Charter Communications Cable - Charter Communications Cable - Charter Cable, is without doubt, the worst ISP I've had the misfortune of being stuck with using

Posted on Thursday, July 1st, 2004 at 12:00am CDT by 29ac4258

Company: Charter Communications Cable

Category: Internet Services

Charter Communications Cable services are the worst.

I have lived in several countries.

I have used over 50 ISP's in the past decade.

I have liked some better then others,

but I've never hated one as much as Charter. Charter Cable, is without doubt, the worst ISP I've had the misfortune of being stuck with using. The area I currently live, is by a nature reserve. As such, even though close to city, it is still remote enough to put the area just outside of wireless Internet range. I'd prefer to use DSL, but Charter bought out all the local phone companies and have blocked such services. Further, they have paid off most dialup services as well. In short, Charter is the only provider now here. And talk about expensive for what you get,

especially when compared to Europe's rates/cost,

the U.S. is seriously overpriced! So, what makes this (not an ISP) worse then all others? 1. They have an abundant number of people being called "techs" who in fact, know next to nothing about being a technician. 2. If you make the misfortunate mistake of letting them set up your connection (which I did not, but have witnessed now at 3 neighbors homes), they will do the following:

a. remove all firewalls

b. remove all proxies

c. remove anti-parasite and anti-cookie software

d. disable anti-virus

e. effectively disable all forms of internet and identity security Why the hell they would do this is completely baffling!!! Further, they didn't bother to reinstall/reactivate in any of the cases. 3. They throttle bandwidth.

This means that even though you may be paying for more bandwidth, don't expect to ever get what you are paying to receive. Further, if Charter feels you are using too much bandwidth, they will throttle your connection speeds. 4. They pass off a slow news service as their own. This service is slow, and throttled too. If you attempt to use other news services, Charter will often block you. However, if you call and complain about these *#@! speeds, it is only then they tell you, they don't run the news server at all, they contract it, thereby releasing them of any legal action. 5. Port blocking.

This has to be the worst of all...

In this, Charter is without doubt both arrogant and ignorant. An ISP is a provider of internet services. Internet services are by definition, the basic service of the internet

including:

Gopher, SMTP, HTTP, FTP, DNS, Telnet

and ports 0-65535

under protocals IPX, UDP, TCP.

Since Charter fails to offer these, they can not be legally called an ISP, and for a company that likes to boast its own brand of legal definitions, this is important. So, what are these port blocking's?

Well, webservers use port 80, email ports 25, 110, telnet 23, FTP 21, so on. Now, because Charter is too cheap or lazy to handle the inherent problems that come with running such services, such as virii and spam, they have chosen to take way the most basic features that make up the internet. And they have done this without your approval or option. This effectively means, you can do more with dialup.

But more importantly, it means, you can't host a website,

you can't share files,

you can't have your own e-mail.

Further, they are expanding the ports blocked to include P2P and chat. So, what can be done?

Legally, to stop Charter, not a whole lot as they seem to be a multimillion dollar money hog out of control. But, you do have options, and you can make them pay for such stupidity. 1. You could opt to have no internet, and make them lose customers and money 2. You could drag them through courts, as many have, but to little avail. 3. Port Map around them... this is not a perfect solution, but works. You set up services on non-standard ports, or use an outside service to go around Charter. Set up your website on port 10080, use a DNS and point to that port. People go to yourwebsite.com and end up at your website. You can do the same with FTP, Telnet, and simular services. You can set up e-mail routers. This is more difficult, but can be done. Charter has caught on that people are doing this,

and they are blocking yet more ports.

However, if people just continue to change ports (annoying, I know) it will result in Charter port blocking itself into extinction, or finally offering all the ports as they should and not interfere in those things they have no right to tamper with in the first place.

