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Terry Cowgill
A Charter-Spectrum service van parked on Main Street in Great Barrington.

AMPLIFICATIONS: Spectrum — the evil empire

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By Saturday, Aug 11, 2018 Viewpoints 78

I thought my head was going to explode last Monday. At the very least I expected to have an embolism. I was entering my sixth hour on the phone with Spectrum Cable and there was no resolution in sight. I told my daughter that, if I suddenly keeled over, she was to ask the coroner to check my cortisol levels and hire a lawyer, naming Spectrum’s parent company, Charter Communications, as the cause of my demise.

It started with the phones. People could hear me, but I only heard a few words here and there. That took about an hour to straighten out. It was not the first time this has happened. I was told that there had not been an update to my system in months. If that is true, one has to wonder why there hadn’t been an update? Are we all supposed to call periodically and remind Spectrum to do their job?

A few hours later, my power wobbled during a storm on Friday. It never went out, but the lights dimmed. No one else living in this old cow barn lost their services, but my phone, premium stations and internet disappeared; for some reason, basic cable stayed active.

I immediately called Spectrum Cable. I was told I could have my services back on Tuesday. Tuesday! I was on deadline and needed to file a column. Nothing I said mattered; my whines fell upon deaf headsets. I was told, however, that, since I work at home, my case was a “high priority” and a technician would call me “first thing” on Saturday morning. The word “promise” was used.

No one called “first thing” or at any time on Saturday. I called twice more, both calls were interminably long, and I was told a technician would phone me by 1 p.m. After my next call, I was told someone would call me by 3 that afternoon. So I sat at home, missing the farmers’ market and all my errands, as I fumed. During that first phone call on Saturday, I was told a technician would arrive at my house between 8 and 10 in the evening on Monday instead of Tuesday. I was not asked if I wanted a stranger in my house late in the evening; the time was just assigned to me.

On Monday, the internet and all services miraculously returned. When I called, I was not given a straight answer as to why. “Something must have fixed itself in the line,” a woman told me. “Is that like having a ghost in the machine?” I asked.

I then spent another 90 minutes on two phone calls trying to get a refund for the days I was without service. When I suggested I be reimbursed for the extra money I spent upping my cellular data for our cell phones, I was told that was “not possible.” I was informed I could be reimbursed for services, and that I was only out for three days, which was within the window of acceptability.

“Oh yeah,” I said, “There’s a window? Does that mean I have a three-day window paying my bill? There won’t be a surcharge if I am within the ‘window?’”

“It doesn’t work that way,” came the response.

“It most certainly does,” I barked back. “Spectrum entered into a contract with me and the company is not currently fulfilling its part.”

I eventually was given a $10 courtesy credit, totaling an expected reduction in my next bill by $32.34, making my wasted time worth just over $5 an hour.

As I would like to stay out of jail, I am not going to drive my car through the front of the Spectrum/Time Warner building in Lee. I did, however, call all our senators and state reps and suggest we oust Spectrum from Massachusetts, just as attorneys for the state public service commission in New York are doing. The very nice lady in Gov. Baker’s office (617-725-4005) said I was the second person that day to call with such a suggestion. Several other people had called with the same proposal earlier in the week.

A quick Google search confirmed what I had read a couple of years ago: The USA has some of the slowest and costliest internet services in the world. According to the Telegraph from London, 20 other countries have faster internet speeds, led by South Korea. Perhaps Trump should think about sinking that $10 million he plans on spending for a military parade into our electronic infrastructure (though I’d really love it if he invested it into veterans’ programs, but that’s another story). Or maybe Congress should allocate some of the $717 billion we are going to spend on the military to Make America Less Mediocre when compared to the rest of the virtual planet.

Since I do not actually expect the government to enforce improvements from the mega corporations providing us with wifi or cable services, please make calls to your representatives to complain if you are unhappy with Spectrum/Time Warner/Charter Communications. Call the governor’s office. Write letters. Send emails. Let’s bring another company into the state, one that knows we will toss it out if it does not provide adequate service to its customers.

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78 Comments   Add Comment

  1. W.C. says:

    Spectrum is the devil I also have spent hours on the phone with them and gotten a couple of $5. credits. This last Thursday the Patriots played but not on Spectrum “out of market”. They really need to go.

  2. Susan Milch says:

    We have had the identical experiences with Verizon. Seems to be the way of the industry!

