You Won A 65-inch TV From Charter Cable! Here Is Your 19-inch TV!

The News Courier reports Charter Cable ran an online contest asking kids to submit stories about why their dad was the “World’s Greatest Dad,” and the winner was supposed to get a 65-inch TV…instead, a 19-inch one showed up on his doorstep. Is this any way to treat The World’s Greatest Dad?

UPDATE: Charter has responded to this post and says they’re working with the family to get them a better prize.

UPDATE: Charter Gives Family 2 TVs After Contest Snafu

The winner was the straight talking submission penned by Mike Lewis’ daughter, who said her dad was the greatest because he got up every morning, worked hard, and worked in the yard. When it came time to deliver the goods, there were miscommunications back and forth as Charter Cable marketing employee Jeff Hatcher tried to process Lewis’ W-9 (part of the contest rules were that the winner had to pay sales tax on the prize). Then Hatcher realized the promised TV was too expensive for his marketing budget and sent a 19-inch one instead.

“It’s an insult,” Chris Lewis, the mother, told Enews. “We already have a 40-inch TV, so we really don’t need a 19-inch…they shouldn’t be allowed to promise whatever they like and not follow through.”

Congratulations, Jeff Hatcher of Charter’s marketing offices in Alabama and Georgia, who ran the promotion, you are officially a jerk. Delivering the real TV was too expensive, but man, that free publicity, it sure was free. We don’t know whether you have kids, but we have a feeling you won’t be up for World’s Greatest Dad anytime soon. Maybe Your CEO, neil.smit@chartercom.com, would be interested in hearing about what a great job you’re doing marketing the company.

Cable system fails to deliver promised prize to local winner [The News Courier] (Thanks to Brian!)
(Photo: Getty)

In response to this post, Marty Richmond, Charter Communications Director of Investor Relations and Communications, wrote:

This letter is in response to your July 8 post regarding Charter Communications and its “Charter Presents Father’s Day in HD” contest.

In May, Charter announced an essay contest for kids of all ages to write a brief essay about why their Dad deserved to win a giant HDTV and free Charter services for a year. More than 10,000 essays were submitted and a grand prize winner in Bristol, Tennessee, along with four finalists, was selected.

In addition, due to such an overwhelming response to the contest, we expanded the number of winners to include “honorable mention” finalists. At the discretion of our local offices, these winners could be awarded prizes ranging from free services to an HDTV.

In Charter’s East Division, which includes the state of Alabama, 10 19-inch HDTVs were awarded as honorable mention prizes. In the case of the Lewis family of Limestone County, Alabama, an honorable mention prize was intended to be awarded. The details presented to the family were about a 19-inch HDTV honorable mention prize, not the grand prize 65-inch HDTV. Regrettably, this was not clearly communicated.

Charter has worked with the Lewis family, and we have awarded them prizes that are more aligned with their understanding of the contest.

We ask that you post a clarification and welcome you to contact me directly for any further details.

As information, attached is the original press release announcing the contest, a press release announcing the grand prize winner, and a press release summarizing the results.

Regards,

Marty Richmond

Got it. Glad the Lewis family expectations, set by your employee, Jeff Hatcher, will be accommodated.

Here are the three press releases:

Charter Presents Father’s Day in HD

Tell Charter why your Dad deserves to win a giant HDTV and a free year of
The Charter Bundle™

St. Louis, Missouri, May 27, 2008 – Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) today launched a contest in which kids of all ages can submit a brief essay telling the Company why their Dad deserves to win a giant high definition television (HDTV), along with Charter High Definition® (HD) service and The Charter Bundle™ free for a year.
“What better way to spend Father’s Day than by watching your favorite shows, movies, and sports on a giant HDTV with your Dad,” said Barbara Hedges, Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing for Charter. “And with a free year of The Charter Bundle, he’ll receive Digital Cable® for access to On Demand, Charter High-Speed® Internet for a fast and reliable Internet experience, and Charter Telephone® for unlimited local and long distance calling.”
With Charter High Definition service, Charter customers can choose from over 150 shows and the latest Hollywood hits On Demand. HD customers also experience crystal-clear picture quality up to 6X the resolution of regular TV.
One lucky Dad will win the grand prize of a giant HDTV, plus a year of The Charter Bundle with HD service for free, and four finalists will win a free year of The Charter Bundle with HD service. For additional contest information, visit http://www.charter.com/HDdad.
Over the past year, Charter has invested over a billion dollars in capital to serve its customers and to enhance its service capabilities. Charter is committed to investing in its communities, providing an advanced network on which residential and commercial customers rely for their communications needs, and delivering value to all its customers by offering high-quality products and services backed up by superior customer care.