June 29, 2004

Here's a little update I'm sure people will enjoy. Ever since being stuck with Charter, complaints of bandwidth throttling have been plentiful. Lately, they have even been dropping connections often. One tech I spoke with, said it was because I didn't have a Charter modem, and that I had to replace mine as it was faulty. This, I seriously doubted, as I bought a brand far superior to what Charter distributes. I took the modem to a friend of mine and hooked it up to his line. The modem performed beyond expectations. This not only saved me several hundred dollars, but again proved, Charter had its head up its @ss. Finally, after much complaining, I got a tech who ran a test. Why none before did is unknown... oh, right, they aren't techs! His assessment was that not enough signal was reaching the modem. A Charter crew was sent out to perform testing and make repairs. Now, here is the interesting part I really want to share...

The 2 techs that came out, both agreed, Charter should have never offered the services they do to this area, as even with the replaced new hardware, Charter CAN NOT DELIVER the rates they are selling. Further, it will be months before they can. The techs, as well as Charter are well aware of this!!! Prior to the repair, I was getting less then HALF of the bandwidth being purchased! After the replaced hardware, about double what I was getting, but still not what I am paying to have. I suggested that since Charter is knowingly selling rates they can not deliver, and as I've put up with *#@! connections since having their service, I should be reimbursed... the techs said they'd look into it... but as a tech, I know how that usually goes. The S


23 Comments

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310b908b, 2007-10-03, 05:10PM CDT

I hear you completely, I don't know what else can be said about Charter that you haven't already mentioned above. All and all they are a horrible isp, and I wish there was an alternative in this area.

5c1521c8, 2008-01-03, 05:37PM CST

Here is my story on the worst vendor I've had to deal with ever. Dealing with Charter has been one of my most painful experiences; they treat their customers like dirt. Before Christmas I contacted Charter and informed them that I wanted to buy a HD box off of eBay, gave them the model number and serial number. I was informed that was o.k. that it would be supported. I bought the box for $250 and since then have spent over 3 hrs on the phone trying to get activated and 2hrs standing in line at the local office (again cuz Charter told me to, because they could activate the box). So after spending $250 plus 5-6hrs of my valuable time on phones and in lines, Charter says sorry we can't activate the box. We're sorry OUR personnel gave you bad information, is there anything else we can do for you? That's my latest issue. You don't even want to get me started on what they charged me for years for 3Mbps when the most I ever measured was 1.7Mbps. I will look to replace Charter for Cable, Internet and phone as well as post my experience over the internet so folks that have a choice of providers make the smart choice which is anything BUT Charter.

834e3d43, 2008-01-26, 08:50PM CST

Allow me to recount just the latest interaction I have had with Charter Cable. My internet service would not work. I spent 30 minutes on the phone following the instructions of an automated voice. Failing resolution, I was transferred to a human who told me a technician would have to come to my house for repairs. My appointment was scheduled ??between 3 and 5 PM?? on Friday. I rescheduled my afternoon and waited. I was called a little after 5 PM and told they would be there by 6 PM. I called Charter at 6:45 PM and told them no one had shown up and I had to leave for a 7 PM appointment. I was rescheduled for Saturday from ??8 AM to 12 noon?? but told they would make every effort to be there close to 8 AM. I waited until 11:30 AM, then called and advised Charter no one had shown up. I was told they would be there around Noon. I called Charter at 12:20 PM and was told I had been rescheduled (though I had not been advised of it) for ??1 to 5 PM??. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was transferred to Tyler. I requested that he tell me exactly when the technician would arrive at my house. He told me he would have Karen call me back ??in the next 20 minutes to 2 hours??. Two and ? hours later I called Charter and was told they had no Tyler or Karen at that call center. Ha (unusual name and surprisingly helpful), did personally call the technician and promptly called me back to report I ??was next?? for the technician. He arrived at 4:30 PM.

The local Charter office is no longer listed on the Birmingham Better Business Bureau??s online site, but when I checked a couple of years ago, as I recall Charter had 178 complaints in the preceeding 6 months while the other company offering similar services, BellSouth, had zero complaints. Smart Money magazine (10/07 last page)recently ranked Charter as the worst company in America for customer service, a ranking that they richly deserve.

a9f5579d, 2008-05-15, 06:31PM CDT

I agree completely. CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS SUCKS!!! They are the absolute WORST COMPANY that we have every had the misfortune of being completely FORCED to use as no other cable internet service can service our area (that in itself needs to be outlawed!!) I am FED UP with their outtages. Then to get a credit they tell you you have to call back when service has been restored??!?!!?!!! WHY??? "We're on the phone now, they KNOW their is an outage, WHY can't they just credit it NOW???? Their customer service is RIDICULOUS, you can't understand half the people (because god knows where they are) and when you have a service issue they send a bunch of dumbf**** to service your system and they have NO IDEA what is going on or WHAT to do. Can anyone spell CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT???? I would love to start/join in on one. I'm sick and tired of being forced to use this a**holes!

