Cable customers complain to city hall
By Cassandra Favre
Jan 14, 2014, 18:25
Cable customers in both Waveland and Bay St. Louis last week shared their concerns with city officials.
Residents attended both the Waveland Board of Aldermen and Bay St. Louis City Council meetings last week to complain about services provided by local cable outlet Mediacom..
Jason Clabo, Mediacom's area operations director, attended the Bay St. Louis meeting to address user complaints.
Customers said they experience blacked out, flickering, pixellating and freezing television screens, primarily on the NBC station and local stations WLOX, WWL and WVUE.
Mary Perkins, of Bay St. Louis, said that she often has a problem viewing NBC.
"It went out Saturday night," Perkins said. "Right at the beginning of the Saints game. A 'sorry there's a problem' message popped up with a number to call.
"I called the number and got a computerized answer, 'we're sorry there's a problem in your area. "
Perkins said she has not been credited for the interrupted cable service.
"We're very frustrated," Perkins said. "I love their internet service, but it's time they do something about their cable service."
Waveland resident Courtney Thomas said it is frustrating when you are watching a television show and the screen constantly flickers.
"I've had Mediacom since March 2013," Thomas said. "Late July, I started getting horrible service. Originally, it went completely out, anywhere from a few seconds to an hour.
"Technicians came out to fix it, and the cable worked for about a day."
Thomas also has internet services through Mediacom.
"I take classes online," Thomas said. "Sometimes, the internet will go out.
"It makes it hard to complete my classwork when I can't use the internet."
Thomas pays about $166 per month for internet, cable and landline services.
"They should credit me for every time the channel goes out," Thomas said. "Saturday night, it went out during the Saints game. My friend invited me to watch the game at her house, but why should I have to leave my house when I pay for cable?"
Phyllis Peters, public relations officer for Mediacom, said on Tuesday that the problem is an issue that the team in the Gulf area knows about and that a new group of engineers have been brought in to work on it.
"We have had an issue at our head end," Peters said, "which is where we get our signals from channels.
"We are having issues with the NBC broadcaster out of New Orleans."
Peters said the problem has been isolated to certain pieces of equipment and that most of the complaints concern standard signals and that the high definition signals, which are received on a cable set top box, are doing okay.
"We are definitely committed to working on a resolution," Peters said. "We certainly regret this and want all of our customers to get the best experience and optimal viewing.
"We don't know when this problem will be fixed, but we are aware and are working on it."
Clabo said Tuesday night, that as of 4:30 p.m. that day, the problem with the Saints football games that began in mid-December was resolved and there should not be an issue with the next Saints game.
Ward Two Councilwoman Wendy McDonald suggested to Clabo that Mediacom come up with a public service announcement to let customers know they are aware of problems and are working on them.