Tennessee Dad Wins “Charter Presents Father’s Day in HD” Contest

Daughter nominated Dad to win a giant HDTV and a free year of
The Charter Bundle™ with Charter High Definition® service

St. Louis, Missouri, June 12, 2008 – Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) today announced the winners of a contest in which kids of all ages submitted brief essays telling the Company why their Dad deserved to win a giant high definition television (HDTV), along with Charter High Definition® (HD) service and The Charter Bundle™ free for a year.
Abe Manogue, the contest winner and leukemia survivor, was nominated by his daughter who said in her essay: “My Dad worked really hard to get through three years of sickening chemotherapy. Before he was really able to, my Dad acquired a job to better support his family, and voluntarily got off disability. When he comes home at night, tired from his long day, he really enjoys watching TV.”
“We received over 10,000 entries for this contest, which reinforces our customers’ desire for quality high definition,” said Barbara Hedges, Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing for Charter. “HD customers experience picture quality up to 6X the resolution of regular TV. With Charter High Definition service, our customers can choose from the most popular networks and nearly 200 shows and the latest Hollywood hits On Demand.
“And with a new HDTV and a free year of The Charter Bundle, our winning Dad will receive Digital Cable® for access to On Demand, Charter High-Speed® Internet for a fast and reliable Internet experience, and Charter Telephone® for unlimited local and long distance calling,” Ms. Hedges concluded.
Four lucky finalists from St. Louis, Missouri; Boiling Springs, South Carolina; Kalamazoo, Michigan; and Fort Worth, Texas each won a free year of The Charter Bundle with HD service. Furthermore, due to such a positive response to the contest, Charter expanded its winners to include “honorable mention” finalists as well. More than a dozen Dads in markets across the country were each recognized with additional prizes ranging from a free HDTV to Charter High Definition service.
For contest information, visit http://www.charter.com/HDdad.

Over the past year, Charter has invested over a billion dollars in capital to serve its customers and to enhance its service capabilities. Charter is committed to investing in its communities, providing an advanced network on which residential and commercial customers rely for their communications needs, and delivering value to all its customers by offering high-quality products and services backed up by superior customer care.

Charter Awards More Than 20 Dads
Prizes in its “Charter Presents Father’s Day in HD” Contest

Due to positive response to the contest, Charter expands the number of winners
and awards over a dozen additional prizes

St. Louis, Missouri, July 9, 2008 – Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) today announced the results of a contest in which kids of all ages submitted brief essays telling the Company why their Dad deserved to win a giant high definition television (HDTV), along with Charter High Definition® (HD) service and The Charter Bundle™ free for a year.
“We received over 10,000 entries for this contest, which demonstrates children’s vast appreciation for their fathers and reinforces our customers’ desire for quality high definition service,” said Barbara Hedges, Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing for Charter. “Due to such a positive response, Charter expanded the contest to include ‘honorable mention’ winners in addition to the grand prize winner and four finalists. We could not have been more pleased by the response to the contest, and we are excited to recognize and reward these deserving Dads.”
Grand Prize Winner
Abe Manogue, the grand prize winner and leukemia survivor, was nominated by his daughter. Mr. Manogue was awarded a 65” HDTV along with Charter High Definition® service and The Charter Bundle™ free for a year. The Manogue family is thrilled to have won this contest, and is looking for the “perfect place” to put their new 65” HDTV.
Four Finalists
Four lucky finalists from St. Louis, Missouri; Boiling Springs, South Carolina; Kalamazoo, Michigan; and Fort Worth, Texas each won a free year of The Charter Bundle with HD service.

Honorable Mentions
Due to an overwhelming response, Charter expanded the contest to include honorable mention winners. More than a dozen Dads in markets across the country were each recognized with additional prizes ranging from flat screen HDTVs to free Charter services for a year.
For full contest information, including winning submissions, visit http://www.charter.com/HDdad.
Over the past year, Charter has invested over a billion dollars in capital to serve its customers and to enhance its service capabilities. Charter is committed to investing in its communities, providing an advanced network on which residential and commercial customers rely for their communications needs, and delivering value to all its customers by offering high-quality products and services backed up by superior customer care.