5fae9e6b, 2008-05-22, 11:06AM CDT

Charter Communication Opelika, Alabama is BADDDDD, I have had trouble for the oast three days. Had a tech supposed to be out between 9-11:00. Well no show I called to see why and they told me the appointment had been cancled. The only problem was I was not told. I lost 2 hours of work and still having trouble. I wish there were other choices as I would fire the hexx out of them

c8286ad6, 2008-08-01, 10:39PM CDT

OMG, i cannot believe what you are saying. Do you have a large box? Good put your computer in it and send it back. Ports are part of your operating system and your routers firewall and thats it. ISP's couldn't block a port even if the wanted too. A cable modem does not have that kind of a capability. And just to correct a few other thing you said: Webservers dont use port 80, internet explorer does andyou can make telnet use what ever port u want by typing telnet <insert website> <insert port #>. If you are experiancing problems with internet based programs connecting you are most likely using a router. and just need to forward the ports. The problem with port forwarding is that nobody supports it, not even the router companies. So it is quite easy but you will need to do some research about yourparticular brand of router and do it yourself.

9124eafe, 2008-08-16, 04:42PM CDT

To the responder who has no clue about ISPs blocking traffic... Yes, many ISPs DO block traffic to and from certain ports. There's no magic about it. It's actually an implementation the same monitoring technology schools and businesses use to control access outside their intranets. (Why you can't gamble online from work, for example.) This is important information for some of us, as the original poster states, and a search for blocked services is what brought me here.

61eb93e4, 2008-10-01, 12:40PM CDT

Chater is the worst run company ever. We recently got Direct TV and Charter was supposed to cut off our cable tv, but NOT our internet. The last thing we said was, "be sure not to cut off the internet". You got it, they cut the internet off and did not bother to come back to make sure it was back on. It took a WEEK for them to come out and correct their mistake. They missed 3 promised appointments. When the worker finally came out, I asked if they had been busy, and he said, "No".

So 2 weeks later they shut off the internet again! Once again it took a WEEK for them to correct THEIR MISTAKE. A couple weeks later we got a call offering basic cable along with the internet for a discount. Sounded good, so we took it. We kept getting phantom service calls and I kept saying that our service was fine. Guess what? They shut the cable off A THIRD TIME. AND IT IS GOING TO TAKE A WEEK TO TURN IT BACK ON. GREAT SERVICE CHARTER! The ironic part is that we actually got a Hallmark card from Charter apologizing for us being upset right BEFORE they shut off service for the third time. THE WORST COMPANY EVER. I am going to pay more to get DSL. I've had enough.

83921ad8, 2008-11-01, 02:32AM CDT

I think I can add up to the port blocking with Charter, I just needed FTP ports open and chatting with a tech was very confusing to this tech. they thought I had problems accessing the Charter webspace that I don't even use. I ended up calling the 888 # provided. and the tech who I talked to started asking me to PING www.charter.com and what my ip address was, e.t.c while all I was asking is if they have ports 20, 21 open, because even without my firewall and directly connected to their WebStar Cable modem I was still seeing this port closed. It was a shame until I got transferred to a Charter Business Account Rep who told the common ports 1-1025 are blocked for all residencial accounts but not for Business accounts, What a mess. I am moving to Qwest or someone else who will just provide Internet service and not have to worry this again I hope.

0129172c, 2008-11-11, 03:25AM CST

I understand your frustrations. I was on charter for a while, I went to DSL while they were in the middle of their upgrades at the end of last year.

I had 3 techs come out here to fix my problems and no one did. We suffered with slow internet, constant interrupts (everyday), and NO ONE could tell us a thing.

