Five Town Cable Committee reprimands Charter Communications for spotty service

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LENOX — The techs come and work, yet the intermittent service continues with no repair.

That was the main complaint at the March 21 meeting of the Five Town Cable Committee with representatives from Charter Communications.

"Understand my frustration," said committee Chairwoman Linda Miller. "I am not the only one who has this problem."

The committee represents consumers from the towns of Great Barrington, Sheffield, Lenox, Lee and Stockbridge in their collective dealings with Charter, which recently took over operations from Time Warner Cable. Committee members meet on a quarterly basis with cable company representatives.

Miller, who represents Lenox on the committee, said her complaints over intermittent service are not taken seriously by the company. The problem is external to her house, Miller said. Yet while company technicians agree with her when they come to her home, she said, nothing is done after their visit.

"Your techs come quickly, they do their job," Miller told Melinda Poore, Charter's vice president of government relations for New England. "Everyone said it's not a clean signal. How many times does one of your techs have to say 'It's in the incoming lines' for the incoming lines to be fixed?"

Bobby Mayhew, Charter's technical operations manager for Pittsfield, said the information he gets from his team contradicts Miller's understanding of the issue.

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"The data doesn't substantiate that," Mayhew said, referring to Miller's claims that the signal issue is coming from an external line.

After a lengthy discussion, Mayhew promised to come out to Miller's home himself to take a look at the problem in person. While the committee appreciated the attentiveness to the issue, they said that issues of responsiveness and repair remain relevant to the broader community.

"It's clear there's a severe problem here," said Sheffield representative Rene Wood.

Miller agreed. Not everyone has the benefit of being on the committee, she pointed out, and thus not everyone can get a quick response to their concerns. This leads to members of the community either giving up on their service or canceling it altogether.

"People get frustrated to the point that they just can't deal with it anymore," Miller said.

The committee urged customers to call Charter any time they have a problem to ensure the company knows what problems it has to solve.

"You have a problem," said Miller, "you call it in."

Reach staff writer Eoin Higgins at 413-496-6236 or @BE_EoinHiggins.


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