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View Full Version : Charter Communications Denies Linux Customer Service



Zuuswa
April 28th, 2007, 08:44 PM
I just got off the telephone with a Charter Communications representative, and after the usual questions, she tells me that a technitian will need to install software on my computer -- right away I knew this would be a problem. She asked me what kind of computer I had, a Mac or PC. Then she asked what version of Windows I am running, and I told her none. She was taken aback, and it took her a few seconds to ask, "well what program are you running then??" After I told her linux, she promptly said, "I have to put you on hold" after a few minutes, she responded "I'm sorry, we can't offer services to you because you are not using a certified computer" I told her to cancel my order and hung up. What do I do? They wont let me install and configure the modem myself, and refuse to offer their services . . . I need cable internet here, but it looks like M$ is deep within the pockets of even the telecommunications market.

maniacmusician
April 28th, 2007, 08:54 PM
I just got off the telephone with a Charter Communications representative, and after the usual questions, she tells me that a technitian will need to install software on my computer -- right away I knew this would be a problem. She asked me what kind of computer I had, a Mac or PC. Then she asked what version of Windows I am running, and I told her none. She was taken aback, and it took her a few seconds to ask, "well what program are you running then??" After I told her linux, she promptly said, "I have to put you on hold" after a few minutes, she responded "I'm sorry, we can't offer services to you because you are not using a certified computer" I told her to cancel my order and hung up. What do I do? They wont let me install and configure the modem myself, and refuse to offer their services . . . I need cable internet here, but it looks like M$ is deep within the pockets of even the telecommunications market.
I feel your pain. I have Charter as well. The only solution is to install windows on your PC for a little while, have them come set it up, and then wipe windows after they leave. This should theoretically work....unless they actually require the software to be on there for the modem to work, which would be totally ridiculous. My modem is hooked up to a wireless router, so I haven't faced that problem...and the original installation of the modem was on a Windows PC (my father's).

So I think your best bet would be to have a windows installation for them to install it on, and remove it after they leave. If it stops working without their software, then buy a router (can be wired or wireless) and put that in between your modem and your computer.

There are no other ISP's in your area? Around here I think we can get Charter, Optimum, sometimes Verizon, and another small ISP whose name I don't recall. Charter is the only one in your area?

Zuuswa
April 28th, 2007, 08:57 PM
Well, now I am trying to order through comcast, hopefully they wont be all crotchety about what OS I have. And I dont want to bother with a Windows install . . . that means making room for windows, downloading an illegal copy, trying to get it to work, etc., just for the cable guy to click next 8 times and say "welp you can surf the intranet now"

..::edit::..
$60 a month for basic internet? I guess comcast is out of the question. There is no way I am paying that much for internet.

WiFi Ed
April 28th, 2007, 09:02 PM
I need cable internet here, but it looks like M$ is deep within the pockets of even the telecommunications market.

Since they asked if you had a Mac or PC they must be in the pockets of Steve Jobs too.

There's no conspiracy here, just a decision (perhaps a stupid one) on their part not to take on the additional burden of providing support to Linux users.

There are possible solutions:

You could temporarily install a Windows OS (on a borrowed hard drive perhaps?) to get signed up then return to Linux, or borrow a Windows machine from a friend for the same purpose.

Zuuswa
April 28th, 2007, 09:15 PM
What they *should* do when encountering this situation, is say that the tech will not be able to install the modem, and that it is left up to the end user to configure and install it. And that they can't gaurantee 100% services and functionality. I had charter set up at my old apartment, and never needed to even touch their installation cd, I could configure the modem through a web browser. of course a roomate then had windows so it wasnt a big deal.

DoktorSeven
April 28th, 2007, 09:20 PM
I have Charter and they needed no such thing. They came over, gave me a cable modem, hooked it up, and let me configure my computer since I knew how. Guy that set it all up even commented how he wanted to try running Linux.

No idea why they would have to install anything. Maybe for people who don't know what they're doing, I guess, but seriously... Cable Modem -> (router, optionally, but recommended) -> computer. DHCP. Simple.

Maybe you can tell them that you know how to set everything up, all they need to do is deliver the hardware. I do remember telling Charter that when ordering.

Zuuswa
April 28th, 2007, 09:26 PM
yes, I did tell the lady that all I needed was for the tech to drop off the hardware, I could configure everything myself, and she still said they couldnt offer me service.

panickedthumb
April 28th, 2007, 11:03 PM
I had Charter before they were bought out by Suddenlink (in this area anyway). When the guy came to set me up, he was confused as all hell about my PC, but he didn't need to install anything, he just said "here can you set this up?" and I did.

maniacmusician
April 28th, 2007, 11:16 PM
yes, I did tell the lady that all I needed was for the tech to drop off the hardware, I could configure everything myself, and she still said they couldnt offer me service.
Call again and get a different person. Say you have XP. When the guy shows up, set it up yourself.

