The times that we live in are polarizing.
There are many problems in the Finger Lakes, that can be easily classified as “contentious.” The ongoing flooding through Lake Ontario, cleanup of the former-foundry site in Geneva, development issues with lakefront in Geneva and Canandaigua, landfilling operations across the region, as well as the discussions and debates over the polarizing welcome center in the City of Auburn.
Can you guess what else annoys people?
A not so small telecommunications company called Charter Spectrum.
The Finger Lakes Times published a story not so long ago and it outlined the frustrations of the customers who were moved over to the Charter Spectrum family from Time Warner Cable services.
The feedback was intense, vivid, and well — virtually shocking.
Customers have been facing countless issues. Even the employees of FingerLakes1.com Newsroom have encountered problems with the services offered by Charter Spectrum in some way or the other.
We wondered: What could be the specific reasons behind customers’ complaints and/or issues with Spectrum services? Here’s what our readers shared with us.
There might be a dramatic increase in the prices
It is a hotchpotch when it comes to bills. Some customers claim their bills have increased drastically. Others claim they are the same as before. While there are a few for whom the prices have gone down.
The one thing almost every customer has been consistent about is that the prices are either expected to go up or will go up for sure.
To pacify a few of the concerns that customers had with the pricing initially when the transition of Charter Spectrum took place — interim promotions were generated. These so-called “annual” plans allowed the customers to avail the services at lower rates, that would be topped by higher, less-affordable rates after the year is over.
Promotional offers are customary for cable or Internet service providers such as Spectrum. “Deals” were frequently handed out by Time Warner Cable to the customers who either needed them — or requested them.
Promotions by Time Warner Cable are futile here
Those who were enjoying the benefits of the promotional packages by TWC might be saving hundreds of dollars every year. That’s not an option anymore because of the Charter Spectrum transition, according to some customers.
After speaking with a Charter Spectrum customer service executive on Wednesday night, we found out that the deals hammered out previously between the customers and Time Warner Cable are no longer being honored.
Some customers explained cases where yearly promotional plans concluded early, forcing them to go for more expensive options by Spectrum. Others claimed that they could not switch back to the promotional packages, as they used to do in the past.
Charter Communications’ Director of Communications, Northeast Region, Andrew Russell, denied this information on Friday stating it to be ‘factually incorrect’.
“Spectrum continues to honor TWC promotional rates for customers who are on TWC promotions, for the duration of their promo period,” Russell described. “However, once those TWC promotions expire — the retail price for that package takes effect.”
He also stated that customer service executives are not allowed to speak with the media, in spite of the conversation that came to pass on Wednesday.
However, not all of it is about the money, as pointed out by some customers.
Inconsistencies with the Internet service
The most common complaint from Spectrum Internet customers — for unknown reasons — was that the service has become unstable and erratic. Some customers explained scenarios where they have and are still paying for one of the top Internet packages from Spectrum — but the services get affected daily by multiple outages in the rural areas.
Speaking about the Internet — if it’s working — it’s slower than ever.
We were told by various customers that Charter Spectrum authorized speed tests didn’t provide the promised speeds from their respective packages.
So much to yearn for … even with the Customer service
Everyone knows that it’s tough being a customer service executive or a technician visiting multiple houses.
It’s hard work, particularly when the weather spikes and tempers erupt during tricky transitional times like this one.
Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and now Spectrum, all have suffered from gruesome customer service ratings. Particularly for those looking to get support over the phone.
However, the heat is being felt even by the Spectrum technicians.
This photo was sent to us on Facebook by one reader after her business was left by a Spectrum technician. While the business is getting a new setup of services, modems, routers, and wires are all spattered across a countertop — essentially resembling a rat’s nest — instead of anything that is vital for the connection of most of the modern devices in a business or home.