Looks like everything is hunky-dory now. All it took was a little negative publicity.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. petrarch1610 says:

    how are they gonna react when customers suddenly dont have enough money in their ‘budget’ to pay their cable bill? shame on you Charter cable

  2. ganzhimself says:

    Even for Charter, that is pretty damn low.

  3. moeman1024 says:

    Wow, thanks this has made my choice for me. I was getting ready to change my cable/sat choice. If they are willing to do this to a kid, I do not want to be their customer. Directv here i come.

  4. strife1012 says:

    Cable company with no money, that’s crazy talk.

    I bet they are like my location here, they have 8 40″ flat panels on the wall. Just give him 2, that will equal the size of a 65″

  5. MercuryPDX says:

    Delivering the real TV was too expensive, but man, that free publicity, it sure was free.

    First, why would you not buy or at the very least PRICE what your grand prize is before you start the contest?

    And isn’t “free” bad publicity better than none at all? ;)

  6. This just about proves my theory that marketing people aren’t ever lying, they’re just completely detached from reality.

  7. rellog says:

    I would think this is breach of contract and they’re on the hook for the 65″ TV. They ran a contest, they are liable for fulfilling the contest prizes. If they don’t pony up for this thing, small claim them…

  8. ludwigk says:

    So, they budgeted like $300 for their prize? Maybe someone left of a zero when writing up the budget for this promo? It’s not like the price of consumer electronics is some giant secret.

    Or maybe they figured that the price of TVs would come down 85% in the next 2 months…

  9. D-Bo says:

    Unfortunately this is not surprising. I think every marketing/advertising/promotion degree program in the country should have a crash course on the ways to avoid terribly trashing the reputations of their clients and customers…

  10. godlyfrog says:

    @rellog: The only flaw in this argument is that the entrant was 15 years old, so she’d be disqualified, and more than likely, the contest itself would be ended for not following the laws governing contests, then Charter would have to pay a large fine, and nobody wins.

  11. kitf0x says:

    Actually while small claims may work this is perhaps a criminal offense not just breach of contract. This is why sweepstakes law and those terms and conditions is so precise, its regulated. This is also why many states require you to bond for the APR of the prizes, so the money is held for payout.

  12. marsneedsrabbits says:

    OP: sue them in small claims court & report Charter for fraud to the police, your state and local cable governing boards, and anyone else you can think of. be sure that you invite a report from the local newspaper to come with you.

    This is really shameful, and I can only imagine how the poor child felt, thinking she was winning something nice for her dad.

    Charter = lower than dirt.

  13. @godlyfrog: 15 year olds aren’t included in contract law? Or are they just not allowed to enter contests?

  14. donkeyjote says:

    THe contest was specifically geared towards kid entries. She would not be disqualified for being 15, and the contests would have been legit, as it would have been written as the parents/legal guardian of the contestant being the recipient of the prize.

  15. CajunGuy says:

    @donkeyjote: You beat me to it.

    Yeah, the young girl’s letter was used to determine the winner, but the actual “winner” was dad, hence the W-9 thing. Maybe there’d be a problem if the little girl had to buy something to opt-in, but that’s something different.

  16. Trai_Dep says:

    Ahem. Allow me to channel my inner woman:

    Sigh. How like a man. The claims of sixty-five inches turns out to be nineteen once everything’s unwrapped and laying out on the living room floor.

  17. Uriel says:

    The word Shithead comes to mind.

  18. homerjay says:

    @Matthew Hughes: Well, normally 15 year olds aren’t allowed to enter contests but its possible that the contest was legitimized by having the parent enter the contest by submitting a letter written by their child.
    There are plenty of ways around it.

  19. narcolepticdoc says:

    [connect.charter.com]

    [www.smartbrief.com]

    Names don’t match… Huh?

  20. AZTriGuy says:

    If the TV was too expensive for his marketing budget, I wonder how he’s going to pay the litigation fees?

  21. howie_in_az says:

    They’d have more money if people would just allow their invasive advertising techniques, but noooo, people are concerned about their privacy! And because of your privacy, this great father doesn’t get a 65″ TV. I hope you’re happy with yourselves.

