Cablevision hit with $250m Sandy lawsuit

New York-headquartered cable MSO Cablevision has been hit with a $250 million class action over consequences from the recent Hurricane Sandy.

The writ argues that Cablevision has continued to bill subscribers for TV, Internet and phone services despite cables being down or lack of power to enable services to be used.

The suit was filed November 13th in New York State’s Supreme Court by two Cablevision subscribers, and the action is said to represent the 1 million or more clients of Cablevision.

Cablevision, according to press reports, says that it has been difficult to credit customers with refunds because of lost service because some of them had their services restored only for the service to again go down in the post-Sandy period.

Cablevision admits that about half of its 3 million subs were without power at one stage, and therefore unable to use its services. However, as at November 14th, some 78,600 subscribers were still without power, and thus could not access its services.  Even amongst the 3.16 million clients who did have power some 28,000 were still without cable.

“The lawsuit misstates the facts and is without merit,” Cablevision said in a statement. “But lawsuits aside, we have an extremely broad and customer friendly credit policy following Sandy. Blanket or arbitrary credits for cable outages could shortchange customers because 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.”

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