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Panelists unveiled a series of deceptive billing and bad support services by some of the nation's largest Pay-TV operators Thursday that were on the loose to get a barbecue from legislators during a top tier hearings. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri - the chair and arranging member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations - issued a Thursday finding that Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications consistently neglects to reimburse clients after they were overbooked for the rental of set-top speakers.
"Not during the investigation conducted by the sub-committee have efforts been made by Times Warner Cable and Charter to attribute congestion to aircraft to their origins, unless specifically requested by the customer and no notification or refund was given to the customer," the sub-committee reported. Between January and April 2016, according to the reports, Cable exceeded an estimate of $639,948 and will charge almost $2 million in false fees to end users by the end of the year.
The sub-committee was informed by Charter that it had overstated clients by at least $442,691 each monthly and had not yet provided a full costing. At the beginning of the year, the Federal Communications Commission cleared the amalgamation of the two U.S. major carriers. Charter's client operation vice presidents Kathleen Mayo said Charter is working to revise its reimbursement policies.
Mr Mayo added the business plan to give affected clients a one-year bonus, while the review said that the combining businesses are working to take action to curb offsetting. By comparison, Comcast and DirecTV, the notified operators, offer automated rebates or crediting to overloaded subscribers, while Dish Network's billing system is engineered to avoid such overloads before they happen.
In a second survey focused on client support practice - an example that has been reported more and more in the press in recent years - organizations found that they were specifically instructing staff to discourage clients from cancelling work. Fourty per cent of a random sampling of clients who phoned Comcast in December 2015 were not able to solve their problems during a singular call, while a year earlier 36 per cent of DirectTV clients were not able to solve a billing dilemma on the first call.
In the same survey, it was found that all the businesses surveyed have increased their rates since 2011, with some parcels rising by up to 33 per cent. Even when it came to informing clients about rate hikes, the company was not successful, with the result that DirecTV only successfully notified 16 per cent of clients in 2013.