  22. tracykins82 says:

    hmmm…it’s my understanding that a minor may be able to enforce a contract against an adult but an adult cannot enforce a contract against a minor

  23. donkeyjote says:

    @Trai_Dep: You must be lost.
    Jezebel is <—- way
    :P

  24. mrdot says:

    IANAA, but in general, a minor may use the fact that they are under 18 as a defense to the enforceability of a contract. On the otherhand, if it is the child enforcing the contract, their age is irrelevant and the contract will be enforced. Especially here where the child has performed according to the terms.

  25. Noris159 says:

    You can get a DLP 56″ for less than $1500 bahahahahahahaha What kind of marketing idiot doesn’t research prices, let alone let their company take a PR hit for less than $2,000. WHAT AN IDIOT. I can’t believe people have jobs…

  26. DanKelley98 says:

    In the radio industry, the FCC takes contesting very seriously and has fined stations who have been a bit loose with their rules and prizes.

    As the FCC also oversees cable, I might suggest that a complaint be filed with the FCC:

    [esupport.fcc.gov]

    Choose option 2 and give them all the facts.

  27. Wait a minute, is this story even legit? Charter’s contest page does not even list Lewis as a winner!

  28. dohtem says:

    @Trai_Dep: Ouch!

  29. Bixby says:

    @Matthew Hughes: Um, they don’t list last names so that’s probably why you couldn’t find a “Lewis” but there is a Michael L.

    The Lucky Dad
    Michael L.
    Kalamazoo, MI

  30. CharlieInSeattle says:

    Go out and price 3 lcd TV’s with the same specs, and then small claims. This is illegal.

  31. ibored says:

    wait…they still sell 19″ TVs?

  32. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @Bixby: But he’s not listed as the grand prize winner, only a finalist.

  33. Jorel says:

    sue charter. under the doctrine of promissory estoppel the contest definitely is a contract.

  34. Charybdis says:

    I’m agreeing with Matthew Hughes. The winner of the 65″ HDTV is listed as Abe M. Bristol, TN.

    There is no Witney listed on the page of winners.

  35. jashba says:

    Is this a fake? Finalist Michael L. is from Kalamazoo, MI, writer of the letter was Kristi, if you read the story on the newspaper website, they’re from Athens, AL, so not even close..this guy doesn’t even appear on Charter’s winners page at all. WTF???

  36. starbreiz says:

    @Matthew Hughes: There is a Michael L who was a finalist… but not the grand prize winner. You bring up an excellent point.

  37. rellog says:

    Gotta love their release of liability…

    “RELEASE OF LIABILITY: By participating, Winner and entrants agree to release, discharge, indemnify and hold harmless Sponsor, and each of its respective affiliates, subsidiaries, parent corporations, and their officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents from and against any claims made by the Winner, entrants or any other third parties related in any way to the operation of this Contest, as well as any other claims, damages or liability due to any injuries, damages or losses (whether alleged, threatened, or actual) to any person (including death) or property of any kind resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, misuse or use of any prize or participation in any Contest-related activity or participation in this Contest.”

    Essentially, according to this clause, they can do what they want when they want, how they want… what a load. I doubt it is actually enforceable…

  38. rellog says:

    @Charybdis: Since Mr. Lewis declined the 19″ TV, then maybe they knocked him off the list?

  39. @Bixby: Whoops, you’re right. Still, there’s no Chris L. or Whitney L.

  40. @rellog: I was about to mention the fact that there is likely an escape clause in the contract that says they may send you whatever they want as the prize, including nothing.

    Also, all this mess about Lewis not actually being the grand prize winner is troubling. Can we get an update or clarification on this, Ben?

  41. WeAre138 says:

    Charter’s site is now advertising “Win a $100 Shell Gas Card” – wonder what they will reduce that to?

  42. gliscameria says:

    @ibored: Ditto!

    Don’t they give those away at circle K if you buy a thirty pack?

  43. donkeyjote says:

    @rellog: Standard Boilerplate liability clause.

  44. gliscameria says:

    @WeAre138: Probably a 19inch television…

    Maybe they found out that winners already had a hi-def package. Honestly, it would make sense to give away hi-def TVs if you are a cable provider. The cell phone companies figured it out, why can’t charter? They should be able to buy a hi-def for <$500 and give it away with a two year premium hi-def package.

