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TN: Cable man's alleged abductor ordered to get mental exam

By saveaccess
Created 06/11/2008 - 8:45am

from: The Tennessean [1]

Cable man's alleged abductor ordered to get mental exam

June 10, 2008
Staff Writer

The cable TV war in Tennessee has reached new heights.

But it's not the competitors waging this battle — it's a customer. His name is John Weatherly, and he has been accused of kidnapping a Comcast technician during a service call in March 2007.

Weatherly had called the cable company for service at his Graylynn Drive home.

Unhappy with the service, the door was deadbolted and the technician was not allowed to leave the house until he fixed the TV, according to a police affidavit. Weatherly also threatened the cable guy with his German shepherd, according to the report.

On Monday, Weatherly, 60, was in general sessions court, where a mental evaluation was ordered. His case was continued to Aug. 28. He is charged with kidnapping and resisting arrest.

"I was the laughingstock when I went to jail for one day," Weatherly said. "I had never been in trouble, and I can't believe this is still going on."

Weatherly's predicament is a microcosm of tired consumers displeased with the cable giant's service, said Bob Moneyham, of Nassau County, Fla., who started a Web site, ComcastS**, after his own miserable experience.

"Companies need to know people are mad, and they should be told," Moneyhan said. "They are not doing right by people.

"I'm not surprised by this man's reaction — if that is the case. We all feel that way at least once in a while. People have a lot more restraint than what society gives them credit for."

Comcast cooperates

In Weatherly's case, he says he never kidnapped the technician and he never threatened him with his dog. He admits to being angry and dissatisfied.

"After you pay a monthly fee you expect some service," he said. "But why would I kidnap the cable guy? I was polite to him and told him to leave. The TV was under warranty."

Because it's a pending police matter, Comcast's policy is not to comment, said Terri Weldon, a spokeswoman. "We cooperated fully with the police, and the report should relate everything that happened," Weldon said.

When asked about disgruntled customers who spawned several opposing Web sites, Weldon said customer service is Comcast's top priority.

Weatherly's version of events differs from the affidavits. The technician arrived several days after he logged the complaint, Weatherly said. The Donelson retiree had complained that his new Sony TV had no picture.

Weatherly said the technician dismantled his surround sound system and didn't fix it. Unhappy with what happened, Weatherly said, he told him to leave it as it was because the TV was under warranty.

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