolved the issue. Yeah, except not because I still wasn’t fixed. She issued another line-service request and scheduled me for another service call on Thursday night. Which means I can’t work out on Thursday because the cable guys are coming. Just like I couldn’t work out last night because I was on the phone all night. And that’s just this week.

I haven’t told Charter yet, but I’m not paying my bill for this month. Cable, phone, internet… any of it. I think if they really want to keep my service, that’s the least they can comp me. I’ve been a customer for ten years, after all. I’m sure they can cover it. And if they can’t? See ya later alligator. Of course the same goes if they can’t fix my problem by Friday. That I have told them.

They have three days to keep the last customer they have in my half of the subdivision. Get motivated, boys.

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One Response to “You have three days. (What? They always say that.)”

  1. Kathy Says:

    So, do you have cable yet? Inquiring minds want to know.

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