Contracts force Time Warner Cable, Cablevision to pay NYC customers for missed appointments

It's already been reported that Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) and Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) are spending $10 million to build out WiFi in 32 New York City parks as part of their franchise renewals. Now the New York Times has reported that under terms of the new contracts, the MSOs must pay customers for failing to honor appointments.

The contracts stipulate that cable customers be eligible for a credit equal to a full month's bill if a technician does not arrive on time. The penalty decreases to $25 after 2012, when Verizon's FiOS is expected to have built its infrastructure in much of the city. Customers could request notification by e-mail, phone or text message when a technician is heading to their home. And in most cases, after making a choice from an automated menu, a customer should have to wait no more than 30 seconds to speak to a representative. The city's help line has received almost 1,200 complaints this year alone, most of them related to the quality of service, according to city statistics. But city officials believe that there are many more unhappy customers out there.

The new contract with TWC and Cablevision, which city officials said included about 30 pages of customer service provisions, still has to be completed and then must clear some regulatory hurdles, but most of its requirements are expected to remain in place.

For more:
- New York Times has this story
- and see this story

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