EDITORIAL: Customer service? It's not in Charter's vocabulary
On Friday in this space, The Telegram typically runs an editorial from another state newspaper under the title "Other Wisconsin Voices." This week, we had selected one from The Sheboygan Press. It lauded new gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Wiscons...
On Friday in this space, The Telegram typically runs an editorial from another state newspaper under the title "Other Wisconsin Voices." This week, we had selected one from The Sheboygan Press. It lauded new gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Wisconsin Legislature through a service called WisconsinEye. It's a new nonprofit public affairs network offered through Time Warner and Charter Communications via their digital cable systems.
It would have been a disservice to Telegram readers to run this editorial without providing information on which cable channel will carry the programming. And as Superiorites are well aware, it also would be prudent to ensure it actually was to be provided here -- as folks in Madison tend to forget Superior is a part of Wisconsin.
So we called Charter's Duluth telephone number. And we ended up in an endless telephone "customer service" loop. Many customer options were offered, but none that would address our question. But we had little choice. To get a human being on the phone, we had to press a number. So we tried the one associated with getting Cable TV maintenance assistance. A friendly person answered, we explained our dilemma and they promised to transfer us to the correct party. Instead, they put us back in the endless loop.
Switching strategies, we called again and tried pushing the number to obtain billing assistance. Figured we'd at least get into the business office, which can be a good thing. Another friendly person answered. After explaining our question, they sent us to a techie who obviously wasn't trained for customer support. He was pleasant but had no idea why he received the call. But he promised he knew where assistance could be found. So he sent us into the endless "customer service" loop.
Taking a great leap of faith, we pulled up Charter Communications' Web page on the Internet and went directly to Investor Relations, then dialed the communications vice president, Mary Jo Moehle. Her voice message explained she was unavailable, but urgent calls would be taken by Catherine O'Neal. So we called Catherine. Good thing our call wasn't urgent. Her voice message said she's out until July 9.
Calling Charter's general corporate number in St. Louis led us to a friendly receptionist. A real, live body. We were encouraged. She knew exactly the right person who could provide help. Then she sent us to the same endless loop.
To make a long story short, The Telegram on Friday could not determine whether or not WisconsinEye will be offered in this market by Charter Communications. But we'll keep publishing legislative coverage, and you can get it without going through an endless telephone loop.