dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
Cablevision Sued for Not Giving Automatic Sandy Refunds
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished...
by Karl Bode 03:58PM Thursday Nov 15 2012
I've been known to ding an ISP or two for stupid behavior, but everything I saw from a front row seat during hurricane Sandy suggested that every ISP in the impacted region handled Sandy aftermath with aplomb, kindness and efficiency. ISPs were one upping one another seeing who could help out the most -- from mobile charging stations to automatic refunds and free voice and SMS service.

Click for full size
In most instances ISPs gave refunds to customers -- even if their networks weren't damaged and the disconnection was the result of a power outage. Some ISPs like Cablevision and Verizon required users call in to get refunds, other ISPs, like Time Warner Cable and Verizon Wireless applied refunds automatically. Either way, ISPs did a stellar job helping and were engaged with the communities in ways you rarely see under non-apocalyptic conditions.

That's why it's somewhat discouraging to see a lawsuit pop up on Long Island suing Cablevision for $250 million for failing to make refunds automatic. The lawsuit, filed by a retired Oyster Bay businessman and his son (a lawyer), accuses Cablevision of only doling out refunds to "most favored" customers, and requiring them to call in to get them. Cablevision issued a statement saying the lawsuit misstates the facts, and that blanket refunds can potentially shortchange some customers:
quote:
"Blanket or arbitrary credits for cable outages could shortchange customers," he said. "Each case is different and our policy covers the entire period of time when Cablevision service was out, including when the service interruption was caused by the loss of electrical power."
The case certainly smells like someone trying to cash in on a natural disaster, and it's unfortunate that ISPs are getting punished for what really was a swift and quality response (unlike some utilities) to the storm, given it could reduce their incentive for kindness the next time around. Regardless, the case may have a difficult time of it given that Cablevision, like most ISPs, now includes language in their terms of service that bans class actions, forcing customer to engage in binding arbitration. Impacted Cablevision customers can get refunds by heading here.

view:
topics flat nest 

cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27

I don't have Cablevision

so I can't speak for their QoS.

But, I have FiOS and I have to say, it was up for me throughout the entire storm. But all around me, folks lost 1 day to up to 13 days of power or other services.
--
Splat
majortom1029

join:2006-10-19
Lindenhurst, NY
kudos:1

Re: I don't have Cablevision

said by cableties:

so I can't speak for their QoS.

But, I have FiOS and I have to say, it was up for me throughout the entire storm. But all around me, folks lost 1 day to up to 13 days of power or other services.

There are people who still do not have fios back either.
bgraham

join:2001-03-15
Smithtown, NY

Re: I don't have Cablevision

My repair date for my FIOS drop to be replaced / repaired is the 19th, but I won't hold my breath.

All the Verizon trucks i see are repairing copper.

nothing00

join:2001-06-10
Centereach, NY

Re: I don't have Cablevision

Repairing copper? That's a hoot. I'm sure that's the LAST thing Verizon wanted to do.

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Re: I don't have Cablevision

FIOS is a consumer grade product so it's down toward the bottom of the list of priorities.
Kearnstd
Elf Wizard
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

They are just fishing for cash

CV has stated they are giving refunds. They want 250m for having to call in?

The fact the guy's son is a lawyer makes this even more seeming of a cash grab.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

Boricua
Premium
join:2002-01-26
Sacramuerto

1 recommendation

Re: They are just fishing for cash

said by Kearnstd:

The fact the guy's son is a lawyer makes this even more seeming of a cash grab.

And unfortunately, this will send a message to all companies trying to the right thing and not even bother . It is truly sad it has come to this, just suing for the sake of suing. And no I don't live in Cablevision country.
--
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. Robert Orben
jc100

join:2002-04-10

1 recommendation

Countersue for Frivilous Lawsuit

You can have your 250M as soon as Cablevision find the cure for world stupidity. Until that happens, I hope Cablevision sends their team of lawyers to eat the man alive. I agree that every customer faced unique challenges and credits are on a case by case basis.

Some might be without service a month, and others in the most affected areas, two or three. Why slap everyone with a one time credit, when there are a lot of variables at play?

