Monday Musings

Terms Of Service

Let me be blunt. The first draft of this week’s post was a rant. A temper tantrum. A throw down. As we say here in the South—a hissy fit.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I wasn’t so much angry as perplexed. Why do companies think burying an obscure item in their favor deep in the terms of service is a good idea?

My story is simple enough. We moved. We canceled a bunch of services at the old house. We started new service at the new house. Most everything went smoothly. Electricity. Natural Gas. Water and Sewer. They billed me until the day we left the old house and started billing at the new house when we bought it. Piece of cake.

Except Spectrum.

Yeah, I know, hating on Spectrum is a national pastime. I could tell you about how the new house is in Charter territory, a company bought by Spectrum. How the customer service lines were confused about how to handle the transfer. About how they sent me to Spectrum store to pick up equipment only to be told I needed to go to a Charter store because that’s “old” equipment, only to discover a Charter store has a Spectrum sign on the front, so there is no way to know which is which. I could tell you how it took two service visits to get everything working.

I could tell you all of those things. But, no, that’s not the part that sent me over the edge. I received a “final” bill for the old address which charged me for three more weeks of service than I received. When I called to inquire, I was told “those are the rules.” They only bill for full months. They don’t pro-rate. It’s a part of their terms of service. An arrogant woman in their “customer disservice” department told me. Amazingly, I didn’t receive a customer service survey to fill out after that call.

If you Google the topic, you discover they changed their terms of service back in 2019. If you cancel during a month, you pay for a whole month. Period. Nonnegotiable.

So, yes, I paid for cable service to two different houses at the same time. Because that’s their rules.

A good rant, right?

I suspect some accountant and lawyer (I used to be a corporate accountant, so I recognize this “logic”) decided a great way to increase revenue was to refuse to pro-rate the last month of service. Short-term thinking. But it sure doesn’t breed customer loyalty.

The funny part is they keep calling me to upgrade services. To add cell phone services. To bundle more items.

Now riddle me this. Why on earth would I give a company more business when they have such awful policies? When they expect me to pay for a service I didn’t get?

I don’t understand the logic. But as the lady said, it’s in their terms of service. Good luck with that.


Gratuitous Dog Picture

His Highness Little Prince Typhoon Phooey is known for his snobby ways, but this might be the pinnacle of snobbery. Nose stuck high in the air and a clear response of whatever has been requested is beneath his Royalness.


Background title image courtesy Markus Winkler.

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5 Comments

  1. Jean Burkhardt on April 19, 2021 at 7:25 am

    Wow Hu-Dad-I saw on your Monday Musings how terrible that company is and sad you had to deal with them! On another topic-The little Prince Typhoon Phooeys picture of his nose held high in the air was too funny. His antics are always good for a smile to start our Monday’s off right!

  2. Julie on April 19, 2021 at 7:43 am

    Husband spent 7.5 hours on phone Saturday with AT&T. Was trying to add wireless something for our new RV. Apparently another account -different SSN-got linked to our address. Seriously. 7.5 hours. Isn’t it crazy that we’ve come to a point where we pretty much NEED most of this technology?!

  3. Debbie and Ruby on April 19, 2021 at 9:26 am

    Spectrum can be a real pain. After 3 calls they finally agreed to send a tech to my house. He agreed, after checking everything possible, that the box was bad and installed a new one. Why this took a month I will never know, after I said the box was not working correctly!! I will not give them my phone service either. Nice to see royalty on a Monday morning..

  4. Juno's mom on April 19, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    I’ve decided that you need an attorney to decipher terms & conditions on pretty much everything anymore. Pretty slick. It’s like auto warranties. You miss one tiny detail and you’re s.o.l. Customer loyalty doesn’t mean much anymore. Looks like Typhoon agrees with your frustration. 😉

  5. chris on April 19, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    We had comcast while stationed in Washington. They are part of Charter and Spectrum too. I had problems with them and one call they told me plainly “We never make mistakes”. Wow must be nice to be right all the time and not be human and make mistakes. It is wrong that they cannot prorate. It is no different than any other company prorating like the electric, gas or water. They charge enough for their services and should quit ripping the customer off. I will not use them if at all possible in any future location.

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