Letter -- Will Ray

Well, Charter Cable has done it again. Not long after its recent rate

increase, I've noticed that all my East Coast feed channels for HBO,

Showtime, The Movie Channel, etc., have been eliminated. East Coast feeds

enable people to watch programs three hours early here on the West Coast,

and are convenient for customers wishing to time shift their viewing.

So, I put a call into Charter's customer service department, or so I

thought. They informed me I needed to talk to another department, so I

was put on hold and transferred. I have learned when calling Charter that

it is always best to put on a headset telephone and to go about your

regular business until they answer.

I put a stopwatch on them, and after 19 minutes I was talking to

another so-called customer service rep. It turns out that this rep is not

located in the Charter building at all. In fact, they weren't in Burbank

or even California. This customer service rep was in Florida. I asked why

someone in Florida was talking to me about a problem in Burbank, and they

said that when there is high call volume at Charter, the overflow is

directed to this Florida company. So I asked this person what the deal

was with my East Coast feeds, and he proceeded to tell me that I needed

to talk to yet another department, and he wasn't exactly sure what an

East Coast feed was.

So, I was put on hold again for five more minutes and transferred back

to Burbank, this time to a woman who explained to me that somehow I

should be grateful that Charter ever offered East Coast feeds in the

first place because they weren't required to, and I was only paying for

the regular West Coast feeds, so what was my beef?

I kindly informed her that almost all satellite TV companies give both

East and West Coast feeds. She replied that Charter had to make room for

more channels. Yeah, like the Bowling Channel or the Chess Playing

Channel.

I think that the time has come to make Charter Communications more

accountable to the people of Burbank. I, for one, am getting tired of

paying more and getting less. We can start with a customer service number

that actually offers customer service.

And maybe even have its people located in Burbank, if it's not too

much trouble, that is.

WILL RAY

Burbank

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