UPDATE: What makes Spectrum customers so upset? Here are a few of the reasons

We live in polarizing times.

There are dozens of issues in the Finger Lakes, which can easily be classified as “contentious.” The former-foundry site cleanup in Geneva, ongoing flooding along Lake Ontario, landfilling operations throughout the region, lakefront development issues in Canandaigua and Geneva, as well as a polarizing welcome center being debated and discussed in the City of Auburn.

You know what else infuriates people?

A little company known as Charter Spectrum.

We shared a story originally published by the Finger Lakes Times, outlining the frustrations shared by customers who had been moved over from Time Warner’s service to the “new-and-improved” Charter Spectrum family.

The feedback was vivid, intense, and well — almost shocking.

Customers have had countless issues. Even those who work in the FingerLakes1.com Newsroom have experienced issues with Charter Spectrum’s service in one way or another.

We wondered: What were the specific issues and/or complaints customers had with Spectrum’s service? Here’s what our readers told us:

Prices could increase … dramatically

Bills have been a mixed bag. Some customers say their bills have skyrocketed. Others say they’ve stayed flat. While a few tell us that prices have gone down.

The one thing nearly every customer has told us is that they expect, or have been told outright that prices will go up.

To appease some of the pricing concerns that customers had when the Charter Spectrum transition initially took place — temporary promotions were created. These “annual” plans allow customers to lock in a low rate, which will be trumped by a larger, less-affordable rate once the year is up.

Promotional offers aren’t unusual for cable or service providers like Spectrum. Time Warner Cable frequently handed out “deals” to customers who either requested them — or needed them.

Time Warner Cable promotions are no good here

Those who were taking advantage of those TWC promotional packages, which might have been saving customers hundreds of dollars a year — are no longer an option, according to Spectrum customers.

On Wednesday night we spoke with a customer service representative for Charter Spectrum who told us that the company was no longer honoring previously hammered out deals between Time Warner Cable and customers.

Some customers described scenarios where annual promotional plans ended early, forcing them into Spectrum’s more expensive option. Others said that they were simply not allowed to jump back into those promotional packages, as they had been allowed to in the past.

On Friday, Andrew Russell, Director of Communications for Charter Communications, Northeast said that this information was ‘factually incorrect’.

“Spectrum continues to honor TWC promotional rates for customers who are on TWC promotions, for the duration of their promo period,” Russell explained. “However, once those TWC promotions expire — the retail price for that package takes effect.”

He also said that customer service representatives are not authorized to speak with media, despite the conversation that took place on Wednesday.

It’s not all about the money, though, as some customers pointed out.

Internet service is in-and-out

The most-frequently received complaint from Spectrum customers — for reasons unknown — was that the Internet service has gone downhill. Some customers described situations where they have, and are paying for one of Spectrum’s top Internet packages — but that the service suffers from multiple outages a day in rural areas.

Speaking of the Internet — when it’s working — it’s working slower.

We heard from a number of customers who said that speed tests authorized by Charter Spectrum didn’t deliver the speeds that were promised in their respective packages.

Customer service still … leaves much to be desired

No one says it’s easy being a customer service representative or a technician going house-to-house.

It’s tough work, especially as the weather warms and tempers flare during awkward transitional periods like this one.

Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and now Spectrum have all suffered from horrendous customer service ratings. Especially for those looking to get phone support.

However, even Spectrum technicians are taking heat.

One reader sent us this photo on Facebook after a Spectrum technician left her business, which had been getting a new service setup. Routers, modems, and wires are all scattered along a counter top — more effectively resembling a rats nest — than anything that is responsible for connecting most of the modern devices in a home or business.

Photo submitted by Valerie Wilson.

Update: This story was updated to include the response from Charter Communications following it’s original publish date.

Also on FingerLakes1.com

  • leatherneck111

    Where’s that fraud Senate clown Schumer? He’s more worried about some fake narrative while people who voted for him are getting raped monthly by faceless greedy cable corporations. Or, maybe it’s set up that way because he and King Cuomo have their campaigns funded by these corporations and in essence stop working for the Citizens of NYS, but bow to the will of their Corporate masters❗ Let’s see… A Dem run State, who allow monopolies such as Spectrum to flourish. Aren’t they supposed to oppose Corporate greed? Or is that just more fake tears, when it comes to elections; meanwhile banking loot and clearly being on the take of greedy corporations? Corruption AND collusion in NYS between Dems and greedy Corporations… The proof is in this article… Why did NYS ever sign off on the merger of Time Warner Cable and Charter? Who benefitted? It certainly isn’t the public… However, I’m sure the Governor and other politicians are getting paid off and benefitting…

  • David R.

    I agree. It is a freaking fantasy if they think they can offer better service on the same equipment with the same people and call it great. I cannot even watch an amazon or netflix how without it stopping to buffer, because the connection goes in and out all the time and I pay for extra bandwidth.

    In this day and age it is a serious problem for businesses in our area. Reliable Internet presence and communication is essential for the new age business and a revitalizing element for old businesses evolving to a digital age. This company regardless of the name – fails to provide that. I have missed online conferences because I could not maintain connection due to my internet connection.

    The biggest problem is that there is no choice and no oversight for this industry. They steal from the people, they get caught, and are charged less than they made by overselling their service instead of upgrading hardware and bandwidth for those extra accounts. That is a tax not a fine. And then the people get nothing that was taken from them.

    They are sold a monopoly by our government to farm the people, and evidently the FCC cares not at all how they do it. End the Cable monopoly and return free choice to the people. Make them compete so that customer service improves. Because if we had a choice we would not pay them this much for this crappy service.

    We are forced to go to them for Broadband Cable Connections. The fact that the nation is not already fiber is a direct result of the FCC handing out cable monopolies.

    Besides the fact when you call customer service they ask you to play junior tech for their company when they are fully capable of resetting your router with a few keystrokes. Tell them, I don’t work for you, you are supposed to be providing a service that you are not providing “you fix it.” My fee per hour is more than theirs.

    Corruption, Robbery, and Collusion, and it is all legal as long as we accept it.

  • Jeremey Henries

    I’m in a different predictament with spectrum. I live in a apartment complex that has an agreement that we pay $39/mo for cable when we pay our rent and we must have a account with time Warner now spectrum. When we moved in we had time Warner and was told that the digital set top box was a free upgrade from the straight hardwired cable from the wall so of course we signed up. So for years we paid $39 when we paid our rent and nothing to time Warner and had all the big channels. Come spectrum takeover: now we’re charged $32.87/mo extra for the set top box, remote, guide, and other made up fees. I called asked to just got back to the wall plug and was informed that because of the digital upgrades I must have the box. I have no way out, because our place is in a contract with them and spectrum refuses to negotiate with our complex and told our property manager that if they drop their contact it would cost into the $1,000’s in fees. We used to have internet with TWC $34.99/mo. Come spectrum $84.99 we just disconnected that and bought extra data for $20 for our cell phones. This is what happens when companies are allowed to Monopolize a market area.

  • George C Stetson

    i am a spectrum customer and i have had nothing but issues with the tv phone and internet the technicians were only sent out to replace the modems and then leave and the internet keeps going in an out and my phone has started doing the same thing it has gotten to the point where i just called them up and told to disconnect my service