Adelphia meets with Stanford council members

November 09, 2003|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - After months of phone tag and canceled appointments, city council members finally met face-to-face this week with a representative of the Adelphia cable company to discuss multiple complaints, including bad reception and rate hikes.

In addition to allegations of poor service, council members expressed fears that the 15-year contract signed with Adelphia locked them into a future of more problems.

Adelphia representative Lisa Powers attended the council meeting and listened to the list of problems, trying to answer accusations with explanations.

"I think what people believe is that Adelphia has us (Stanford) in a 15-year contract and doesn't care," said council member Jamie Leigh.


"I assure you that is not what we think. That is not what we feel," said Powers.

Council member Jayme Phillips and Stanford cable customer Ella Mae Curlis said they were also tired of not seeing results from their complaints of dropped signals and higher rates.

"There's not rhyme or reason about what's fuzzy because what's fuzzy now won't be in 30 minutes," said Phillips.

"All we want is good TV service," said Curlis.

"Absolutely, and we want to provide it," said Powers.

Several city council members said their rates had been climbing annually, and didn't seem appropriate for the service they had been receiving.

Powers said that rates have been climbing, but said they have declined about eight cents per channel since the system was rebuilt in 2002. In 2000, she said the rate was 71 cents per channel.

"The year that we finished the rebuilding and expanding your channels, it went down to 66 cents per channel," said Powers.

During the rebuild, lines were replaced in Stanford and channel packages were altered.

In addition to channel costs, Powers said the rates increased with the rising daily expenditures incurred with running a business like Adelphia.

"We have an increase in expenses just like any company has," said Powers. "It's not like we just sit back and say, 'let's gouge them'."

Mayor Eddie Carter said Stanford cable users just want to be treated like valued customers and feel like they are getting their money's worth of service.

"We're paying more money, and I think our citizens just want service and to be treated respectfully," said Carter.

After a lengthy discussion about rate and reception complaints with Curlis and council members, Powers said she would report back to her Richmond office and do what she could to alleviate Stanford's channel woes, but cautioned that improvements take time.

"I'm going to go directly to our director of engineering and tell him this is the same problem we had during the rebuild," said Powers.

Council members told Powers they appreciated her involvement and hoped to receive updates regularly.

"We want our customers to be happy," said Powers. "I'd be happy to come back to the next one (meeting) and tell you what we've done."

The next regular city council meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Historic Depot.

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