It looks like Charter Communications Inc will be filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing the loss of 1 billion dollars over the first three quarters of 2008. [Bloomberg]
Tim enjoyed his unlisted phone number for over thirty years until Charter published it in the local phone book. Now he has two options: ditch his long-time number, or lose his cherished anonymity. Inside, Charter’s apology letter.
Reader Jon tells us that he got a call from Charter Cable letting him know that they’d just inked a deal to offer the Big Ten Network and sure enough, the AP is reporting what may be considered “peace in our time.”
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?
Last week, we wrote about Charter’s decision to begin tracking its users internet activity and inserting targeted ads. One of our readers wrote in to let us know he discovered that Charter’s insecure opt-out solution—downloading a cookie that must be downloaded for each user and browser, and downloading it again whenever the cache is cleared—only blocks the ads from showing up; it doesn’t block Charter from monitoring users’ searches and web activity.
Charter Communications is sending letters to its customers informing them of an “enhanced online experience” that involves Charter monitoring its users’ searches and the websites they visit, and inserting targeted third-party ads based on their web activity. Charter, which serves nearly six million customers, is requiring users who want to keep their activity private to submit their personal information to Charter via an unencrypted form and download a privacy cookie that must be downloaded again each time a user clears his web cache or uses a different browser.
Stop us if you have heard this one before: Comcast and the BTN still don’t have a deal. Nothing has changed since the football season, when many fans were upset at not being able to see the Wisconsin-Ohio State game, which aired on the BTN.
Few consumers realize they can ditch their monopolistic service providers in favor of local, independent telecoms that often offer similar services at competitive rates. These smaller outfits depend on service, not size, as reader Sharpstick recently discovered:
In the Charleston SC area we are fortunate to have local a internet / phone / cable provider called Knology that has made customer service an art form.
There is no way to retrieve the messages, photos and other attachments that were erased from inboxes and archive folders across the country on Monday, said Anita Lamont, a spokeswoman for the suburban St. Louis-based company.
Lots of companies are pushing deals for their bundled internet, tv and phone plans, but which are best? Consumer Reports surveyed its readers and here’s how they ranked the service providers:
Charter accused Kevin of failing to pay for unreturned equipment, even though Kevin paid his final bill in full and has a receipt for a returned cable box. Charter customer service representatives were happy to play whack-a-mole whenever the bogus charges for the equipment appeared on Kevin’s bill, but Charter eventually tired of the infuriatingly unwinnable game and sent Kevin’s account to collections.
Now you don’t need to get special tender loving escalation to enjoy the same solution as Charlie of Charter Decides To Care That Reader Can’t Watch Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares fame. Reader Mangopants had the same problem where he couldn’t watch a specific channel. He writes, “After 5 months, 60+ calls to Charter (not exaggerating) and 3 visits from technicians I finally got a supervisor visit this site and read this article and the related problem article – she sent a “CCV Hit” to my box – fixed the problem right up!” A little Googling shows it’s the reset code for premium channels and it’s not just for Charter, “CCV Hit” works for other with other cable companies and on other DVRs.
After we posted Charlie’s complaint, “Charter Doesn’t Care If You Can’t Watch BBC America,” a Charter Communications Corporate Escalation Specialist emailed The Consumerist and we put her in touch with Charlie.
“This year I moved in May 2007. My new housemates and I decided that we wanted to share wireless internet in our house. We order Qwest wireless the first week of June 2007.
“I have a TIVO HD that uses two cablecards. On 9/27/2007, I realized that channel 196 (BBC America) was not working on either card; it did not appear to be authorized. I called Charter customer service (as I have had to do for many problems over the last couple months), and their immediate response was, as usual, to send out a technician. I called back a bit later and suggested that they try removing the tier from my account and adding it back in – this technique had fixed another random outage affecting all HD channels that had occurred earlier in the week. As with most calls to Charter customer service, I felt that the representative didn’t really know much of anything about the service and that I had to troubleshoot my own issue. The technique didn’t fix it, so the technician came the next day (9/28/2007). This was the 4th technician to come to my home in the last 2 months (all because of problems with Charter service), and like the others, he did nothing that I couldn’t have done myself…”
The L.A. Times read the privacy policies of several bundled service providers and found that they are feverishly monitoring their subscriber’s activities. With the ability to monitor internet, phone, and television preferences, bundled service providers are able to track nearly every aspect of their subscriber’s digital lives. While Google retains personally identifiable for less than two years, some ISPs like Time Warner cling to your data for an astounding fifteen years in order to “comply with tax and accounting requirements.” It gets worse.