Hex_Mandos
April 28th, 2007, 11:25 PM
It's happened to me a few times, with local ISPs. Sometimes I managed to get a techie who knew Linux on his own. Other times, I just did it myself. In any case, I never needed any software to configure a cable modem, with Ubuntu it just worked out of the box.

BTW, This is one reason I think that having a larger marketshare would help us. I'm still pissed, though, because in my country it's far easier to get a computer with Linux preinstalled than a Mac (even though "Linux" means "self-installed non-legit Windows") yet you can't get tech support for Linux from ISPs. Probably because we're expected to be geeks who can work out everything ourselves.

steveneddy
April 28th, 2007, 11:30 PM
Call again and get a different person. Say you have XP. When the guy shows up, set it up yourself.

That's a great answer. I have DSL here and have had for many years. I just told them to send me the hardware and I would do the set up myself.

I also run a router between my modem and network. Not only does it give you the "always on" connection that you get at the office, but it is easier once you get it set up (what, 5 minutes?)

Another benefit of the router is that it gives you a hardware firewall to help protect you from the outside world.

Just my two cents......

-SE

floke
April 28th, 2007, 11:35 PM
Call again and get a different person. Say you have XP. When the guy shows up, set it up yourself.

Lol! This sounds about right.

OffHand
April 28th, 2007, 11:58 PM
run a virtual machine full screen ;)

maniacmusician
April 29th, 2007, 12:30 AM
run a virtual machine full screen ;)
lol nice but wouldn't work. The OS wouldn't pass on the modem connection properly to the computer...the charter software is weird, but usuallly totally unnecessary.

BoyOfDestiny
April 29th, 2007, 12:47 AM
Hmm, I just switched broadband dish providers (no cable or dsl here) Anyway, the choice was Windows or Mac, of which I have neither... Told them Linux from the get go, but the tech just put me down as apple.

Downloaded the software which they were required to (funnily enough there is no apple version of it either... Just windows)

And um yeah. The modem is hooked to a router and working fine. The tech did some tweaks and checks with the setup, but he had his own laptop for that (special software, not the "optimizer" that the end user must have...)

Seriously, i think it just depends on who answers the phone.
Or, just tell them you have windows. It's not a complete lie, unless your home is just walls. ;)

STREETURCHINE
April 29th, 2007, 01:04 AM
it is one of the reasons i keep windows around,

it is the same with who i deal with here in australia,they know i use linux so when i ring up to complain it is the first thing they blame,and tell me they wont support linux.
i then can tell them but i have windows and it does the same thing can you please explain your answer.
that sends them silent, and me on hold for twenty min or so

generally i get it solved but i know they hate it when i ring them,i can almost hear the OH NO its him again.:lolflag:

Boomy
April 29th, 2007, 01:13 AM
All you should need to access the internet is an IP address, subnet mask and default gateway. Most ISPs use DHCP, so it should connect automatically with no configuration. You should never need to install any software. If your ISP requires that you do, shop elsewhere. Packets are packets....Regardless of OS.

Tundro Walker
April 29th, 2007, 01:40 AM
I'd do like the one guy said, and call and ask to speak to someone else.

Most ISP / Cable services will charge you less if you do the setup yourself. However, they prefer to get a guy out there to do it for you, because then they can charge you more for the installation.

Just call them up, speak with someone else, and say you'd like to do a self-installation...all you want is someone to drop off the box and you'll do the hook-up. If they ask you what kind of computer you have, tell them MS Windows, or "it doesn't matter", then, if they'd like to hear about it, explain why it doesn't matter. (Usually, the sales person is on a time-limit for the call, so they can't sit and wait for you to go into a 15 minutes explanation.)

If worse comes to worse, ask to speak to their supervisor. If that person is annoying, ask to speak to a manager, and work your way up the chain (Manager is usually as high as you can go, though).

My roommates and I have Comcast, and we all used to be on Windows, but I moved to Linux. I haven't had any problems. There was one time when the cable modem screwed up, and they needed to install a new one. They needed to install some software on each computer to "reconfigure" it to use the modem. I didn't have to do anything, though...my Linux just detected it and I was fine.

Seriously, if anything, you having Linux running should make the setup easier.

K.Mandla
April 29th, 2007, 01:40 AM
run a virtual machine full screen ;)
Better yet, run a BSOD screensaver. That'll make them feel right at home.