Does Spectrum (Charter) Cable Violate California Law?

Charter Cable purchased Time Warner Cable and promptly rebranded as “Spectrum.” That rebranding includes the Time Warner properties in Southern California, including where I live.

Over the last week I have had the need to have several service calls at my home that require I be present.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that Time Warner Charter Spectrum Cable apparently ignores California law which requires it give customers the option of a 4-hour window appointment for service calls that require the customer be home.

In the last week I have called in and asked twice for a four hour window appointment, and twice I’ve been refused. The service reps claim they have no option on the computer screen to offer such an appointment. They offer one hour window appointments but that’s not the law which provides for certain remedies if the four hour window is violated.

I suppose this should come as no surprise since it is likely that most consumers are unaware of the state law designed to protect them, and which provides  for up to $600 if the cable company misses the appointment without a valid excuse.

Below is The text of the state law  that Spectrum seems to be ignoring:

Civil Code Section 1722. (b) (1) Cable television companies shall inform their subscribers of their right to service connection or repair within a four-hour period, if the presence of the subscriber is required, by offering the four-hour period at the time the subscriber calls for service connection or repair. Whenever a subscriber contracts with a cable television company for a service connection or repair which is to take place at a later date, and the parties have agreed that the presence of the subscriber is required, the cable company and the subscriber shall agree, prior to the date of service connection or repair, on the time for the commencement of the four-hour period for the service connection or repair.

(2) If the service connection or repair is not commenced within the specified four-hour period, except for delays caused by unforeseen or unavoidable occurrences beyond the control of the company, the subscriber may bring an action in small claims court against the company for lost wages, expenses actually incurred or other actual damages not exceeding a total of six hundred dollars ($600).

(3) No action shall be considered valid if the subscriber was not present at the time, within the specified period, that the company attempted to make the service connection or repair or made a diligent attempt to notify the subscriber by telephone or in person of its inability to do so because of unforeseen or unavoidable occurrences beyond its control. If notification is by telephone, the cable television company or its agent shall leave a telephone number for a return telephone call by the subscriber to the company or its agent, to enable the consumer to arrange a new two-hour period for service connection or repair.

(4) In any small claims action, logs and other business records maintained by the company or its agents in the ordinary course of business shall be prima facie evidence of the time period specified for the commencement of the service connection or repair and the time that the company or its agents attempted to make the service connection or repair, or of a diligent attempt by the company to notify the subscriber in person or by telephone of a delay caused by unforeseen or unavoidable occurrences.

(5) It shall be a defense to the action if a diligent attempt was made to notify the subscriber of a delay caused by unforeseen or unavoidable occurrences beyond the control of the company or its agents, or the company or its agents were unable to notify the subscriber because of the subscriber s absence or unavailability during the four-hour period, and, in either instance, the cable television company commenced service or repairs within a newly agreed upon two-hour period.

(6) No action shall be considered valid against a cable television company pursuant to this section when the franchise or any local ordinance provides the subscriber with a remedy for a delay in commencement of a service connection or repair and the subscriber has elected to pursue that remedy. If a subscriber elects to pursue his or her remedies against a cable television company under this section, the franchising or state or local licensing authority shall be barred from imposing any fine, penalty, or other sanction against the company, arising out of the same incident.

Is this law important? Of course it is, because it’s the law, and because of the protections it provides to the public.  I personally know that having used it several times to sue my cable operators for missing appointments. I recovered each time. That’s what the law is intended to do, and why it offends the law and subscribers when it is ignored by a cable operator.



The Time Warner Cable – CBS Fight is Over

Their (corporate) parents must be so very proud of them!
Their (corporate) parents must be so very proud of them!

According to reports published in various newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, Time Warner Cable and CBS have ended their fight over retransmission rights.  Hopefully that means that (a) Time Warner Cable subscribers will see all of the CBS channels restored very quickly, and (b) that CBdisengeniouS will restore access to its online content from Time Warner Cable IP addresses.

This doesn’t end the other fight…the lawsuits from subscribers who claim that they (we) are owed for the unannounced decimation of all of the CBS channels during this battle  (except, oddly, one CBS sports channel here in L.A. that TWC seems to have missed).