Dominokat
"Hi"
Premium
join:2002-08-06
Boothbay, ME
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 edit

2 recommendations

Re: Countersue for Frivilous Lawsuit

During the storm, I lost power too. In the darkness, I banged my shin on the stone hearth of my fireplace as I was walking to get a flashlight. It hurt like hell.
I think I should sue my power company for pain and suffering. Obviously they didn't have an adequate system to handle the storm, resulting in the power going out and thus my injury. I'm going for 5.8 million. (/sarcasm)
.
.
.
.
That is why companies are starting to write into contacts, provisions to limit "Class Action" lawsuits. While I don't agree with them limiting consumers "rights", stupid lawsuits are costing the companies money, and in the end. Really, the only person that benefits is the lawyer.
jc100

join:2002-04-10

1 recommendation

Re: Countersue for Frivilous Lawsuit

Agreed. I lived through Hurricane Ike, which made Sandy look like a drizzle. My neighbors were without power a FULL MONTH. I was without power a few days and cold showers for a month. Their end of the apartment controlled the hot water heater. The front didn't lose power or hot water! Argh. None the less, plenty of people had their houses leveled, flooding occurred in many parts, and trees were down everywhere.

When you have 110/111MPH sustained winds and 200MPH gusts, there's no preparation on earth that'll beat mother nature. This guy deserves 250M all right. 250 Million Wacks to the head until some sense is knocked into him.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

3 recommendations

Refund

I received the notice from Cablevision about applying for a refund. I saw no reason to do it because even though I had no utility power for ten days, my generator powered my cable modem and router and I was able to get service. It seemed immoral requesting a refund when there was nothing wrong with the Optimum service. Had the service been out that would have been one thing but it held up through the storm very nicely.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

Ray
Mahnahmahna
Premium
join:2001-04-02
Mesa, AZ

1 recommendation

Re: Refund

said by n2jtx:

I received the notice from Cablevision about applying for a refund. I saw no reason to do it because even though I had no utility power for ten days, my generator powered my cable modem and router and I was able to get service. It seemed immoral requesting a refund when there was nothing wrong with the Optimum service. Had the service been out that would have been one thing but it held up through the storm very nicely.

I did the same when the GoDaddy refund was offered after their outage. I didn't see any lapse in my websites' availability (it may have happened, but I didn't notice), so I didn't claim the refund.
--
ON DELETE CASCADE
jcondon

join:2000-05-27
Fishkill, NY
Reviews:
·Optimum Online

1 edit

1 recommendation

said by n2jtx:

I received the notice from Cablevision about applying for a refund. I saw no reason to do it because even though I had no utility power for ten days, my generator powered my cable modem and router and I was able to get service. It seemed immoral requesting a refund when there was nothing wrong with the Optimum service. Had the service been out that would have been one thing but it held up through the storm very nicely.

Agreed.

The only Internet we had for a week at work was a Cablevision cablemodem. Their Lightpath service was out 5 days and a pair of copper T1s was out 6 days. This in northern Westchester. In Dutchess my home service never went out.

Why should we get or even ask for a credit on our cablemodem service? We were never out.

RARPSL

join:1999-12-08
Suffern, NY
said by n2jtx:

I received the notice from Cablevision about applying for a refund. I saw no reason to do it because even though I had no utility power for ten days, my generator powered my cable modem and router and I was able to get service. It seemed immoral requesting a refund when there was nothing wrong with the Optimum service. Had the service been out that would have been one thing but it held up through the storm very nicely.

I lost CV for 2 days. The first was due to my actually losing power. Once it was restored, my modem started to try to resync with the headend but that took another day (the Headend or somewhere between it and me was still not getting power). So far as I am concerned, that was the extent of the outage. Once power was restored at their end, any extra outage (unless it was due to some problem in the "Last Mile") is not their responsibility. The fact that they are refunding for the full period of any outage (such as the case where the customer is powerless but would have had service IF they had power - IOW: They were able to deliver but the customer could not receive) is a plus on their side.

Since each case is different, I can not fault them for requiring the customer to list the length of the outage. While they, in theory, could look at their DHCP logs to see when the modem (and TV STB) resyncs to see the extent of the outage, I do not feel that they should be required to issue an automatic refund as the landshark seems to be asking them to do based on this analysis.
Rojo

join:2009-04-14
New York, NY
kudos:1
said by n2jtx:

It seemed immoral requesting a refund...