  3. Nina says:

    We pay the most money for the worst Everything now adays!!

    1. Rockski says:

      True !!! I am going through the same thing with ATT. MY internet has been off since Thursday, So 4 days no cable or or internet, no football or Series of Power.

  4. STEVE says:

    Same thing happens with all big corporations. Not just Spectrum.

  5. Bridget, EX-employee says:

    Storms can knock out lines and power to the place that supplies services to your whole neighborhood. Lightning cannot be controlled by anyone….duh so to blame the service provider is just silly. Blame God….he made the storms. Maybe he’ll give credits.

    1. Rochelle O'Gorman says:

      Bridget, I did not blame Spectrum for the storm. I blamed them for continuously telling me a technician would call and that my case was “a high priority” because I work at home. I blame them for bad service, not for anything else.

      1. Gaelen says:

        It sounds like your service was affected by a line issue, so having a technician call you or sending a technician to your house would have yielded no resolution anyway. I’m not sure why you would stay home expecting a phone call on your cell phone. Could’ve gone to the market. Also, when you break down your monthly bill by day, it only comes to a few dollars per day, if that. So it sounds like you were not only credited for those days, but extra.
        Business accounts take priority over residential, so if you work from home you should set your account up as a business.

      2. marlene koloski says:

        i had issues with internet for 2years kept being kicked off after mant techs comming to my house i finnaly seen what they call a pole man and he explained that they meaning spectrum was sending wrong signal i called a tech came fixed it after 2years i got a whole 15 dollars the best they can do i was told after daily trouble for all the 2 years to this i day i still have issues they are a horrible co and i agree they need to be replaced and get kicked out of mass

    2. Rochelle O'Gorman says:

      Gaelen, you are absolutely correct. I should not have waited at home. I was just worried that the technician would call and want to come over to fix things. In retrospect this was a naive, but hopeful, thought.

      1. Rick C. Chandler says:

        Rochelle, I appreciate what you’re going through with Charter. I’ve had the same problem. I dont think the previous responders got your message. For the outrageous prices we pay, it is not too much to ask for better service, answers and customer service. They get by with it because they have a monopoly in the area of service. And I dont accept that DSL is a viable comparison.

  6. TR says:

    We live in Central New York. One day we come home from work and our service was disconnected although our bill was current.We had a similar problem but in our case a former employee lived at our place before us. Well he never disconnected his service. Spectrum told us that they would have to contact him before our service was turned back on. It took us 3-4 daily contacts with Spectrum speaking with supervisors and etc. I finally contacted the Attorney General. Our service was finally turned back on after two weeks. They keep promising it would be turned on such and such date. I am glad NYS is kicking them out

  7. Michael S says:

    To the author of this article, are you a child? Going to die because your service was down for a couple of days following a storm? Grow up!

    1. Rochelle O'Gorman says:

      Michael, I work at home. I had columns to file. It is not immature to meet one’s deadlines or to expect a company to restore services in less than four days. Remember, I pay for those services.

      1. David says:

        You work from home, and yet you make no mention of having the business class service that affords you access to priority over regular residential customers. If it is life and death that you have stable home internet, perhaps you should take it upon yourself to purchase appropriate services.

        Adulting is hard.

      2. Ginger says:

        Hi Rochelle. Can you show me how I can also work at home if you don’t mind?

    2. Will says:

      Businesses whether you work from home or at a commercial location loss revenue when they are down. How would you feel if your business lost the ability to recieve orders or communicate with your customers or other locations.

    3. Joey says:

      Use your phones internet as a back up? I’ve had Spectrum back when it was Time Warner Cable, and it has only failed me 2x in 9 years. Storms happen, things happen. My phones hotspot is always a back up.

    4. Steve says:

      People like u michael contribute to our bad service. Whose side are u on? Fairness or corporatocracy?

    5. Rochelle O'Gorman says:

      Sorry Ginger, but I would not have any useful information to offer you unless you are also a freelance writer.

  8. I, Puplius says:

    I recommend CableAnon.

