A few months ago Charter Communications came out with their Live It With Charter promotion. Basically for every dollar you spend on their services you earn so many points. Since we’re still stuck with Charter as our only option for our cable tv and internet I figured I’d sign up for the promotion. I’m giving them my money anyway, so why shouldn’t I earn the points, right?
Well it’s a total crock of shit. We’re considered level 3 Gold membership because our services cost between $95.00-124.99 a month. This means we’re entitled to what they consider certain “perks” for our membership level.
Membership Only Perks:
* Access to the Live It with Charter web site.
* Digital Remote Tutorials and Educational Information.
* Special BONUS Live It with Charter points throughout the year.
* On-time service guarantee including 100 BONUS Live It Points if late.
* Charter partner discounts.
* New service BONUS – 300 Live It with Charter points awarded at 75 points per month over 4 months ( must maintain service to receive bonus); includes wire maintenance, Digital Video Recording, High Definition, additional purchased Digital Boxes, Wireless Home Networking.
* Electronic Funds Transfer BONUS – 300 Live It Points.
* $4.99 bill credit with 6th Video On Demand if all six purchased within 2 months.
* Your membership level will automatically be UPGRADED when you add new qualifying products and services.
Redeem For Exclusive:
* Charter products and receive special promotional pricing.
* Entries into Members-only Sweepstakes for exciting travel and great prizes.
* Merchandise and items from our partners during Redemption Days.
The first thing I find total shit is the on time service guarantee. That’s because they never show up on time. In the 5 years we’ve had service in this house we’ve been lucky if they show up on the right day, much less during our time slot. What’s the time slot? As with most companies like this we either receive an 8am-noon or a 1pm-5pm time slot. Twice I’ve requested my 100 points because they didn’t show up for my appointment at all, but not once have they credited me. Each time even though I have a confirmation # for the scheduled appointment I’m told there’s been a “computer error”, and we have no scheduled appointment.
I’m used to that though. I’m just happy that they do eventually show up because after 5 years of horrible service, we’re lucky if they do. I’ve had people call me directly from the corporate office trying to figure out what was going on because they worked on a simple problem for over a year, but the techs still couldn’t figure it out. I end up telling them how to fix it most of the time, but that’s another rant I’ve already written about many times.
So, what else tells me the Live It With Charter program is a total crock of shit that was made up just to convince naive customers to sign up for additional services they don’t need?
Let’s look at what I can spend my points on. I have accumulated 4,510 points since July. The cheapest thing I can spend my points on is an F-81 barrel. That’s the screw thing on the end of the cable that plugs into the back of your tv, and it costs 400 points. Why am I going to waste points on something like that? The only time it’s going to be replaced is when a tech comes out and replaces a bad one with a new free one! Just about everything in the entire “Charter Mall” is something that is supplied for free by the techs when they fix shit. What’s the most expensive thing I can buy with my 4,510 points…$451 worth of points?
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That’s right. I can spend 4,000 points….what cost me $400 to earn on a 6′ A/V cable that I can pick up for about $15. Or I can spend 3600 points on a $10 3 way splitter that the techs provide for free!
What’s even worse is that Charter is trying to do their own version of Mypoints and similar sites. They’ve set up a list of stores where you can shop, and you’ll earn so many Live It With Charter points for every dollar you spend. Who wants to shop through Charter when the “prizes” you can redeem your points for are so shitty?
Yes, they do at least offer gift cards to various stores and restaurants, but the catch is you can only receive those for signing up for new services. The gift card amount depends on the number of services you sign up for.
Charter does offer “Redemption Days” when you can use your points to purchase “some great merchandise from programming partners, ranging from branded clothing and accessories to popular electronics items such as iPods.” They claim to notify all Live It With Charter members well in advance so they can partake in these days, but I haven’t seen a single “Redemption Day” happen since becoming a member in July…and I do login everyday just to check.
I’m not knocking the fact that Charter is at least offering to give me something in return for all the cash we’ve spent on horrible service, but they should at least take a look at the things they’re offering. Don’t ask me to earn points just to spend on items your techs provide as part of our line maintenance.