Nice to see the concept of something being "immoral" isn't completely extinct

dmolavi
Premium
join:2005-04-11
Sewell, NJ
Reviews:
·ViaTalk
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

What an assclown

This suit does nothing to help CV nor any of their customers that were impacted by the storm. Hopefully, common sense will prevail, this gets rejected, and this douchebag is forced to repay whatever costs CV incurs fighting this off due to his stupidity and greed.
--
NukedGallery.net
GalleryModules.com

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Clear Wireless
·Cox HSI
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

Need loser pays and then some

If you file a lawsuit and lose not only should you pay court fees and opposing counsel fees but a punitive penalty for wasting everyone's time. Additionally, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit should be personally liable for the penalties as well.

Then everyone would be more apt to settle and less apt to file frivolous lawsuits.
morph69

join:2001-09-03
Penetanguishene, ON

Re: Need loser pays and then some

move on up here to canada thats the way our legal system works

chimingin

@sbc.com

Discovery

The corporate lawyers should bury them with discovery requests for the next 10 years and then see if they would like to settle out of court for a $1

DownTheShore
Russia Lies, Ukraine Dies
Premium
join:2003-12-02
Beautiful NJ
kudos:13
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: Discovery

In this instance, I agree. I can't fault Cablevision in their reaction to the effects of Sandy. They've been very proactive all along, the refund process was easy to negotiate, and they've already applied my refund to my current bill.

Many people found that if they hooked up a generator, they were able to get Cablevision service even when the rest of their electricity was out. Ditto that for Comcast.

The pair that are filing this lawsuit against Cablevision are just looking to make a quick buck, and are a disgrace to all the people who are truly suffering during this crisis.
--
Patriotism is not waving a flag, it is living the ideals

I want to retire to the Isle of Sodor and ride the trains.

Sign the petition: »www.change.org/petitions/target-···ksgiving


dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
Reviews:
·Comcast

I don't think they get a full pass

I don't buy Cablevision's excuse of short changing people. As if they don't know when any particular customer's cable is out!? Furthermore, it seems that they are not doing anything special and the lawsuit is basically saying, 'can you do something special.'

Where I live, if you cable goes out, you call and get a refund for that time period. If you don't bother to call, then you don't get a refund. That's SOP. An automatic refund would be special.
--
dnoyeB

"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard. " Ecclesiastes
9:16

NOCTech75
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Marietta, GA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: I don't think they get a full pass

said by dnoyeB:

I don't buy Cablevision's excuse of short changing people. As if they don't know when any particular customer's cable is out!?

If all their equipment is up and providing correct signals to a term end they would have no way of knowing if power came back up. They are hardly short changing people.. all you have to do is call in, it's not that difficult.

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US
·Sprint Mobile Br..

1 recommendation

said by dnoyeB:

I don't buy Cablevision's excuse of short changing people. As if they don't know when any particular customer's cable is out!? Furthermore, it seems that they are not doing anything special and the lawsuit is basically saying, 'can you do something special.'

Where I live, if you cable goes out, you call and get a refund for that time period. If you don't bother to call, then you don't get a refund. That's SOP. An automatic refund would be special.

If the cable goes out in the entire neighborhood and they fix the neighborhood but your drop is down, say it takes an extra 2 weeks for them to get to replace it. Your credit should be the same as the rest of the neighborhood?
--


Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1

Re: I don't think they get a full pass

said by bobjohnson:

said by dnoyeB:

I don't buy Cablevision's excuse of short changing people. As if they don't know when any particular customer's cable is out!? Furthermore, it seems that they are not doing anything special and the lawsuit is basically saying, 'can you do something special.'

Where I live, if you cable goes out, you call and get a refund for that time period. If you don't bother to call, then you don't get a refund. That's SOP. An automatic refund would be special.

If the cable goes out in the entire neighborhood and they fix the neighborhood but your drop is down, say it takes an extra 2 weeks for them to get to replace it. Your credit should be the same as the rest of the neighborhood?

Hmm good one.
--
It's NOT Ni-kon It's NE-KON!




LG is NOT Lifes Good It's Lucky Goldstar!