  9. Ted B. says:

    Spectrum ….the Evil Empire that’s about right !
    I won’t dignify them with calling them Spectrum, SPUTEM is more appropriate !
    I hate making calls to them , the person that receives the call ( especially from me ) is just as much a victim !
    The last session of calls is when I got my new bill about 2 months ago. My annual bitch session was up , to keep that rate down .
    The guy at the other end said we can switch to SPUTEM from TWC .
    He quoted me a lesser price and I ASKED him IS THIS WITH all TAXES and FEES ! And he said yes !
    Got the conversion , got a HIGHER bill because the quote DIDN’T include the fees, taxes and other BS they can come up with , and oh ya, he knocked me down a tear WITHOUT saying anything about it ! That’s really how he reduced the quoted price !
    That’s called retention on there end ! Retention of customer , so the calls started again by me ! Got back my Silver tier , blood pressure went up ! And of course the new people on the line have NO idea what the other person said ! And I thought they recorded these conversations !!
    I remember when the cable industry was still government regulated ….and they said deregulation would be a good thing for the consumer, ya right ! Probably and very good thing for the elected officials and there kick backs !

  10. JMG says:

    Unless you have a formal SLA broadband providers won’t garantee any amount of uptime… You’re not paying for that so you’re not provided the luxury. Sux, but that’s the fact of the matter.

    1. Tammy Sandlin says:

      But I pay extra a month for wireless here in KY and they tell me it’s my connection.

  11. John Daily says:

    You have no idea the endless work that goes into consistently keeping internet circuits alive and working. Countless people are working 24hrs a day so that you don’t see a drop. When you do it’s a shame, yes, but how ridiculous is it to expect 24/7 services on what is essentially wires running through the hands of countless companies before reaching you? The is the entitlement that is ridiculous of today’s current mindset. You obviously don’t even have a basic understanding of how any of this works or you’d get this poor excuse for a topic to write upon out of your scope.

    1. Rochelle O'Gorman says:

      John, It is not an entitlement when you are PAYING for a service. If the people at Spectrum had not consistently lied to me I may have been less angry about the entire experience. Clearly a technician did not have to come out to my house at all as the problem was fixed remotely. Also, I was writing about MY experience, so it could hardly be “out of my scope.” If you have had a lovely experience with Spectrum, I would be glad to hear about it.

      1. Konky says:

        If you pay for a service level that includes a guaranteed uptime you will get better uptime. You don’t pay for that so you don’t get it. If you read the contract you mentioned in your article you would see that part of the agreement. You don’t pay for 99.999% uptime so you don’t get that level of guaranteed service. The reason they took so long for you is that you probably don’t pay for a business account even though you rely on it like one. If a big storm in your area messed up a bunch of lines, they were busy fixing the guaranteed uptime business customers as a priority. You magic fix was probably them finding a broken or compromised line somewhere and fixing it. Additionally, they were also likely stalling coming to your house because they knew the problem wasn’t there, it was outside, and when they showed up and told you you as much, you would have treated then poorly and wrote an article accusing them if incompetence. It is a lose lose situation with people who refuse to consider anything other than their perspective on a matter.

    2. Rochelle O'Gorman says:

      Konky, you have no idea how another person is going to react. If it had been a problem with the lines and Spectrum had said as much, and explained that it would be a couple of days, I would have just waited it out. That is NOT what happened. You suggested that they were “stalling” coming to my house. That is a deceptive business practice and NO way to treat a customer.

    3. Scott says:

      John, from my personal experience, promising multiple tech appointments and not making them, promising credits and not receiving them and also billing for services not even received has nothing to do with “keeping intenets circuits alive and working”.
      Spectrum has horrible service, and should be accountable for that.

  12. Archer Baumann says:

    ….and bring in who, exactly? Comcast and Cox are just as bad as Charter. Verizon (or another telco)? Yeah let me know how good local telephone DSL subscribers have it.

    New York is going to find out exactly what a lot of figured out a decade ago. Charter and it’s investors are going to expect to be paid fair market value of the network, and the only companies big enough to swallow a network even a fraction of the size of NYC better have big, deep pockets.

    Meet the new cable overlord. Same as the old overlord.

  13. Joy says:

    I am using my cellphone right now because my internet is down. Seem like a daily occurance. I’m getting ready to switch back to AT&T. I heard that now they are almost as horrible as Spectrum. I wish Google Fiber would come to my area.

  14. Jw says:

    I understand internet is a way of life. And it is tough when you lose service.

    And you are doing business from home.

    Do you really expect higher priority than your neighbor if you are doing business and not paying for business class services that demand tighter timeline on restoring services?