  45. citybuddha says:

    If you measure each side ,top ,bottom, right and left you get 65 inches.
    I get it now….
    sounds fair

  46. backbroken says:

    Write an essay telling us how great your dad is and you can win a 65″ TV!*

    * – Actual size may vary. TV may only appear to be 65″ at really, really, close range.

  47. china_rider says:

    I just fired my email off to Mr. Smit about Charters underhanded business tactics. I hope everyone else does too.

  48. TechnoDestructo says:

    I had a supervisor who won a radio contest to go to…some music awards show in Las Vegas. It included back stage passes, and seats near the front in the center. She was to receive the passes and tickets when she got to Vegas.

    When she got there, the guy who was supposed to give her the passes gave her some nosebleed seats and no backstage passes, telling her “possession is nine-tenths of the law.”

    Of course, the full value of the prize was reported to the IRS (something like 10 grand).

    Don’t recall how that one was resolved.

  49. bobbleheadr says:

    Sounds like a communication breakdown. Mike was a “Winner” but not the grand prize winner. He received a smaller prize for being a runner up.

    I wonder how they came up with the “not enough money in the budget” story, if charter told them that or they just made it up. Im going with made it up.

  50. iotashan says:

    For all those wondering why the winner is listed differently, this is a plausible explanation:

    “More than a dozen Dads in markets across the country were each recognized with additional prizes ranging from a free HDTV to Charter High Definition service.”

    [phx.corporate-ir.net]

  51. rellog says:

    @bobbleheadr: The 19″ LCD was never an option as a prize, so the theory that he didn’t win the grand prize falls apart…

  52. rellog says:

    @iotashan: The list is from across the country, it seems not to be regional. Maybe the local branch screwed up and thought THEY were supposed to pick a winner, and then went ahead and notified the Lewis’.

  53. bobbleheadr says:

    @rellog: The dang website says he wasnt the grand prize winner. In fact, it doesnt list him at all. If he was given a smaller prize as a regional winner, as suggested in iotashan‘s post, then why would the smaller TV need to be listed?

    He wasnt the grand prize winner. Its that simple. Someone decided that going to the news would get them a better prize.

  54. Parting says:

    Maybe CEO is paid by competition to undermine his company by really bad PR?

  55. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i’m betting either charter or the author of the news and courier article spelled the mom’s name wrong. “Kristi L.” and “Chris Lewis” … could be “Christi” or “Kris” ? the letter for Mike L. DOES say it was written by the mom on behalf of the 5 children
    as for being in a different state, i have no idea

  56. CaryS says:

    Here comes that whole metric thing again.

    65cm?

  57. rellog says:

    @bobbleheadr: Nice that through the article, you were able to deduce the REAL truth here… (note sarcasm)

    If they were notified that they were winners, then they are winners. From the article, an email sent to them-

    “”CONGRATULATIONS!

    “It was great to speak with you and Whitney today. I’m sure this is going to make for a great Father’s Day gift. I’ve attached the documents that we spoke of and will need to have these filled out and returned so that we can present Mr. Lewis with his prize. Also, if you can think of a couple of days/times next week that would be good for us to come out and deliver the TV, I will get with my team to verify and we’ll get your Hi-Def set up! … Thanks for entering Charter’s Father’s Day Promotion!””
    Granted it doesn’t say 65″, but they weren’t offering any other LCDs as prizes (and there is nothing to this point leading to the idea that this was not part of the national contest)

    You are simply trolling to be a goof.

  58. kathyl says:

    That’s Charter’s philosophy in a nutshell. Lie and promise something great, and when it comes time to deliver, send over any old thing and expect them to be happy with it. That was what my service was like for the entire three godforsaken years they were the sole cable AND internet provider to the area where my house was located. I’m happy to be free of them at last.

    I hope they get mounds of abysmal PR from this. They deserve all that and more.

  59. rellog says:

    It really seems to me that this guy Jeff Hatcher screwed up. And since the article is a week old, Charter had plenty of time to remove their names from any winners lists.

  60. bobpence says:

    Communications breakdown; winner notification should have been handled centrally, because it’s inevitable that local marketing guy will have his mind on his about-to-start vacation and some 14- or 15-year-old will misunderstand and think she won the grand prize when she is just one of many winners. A free year of cable is a tidy sum, but a disconnect like this can ruin your whole week.

    It doesn’t help if you screw up the follow-through with brain-dead platitudes about not having enough money to give a 65″ TV to all the winners (which gets misheard as “we’re screwing you over”).

