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Today's P.I.T.A: Charter Cable


Posted by Non-Hamster on January 5th, 2008

Ok, this has to do with the on-screen program guide.  It's one of the basic features of the system.  You're able to view program information on screen so that you can decide what you're going to watch or find out when something is going to be on that you don't want to miss.

When we first got cable this guide was pretty good.  You could use the right arrow on the remote to scroll up to just about four days ahead.  Then sometime along the way this became two days.  We didn't like that a whole lot, but it was still a decent length of time ahead and since this isn't exactly big budget software, we were mostly satisfied with it.

Recently they changed the entire guide interface.. The whole look and feel of it.  The good part was that now you can actually see an hour and a half of program info at once where it was only half an hour at a time before.  The bad part was that when this happened the previous ability to see program info two days ahead became only three hours.

We talked to them a few times about it.  The first time it didn't seem like they really understood the problem.  However they said that they would send a signal that's supposed to reset the system, after which the program guide should start filling in over time.

It didn't.

I tried unplugging the unit and allowing it to reboot, hoping that would do it.

It didn't.

I talked to another support person who appeared to have a clue, saying that it had to do with the conversion of the system to all digital and that our cable box was probably a digital / analog model because its kinda old.  Unfortunately he couldn't get in touch with the right dept because it was after hours.

I called back the next day and spoke to the Saturday Day shift support drone and I was given the line of horse hockey "It's only supposed to have three hours of information".  The drone also said that the system COULD NOT have any more than that.

I'm now going to wait until Monday and attempt to speak with somebody with more brain cells and see if SOMETHING can be done to fix this.. it's ridiculous in the extreme to think that 3 hours of program info at a time is all that we're supposed to expect.

I am not a hamster, you simply can not tell me that this is reasonable.  In fact, I'd like to hear from other Charter customers.  Have you had problems like this?  If so, what was the fix (assuming there is one)?

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9 Comments

  1. Brynn Palmer on 06.01.2008 at 08:54 (Reply)


    My name is Brynn Palmer and I work at Charter Communications in Saint Louis, Missouri at the Corporate Headquarters.  I would be happy to have someone investigate this for you.  You can send your contact information (either phone or email) to me and I will have someone contact you.

    My email is ???????????@???????????????
    My telephone number is ###-###-####

    [contact details altered]

    1. Non-Hamster on 06.01.2008 at 11:58 (Reply)


      I must say that it’s a bit of a surprise to see your comment, however I’ll be in touch Monday morning.

  2. Mel on 07.01.2008 at 14:24 (Reply)


    I placed an online order with Charter 1 week ago. I chose to chat online with
    someone to schedule installation of phone, internet and cable with DVR. First of
    all, I spent almost an hour “chatting”. Finally, he scheduled my cable and
    internet install on between 8am-12pm Saturday 1/5/08 and my phone install
    between 8am-12pm on Wednesday 1/9/08.
    First sign of trouble, the technician showed up 3 DAYS early, left a pink piece
    of paper on my door that said “Outside Only”. So when I got home, I called them
    and explained it to the customer service rep. They “REscheduled” my cable install
    for the original Saturday appointment. I waited on Saturday until 1:15 to call
    to “confirm” my appointment. The rep told me that there was no appointment
    scheduled and that their “notes” showed that the job was completed the previous
    Wednesday. I then spent the next 45 minutes explaining this all several times to
    several people, Finally they said they would try to locate the technician in my
    area and call us back to let us know if he could come out right then. They never
    called back, of course. Finally, I called them back and explained again to the
    rep my story and finally got transfered to the dispatch manager, and then the
    doorbell rings. Guess who? The technician. This was now about 5:30. So he
    the cable, and dvr and internet. Of course, I did not get an owners manual with
    DVR or the stupid remote. (I have had Dish for so long, all of this stuff looks
    foriegn to me.)But it does not matter because I still do not have a program guide
    all my channels say TBA. I have already spoken to them 2 times just regarding
    this matter, and am about to call them again right now. I will let ya know if
    we can get this resolved tonight

    1. Non-Hamster on 08.01.2008 at 20:25 (Reply)


      That’s a familiar sounding story alright.  Our installation several years ago wasn’t nearly that bad… it took most of the day waiting because the installer was nearly three hours late.  When we discovered he was a talkaholic we figured out the reason he was late.

      We didn’t like the fact that the cable box he installed wasn’t even close to new and when I asked for manuals for the whole thing he actually, literally laughed at me for asking.

      The mistake there was in not stopping the whole thing and calling his supervisor and telling ‘em that they could stick the old, undocumented equipment somewhere handy and get something current that had manuals included with it.


  3. […] no. We chose not to live with it. My husband was mad so he blogged about it. After he published the post, he received a comment from someone who works at Charter […]

  4. Danette Miller on 19.01.2008 at 16:22 (Reply)


    I haven’t had any problems with my charter box or the guide. I have to say I’ve been pretty satisfied. But, I know friends in high denisity areas in the burbs have had big prolbmes iwth the guide, their boxes, and broadband most likely due to undercapacity on the network. I guess depending on where you live your mileage will vary.

  5. Sandra Bradley on 20.01.2008 at 10:54 (Reply)


    The original installation date changed 3 times before I finally got my cable
    installed. I ended up missing more than a few hours of work while waiting for the
    installer to show, only to call and find out that I had been rescheduled and
    should have been contacted about it…obviously I wasn’t notified about being
    rescheduled. After finally getting it installed, I’ve been happy with the service.

  6. Kathym on 01.03.2008 at 13:46 (Reply)


    Can’t find what happened when you called Brynn Palmer on Monday morning?

    1. Non-Hamster on 01.03.2008 at 23:40 (Reply)


      I posted an update in “Update On a Recent P.I.T.A.” and then the resolution was posted in “Resolution Of A Recent Pita.

      All in all, I was surprised and satisfied with the way things finally got handled.  I only wish that it had been possible to deal with on the first support call as it should have been.

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