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Editorial: State goes too far on Spectrum

Editorial: State goes too far on Spectrum

State should exhaust all remedies before kicking any company - even this one - out of the state.
Editorial: State goes too far on Spectrum
Photographer: Shutterstock

* I was supposed to have a tech come and hook every thing up at 10 to 11 a.m. He never came. So I called three times. ... Finally at 3:15 p.m., they came. I missed a whole day of work.
 

* Anytime I would call, I would be “placed on a brief hold.” There was nothing brief about it. Every hold lasted 25- 40 minutes.
 

* Spectrum admits I had a change of service instituted in error after a service call resulting in my monthly charge going from $125.91 to $258.92. Although they admit the error, they refuse to change my contract back to the $125.91. ... They also threatened that I would owe for the previous month, this month and a cancellation fee.
 

* Canceled TV service today, as is does NOT work, scrambled channels, service coming in and out - huge waste of money. Moved to 100 mbps Internet only for $64.99/mo. ... So far, have only seen 25 mbps and it’s horrible in the evenings.

These are actual complaints from Spectrum customers posted on the company’s complaint website in just the past three weeks. There are many others.
Many of us can relate. Everybody hates the cable company, and Spectrum has certainly earned its poor reputation.


But the state of New York took its frustration with the company too far when the Public Service Commission last month ordered Charter Communications to cease operating its Spectrum cable franchises in New York within six months over the speed of the company’s expansion of its broadband network.

The timing of the move smacks of political opportunism by the Cuomo administration. Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces a Democratic Party primary challenge in September and then a general election race in November. Being tough on the cable company is one sure-fire way to pander for easy votes.

The state no doubt has become frustrated trying to get the company to live up to its advertising promises.

But kicking the company out of the state — any company — should be a last resort, especially when one considers that the company that replaces Spectrum could be even worse. (Check out the online complaints for Comcast, a potential replacement company for Spectrum.)

The state should exhaust all avenues before taking such a drastic step. Right now, the state Attorney General’s office is in the middle of a lawsuit against Spectrum over claims the company defrauded consumers by providing internet service that was much slower than advertised. Let’s see how that pans out.

The PSC’s move could come with significant consequences for customers. 

A state — especially one so hurting for business — shouldn’t let politics override legitimate, thoughtful regulation.

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