    Finally, it sucks if you then go off on a trip and forward calls to someone who apparently doesn’t have the aptitude to deal with the press and, worse, doesn’t realize it and doesn’t bring in the big guns to clarify the situation before it’s a story in the Podunk Press-Democrat which, sadly, has a website and the story gets picked up on Consumerist and your whole month is in the crapper 24-48 hours before the follow-up story in the paper and on the website that says, essentially, “never mind.”

  61. bobbleheadr says:

    @rellog: No, I am using basic comprehension skills to read that they arent the the grand prize winners, and therefor didnt receive the larger TV.

    Nice of you to start the name calling. Maybe you should grow up a bit. Of course they wont ban you for it, cause calling someone a troll is aparently good form here.

  62. rellog says:

    @bobbleheadr: Please post ANYWHERE that indicates this story is anything but on the up and up. This “comprehension” that you speak of is simply conjecture. Just because they aren’t listed doesn’t mean they weren’t told they won. There is NO indication of an regional promo, and they have emails confirming their win of a HDTV. The guy that notified them is not responding, nor is Charter to correct any misrepresented info. So YOU must have the 411 on the whole ordeal…

    Maybe I wasn’t censored because it is apparent you’re anti-consumer/pro-business without question.

  63. rellog says:

    @bobpence: I think most of what you wrote is probably right, though I question whether the girl misunderstood, since the email sent referenced a TV and that was not part of any of the prize packages offered except for the grand prize.

  64. Noris159 says:

    /eagerly awaiting Consumerist retraction

  65. caj11 says:

    Regardless of what the facts are here, will this be a repeat of the old Gibson guitar story where they reneged on giving a contest winner $10,000 in equipment, and it took a story on the consumerist and numerous other websites for the company to deliver?

  66. bobpence says:

    @rellog: From the press release, “… due to such a positive response to the contest, Charter expanded its winners to include ‘honorable mention’ finalists as well. More than a dozen Dads in markets across the country were each recognized with additional prizes ranging from a free HDTV to Charter High Definition service.”

    Translated:

    “winners” = thanks for participating!

    “More than a dozen Dads” = 13

    “in markets across the country” = where we can get more free publicity; the use of the word “market” was a Freudian slip, I’d say.

    “free HDTV” = cheap 19″.

  67. ogman says:

    65 millimeters maybe? Seriously, they should sue the pants off of Charter, and Hatcher should be out of a job.

  68. MercuryPDX says:

    @citybuddha: Just like this:

    HDTV? No.. we meant HEAVY…. it’s a 65″ HEAVY TV. :)

  69. Noris159 says:

    @bobpence: Are you seriously giving them crap for expanding the prize list? Really? Is that what you’re really doing? Did you consciously acknowledge your own thoughts and then proceed to type them down, believing that you’ve made a reasonable analysis of the situation?

  70. Erwos says:

    It seems like you’d have a fairly good small claims case against them.

  71. synimatik says:

    The dreaded shrink ray hit the TV just before it got the the Lewis household.

    DAMN YOU SHRINK RAY!

  72. Nepkarel says:

    BTW: What kind of fake prize is it, when you have to PAY sales tax over your prize?

  73. IrisMR says:

    Well, considering I have a 13″ TV… I’ll take the 19″ off your hands, folks! But kick their butts to get your 65″ afterwards. You deserve it, super dad!

  74. shufflemoomin says:

    This guy only got a 19″ TV, but I got the feeling there’s a marketing guy wearing a sombrero as part of a conga line in Tijuana having a good time…

  75. IndyJaws says:

    @rmric0: Let’s be civil here. They’re only lying if their mouth is open.

  76. UnicornMaster says:

    Apparently, by Charter’s math a 19″ + 42″ = 65″
    [www.enewscourier.com]

    However, I still think they got cheated seeing as a 65″ TV is more than $3000 and a 42 and 19″ are about half that.

  77. glennski says:

    Wow, her dad gets up and goes to work and cuts the grass.

    I’m thinking this couldn’t have been the grand prize winner and the fact that there was lesser prizes wasn’t effectively communicated by Charter to the Lewis’.

    So basically your left with a PR mess now, just give them a TV, and not one of your old CRT monitors your trying to get rid of.

  78. selectman says:

    @moeman1024: Am I the only one who suspects these partially OT comments to be nothing more than thinly veiled astro-turfing?

