Posts Tagged ‘Charter Communications’

Case against Charter cable revived

August 6, 2009

“The Missouri Supreme Court has given new life to a class action against Charter Communications. Charter customers claimed the cable provider illegally charged them for a TV guide channel they didn’t request. ”

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Charter Communications outsources call centers

July 23, 2009

“Until a few years ago, many people were very satisfied with the customer service provided by Charter Communications. In fact, even when something went wrong, the customer service representatives (or at least their supervisors) were able to handle any nearly any issue that came up…

While there is still a Charter Communications corporate office in St. Louis, area customers won’t generally reach a local representative when they call in.  In fact, a St. Louis customer is more likely to reach one of Charter’s outsourced call centers, currently located in Cainta, Philippines; Panama City, Panama; Mexico City, Mexico; Laredo, Texas; Moundsville, West Virginia; London, Ontario; Trenton, Ontario; Kamloops, British Columbia; Amherst, Nova Scotia; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Brasília, Brazil…

One St. Louis customer, who wished to remain anonymous, stated that she spent four hours on the phone with Charter’s representatives to resolve a billing problem. The main issue, she said, was that five of the seven people she spoke to during that time seemed to be literally reading from a screen and didn’t seem to comprehend the problem she was trying to explain, most likely due to their limited understanding of English.”

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Charter cable looking to emerge from bankruptcy

July 20, 2009

“On Monday, Charter Communications Inc. (CHTRQ) will ask the Manhattan bankruptcy court to sign off on its plan to exit Chapter 11 protection. Ahead of Monday’s hearing, the St. Louis cable company sweetened the plan for some bondholders, offering them a higher recovery on their claims.

The amended plan calls for the amount of preferred stock that holders of convertible senior notes are slated to receive to increase to $138 million from $72 million. Those bondholders, owed $497 million, will also see the dividend rate on their preferred shares increase to 17% from 15% in the fourth year of holding the stock, and to 19% in the fifth year. The mandatory redemption date on those shares will be reduced to five years from seven years, the company said.

The bondholders will also receive a $24.5 million cash payment.

Charter’s bankruptcy plan would wipe out about $8 billion in debt and would raise $3.4 billion in new debt and equity. Some bondholders would exchange $1.2 billion in notes for new notes, buy $267 million in additional notes and backstop at least a portion of a $2 billion rights offering.

Existing shareholders would be wiped out, with the exception of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) co-founder Paul Allen, who controls Charter. He would see his voting control over the company cut to 35% from 91%.

Charter plans to reinstate the $8 billion in outstanding loans from senior lenders while leaving the pricing on the loans unchanged when it exits bankruptcy.”

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Rochester’s Charter cable renewal raises questions

July 9, 2009

Commenters point out that the notion of a “non-exclusive” franchise mentioned below is a bit Orwellian.  How realistic is it for Charter competitor to enter the Rochester market?

“Rochester’s non-exclusive franchise agreement with Charter Communications to provide cable TV service in the city remains in effect despite the company’s declaration of bankruptcy in March.

The city council voted 7-0 on Monday to continue its arrangement with Charter, which has five years to go under a 15-year franchise agreement with the city.

The company is reorganizing following the bankruptcy declaration. The city’s decision has no implications for local channel offerings, public access or franchise fees, said City Attorney Terry Adkins.

A common misapprehension regarding Rochester’s single cable company is that it is a monopoly with exclusive rights in this market. Not true, Adkins said. Federal law would prohibit that sort of arrangement. Any competitor can offer cable service here.

“As long as they can meet the qualifications by being able to provide the service, we must allow them,” Adkins said.”

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More examples of Charter bad customer service

June 22, 2009

“If you are like me you are getting really tired of asking Charter Communications to stop send solicitations to sign-up for their service. I would not sign-up for Charter services even if they gave it away for free and would rather not have TV service. Charter is one of the worse when it comes to customer service and quality of service.

Today after requesting multiple times that I be removed from their mailing list I received not one but two offers in the mail.

Charter, what part of take me off your list do you not understand?”

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Paul Allen sells Charter stock for almost nothing

June 21, 2009

“How do you make a small fortune in the cable industry? If you’re Paul Allen, you start with avery large fortune. A recent filing reporetedly shows that Allen ditched about 28.5 million shares ofCharter Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: CHTR) stock for less than $1,000. That equates to mce_marker.000035 per share in the debt-laden MSO, which is trying to get out of bankruptcy. ”

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Charter creditor’s request denied

June 19, 2009

“A judge denied a motion Wednesday to create an equity committee to represent shareholders in Charter Communications Inc.’s bankruptcy.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James Peck denied the request made by hedge fund Q Investments, which said it lost $14 million on its equity investment, Reuters reported.’

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Charter cable bankrutpcy called a sham

June 16, 2009

“Q Investments LP, a holding company with a fund that owns 4.7 percent of the Class A common stock, contends that Charter is solvent and that Charter’s Chapter 11 reorganization plan is a “sweetheart deal” that benefits bondholders and insiders while wiping out existing shares.”

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Suing Paul Allen & Charter for securities fraud

June 10, 2009

Charter Communications shareholder Herb Lair is suing Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for securities fraud. Here, he explains why.”

Many thought he (Paul Allen) paid too much for [local cable] systems that he bought around 1999 and thereafter. However, the [local cable] systems he bought were around $4,000 a subscriber. That amount was comparable to what Cox paid for the TCA systems in Arkansas, including Harrison and Rogers. Also comparable to what Comcast, Time Warner, and Mediacom paid. They all have made their purchases successful.

Paul Allen made several mistakes in the management of the [local cable] systems and started growing debt at a high rate. Mistakes included his choice of managers, capital expenditures (cap-ex), marketing, and debt management. He attempted to run the business as an absentee owner.

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Charter cable under fire for poor service – again

June 4, 2009

“The residents who packed the Opelika City Council chambers Tuesday had plenty of negative things to say about Charter Communications during a public hearing on the company’s franchise agreement with the city.

The statements were typified by stories of poor customer service, lack of local contacts, broken promises and steep prices.

George Wingard came to the podium with a stack of newspaper editorials, which he said documented customer dissatisfaction with the company.

“My primary problem is prices, prices, prices and customer service,” he said.”

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