Now that the battle is over, we’ll see how those were the collateral damage will fair.   They are called Time Warner Cable subscribers.

Also, we’ll have to wait to see if Congress steps in to amend the Telecom Act to give the FCC stronger teeth to resolve these disputes.



Time Warner Cable v. CBS: Month 2 Begins

Their (corporate) parents must be so very proud of them!
Their (corporate) parents must be so very proud of them!

Just about 4 minutes ago, at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time the saga of Time Warner Cable and CBS entered its second month.  Time Warner Cable still says they are taking the high road to hold down cable prices, and CBS still says that they want to be paid a fair price for the highest rated network.

Congress and the FCC have made noises reminding each side of its duty to the public, which has fallen on deaf ears.

At this point, CBS seems determined to let this stupidity continue to the start of the football season.  They appear to be betting that once Time Warner Cable subscribers don’t get football, the will get another provider.

Personally, I don’t have the football gene, so it’s no big deal to me, but I do miss the CBS news programs line 60 Minutes, Sunday Morning, the local CBS new channels in L.A. (2 and 9).

I’ve said it before; and I’ll say it even louder now:  More Pox, please!  So far the pox I’ve tossed hasn’t hit home.

Oh, by the way, I spent a bit over an hour today waiting in line at Time Warner Cable office in Santa Monica.  Why? To snatch up one of the DTV antennas they’re handing out for free.

Later this weekend, I’ll post here about the antenna, with pictures.   Hold your breath, just like I’m holding mine for a resolution of the TIme Warner Cable v. CBS battle.


PS: It was about 80 degrees waiting in line at the TWC office.  If I were in the marketing department at Dish, I’d be setting up free lemonade stands right outside of every Time Warner Cable office in L.A.   “If Time Warner gives you lemons, take Dish Lemonade…and this sign up form.”




Time Warner Cable’s Free Antenna Offer Only Lacks Antennas

Their (corporate) parents must be so very proud of them!
Their (corporate) parents must be so very proud of them!

As you may have heard, Time Warner Cable today started offering free over-the-air antennas to its victims of the Great CBS Blackout.

Just pop by one of their offices lickety-split and you can pick one up of those shiny new antennas was the gist of the announcement and ads.

That got me thinking!

I’m a Time Warner Cable victim of the great CBS blackout, so said to myself, “Self, why don’t you get in your car and drive on down to the Time Warner Cable office in Santa Monica and pick-up one of those dandy new free antenna!”  Then I said to myself, “Great idea, Self!”  Then we both got in the car and headed to Time Warner Cable’s office just a few miles away.

After waiting in the line at Time Warner Cables office, I found out (initially by overhearing a lovely mature woman expressing her, ah, great discontent) that Time Warner’s Santa Monica office ran through the three boxes of antennas by midday today.  Moreover, nobody had any idea when more antennas might arrive.

The customer service representative,  safety ensconced behind a plexiglass  security wall, suggested that we should come back on Monday and maybe they’d have more antennas…or maybe not.

Way to go, Time Warner Cable!  Way to gooooooooooo………

By the way, welcome to ‘Week Three’ of the Great CBS Blackout.  The third week started about 2 hours ago here in L.A.

I’m going home to back a cake to celebrate this milestone of corporate concern for its customers and viewers.



Time Warner Cable Class Action Lawsuit Filed

Their (corporate) parents must be so very proud of them!
Their (corporate) parents must be so very proud of them!

Now comes James Armstrong, Michal Pourtemour, Vatsana Bilavarn, individually, and on behalf of all others similar situated to sue Time Warner Cable for dropping CBS.  Well, not really for dropping CBS, but for breach of contract, deceptive business practices, unjust enrichment, and the like.

If you would like to read all 36 pages of the complaint, filed last week, you can do so by CLICKING HERE.

The suit was filed through the law firm of Weintraub and Selth, APC, a 4-attorney bankruptcy law firm in West Los Angeles.



CBS and Time Warner Still Fighting in the Sandbox

Their (corporate) parents must be so very proud of them!
Their (corporate) parents must be so very proud of them!

Well, we’re about 1 1/2 weeks into the sandbox fight between the two bullies, Time Warner Cable and CBS.  They continue their stupid fight, throwing sand on each other, but also throwing sand on  everyone else chained to their sandbox.