I had the 10mb/1mb package. I was lucky to actually see 1/3 of that speed most of the time. I used to also do online DJ streaming music live from my house and that was always a gamble.

I switched to DSL and man was it awesome. The only problem is that it costs more because you have to have a phone line. We use Vonage and have had great service with that for 3 years.

The past couple of months have been hard financially, so to save some cash we switched back to charter for internet.

My bro uses it in the same area and they haven't had problems in a while. I figured they FINALLY got their $%*^ sorted out... so, with great skepticism I canceled the DSL and went back to charter.

SO, not even a week into having service I try to pull up some web pages and wouldn't you know it... F---ing BS internet service slows down like it used to. Some pages wouldn't even load or they'd load at dial up speeds.

Funny thing was, if I did a speed test or downloaded files, I saw my full bandwidth.... pretty damn odd I thought.

So, it was just different, but still wasn't working exactly like it should.

Now, I come looking to see if charter was doing any port blocking cuz I'm trying to download a torrent file and I'm getting like 5kb/s!!! I mean WTF...

Guess it's time to change ports or something. I just think it's stupid to have to resort to doing that when you pay them for a service they only half-@$$ supply it.

Believe me, if I HAD other options and could afford it, I would go back to DSL in a heartbeat. NEVER had a problem with the DSL and I hooked that up myself!

330fbd2b, 2008-11-21, 04:11PM CST

i have a modest ftp server, and have been trying to figure out why port 21 would result in failures. i thought that port 80 on my router was blocked from the control software from my router, so i used 8080. now im getting pissed about charter. i get these hickups that last for 10 minutes at a time of no internet service, and crashed dns servers.

your right, they block ports that they should be offering users to use.

6850972d, 2008-12-03, 08:20PM CST

I was trying to setup my web server that I had running else where before I moved here... In any case .. Hate to say it in this area ( WI )there is NO ports you can you .. FU charter...

4a4814c5, 2008-12-11, 08:09PM CST

"OMG, i cannot believe what you are saying. Do you have a large box? Good put your computer in it and send it back. Ports are part of your operating system and your routers firewall and thats it. ISP's couldn't block a port even if the wanted too"

I sincerely hope this was intended to be sarcasm...

The fact of the matter is, ISP's do block ports (Charter is no exception). Some ISP's offer proxy server protection inside a client DMZ (I think you should study your admin methods). Charter most certainly blocks SMTP using a similar method, because it does not allow your SMTP MTA or actual server access to this even if your server is sitting on the external network. ISP's do this, because they figure that their clients are too stupid to secure their own systems and don't want to fall victim to legal issues brought by disgruntled customers regarding insecure browsing and infections. It's a lose, lose situation.

80a14332, 2009-07-13, 09:00AM CDT

Not commenting on Charter -- I've never used tem -- just on this post:

RE "OMG, i cannot believe what you are saying. Do you have a large box? Good put your computer in it and send it back. Ports are part of your operating system and your routers firewall and thats it. ISP's couldn't block a port even if the wanted too."

A "port" is a number that is included in message packet sent over the Internet. It is not part of the operating system, it is part of Internet communications software. I have no idea what Charter or any other ISP actually does, but they could easily block a port number by having software at their site that examines each message before forwarding it to your computer, look at the port number field, and not forward messages that include designated port numbers. This is exactly what firewalls do. I don't see any technical reason why an ISP couldn't firewall-like software at their site.

"A cable modem does not have that kind of a capability."

Probably true, but no one claimed they were blocking ports with the modem. They'd be blocking it with the routing hardware at their offices.

"Webservers dont use port 80, internet explorer does"

Your browser sends a message with a given port number, and the web server listens on a given port number. The two numbers must agree for the message to go through. So yes, IE (and Firefox and Opera and any other web browser) use ports numbers, but the web server does too. Trust me, I've set up dozens of web servers, and something you always have to specify is the port number that it will listen on.

"you can make telnet use what ever port u want by typing telnet <insert website> <insert port #>."

Sure. And the computer at the other end must be listening on that port number, or you'll get nowhere.

