Charter Communications service FAIL

I am having one of those experiences today that makes all the terrible service stories one hears from time to time utterly believable.

My wife and I became so tired of the poor internet service from CenturyLink that we finally decided to switch over to Charter Communications. Their internet speed is much higher than CenturyLink and their price is better. We also went with their phone service. An appointment was made at the end of December for today. Yesterday, the appointment was confirmed as arriving from 08:00 to 10:00 this morning.

The problems began this morning. No one arrived. At 11:00, I called customer service to be told that she would contact the local dispatcher, and that it could take an hour to receive a callback. When the callback came it was to inform me that they did not have the needed telephone installation parts and that my installation would have to wait. I vigorously protested that I had had to take time off from work, and my current internet and telephone connections are being shut-off tomorrow, leaving me with only cell phone connections to the outside world.

An installer called back and said that some parts were due in today, but that he could come and hook up my internet. The young installer arrived only to tell him that they had just informed him that the telephone parts were going to arrive sometime, but not today. At first, he had to argue with his own company to allow him to install the internet. Believe it or not, because I ordered a bundled package, customer service was saying that it all had to be installed at once. The poor young man has been having to argue for two hours now, and I have had to give two verbal approvals just to allow the telephone they do not have to be installed at a different time.

I do not know when my telephone will be installed, but since we mostly use cell phones, that is not as urgent as getting the internet back up.

At this point, I have been apologized to several times. Everyone says that someone should have notified me. When I pointed out that they did notify me yesterday that they were coming today, no one had an answer. I am still flabbergasted that Charter Communications was quite willing to leave me without either telephone or internet, simply saying that they were sorry.

So, we are now at three hours later than than they had stated. I am now being told that it will be at least 7-10 days before I can have telephone service. Worse, it is not automatically scheduled. I have to call in to Charter again to be rescheduled to have them switch my telephone over to them.

This counts as a massive FAIL on the part of Charter Communications. Unfortunately, this area is served only by Charter and CenturyLink. I will say that my internet speeds are now significantly better. But, I came very close to cancelling before we even started. Be very careful if you decide to go with Charter Communications. What they tell you is not necessarily what happens.

Time to turn our backs on NYC cops

The police officers of the City of New York have a tough job. They, along with firemen, emergency medical services, medical personnel, etc., were the ones who stepped into the breach 13 and 1/2 years ago after the terrorist bombing of the City. Now, over a decade later, they have become afflicted with a deadly disease. That deadly disease is that they have come to believe that they are above reproach, above criticism, and above legitimate scrutiny. This disease was only fed by the grand jury who refused to indict any policemen in the recent death of a citizen, even though the coroner labeled it a homicide. The outcome has been the second intolerable lack of respect expressed at the funeral of the second recently assassinated NYC police officer.

Sadly, the president of their union supported their actions saying:

After Liu’s funeral, Lynch of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association told reporters that some officers “feel like they were turned upon by City Hall and we have a right to express our opinions as well, and they did respectfully.”

Officers who turned their backs when the mayor spoke did not act, Lynch said, “inside a church, not inside the service, but outside where it should be done, on the streets, like we have a right to do.”

The officers were not turned upon by City Hall, anymore than they were turned upon by the Coroner who found that the actions of the policemen on that day constituted homicide. We should expect a mayor to take quick action when possible evidence of official misbehavior turns up. In fact, we do expect that, often insisting that any mayor anywhere “fire” any aide who commits a possible act of misbehavior. Yet, the police officers of the City of New York have consistently behaved as though their actions are above scrutiny.

For those of you who are fearful of government overreach, there is nothing that should concern you more than a police department who sees itself as immune from scrutiny, particularly when you have Coroners declaring homicide. You should also be concerned about the reaction that all too many have had that if a police officer does it, it must be OK and legal. The rulings of the Coroners should give you pause, unless you are arguing that police homicide is automatically justified. But, if you are so arguing, then beware that those same police persons do not someday become the very repressive force that you so fear.

From Libertarians, through Tea Party members, through classical Liberals, many have argued the dangers of unchecked government power. There are few powers that can be more easily abused than the power to stop, search, frisk, and even physically batter and kill a citizen. That is why the Constitution insists on limits on searches and seizures. That is why the Constitution insists that it must be a non-law enforcement officer who grants the warrant. That is why the Constitution insists that a jury must be a civilian jury.

Yet, what we have had lately demonstrated by the police officers of the City of New York is precisely the attitude that their actions are above any check and balance system. Their demand for respect is not based on the Constitutional respect for law and order, but on the premise that we must obey them and treat them as unquestionably correct in their actions. That is not what our Founding Fathers intended when they spoke of civilian militias, civilian juries, civilian government, and civilian oversight. I actually agree with Libertarians, Tea Party members, and Liberal Democrats that we need to be cautious of government overreach. These law enforcement officers amply illustrate the dangers of government overreach.

So, it may be time to turn our backs on the police officers of the City of New York. It may be time to do so, not as an act of disrespect, but as an act of the utmost respect for our Constitution and as a message that their misbehavior is not to be tolerated. The police officers need to learn again that we are a citizen nation, not an uniform controlled nation.