Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Jeff:1 Charter:0

Recently I switched to Charter Internet. I'd have preferred TDS DSL but alas, due to a certain three-letter telephony company they cannot provide DSL service in my area. *sigh*

At any rate, I call up Charter and, since I needed to split the bill for my Internet Access off from the Cable, I end up having a long conversation with a representative.

All was good until she told me that she'd need to charge me $29.99 to have a technician come out. I reminded her that I'll be doing a self install so I won't need one.

It's to remove the cable modem filter, she replied.

When I asked for clarification, she relayed the story to me (approximately): Since you live in a technologically savvy area, when cable modems first came out we didn't have a way to block them, so we installed filters everywhere. Now, however, we have technology that doesn't require the filters... however, the filter needs to be removed otherwise your cable modem won't work.

So I reply, well the last guy had a cable modem and since I watched the installer hook my cable back up when I finally ordered cable, I'm pretty sure I don't have one.

Her reply: its company policy that I have to offer it.

Me: Do I have to take it?

Her: No. If it turns out you need it, call us back and we'll schedule it.


Then, I had to pick up the 'self-service installation kit' from the Charter storefront. The woman at the storefront gave me the kit and then said: but I don't see you on our schedule to have your filter removed.

I replied that I didn't need that.

She asserted that I did need that, and I would be back because my Internet access wouldn't work.

I declined again, saying that I know I don't need it. She was shaking her head as I left.

*sigh*

At any rate, no, I didn't need it. The cable modem linked right up. The self service install didn't work, however, that resolved easily by reading the MAC address of my cable modem to Tech Support and all now works fine. I actually got a Tech support guy who was remarkably cool with the fact that I knew what I was doing (as opposed to if you use the word Linux you get treated at as if you have a horrible communicable disease)


So, lets review:

  1. Charter installed filters in the past to prevent theft of service.
  2. Charter no longer needs such filters.
  3. Charter is now charging every new customer to have the filter removed, whether or not it needs to be. (either if it wasn't installed, or was removed in the past).

Well, that's lovely, isn't it.

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