    1. Rochelle O'Gorman says:

      Jw, I just expected to be treated fairly, which means not lying to me about when the service would be repaired and actually providing services for which I paid. If the employees at Spectrum had not strung me along I would have felt differently about this. Also, it is truly tiresome to have phones that go down every few months or to have to return numerous cable boxes to finally get one that worked. I do not think Spectrum is doing their best.

      1. Robby Hammond says:

        Rochelle, I agree with you. Spectrum, with their stupid-high rates, incompetent service personnel and endless commercial programming (including the moronic “dish is evil, cable is good” commercials) drive me crazy. Add to that their inability to coordinate service visits and flat out lying to us about not only the time, but the day that this service call will occur. Then they expect us to pay them for their inability to provide reliable service. Yes, spectrum apologists, stuff happens that noone has control over, but the endgame of those situations is where they fail spectacularly. Some good, old fashioned competition might make them think a little more about the mediocrity that they aspire to.

  15. Nancy L Marine says:

    What I’m seeing here is an entitled writer who has so much in the life to be thankful for is choosing to go off the deep end over the loss of Internet after a storm.

    I was once a writer for several national magazines and working from home. When my Internet went down for several days due to a prairie fire, I didn’t waste hours on the phone when I could have been working. I went to the library in the next town over and used their Internet to file my story.

    There are people in this country who are homeless and sleeping in cars wondering where their next meal is coming from and your Internet is out. Hmmmm… Who do I feel bad for?

    Grow up, peaches, and come to the realization the world doesn’t revolve around you. Is this really the hill you choose to die on?

    1. Rochelle O'Gorman says:

      Oh pumpkin, this is a story about my experience. I am sorry you did not understand that. I never said it was the hill I chose to die on, you did. In fact, you told me how you would have handled it and that I should have been more like you. I am sorry you do not also realize that I write about many subjects, including political and social issues. If you want to write about the plight of the homeless and your feelings regarding that issue, please do so. I can promise you I would never presume to tell you how you should have slanted your story or how you should feel about the subject matter.

    2. Stud says:

      Very well said Nancy. Things happen in the delivery of Internet that customers will never understand. No one is perfect.

  16. Will says:

    It’s a shame those of you with such bad experiences never had the chance to be a customer with Bright House Networks. It really was a customer first environment.

    Especially for the business customer. If you called with a LoB that was out, you got a same day appointment. If it was after hours the on-call tech for the week was dispatched.

    Every small/medium business was treated the same whether you were a gas station, restaurant or doctors office.

    To say you can’t expect same day resolution to a problem is ridiculous. Will there be an occasional chance something gets lost and missed, absolutely. Im not saying its perfect.

    When I was a contractor I can’t count the times I had snowbirds tell me they wished BHN was back home. This went for both residential and commercial account holders.

    1. Rochelle O'Gorman says:

      I had heard great things about Bright House. It is too bad Charter Communications bought the company.

  17. Allen-Comcast says:

    Did you ever consider upgrading to business class service? I have it and also have a guarantee of service call within 24 hours if service is down. If you are paying for residential service, you are breaking your “contractual” agreement that states you will only be using your service for entertainment purposes. So if you are going to complain about something make sure you aren’t already a rule breaker.

  18. Donagh says:

    Geez, reading through theses comments it klooks like the media company, Spectrum/Time Watnet, had a bunch of people troll you. So obvious! ?

  19. Donagh says:

    Auto-correct changed some of words to make my comment nonsensical! ?
    “Geez, reading through these comments it looks like the media company, Spectrum/Time Warner, had a bunch of people troll you. So obvious! ?”

  20. Hvac Tom says:

    Your story sounds almost exactly like mine. However I’ve had the same promises about elevating the call etc. Its was all lies. I still haven’t gotten it resolved after 6 months and 30 plus technicians replacing everything but the tv’s , and pc’s. I was finally given a huge discount, however I was told that they couldn’t fix the problem. I’m an hvac technician, could you imagine me coming to your house charging you then leaving and telling you I can’t fix your heat or air? They must have very poorly trained technicians!

  21. Frank says:

    Att is no better I paid 70 a month for 2 years before I found out that I have been paying for 3g and not 15 I thought I was getting there fault I don’t use it much but when I had to use my computer and phone I found out quickly no refund no nothing.

