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City officials are fed up

“Hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles residents were ripped off,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, referring to a complaint against Time Warner Cable regarding the quality of its service that the company provided since its installment as Southern California’s No. 1 cable provider two years ago.

“Time Warner must be held accountable for its promises.”

According to the soon-to-be-filed complaint, the City of Los Angeles says Time Warner made false and misleading statements to subscribers regarding its quality of service, violating state laws and the terms of the franchise agreement it worked out with the city. Subscribers spend time waiting in agonizingly long hold queues, the city says, and Time Warner’s technicians subjected subscribers to excessive repair work delays. Parts of the agreement mandated that Time Warner customer service representatives answer subscribers’ calls “within 30 seconds,” and repair service interruptions within 24 hours of notification.

The city says it will file its suit in a Los Angeles County Superior Court. Time Warner Cable provided no immediate comment.

Officials in the city of Costa Mesa, California – less than an hour’s drive south of Los Angeles’ – are mulling similar plans in light of Los Angeles’ announcement.

“I requested a copy of the city of Los Angeles’ filing so that I can assess if we need to pursue action of our own,” said Costa Mesa City Attorney Kimberley Hall Barlow.

Los Angeles officials say that Time Warner could pay “tens of millions of dollars” in fines if courts rule against it.

Time Warner Cable is the exclusive cable provider for a number of Southern California markets, including the aforementioned Costa Mesa. While there exists competition in Los Angeles, Time Warner Cable remains the dominant provider after it acquired the bankrupted Adelphia Communications with fellow provider Comcast in 2006, and arranged for a complex franchise switch that allowed the two to dominate separate markets.

The Los Angeles Times notes that the Adelphia transition was difficult due to a need to upgrade and merge with Adelphia’s aging infrastructure, affecting nearly 500,000 subscribers.

Los Angeles’ lawsuit specifically focuses on service issues starting during fall 2006 and ending in spring of 2007, citing advertising literature that gave subscribers the impression that pricing would remain the same. One brochure promised customers that Time Warner would fix service interruptions “fast,” when instead technicians would consistently show up for appointments late.

In the end, however, the city is angry with Time Warner’s lousy service overall. The company’s cable and internet service “was so intermittent and inferior in quality that it was not much better than no service at all,” says the suit.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes recently announced plans to jettison Time Warner Cable, spinning it off into an independent company in order to raise Time Warner’s sagging stock price. The company is also experimenting with a metered internet service model, opening test markets with a 40 GB cap in Texas.

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RE: too bad
By mmc4587 on 6/7/2008 12:25:07 AM , Rating: 1
Honestly, how many emails, pictures or youtube videos do you have to watch to go over the limit?

1 picture = 5 mb
1 days use of Folding@Home = 10 mb
1 news clip on msn = 20 mb
1 home video clip 2.5 min = 200 mb
1 hour streaming music = 300 mb
1 video-call over skype = 800 mb
1 software/os download = up to 2,000 mb
1 online movie rental = 3,000 mb

Monthly sats follow:

.25 gb = 50+ pictures
.3 gb = Folding@Home use
.6 gb = 10 msn news clips/day
1.0 gb = 5 2.5min home videos
1.5 gb = 5hr of streaming music
3.0 gb = 1 month of OS/Game/software downloads
4.0 gb = 5 skype video calls
15.0 gb = 5 online movie rentals


Internet takes up only a fraction of the bandwith available on coax cable. 90% of that bandwith is used to provide a constant stream of 100+ channels (as if we are likely to watch all 100 at once).

so, cable companies, if you want to start limiting bandwith start cleaning up in house first! (yes I realize that server load is not = to bandwith but that is not the point)

RE: too bad
By FaceMaster on 6/7/08, Rating: -1
"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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