IllIlIlllIll
EliteData
Premium
join:2003-07-06
Hampton Bays, NY
kudos:7

Re: I don't think they get a full pass

said by Subaru:

said by bobjohnson:

said by dnoyeB:

I don't buy Cablevision's excuse of short changing people. As if they don't know when any particular customer's cable is out!? Furthermore, it seems that they are not doing anything special and the lawsuit is basically saying, 'can you do something special.'

Where I live, if you cable goes out, you call and get a refund for that time period. If you don't bother to call, then you don't get a refund. That's SOP. An automatic refund would be special.

If the cable goes out in the entire neighborhood and they fix the neighborhood but your drop is down, say it takes an extra 2 weeks for them to get to replace it. Your credit should be the same as the rest of the neighborhood?

Hmm good one.

then it would be unfair to "blanket" an automatic credit of lets say for example one week when the outage was longer than that, of course unless CV decides to extend the credit for that longer outage on their own without the customer intervening.
my opinion, if these "scum bags" get their way and successfully sue CV, i can guarantee we will see the results of this passed on to the CV customers in one form or another for us to pay for it.
i say find these idiots and post their phone numbers in the "casual encounters" section of craigslist with a picture of some hot chick as retaliation for their lame-brain attempt of such a ridiculous and frivolous lawsuit.
--
Suffolk County NY Police Feed - »www.scpdny.com
PS3 Gaming Feed - »www.livestream.com/elitedata

dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
Reviews:
·Comcast
It seems like you all are resting on the idea that CV has no way to know when a node is down. I will have to take your word for that. I know for a fact that is NOT the case for Comcast. They know of each and every node you bring online and their techs can see if they are active or not from their computers... At least this is true if you have digital service.

--
dnoyeB

"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard. " Ecclesiastes
9:16

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US
·Sprint Mobile Br..

Re: I don't think they get a full pass

They all know when the whole node is down, it takes alot more investigating to find individual customers that are down, especially if a home is analog only with no internet or something like that... I'm only saying that in your example a blanket credit for your node is in order. In the event of a disaster where anything can and does happen from one house to the next it wouldn't make any sense to just give everyone the same credit, it would "short change" some people as they said in the PR.
--


dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: I don't think they get a full pass

When I said node, I mean your cable modem or digital set top box or terminal adapter. The end node. Comcast knows when those are online and when they are not. Thus, Comcast could give a blanket credit based on on/off time of those devices.

Sure, I suppose its possible someone turned off the power to their house on purpose.

My point is, this company is NOT doing anything out of the ordinary. So the premise that they are getting smacked for doing a good deed is false. They aren't doing any deed. They are doing their standard practice. They are doing less than they could. I don't think it warrants a suit, but I don't think it warrants praising a company that does not seem to be doing anything special either.
--
dnoyeB
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard. " Ecclesiastes 9:16

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US
·Sprint Mobile Br..

Re: I don't think they get a full pass

said by dnoyeB:

When I said node, I mean your cable modem or digital set top box or terminal adapter. The end node. Comcast knows when those are online and when they are not. Thus, Comcast could give a blanket credit based on on/off time of those devices.

When you said node, I took it to mean the node as in Fiber optic node. I don't know the back office setup for the cable-cos but I have a feeling that it doesn't notify them if CPE is offline, if not they have to look at each individual account to see if the equipment is responding.
said by dnoyeB:

Sure, I suppose its possible someone turned off the power to their house on purpose.

...
said by dnoyeB:

My point is, this company is NOT doing anything out of the ordinary. So the premise that they are getting smacked for doing a good deed is false. They aren't doing any deed. They are doing their standard practice. They are doing less than they could. I don't think it warrants a suit, but I don't think it warrants praising a company that does not seem to be doing anything special either.

This is a money grab by some silly lawyer. I wonder how many TWC customers are gonna have to call in because they only got one day credit and were down for 2 weeks. While obviously not the perfect approach it is the most fair, unless people don't call in and get no credit. This is a no win situation for all the companies involved.
--

frdrizzt

join:2008-05-03
Ronkonkoma, NY
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
Cablevision was the first major ISP to say that all customers affected, whether through power or cable loss, would get a full refund for all days affected. That's not SOP.

