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Tornado Victim Billed for Cable Devices


Tornado Victim Billed for Cable Devices
WHEATLAND, Wis. (AP) - Having a tornado demolish her home was bad enough. But when Ann Beam received a $2,000 cable bill a few weeks later, she was floored. "I just couldn't believe it," Beam said. "I was like, 'What are they thinking?"'

Time Warner Cable billed a number of Wheatland residents for equipment destroyed in the Jan. 7 twister that struck the southeast corner of the state. Beam's bill covered five cable boxes and five remote controls.

She immediately called the cable company, but a man who identified himself as a manager said there was nothing the company could do.

"They said I would have to take the bill and turn it in to my insurance company," Beam said.

But her cable equipment was nine years old, and the insurance company would pay only a depreciated value that wouldn't cover her bill, she said.

Time Warner Cable spokeswoman Celeste Flynn said many customers got charged for unreturned equipment because they canceled or transferred their service without mentioning their requests were tornado-related.

"We understand this is an unusual situation," Flynn said Wednesday. "All they will need to do is call and we will take the equipment off their account."

A message left for the cable company by The Associated Press early Thursday afternoon was not immediately returned.

Rare winter tornadoes that destroyed more than two dozen homes and damaged nearly 80 others in Kenosha County on Jan. 7. The damage was estimated at $18 million.

Entry #511


justxploringComment by justxploring - January 31, 2008, 6:01 pm
"We understand this is an unusual situation," Flynn said Wednesday. "All they will need to do is call and we will take the equipment off their account."

I hope this is the case and these people won't be pestered. That can hurt someone's credit too if it's not cleared up quickly. What an ordeal after going through such a traumatic situation!! Comcast is the worst company I ever dealt with. I filed a complaint against them and finally got a credit. I hope you don't mind if I post this, but until I had a problem I couldn't resolve, I didn't know Comcast doesn't have to follow FCC regulations. This is from the FCC:

Complaints about rates or service should be directed to your local franchise authority. A franchising authority is the local municipal, county or other government organization that regulates certain aspects of the cable television industry at the state or local level. The name of the franchising authority may be on the front or back of your cable bill. If this information is not on your bill, contact your cable company or your local town or city hall.

spy153Comment by spy153 - January 31, 2008, 9:50 pm
That's something that just really doesn't come to mind when I think of "damage from a tornado." Thanks for the post, angelm. It is a good one. Gave me something to think about.
justxploringComment by justxploring - January 31, 2008, 9:58 pm
Gosh, for some reason I thought the article said Comcast Cable. I must be losing my mind. Sorry Angel. :(

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