Charter communications — double penalty for cancelling service
I've been a Charter "bundle" customer for almost three years and enrolled in the current 2-year "price guarantee" agreement in 3/2010. I've been paying $145/mo. for phone, internet and cable TV. When I signed up in 3/10, the phone agent informed me that cancellation of services prior to 3/12 would result in a "termination fee" that would be prorated down for every month service was maintained.
I decided last month to switch to the AT&T service package due to their $89/mo first year pricing, a decrease in TV and movie programming availability with Charter and numerous internet connection problems. I signed up with AT&T but did not schedule installation until 12/07. I called Charter to inquire about the "termination fee" and was told that it would be $25. I did not tell Charter that I'd decided to switch but only that I was considering doing so.
I received my Charter bill yesterday and was unpleasantly surprised to see that it was $250, not $145 for the month. I called Charter customer service and was informed by Koy, agent D5T, that I was being charged "full regular price" for my services because I had been "kicked out" of the bundle program. She said that AT&T had contacted Charter to let them know that they would be "taking over" my phone number. I asked Koy why, at no point, was an additional monetary penalty for terminating Charter service ever mentioned and she had no answer.
I asked to speak to Koy's supervisor and proceeded to wait on hold for over twenty minutes. (Koy did check back several times to tell me that she was waiting for a supervisor to become available.) When Koy finally came back on the line, she stated, "I am now going to connect you to Mr. (inaudible)", at which time I was promptly disconnected.
I called Charter back and spoke with an agent named Luke. He explained that I had been "kicked out" of the bundle pricing package when AT&T "opened the work order" and suggested that the only way to have the bill reduced from $250 to $145 would be to "have AT&T cancel the order." Luke also informed me that I would additionally be billed for the $25 "termination fee."
The specific wording of Charter's termination of services policy is available on their website under "Terms of Agreement." I find it reprehensible that they are attempting to gouge me and are, in effect, charging me for not having all three (bundled) services during a month that I do, in fact, have all three services. This is disingenuous and dishonest.
Prior to this disgusting lack of business integrity, I would certainly have considered going back to Charter if my AT&T service proves less than satisfactory. I have revised that consideration and would not do business with this company in the future.
I am sending this complaint to the BBB and the Attorney General of the State of Wisconsin, as well as posting on as many online forums as possible. Buyers beware of Charter Communications!