It's like a car company saying "It was tough to get gas, so you only drove half a month, so you can pay 50% this month".
Kearnstd
Elf Wizard
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
said by dnoyeB:

When I said node, I mean your cable modem or digital set top box or terminal adapter. The end node. Comcast knows when those are online and when they are not. Thus, Comcast could give a blanket credit based on on/off time of those devices.

Sure, I suppose its possible someone turned off the power to their house on purpose.

My point is, this company is NOT doing anything out of the ordinary. So the premise that they are getting smacked for doing a good deed is false. They aren't doing any deed. They are doing their standard practice. They are doing less than they could. I don't think it warrants a suit, but I don't think it warrants praising a company that does not seem to be doing anything special either.

None of those are Nodes it is not even the correct term. CPE is the right term. And how can CV tell a device with no signal from a device that is unplugged? If I unplug modem and cable boxes Comcast will see them as offline, but the signal is still reaching the house. They have no method to know an unplugged device from a single home with no signal.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

RickNY
Premium
join:2000-11-02
Farmingville, NY
Reviews:
·Optimum Online

Foolishness

Click for full size
You can VERY easily apply for your credit by just going to their website, entering the date range you had no service, and its automatically applied.

Offering the credit only to their "most favored" customers? Huh?

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

2 recommendations

Karl Bode is being nice to ISPs.

Surely the world is ending soon..

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

Re: Karl Bode is being nice to ISPs.

He's just being nice to the ones who actually want to help.

excvcsales

@verizon.net

Disconnect their service

What Cablevision should do and I have seen them do to another customer when I used to work there that called in to much requesting certain channels. Just disconnect their service, hopefully Fios isnt available in their area so they will have to have all separate service providers for tv internet and phone. Put them on a lifetime ban or until they drop this silly lawsuit. I have many issues with Cablevision but I think they did the right thing here. My inlaws got power restored the day after Sandy, their Cable services came back for 30 mins then out for the next week and a half, they came back this past Sunday. If Cablevision did a blanket credit they wouldnt get credit for those additional days.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

2 edits

confused..

I thought CV was automatically issuing credits to customers.. and being generous with storm victims' liability for equipment, etc.. Obviously, this was a lower management decision which was overridden by those at the top (if I read this turn of events correctly).

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ICsQGwqJug

pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1

This Reaffirms My Belief In Lawyers

.... being lower than shark shit on the bottom of the ocean.

aztr0

join:2007-10-28
Brooklyn, NY

Reward laziness?

So pretty much these fools want to get rewarded for being lazy. Unless you absolutely can't make a call due to extreme circumstances that prevent you from doing so... this case will be tossed.

Jeffrey
Connoisseur of leisurely things
Premium
join:2002-12-24
Long Island
kudos:3
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage

Hope the courts toss this out

I'm no longer a CV customer as of the summer, but I do always keep up with their offerings. From what I have seen, it was very easy to get a credit if you just asked for it, via their website or by calling.

I would kindly ask that the Irwin and his lawyer-son come down off of their ivory tower in Oyster Bay [Cove], go south 10 miles, and reconsider the inconvienence of loss of Internet for 3 weeks compared to the thousands of people on the south shore that lost their homes.

Hopefully there will be a judge with some common sense and decency who will throw this lawsuit out.

I know people who have CV who didn't lose service at all during the storm, and they live only a few miles from me. Should they get a blanket-credit too? Cablevision has a point.
--
He used to say that soul shine, is better than sunshine, better than moonshine, damn sure better than rain.

Debunking the 2012 hysteria. | Always looking for a new job | Begging the Wilpons to sell the Mets.

Disgusted

@charter.com

Ridiculous

Unreal, greed at its finest.

What makes anyone think that they should get a bill credit for a natural disaster? It is not the service providers fault that the service went down, trust me they want to get it back up as quick as possible. And dealing with whining customers just slows it down.

As for damaged equipment charges, that is what insurance is for, if you do not have it then expect to pay the provider for their equipment.

Will your mortgage lender just let you slide on your payment while your house can not be lived in? Your bank let you slide on the car payment? NOPE.

marigolds
Gainfully employed, finally
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-13
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:2

And then people stop calling in...

And the ISP has no idea that their service is even out until they demand their automated refunds. Yes, sometimes the ISP can automatically detect an outage, but those refund calls are often the first front of information in finding outages that slip through automated detection.