Your comments about ports are like laying, "The person dialing chooses the phone number, so it doesn't matter what the phone number is at the other end." It just makes no sense: Both sides have to be using the same port number for a connection to work.

"If you are experiancing problems with internet based programs connecting you are most likely using a router. and just need to forward the ports. The problem with port forwarding is that nobody supports it, not even the router companies."

Umm, "port forwarding" means that when a message hits your router, it looks at the port number, and changes the message to have a different port and/or IP address based on a table of port forwardings. So if the router may say, for example, that all incoming messages for port 8000 go to IP 10.0.0.1 port 80 and all messages for port 8001 go to IP 10.0.0.2 port 85. My Linksys router supports this, and I think most routers do. Mostly, I think, it's used so a router can portray a single IP to the outside world but have multiple computers behind it, providing various services, like one being a web server and another an email server. This could be used to get around port blocking -- like you could register your web server as using port 8000 and then have the router forward the requests as port 80 -- but this isn't really the issue, you could always just have your web server listen to port 8000 to begin with.

5f112c6a, 2010-02-09, 08:01PM CST

Charter Cable company has ABSOLUTELY ... without question...THE WORST customer service I have EVER experienced in my life. THE ABSOLUTE WORST! The wait times to get in contact with someone who can actually answer the question you need answered is an eternity. Their ability to understand the nature of the issue is incredibly LOW.

ab7cf5d8, 2010-04-14, 09:10PM CDT

Agreed. I use Charter, I get less than 1/2 the bandwidth I pay for, and customer service is god-awful! You think your bandwidth is bad?!?! Try living in a service ISLAND! Trying to contact Charter, the third tech we got tried to connect to our router. Turns out, a recent storm blew it out. We had to go through 3 waves of ignorant "tech-representatives" before we even identified the problem. Then, we were stuck with a $5/month bill for a modem we DIDN'T rent (because theirs were obviously $H|T). They can screw us, our entire town, as they have a complete monopoly on it. No other ISP will offer service, and Charter's 5-year contract is due soon. All I can say is, don't go with Charter if you have a choice.

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e01c60f8, 2010-06-12, 01:36AM CDT

Charter uses traffic analizers much like we do at the college I work at. We use Allot Communications, a company based in Isreal, and a leader in this type of technology. With this analyzer we are able to sift through all the traffic and block torrent, and any other site that my allow students to download illegally shared files. The reason we do this is because the large companies now very rarely go after the little fish anymore on the net, but what they do do is to go after those that are allowing the traffic. So this story goes SONY media sent the college a letter explaining that a student downloaded a movie, and was sharing it on our network where it was downloaded by several people. The letter then stated that if we did not stop the traffic that they would contact our ISP and have our service suspended until we were able to cull this type of traffic. Since we as a college with many classes offered online cannot go without internet we were forced to filter freedom. While I do not agree with this practice, the leadership of the college does not want to fight it, and given the state of funding for colleges around the nation we can neigh afford to. I think the only way to win the war is to not purchase Hollywood's crap, let the theaters go dark, support the ISP that do not filter, and fight in court as often as possible to make it hard for them to justify the cost to fight. If they would just adjust the price of the movies they sell to something more manageable for most americans, and since the costs of producing DVD's only cost about 7-11 cents to manufacture, then they will have to deal with people illegally trading in movies. It shouldn't cost $25 for a movie.....

0f587922, 2010-06-14, 11:26PM CDT

I agree, I try to port forward to host my game server, yet the 192.168.1.1 for editing it is blocked. On top of that, if you use a different IP to change it it deems it forbidden and you cannot access it which really makes me angry.

