Spectrum Reviews: Why You Should Never Trust Spectrum/Charter Communications (Or, How Spectrum Stole $1,703 from Me)

I’ve been scammed by many companies in my lifetime, but never as audaciously and for as much money as we have just been scammed with Spectrum. This company is criminal! Back in January, my wife noticed that we had two charges from Spectrum on our credit card, one for the usual amount we pay for the (awful) internet service we have with them, and another charge we didn’t recognize for $148. We called Spectrum and they insisted that they didn’t charge us the $148. This made no sense because the charge on our credit card statement said Spectrum and had their phone number on it, just like the legitimate charge. They refused to give me a credit and said to report it as fraud to my credit card, company, Chase.

We did so, they reversed the charge, at least temporarily while they were supposed to investigate. We forgot about it until last Saturday, when I got a call from my brother. He said that he just got an email from Spectrum informing him that his credit card was declined. He clicked into it and saw that somehow my wife’s credit card number was associated as his default auto bill pay card. He went back through his statements and saw that Spectrum had been charging this card since last April, for nearly a year, after he failed to update his default credit card after it expired. His bills, charged to my credit card, over an 11-month period, totaled $1,703.90!

I’m surprised that neither he, nor my wife, who does our bills, noticed this problem but still wasn’t too upset about it because I assumed Spectrum would correct the mistake once we alerted them to the problem. Oh, what a mistake on my part, assuming Spectrum would handle this problem! The first woman I spoke to immediately grasped the issue and seemed ready to refund me and move the charges onto my brother’s account. But then she said she had to involve her supervisor and that’s where everything went to hell.

The supervisor conferenced my brother into the call and started interrogating him as though he was stealing from me. Never mind that we are both longtime Spectrum customers and he’s the one who alerted me to the problem. He claimed our only recourse was to report the charges as fraudulent to Chase, my credit card company. This made no sense to me, because if anyone committed fraud, it was Spectrum. So did they want me to report their fraud?

I want Spectrum executives behind bars

I asked supervisor #1 to transfer me to his supervisor. A much more understanding supervisor then got on the line with us and, after a 1 hour and 44-minute call, finally agreed that they would send me a check for the $1,703.90. We were all going to live happily ever after, right? Well…not so much. A few days later, we got a vague email that I thought was fraudulent because, a) it was written in broken English with numerous misspellings and grammatical errors, b) it gave us an incorrect case reference number, and c) it was from an @charter.com email address and I didn’t know at the time Spectrum was owned by Charter Communications.

The vague email just said that our ticket couldn’t be completed, and we needed to contact our bank. It also gave a phone number, which was different from the phone number I have for Spectrum. I ignored it for a day or two but then when our check for $1,703 didn’t materialize, I called Spectrum only to find out that someone in their accounting department overturned the decision of Debbie D., the supervisor who promised us a speedy refund. They once again reverted to their “you have to dispute the charges with your bank” response.

So we disputed the charges with Chase, and they insisted on immediately canceling our credit cards, and they only will investigate charges within the last 118 days, so not the whole $1,703.90 I was overcharged. Who knows how long this investigation will take our what portion of my money I’ll potentially get back but this has been an incredibly stressful and concerning incident to say the least. Yes, I could simply demand that my brother pay me the money.

However, first of all I can’t vouch for the accuracy of their bills over the last year, and we have no assurance whatsoever that they won’t turn around and move those $1,703 worth of charges back onto his account after he pays me. What happens if he pays me $1,703, then Spectrum straightens out the billing error and insists he still owes that money to them? They are so disorganized/and/or crooked, I really can’t rule this out.

They still haven’t explained to us how ON EARTH they associated our credit card with my brother’s account. (No, we do not live in the same household.) In a nutshell, Spectrum admitted that we don’t owe them the $1,703 but also refuse to give it back to me. In my book, that is theft.

Lessons learned.

  1. He and my wife should have been scrutinizing their bills more closely obviously.
  2. Never, never, never trust Spectrum with your credit card on auto bill pay!
  3. Never trust anything that anyone says at Spectrum
  4. Spectrum’s internet service is abysmal anyway, so find another provider! I’m looking into T Mobile’s internet service today!