CBdisengeniouS continues to black out its web content only to those unlucky enough to come in through a TWC IP address, regardless of whether the viewer subscribers to TW cable of some other video source.

TWC continues to disingenuously post billboard messages on selected CBS channels telling customers they are fighting to hold the cost of cable TV when we all know the history of cable TV rate increases consistently topping inflation, and then some.   TWC’s next excessive rate increase will be a very interesting event.

No, Time Warner, Starz Family is not s substitute for CBS programming.

The FCC, who SHOULD be teaching both of the bullies a lesson upside their heads, has sternly asked them to quit fighting, suggesting that it might step in to break up the fight.

Class action lawsuits will flow into TWC as soon as the bullies stop their fight to relieve TWC of the money it continues to collect for services it continues not to provide.How destructive for all concerned.

How very stupid for the pugilists.



Time Warner and CBS’s Reality Show: “How We Beat Up Your Viewers”

Their (corporate) parents must be so very proud of them!
Their parents must be so very proud of them!

Time-Out Warner (Time Warner) and CBdisgeniouS (CBS) continue into Day 5 of  their reality show,

“How We Beat Up Your Viewers.”

When this is over, which may not be until September when Football Season begins, the cable industry will be far worse off in credibility (yes, it has some credibility now), and CBS will shift from the Tiffany Network to CLN (the “Cheap Lampshade Network”).

This stalemate continues to disgust me.

How about you?



CBS is now CBdisingenuouS

CBdisingenuouS is my new name for CBS. Okay, I’m really disappointed with CBS.  As part of the battle with Time Warner Cable,  CBdisingenuouS has elected to block web views of its programming by Time Warner internet subscribers.   If you subscribe to a different internet provider, you can get the CBS programming on line.

Time Warner was right when it quoted TechCrunch, which first reported the CBdisingenuouS blockage.

How do I know this is true?

Well, at my home I use Time Warner for internet service. At my office I have two different internet providers, neither of which are TWC.

At home, CBdisingenuouS programming on line is blocked.  At the office, CBdisingenuouS programming on line is available.

CBS, which had shed what now clearly appear to be crocodile tears over its fair share of our bloated TWC bills, has lowered itself to TWC’s level.  So much for the Tiffany Network.

By the way, we’re now 5 hours into day 3 without CBdisingenuouS.  Today, TWC was showing an old Eddie Murphy movie on the CBS channel here in L.A.  Oddly, it was in a 3:4 format  (no, note a 4:3 format…a 3:4 format).

Would someone please loosen the ropes that both of you have used on your subscribers/viewers?  Thanks to both of you.  Not.

“Scotty, I need more Pox!”



Time Warner Cable and CBS – Now 24 Hours into the War

Click to enlarge and read.
Click to enlarge and read.

This post is off topic, but as a current Time Warner Cable subscriber in Santa Monica, California; a former Warner Cable manager; and long term cable industry member, I want to speak up.  Soap box, here I come…

Time Warner Cable and CBS are engaged in a game of chicken, with the TWC subscribers in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas being held hostage until one side exclaims, “Give!”

Time Warner says that CBS wants to raise the retransmission fees by 600%, which is disputed by CBS.

Time Warner suggests that because the CBS content is provided free over the air and online, that Time Warner should not pay ‘so much’ for it.  This, of course, ignores the fact that Time Warner Cable, like virtually all cable companies, makes its subscribers pay for bundled services that far exceed the cost of those services.  It also ignores the fact that the cable industry historically raises its rates for services and equipment far faster than inflation.

CBS’s role in this stupidity is not yet fully known.  I challenge CBS to release its demands and current retransmission fees so that Time Warner Cable subscribers can see who is ripping them off: CBS or Time Warner (or both).  According to TechCrunch, CBS has blocked major market customers from viewing CBS programming on line, including in the markets where Time Warner has taken CBS content off of their systems.

This blackout, now 24 hours in duration, is bad for both companies; bad for both industries; and especially bad for TWC subscribers who are being held as captives by both sides.

This would be a good issue for the FCC to take up.

Now stepping down from my soap box.