So I was working on a big project that ran on into the wee hours; I was getting close to the end of a seemingly never-ending grind and *poof* my internet connection died. After doing all the obvious things to pin the problem down I decided that it wasn't my problem: Charter's internet service was down. My cable modem couldn't sync up and that was that.
I really needed to get the project done and there wasn't any way to pause and pick it back up tomorrow - just a few more lines and it'd be done. So I called Charter Cable's "customer service" line. Hey, it's a bit after midnight so their lines shouldn't be too busy, right? Yeah, 45 F-ing minutes on hold while the smooth voiced announcer talked up all of their offerings and worked extra hard on selling me phone service. I don't know who programs their "on hold marketing" but trying to sell VOIP service to people who are calling because their internet service is down probably isn't a good idea. I pressed the phone tree buttons to get to technical support and eventually (45 minutes later) a nice woman came on the line. The only thing she would accept from me was that my internet service was down - she didn't want to know anything about any troubleshooting I might have done and decided (surprise) that the problem was on my end. After she had me describe the lights on the front of the cable modem (yeah, it's not syncing up) she decided that this was a problem that they needed to roll a truck for. Apparently, technical knowledge isn't a prerequisite for customer service people at Charter.
This isn't getting my project any closer to completed, and talking to the "customer service" person was about as satisfying as talking to a brick. After listening to a description about how a splitter can fail and cause this exact problem and how often this occurs and how this is undoubtedly my problem (sigh) - I gave up; send your service truck and heaven help the poor guy that knocks on the door. So what happens next? First the cable modem syncs up but the connection isn't usable - can't access their DNS servers. Then ten or fifteen minutes later the DNS servers come up and the connection is working again. Wow, that splitter must have fixed itself (yeah, right).
So when (if) the Charter tech shows up I'll send him on his way; don't need him. But hey, let's back off a bit here and see if we can see what Charter is doing. Apparently (my guess) they're working on their systems but don't bother to let their customers or their customer support people know about it. Then they put unskilled people on the technical support lines and restrict them to a script. That script called for a tech to be sent to my home but he's not needed. It appears that by saving money on the tech support end they've wasted even more on sending a truck with a tech to fix something that isn't broken and they've aggravated a customer.. At least I'm not getting my phone service from Charter - imagine having some sort of emergency and reaching for the phone and - nothing. What's wrong and when will it be fixed? Who knows - but at least you won't have to deal with Charter's "tech support" because your phone doesn't work.