Is my ISP lying to me about my tech issue? I can't get a strait answer


Oct 31, 2012
Hi, I have been trying to get a strait answer for quite some time from someone outside of Charter. Every 2-4 months for the past several years, the same issue crops up...all websites start lagging. For example, the yahoo home page may spin and take 20+ seconds to load. Streaming videos will start freezing. The internet doesn't drop off or become ususable, but it becomes a general "D" grade experience.

When I do some random different tests, such as, I might see very high jitter to any server I try. When I do a speedtest, the tests might freeze, hang up, and the speeds fluctuate all over the place, sometimes taking forever to even complete, with highly variable results. I also sometimes see "*" results over at least 1 of the places on trace routes, which the ISP always has me run.

However, every single time I complain about this issue, which again arises every 2-4 months, they always tell me that my signals look great, and if they do acknowledge a problem, they always tell me that the problem is "beyond their network" and they are not responsible for it, even though it is constantly effective my entire service to all websites for days/weeks on end (basically, until I very aggressively complain over and over until somehow the issue mysteriously improves). It's become a 3 times per year tradition, really.

So, what is this "not responsible because it's beyond their network" jive I keep getting? How can I check mate them on this claim?
Run trace route, then run continuous ping to all the nodes in the path. Generally you can see where the errors start to occur. You really need to do this on a clean connection so you get used to what it should look like.

This is very common issue. Unless the site you are going to also buys their internet service from the same ISP you are going to pass though what are called peer points. Where these are located and how large they varies greatly from provider to provider. Pretty much these are buildings that both providers place routers in and connect them together. It is not uncommon for there to be capacity issues sometimes.

Still not sure what you will accomplish, say the site you go to is using level 3 for their isp and charter does not have a direct peer point with level 3 but they do peer with say verizon that can connect to level 3. So you find there is a problem between level 3 and verizon in some city...what can you do about this.

What is really bad is you cannot even trust traceroute. The traffic may go to the site on one path and come back on a different one. The traceroute only looks at the path to the site.