ATTORNEY GENERAL COMMENDS SERVICE PROVIDERS
FOR STORM-RELATED CUSTOMER CREDITS
(HARTFORD) – Attorney General George Jepsen Tuesday commended those cable, satellite television and telecommunications companies providing storm-related credits to Connecticut customers, which in many cases, exceed what the law and their service contracts required.
“After determining that their Connecticut customers lost service, these companies put their customers first. They recognized the real hardships many people across the state experienced from an extended loss of power following the Oct. 29 snowstorm. The companies should be recognized and commended for doing the right thing,” Attorney General Jepsen said.
The companies responded to letters the Attorney General sent on Nov. 10, encouraging them to provide full, pro-rata credit to Connecticut customers who were unable to access their services because they had no electricity or their service was interrupted. The Attorney General had also asked that the credits be given without the need for individual requests by customers.
Most of the companies said they were willing to provide those credits to customers, but in some cases, were unable to accurately track which customers were without service and for how long. They said customers should call to report the period they were without service and credits would be issued accordingly.
“Now that power has been restored, I urge Connecticut consumers who lost services to contact their service providers to make sure they receive the credits now being offered,” Jepsen said.
The companies providing positive responses and their policies include:
AT&T: “We will give U-Verse TV customers in Connecticut who experience a service outage for longer than 24 hours a pro-rated credit. In addition, we will voluntarily give similar credits for U-verse Voice and U-verse High Speed Internet service customers who experienced a service outage for longer than 24 hours. Customers are not required to take any action: the credits will be applied automatically on the customer bill for impacted customers within the next several billing cycles.
“In addition, as we did following Tropical Storm Irene, we will give traditional AT&T residential telephone customers whose service is out longer than 24 hours a pro-rated credit if the customer reported the outage us.
“If a customer has other concerns about service outages, the customer should contact us at 1-800-288-2020 and talk directly to a service representative. If a customer has questions about their wireless service, they should call 1-800-331-0500.”
Cablevision: “In light of your letter and the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the storm, the company will grant customers credits for services, if they were unable to access their services due to a power outage. While Connecticut law provides for consumer credits for qualifying outages for cable service only … Cablevision has been providing a credit to customers on an individualized basis for all their services. Customers will be credited when they notify us that they had a service outage. We are extending our normal period to request refunds to 45 days from the date of the storm.”
Charter Communications: “Our customers are the focus of our business, and in these difficult circumstances we are providing full credit to all of our customers who report their outage. To receive a credit for time without service, all Charter customers need to do is call us at 1-888-438-2427 or visit one of our three local offices to request credit. We are providing credit to customers for the entire time they were without service, from the time they lost power to the time their Charter services were fully restored, and we are providing credit for all services.”
Comcast: “Comcast fully complies with, and exceeds Connecticut law with respect to issuing pro-rata credits to customers who have experienced service outages. Comcast cannot affirmatively identify the extent to which each and every customer was impacted by the storm, and since each customer’s situation is different, Comcast assesses credit requests on a case-by-case basis in order to determine the appropriate credit for the customer. In order to receive a credit, a customer must contact Comcast and identify the time period during which they did not have access to Comcast services.”
Cox Communications:“Cox has adopted a simple, fair and straightforward policy with respect to service credits for the winter storm; we will issue credits for lost service on an individual customer basis for the period of time that a customer was unable to use Cox services, even if the cause of the service disruption was due to the loss of commercial power. This policy applies to Cox’s cable, telephone and high-speed Internet services. … We need our customers to call us after their service is restored to report that they were without Cox services, and for how long. We then credit their accounts from the time of the service outage until service was actually restored.”
Dish Network: “DISH subscribers who indicated that they were without service due to the storm were provided a credit for their time without service. In addition, DISH subscribers who needed to suspend their service due to storm damage were allowed to do so at no charge. Further, DISH has waived service and equipment fees for subscribers who needed to have their satellite equipment realigned, reinstalled or repaired due to the storm.”