Spectrum and its parent company Charter Communications will have 30 days to address what the city of Lexington says are hundreds of potential violations of the cable giant’s franchise agreement with the city.
The Lexington Fayette Urban County Council voted unanimously Thursday night to pass a resolution that asks Spectrum and Charter to address hundreds of alleged violations that include charging customers for services and channels they did not receive, failing to provide trained and adequate customer service representatives and not allowing customers to speak to supervisors among other violations.
Before Thursday night’s vote Vice Mayor Steve Kay said the move — a first for the city of Lexington against a cable company — was necessary after receiving overwhelming complaints from customers about shoddy customer service since Spectrum and Charter purchased Time Warner Cable earlier this year. The city has tried to work with Spectrum for months. But the complaints have continued.
“This is just the first step in putting Charter Communications on notice that we expect them to comply with all conditions of their (franchise agreement),” Kay said.
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If the city determines those alleged violations have not been addressed, the council can require an administrative hearing and fines could be levied against the cable giant.
The maximum fine allowed under the 2014 cable franchise agreement is $500 per day per violation.
Federal communications law gives cities very little leverage over cable companies. The city has no say over prices or over internet services.
The city held a public performance evaluation of Specturm in August, when hundreds of people aired their complaints. Spectrum officials also attended that meeting. That public meeting was set after the city sent the cable giant several letters demanding changes to customer service practices after getting repeated complaints from Fayette County residents that problems were not being addressed.