8342de96, 2011-09-03, 09:12AM CDT

I would be all for a class action suit! "Million dollar" corporations are getting out of control these days with the creation of what I call "minor monopolies" example: buying out telephone lines as the person living in a remote area stated, "customer service" is almost dead and finally selling you products/services at an inflated price and giving you a substandard product/service example: internet speeds are hardly close to what you pay for and electronics hardware in market is built to break, usually soon after the warranty is out.(I know this as I have repaired many types of electronic devices and only the very expensive are built to last!) In short I am sick of this s#%t too!! If whomever suggested a suit is serious you have my full support, just contact me and let me know what I can do to help.

faaa3ab0, 2011-11-02, 03:34AM CDT

So, everyone already knows that Charter is a rip off in the internet sector... well thats how they make there bottom line (no complaints so far... because i'm a business owner and fully understand the need and right to make money). But, wait... I'm being charged for a service that I'm not even receiving... No, not a fluctuation of speed or an 85% of speed which is totally normal of any provider and totally acceptable but MUCH MUCH WORSE!!! Like going to the grocery store and asking for one pound of meat and the butcher gives you a 1/4 pound (but even worse in this case). Charter has been throttling my service for over a year and not until I consulted a 3rd party professional did I realize the magnatude of the situation. The modem I had rented from Charter had not even supported the speed I had been paying for. This continues and gets much worse so please read on... I upgraded my service and received a new powerful modem in the mail, installed and low and behold, no change in speed (still 3-5% of advertised). Multiple technicians were sent out and most had less know how on computers than me but there fancy meters showed almost unheard of performance out of my coax (100MBps+ with almost 0db noise). After the third visit and third modem I started to receive close to %50 of what I am paying for but this was much later than I had been billed for the full monty. Customer service (over 10 transfers) could not understand what a "pain in the ass" customer I had become... I had actually asked for a credit for 1 month of service that I never even received in the first place (not to mention they charged me almost %150 more than quoted for that same service I never got). Long story short, it's been 4 months later and still fighting for the credit they offered after many hours of my wasted time and then they never even posted it to my account... oh, and they have been very rude (accept for tech support, they have told me again and again how sorry they are about this issue). Strange, the employees trained to do anything to distract me and side rail me so to not have to pay out any refunds are the only employees not to understand the very simple complaint). Class Action Law Suit anybody??? It would be very expensive (charter knows that) and thats why Charter has done nothing. Also, I filed a formal complaint with the State of Wisconsin but the reply was that GOV. Scott Walker has deregulated the telecommunications sector for expansion reasons (which I'm for) but also lets them get away with state issued complaints...even total fraud that would land you and I in prison. Chew on that and let me know what you think, please! It's a FELONY by the way. Oh, but corporations are people...oh, unless there being sued for fraud... then they become non-people entities... I can't stop there, sorry ;)... The technicians even admitted that they throttle people to even the loads. So the guy down the street paying 20% of what I pay per month can get better download speed (even though I use a smaller portion of data transfer). Everyone gets about the same internet speed to there house, its controlled thru throttling your modems. So go test your speeds at multiple sites and make sure there controlled tests too! ie. no programs or other computers on the network. You may be very surprised to what you find or you may be lucky. Just remember to test at different times and average your results. If we can prove Charter is fraudulently throttling our services then we will all get much better, much faster service in the future. No competition and uniformed customers has let Charter get away with total FRAUD!

3582ca97, 2012-03-20, 11:14PM CDT

I have Charter for my ISP and all of their IPs they issue are on 2 Blacklist.

SORBS

Spamhaus

Charter told me in so many words that they do this because they consider "Residential" accounts as Entertainment and they recommend I upgrade to a Business account, and of course that could cost $100 or more a month.

So my question I have, is there anyway to obtain an IP address that is static and not on a Blacklist without having to upgrade to a business ISP or change ISP's?

I found this all out when I noticed a lot of my emails I send using Thunderbird where going into spam folders and my sites IPs are clean and no blacklist. But my ISP issued IP is blacklisted.

I did try and change IPs and after 25 different IPs with Charter they all were blacklisted.

So, What can a guy do?

ba2cce08, 2014-07-07, 02:55PM CDT

It's been several years since the last post shown up on this topic, but it's essentially still the same. My connection drops 15 times a day during 6 am to 6 pm. Charter said it was the router messing with the modem, but I hooked my pc directly to the modem and it still happened with the same frequency. The last time we called and complained they said it was a bad configuration in the modem and then it mysteriously stopped for a few weeks, Charter is about stealing peoples money by over charging for service they REFUSE to provide.

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