Charter Cable TV
You don't get to pick your cable TV company
Charter is a newer cable company that formed in 1993 as an analogue cable company but since has grown to encompass a vision of providing wired services to its customers. Today, Charter communications is a fortune 500 company and a full-service digital data service provider with both digital cable and broadband internet access.
Charter provides customers with the latest in digital cable technologies, including the latest word in digital cable services and On Demand services. On Demand is a convenient feature in cable TV today where customers can select programming from their menu system as if they had it on PVR. Once a program is selected they get watch it, pause, fast forward stop and view later as they please. The On Demand services can encompass free programming but also pay-per-view movies that will automatically bill applicable charges to your cable account.
Of course, the digital cable terminals available to charter customers also include fully functional personal video recorders so you can time-shift programming as you please. Time shifting allows the customer to record any program and watch it anytime they please as though it were recorded on a VCR. Time shifting also means the ability to pause programming in progress anytime you're watching. This is accomplished by the PVR automatically caching anything you're watching while you watch so you can pause and even rewind anything you're viewing, even if you're not actually recording.
Charter Communications also has a suite of digital communications products for business customers including business to business video, data and internet solutions through Charter's business division.
It's difficult to gauge customer satisfaction for cable TV services because chances are any cable company is serving what is essentially a monopoly in their local area. The choices are limited to one cable TV company, unless you switch to a competing service that is not cable at all. Websites like Rateitall.com, where users fill in their own ratings of any product or services, give Charter poor marks for customer services. Their average is two stars out of five; Comcast, on the other hand, gets 4.14 out of five. Internet surveys are hardly indicative of the true performance of any company, but if you didn't like the idea of going with Charter you'd pretty much have to move or pick a competing service to cable, like Satellite TV, to get away from Charter if they're the ones serving your area.
Most cable TV companies have had a history of poor customer relations since before the explosion of competing services like satellite, and some would say they had grown complacent and arrogant. Well, that's changed for the better in recent years as cable TV companies everywhere streamline and get more competitive for your business. Be sure and look into what kind of promotional offers any cable company has for your area before you jump in - sometimes the customer service reps are authorized to give away some freebies if you hold out long enough and ask them to make you an offer you can't refuse.