  22. Wayne says:

    It’s not a bunch of people trolling. It’s probably people that work there everyday doing hard work to keep thousands of miles of cable working working in tight tolerances. It’s affected by rain, wind, cars accidents, squirrels, people stealing cable with some rigged connection, to deliver you with all that speed at over a tiny peice of copper wire. There’s reports and maintaining the network that happen everyday. People act like everyone is just twiddling they thumbs, when thousands of people are working to maintain millions of miles of cable and fiber.

    People complain about the us lack of speed. The population of people that have cable broadband dwarfs the other countries. Also the us goes out where most other countries go up. At about $30k a mile it’s a big investment that they make. It’s not subsidized by the government for cable companies like it was and is for phone companies. I could go on for hours about how it works and is quite amazing thank it even arrives. Look into a business class account and they will prioritize your service.

    1. Rochelle O'Gorman says:

      Thanks for the input Wayne. I do appreciate the hard work that goes into maintaining any and all of our infrastructures. Spectrum should train its employees to tell their customers the truth and not leave them dangling for days. It is amazing how much an honest dialogue can change a situation.

      1. Thomas Jackson says:

        Well said, Rochelle.

    2. DacoRoma says:

      She can look into a business class account until she’s blue in the face. The word “priority” is only on paper. No such thing. I should know as I work for their business class department.

  23. Stud says:

    You got issues lady. Relax.

  24. Thomas Jackson says:

    Wow! It is NEVER ok to lie to a customer. If there is no legitimate reason to send out a technician, then you would think Spectrum’s customer service representatives would understand that. Why promise something that you already know won’t help, especially if you have no intention of honoring the promise to begin with? No excuse. Period. Research customer service ratings for cable providers. Guess which company regularly receives the lowest marks? The company I work for has a business class account with Spectrum. I can assure you it isn’t sunshine and roses. Our broadband service goes out daily. The issue has been thoroughly evaluated by the technicians at Spectrum, and we have been assured it’s not their problem. Funny how it’s not their problem, yet we have to reboot the required Spectrum modem every week to keep our connection stable. I am sure a lot of hard work goes into providing cable service. That’s kind of what you are supposed to do. Spectrum would do well to pay more attention to customer complaints than to employee excuses.

  25. DacoRoma says:

    I work for Charter/Spectrum and I say good riddance. They are a joke of a company with one focus. That focus is $$$ and not you the customer.
    From regular consumer to business owners stay away from this company as they have no clue what they doing.
    The training that this company offers for their call centers and filed techs is a joke.
    If you the consumer, happen to escalate to a manager, prepare to wait a good 30 minutes until one of them decides to take your call as they are too busy cowering in their cubicles.
    People get hired and people leave quicker than a revolving door.
    Their employment turnover rate is abysmal mostly due to the poor training, atmosphere, favoritism, poor to non existent management plus their focus on dishing out punishment instead of recognizing and rewarding potential.
    The other day, they were sending us emails on scripted garbage to tell customers that “everything is going to be ok” concerning them getting kicked out of New York.
    Don’t believe a word and trust me that due to how this company is treating their workforce the last of their concern when you call is you or your issues, unfortunately.

  26. Rochelle O'Gorman says:

    Wow, I love all this dialogue and participation from the community!
    Thank you DacoRoma for your honesty.

  27. Scott says:

    I could write pages of horror stories on Spectrums inability to make good on promises, technician appointments and refunds. If any one ever brings up a class action suit I’d love to be a part of it!

  28. Logical Thinker says:

    Maybe if any of you actually understood the technology and how it actually works you wouldn’t be freaking out. But I guess that’s why you’re a “writer” and not in IT. #1 it is against spectrums terms of use as a residential customer that you are not to be using it for business purposes, this is what you would call a “Business Class Account”. #2, when a mechanic tells you it’s going to be 3 or 4 days to fix your car, it’s because there are other people ahead of you, the mechanic isn’t going to just push your car to the front of the line because you decided to whine.

  29. Harry Bona says:

    Lol. No onnnneeee cares. And if you’re “working from home” get on business class and quit whining.

  30. Drew says:

    Ah yes. 2 days without internet so let’s kick an entire company out. Sorry I’m not gonna use the Verizon dsl. The only other isp we have. 130 megabits and one person had no internet for 2 days, or 1 megabit for everyone. think of that.

