MI: City's cable board sends letter of dissatisfaction to Comcast

Posted on February 7, 2008 - 8:55am.

Holland Sentinel

Wednesday, February 6, 2008
City's cable board sends letter of dissatisfaction to Comcast
andrea.goodell@hollandsentinel.com (616) 546-4275

The proposed move of public access channels and complaints about customer service have city officials unhappy with their cable franchise.

"It's discouraging when people tell you they hung up after 20 minutes on hold," said Jodi Syens, the city's cable liaison and member of the Commmunity Access Television Advisory Commission.

The commission voted during a special meeting Tuesday to send a letter to Comcast expressing its dissatisfaction with the company's customer service and laying out its expectations for the future.

Comcast has since changed the process for requesting digital converter boxes -- that allow analog TVs to understand public access channels, Comcast Government Affairs Manager for Michigan John Gardner told the commission.

"This change was rushed. It was not thought through carefully and call centers were not prepared to handle this and to me that's not right," Syens said.

Federal and state suits temporarily barred Comcast from moving the channels.

Michigan House bill 5667 would stop Comcast from making the move until the federal government requires broadcasts to be digital in 2009.

Bill cosponsor state Rep. Arlan Meekhof, R-Olive Township, says public access channels must be available "without the need for any equipment other than that necessary to receive the lowest tier of service."

"We're not taking these away from anyone, we're just putting these in a digital format," Comcast Director of Communications for Michigan Patrick Paterno said.

Comcast serves 1.3 million customers in Michigan, he said.

"There's a general march from analog to digital," Gardner said.


A rate hike anywhere from $1 to $8 is slated for March bills.

( categories: Comcast | MICHIGAN | State Franchises )