Welcome Back, Customer

A couple weeks ago, we shared correspondence from a customer of our New Bern, NC, cable system, who returned to Suddenlink after discovering that the claims of a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) company didn’t measure up to the expected reality. This week, we share a similar story from our Eureka, Calif., cable system. As before, the customer’s correspondence has been edited for space.

“A … satellite TV service … is advertising heavily in the Humboldt County area as well as nationally. In their advertising, part of what they promised is: ‘No startup costs or equipment to buy, and every package includes local channels.[’] By local channels, they don’t really mean locally produced programs from Eureka; they mean ABC, CBS, NBC out of Los Angeles. I understood that when I signed up and gave them my credit card number. They … told me that getting the so called local channels would take up to 45 days. While I waited for the local channels, I kept my cable service so that we could watch ABC and CBS programs and paid for both services. After 50 days of waiting, they … informed me that they could not deliver on their commitment to provide those local channels. The reasons that they could not deliver on their commitment [were] that the local TV providers would not grant a waiver to allow the LA station to be substituted for the local broadcasts. I can understand that because each lost customer means fewer people watching local commercials and that could impact ad sales. When they … informed me that they could not provide local channels I told them that I had no reasonable choice [but] to terminate their service and ask for a refund. I explained my situation both verbally and in a letter to their Billing Disputes Department. They responded by billing my credit card for $388.23, in addition to what I paid them for monthly service. Perhaps this letter will prevent others from making the same mistake that I made.”