    1. Drew says:

      I’m not going to defend them but be logical

  31. Get Real says:

    Obviously the armchair technicians and know it alls are professionals at how all this stuff works and can write all day long about a bad experience but never write or talk about good experiences. Since you think you know it better and understand what needs to happen then you should try working for them…oh that’s right…you are behind a desk pushing a pencil in your penny loafers and slacks barking orders about what you think needs to be done without knowing how everything works, I forgot. Try getting in the trenches of a utility company someday and get some dirt under your finger nails. All these utilities are a privilege not a right. Technology is not perfect and neither are humans that are controlling the technology, if we were then you would have used “service” rather than “serves” in the final sentence of your column.

    1. Rochelle O'Gorman says:

      Get Real,
      The word “serves” is clearly a typo and I have asked for a correction. I am amused by your fantasy that writers wear penny loafers and bark orders or have never worked in the service industry. Less amusing is the fact that you think that paying for a utility is a “privilege.” Sorry fella, but when one pays for a service, the company taking the client’s money is under an obligation to provide that service. That is one of the basic premises of good old American capitalism.

      1. Correction made in last sentence….

      2. Sandy says:

        I’ve had so many problems with Spectrum I wouldn’t even try to tell you. The 2 biggest concerns are first of all techs lying to us, the customer. IF you are indeed recording these phone calls as you say you are, you should go over these calls and make some much-needed changes to your customer service staff. Second, I’m on SS with no other means of income. I’ve had to keep cutting back services in order to try to keep cable but as the rates kept going up I had to completely have ALL CABLE AND PHONE SERVICES removed. As soon as I discontinued my services they regularly send me letters with offers to get me to return to Spectrum.
        When there isn’t extra money coming in you just have to cut out something and cable isn’t a necessity. Why should I pay MORE for LESS of the things I like to watch, for the cable company TO FORCE ME TO WATCH MORE COMMERCIALS? CABLE stated out as commercial free television. Now we have MORE commercial time than news, movies or sports. Between the commercials they sell and what we pay, these cable companies are charging a fortune and could certainly AFFORD to treat us, the customer much better.

  32. Wild says:

    Read the fine print in your contract. Stop asking for credits when things go down. Should you get a credit from Netflix when you don’t watch them everyday? Or a credit from PS plus or Microsoft gold if you don’t play online games everyday? People these days need to realize that technology is still growing, and as long as human hands are involved there will always be problems. Be a little more patient and deal with it.

    1. Wild says:

      Course most will read this and think of me in the worst possible way lol. And really I can care less

  33. Your cable guy. says:

    As a technician in the Telco industry, I can totally understand your frustrations. The Big Giants of Telcoms could give two shits about you or their employees. All they care about is getting your hard earned cash and pleasing their board of directors.
    Just a little tid bit of info. The CEO for Charter makes more in just a few hours than most of his employees makes in a year. Let that sink in for a moment. They don’t Care about you, untill you and everyone else stops paying for their subpar service.

    P.S. please keep in mind that the tech who does finally show up to your house, is getting shit on by spectrum as much you are.

  34. Toby says:

    Residential accounts are never a priority over other residential accounts. Just because someone works from home does not warrant them a “cut in line”. However, business accounts are more appropriate for your needs. Let’s make sure next time we have a little education about a company (your services) and how it operates before blasting them on the world wide web. Also, I believe I seen on commercials where they do one hour time frames. So I find it unlikely they would schedule an 8 to 10 timeframe. Lastly, they just merged. To expect a perfect transition without hiccups is just plain silly.

    1. Rochelle O'Gorman says:

      Toby, those one-hour time frames are for people who have set appointments. The technicians will arrive within the hour that was designated. I most certainly was given an 8-10 pm time slot. When I asked about the late hour I was told a lot of people who work days like it.

  35. Brian Tobin says:

    Great Barrington might want to think about building its own, municipal owned fiber optic network and have a smaller regional company act as the ISP. That’s what we did in our town. There’s state grant money available ( it covered 2/3 of the cost) and the service is fast and reliable. Tech assistance and restoration services are very quick. To get started, bring it up at your next SB meeting during citizen speak time. Good luck with it!

