SG reports major MediaCom problems

By on February 19, 2009

by Susan O’Neill
A study of Mediacom’s performance confirmed what many residents already knew-the cable provider is not meeting their needs.

The study, conducted by Municipal Services Associates, Inc., found that a majority of Mediacom’s subscribers who responded to the survey had reported cable outages during the past three years. Nearly three-quarters of them had contacted Mediacom for repairs.

A significant proportion reported poor reception, billing problems, converter box problems, unburied cables and cable disconnections. Telephone customer service and repair response times were below what they should be, according to Municipal Services Associates, Inc. President Stuart Chapman. One in 10 problems was never resolved.

There is one bright spot in the study.

“The picture and sound quality, when they do get it, is above average,” Chapman said.

In addition to the customer survey, Chapman’s firm conducted a visual inspection of the physical cable system throughout the village, as well as in Elburn. He found numerous problems with damaged green boxes, cabelling, poor workmanship and poor maintenance. There were numerous safety code and electric code violations.

These physical problems likely caused the outages, poor reception, poor Internet performance, according to Chapman.

Chapman said he saw similar problems in Elburn, reflecting what are likely system-wide issues in the Kane County service area.

The village’s contract with MediaCom is up for renewal this fall. Village President Sean Michels said they have time to work out the problems with the cable company and will make resolution of these problems part of the renewal process.

“Some problems we can address with the contract, like customer service and repairs,” Chapman said. “We don’t have the authority to make them change programming.”

There are approximately 4,100 homes in the village, including Prestbury, and approximately 2,500 are MediaCom subscribers, Chapman said.

The Iowa-based company, located in the Quad Cities, opened an office in Elburn last summer. The contract with MediaCom is a mutual agreement between Sugar Grove and Elburn.