CharterTimeWarnerMergerPicLast week, the FCC started the clock on the Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications merger. Over the last few weeks, Charter has been on a media blitz trying to convince everyone that the merger would benefit the public.

Charter’s goal is to convince the FCC (and consumer advocacy groups concerned about anti-trust matters) that the combined entity would foster competition, technological advancement and economic synergies that will benefit the public. – Forbes

Unfortunately, the last few weeks has also shown just how bad this merger could be for the public. Although one would think that Charter would be doing everything they can to make their service look as efficient and respectable as possible, they instead are struggling to deal with current customers who are being bogged down with a variety of issues:

  • In Massachusetts, many Charter customers still do not have service after several days of outages. As MassLive notes, there are still reports of “massive outages”.
  • In New York and Vermont, Charter customers are also dealing with those same service outages.
  • In Wisconsin, a number of Charter customers were unable to watch the Green Bay Packers opening game due to a “technical issue” on Charter’s end.
  • In Wisconsin and Illinois, Charter customers did not receive an Amber Alert that was issued Tuesday night to everyone in both states.
  • Instead, Charter customers received a message that scrolled across their screen that did not state who was missing, what they looked like or where they were from.It’s 2015, does Charter ever plan on joining the rest of the world in activating HBO Go for its own customers?

It’s no secret that Charter struggles with customer service, similar to Comcast (but not as terrible). Yes, Charter has promised to improve customer service much as every company does during merger reviews. At the moment, we are left with this:

According to a survey released Friday by non-profit publisher Consumer Reports, Charter ranked 14th out of 17 in customer satisfaction, while Time Warner Cable placed 16th. Comcast, the largest cable provider, ranked last. Asked to explain the results, Jim Wilcox, the magazine’s senior electronics editor, pointed to a lack of competition: “There aren’t a lot of remedies for people who are dissatisfied with their service.” – CBSNews

Which makes sense considering that Charter customers in Massachusetts are still being told by Charter customer reps to unplug their cable box/modem, wait 15 seconds and the issue could be resolved…..after three days of non-working service.