    1. Brian Tobin says:

      Please allow me to correct and clarify a point I made above. Because Great Barrington does have Charter/Spectrum in town, the town is not considered un- or under-served under the Massachusetts Broadband Insitute’s criteria, and therefor it does not qualify for grant assistance from MBI’s Last Mile project. Note that GB does have the MassBroadband 123 network in town to a couple of anchor points and some private projects are linking into that, like the 47 Railroad project downtown. GB does in fact have some options that people like might to advocate for, but funding questions remain.

  36. Ellie says:

    I sympathize with all of you. When it was Time Warner it was wonderful then Spector became more-ish and we lost a lot of channels now we have charter which is very worst the left-hand does not know what the right hand is doing I have also been without TV and they keep promising to send some the next day which is been going on for 10 days finally rectified some of it and gave me a credit of $64 for 10 days of no TV But that’s the world we are living in now

  37. Ana Marie Anonymous says:

    Spectrum took over bright house and once you set up an account…say for internet only as I did….yoy are bombarded with multiple sales calls to upgrade to a phone line and tv. Some salesmen even take the time to just add it to your account just because you answered the phone. Then you get your first bill and have to stay on the phone for hours trying to fight these phantom charges you never asked for in the first place.

  38. William McLaughlin says:

    Why would you want to take away funds from American military just so you have faster internet speed? Aren’t those the brave men and women in uniform that protect our great country? How about this, defund planned parenthood and the murder of unborn babies, or maybe quit supporting illegal aliens with our tax dollars.

    Credit : https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-06/cost-illegal-immigration
    At the federal, state, and local levels, taxpayers shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens

    This $134.9 billion should be enough to get your internet back up to your satisfaction

    1. Rochelle O'Gorman says:

      I am not sure why you think I want to take away funds from the military for faster Internet service. I have no such desire. I would love to see the military parade Trump is planning for the Fourth of July scrapped and the money spent on infrastructure, but that does not have anything to do with supporting our military.

      I recently scrapped Spectrum cable altogether. I received a letter that informed me of a $40 a month increase that was going to save me money! I responded by streaming all my entertainment through Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix and returned my cable boxes. Streaming is working out very well and is saving me a ton of money. I guess the best way to edge Spectrum out of Massachusetts is to not patronize it.

      1. William McLaughlin says:

        That is the way it sounded when I read it. I do apologize.
        Exactly my thoughts on spectrum.
        You have a great day

  39. William McLaughlin says:

    During call with spectrum for new service, I was offered to try apple tv box. He explained that we would end up owning apple tv box, with no more payments on equipment rental. He made it sound like we had 30 days to try apple tv. So we agreed to try it, what he did not say was “if you open apple tv box, you cannot return it.” Once opened, is non-returnable. So now I have cancelled shit-ctrum cable, after having been forced to buy this useless apple tv box. I give spectrum a negative 100 star rating.

    1. Gunther says:

      The Apple TV is *literally* sealed with a HUGE STICKER stating that refund is void of purchased… I bought one myself.

  40. Gunther says:

    Sorry but you need to stop whining. You wrote an entire article about how you had to sit and wait for an overworked technician to come to your home. You demanded and expected to be treated specially and as a result either a.) cause a technician to be overworked and stressed out when this had nothing to do with him/her or b.) force a domino effect on every other appointment coming in late and ruining everyone’s schedules so yours would be fine.

    Quit being such a self-entitled baby. You work from home? Good, you can can take a break and catch up later. How does that give you priority from someone who is gone 8+ hours a day and doesn’t have anything to do when they are supposed to decompress.

    You feel like they should pay your mobile bill for the extra data you used? I didn’t know mobile companies still offered limited data plans, and if so then you must be really nickel and diming, sheesh. Asking Spectrum to pay your mobile bill is like demanding Netflix pay you for the movies you had to rent from Google Play or Apple because they didn’t offer them.

    Listen, it’s a SUBSCRIPTION. There’s no contracts, there’s absolutely nothing they need to do for you other than provide the service they are charging you. This entire “ordeal” started because you put up a fuss because your internet went out and you put up a fuss. You are valued and prioritized no more than any other customer of theirs… You kept on nagging until someone finally told you what you wanted to hear. They tried to make it work for you but the reality is that absolutely nobody who thinks logically is going to destroy everyone else’s schedules. People who have waited patiently for days because they understand that cable services are recreational and that there is this little virtue called “patience.”


  41. Fred says:

    My service was out for two weeks. Spectrum said the only way for me to get a credit is if I cancel my service.

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