  79. bagumpity says:

    The TV was 65″, just not all in a straight line.

    Looking at the bright side, this girl will never grow up and be fooled by a contest that has a toy yoda as the prize.

  80. Mayor McRib says:

    ” is charterspeak for lb. They got what they wished for, a 65 lb. TV (circa 1984). Besides, wouldn’t the best Dad in the world spend all his free time with his kids and not watch TB anyway?

  81. Mayor McRib says:

    Whoops. TV not TB

  82. Solidgun says:

    Might as well be TB Mayor McRib…..Are there any decent companies left on this planet????

  83. darkryd says:

    Lets take a wager on how quickly Charter takes to fix this issue (what with all the bad press their getting from this story).

    I say 10 days (enough time to order and deliver the original TV as promised)

  84. TPS Reporter says:

    I am the only one who found humor in the fact that the mom said they already have a 40″ TV, so they don’t need a 19″ TV, but apparently need the 65″ TV?

  85. Noris159 says:

    @DeanOfAllTrades: That article says something different than you’re reading. It outlines that there was a miscommunication and that the family didn’t win the grand prize, but the company representative told them that they had won didn’t inform them that they were an “honorable mention.”

  86. mariospants says:

    @Noris159:
    Sorry, from the article:

    “CONGRATULATIONS!

    “It was great to speak with you and Whitney today. I’m sure this is going to make for a great Father’s Day gift. I’ve attached the documents that we spoke of and will need to have these filled out and returned so that we can present Mr. Lewis with his prize. Also, if you can think of a couple of days/times next week that would be good for us to come out and deliver the TV, I will get with my team to verify and we’ll get your Hi-Def set up! … Thanks for entering Charter’s Father’s Day Promotion!”

    To me, that means they won first prize (runners-up didn’t receive a TV).

    Still, maybe she misunderstood him and he actually said “ninety inch” instead of “nineteen inch”. You know how kids get.

  87. UnicornMaster says:

    @Noris159: “This may have been what the marketing official meant to award to Whitney. However, no one is sure because he would not return telephone calls from Lewis or The News Courier.”

    Either way there’s some really weak stuff going on here.

  88. axiomatic says:

    How very passive aggressive of you Charter. DIAF.

  89. rellog says:

    I still think this is Jeff Thatcher’s fault… from his email-
    “Also, if you can think of a couple of days/times next week that would be good for us to come out and deliver the TV, I will get with my team to verify and we’ll get your Hi-Def set up!”

    Who would need to set up an appointment to deliver and set-up a 19″ LCD? Also, who Mr. Lewis need to submit a w-9 for a measly 19″ TV? Isn’t the limit $600? 19″ LCD tvs are not more than $500. If it was, by the time taxes are figured in (28%) they’d be getting a mediocre deal on a mediocre TV…

  90. miburo says:

    As soon as I saw the words Charter Cable I knew whatever article consumerist posted was true. I’ve had my fair share of BS from them including a summer of bad service where they blamed everything from my cable modem to lines in my house when in the end it was them upgrading their lines for VOIP.

  91. WeAre138 says:

    I sent an email to Mr. Neil Smit (CEO) listed above and received a reply. Unless Charter is lying, this story is based around the winner thinking they were the the Grand Prize winner when they were not. The reply I got from Charter explains that the true winner of the 65″ TV was from Bristol, TX. I have forwarded the reply from Charter to Consumerist and perhaps they will follow up on this.

    Although I despise Charter, they might not be the bad guys in this scenario.

  92. rellog says:

    @WeAre138: See my post a couple above yours. It seems this is a plausible explanation of the situation. While it is very possible it was simply a misunderstanding, I really think that Jeff screwed the pooch and told them they had won the grand prize. There would be no need for a W-9 if it were only the LCD (and not a free year of service included…)

  93. dweebster says:

    @WeAre138: a (small) plate of linguini with clams?

  94. glennski says:

    I called this one 2 weeks ago. You know you’ve been reading consumerist too avidly when you can cut right through the mounds of corporate crap in situations like this.

    “I’m thinking this couldn’t have been the grand prize winner and the fact that there was lesser prizes wasn’t effectively communicated by Charter to the Lewis’.

    So basically your left with a PR mess now, just give them a TV, and not one of your old CRT monitors your trying to get rid of.”