Do Not Under ANY Circumstances Order from Optimum/Cablevision

To: Doug ________
From: Edward Champion
Re: Lies, Incompetence & Rudeness


Never in my history of dealing with telecommunications companies have I lost more man hours, borne such a burden for your company’s failure to communicate and organize action among its remarkably Kafkaesque branches, and experienced more outright incompetence.

Let us review the history: I ordered your Triple Play package last month. I was told that I would be given a static IP. It was under this specific condition that I ordered your service. When the technician arrived on May 30, he was hostile and threatened to leave when he saw that I did not have a television. The cable service was more or less a fringe benefit that I could do without. But that didn’t seem to matter to this technician. I had apparently committed an installation solecism. I then had to persuade him to install the phone and broadband service — in part, by calling Cablevision while he was here. Your technician bitched and moaned the entire time, particularly since the super wasn’t available in seconds to open up the basement.

He installed the service, but there was no static IP. There were at least four conversations with Optimum I had on the phone. Until I finally got in touch with you. You represented to me that through a work transfer order and through switching my service from residential to business, I would be able to obtain my static IP and keep my phone number. But that this would take two and a half weeks. I reluctantly set the appointment for the morning of June 25, 2007, where the cosmos would be aligned and all would be well.

I anticipated a technician to arrive this morning to make the change. The man, George, showed up at 5PM with a work order directing him to move my line from the fifth floor to the ground floor. After wasting twenty minutes with his dispatcher on his cell phone, he then left — without installing the static IP. When I objected, he told me, “Don’t look at me.” Well, who else should I look at? The Virgin Mary? The nearest Mister Softee truck? This man was a representative of your company. This technician then told me that I would have to call your sales department to arrange for another appointment.

I am currently suffering from laryngitis, but I called your sales department, only to strain my voice considerably in describing your screwup to three different people. The last one claimed that he could help me, only to tell me that it was “impossible” to move my number, to the new business account. This was not, of course, what you told me. Before I could describe everything that had been set down for the record, he then put me on hold and, since I was unable to talk on the phone any further, I hung up.

Let us review the email that you sent on June 8, 2007 — two and a half weeks ago:

Hello Mr Champion,

Just a correction for your reference. The new account number will actually be XX-XXXXXX-X not XX-XXXXXX-X

Sorry for the confusion.


Doug __________ previously wrote:
This is just to confirm your move transfer request for XX XXXXX St #XX 11225 to attempt to move the phone # XXX XXX XXXX from residential acct # XXXX-XXXXXX-X to dual Commerical acct # XX-XXXXXX-X. We are sending out this request as an accomodation to you as our customer to correct the type of cablevsion acct your serivces are on , which should allow you to order Static Ip in the future. Install will be reduced to $46.95

Thank you for your patience

* * *

Because your company has completely failed to solve this problem, and because your company has lied to me repeatedly, beginning with the false promise that I would have Internet service with a static IP (which again I have been without for almost a month and which has greatly inconvenienced me), and because your company has talked to me on the phone as if I was the one who screwed up, not YOUR company, I have no choice but to pursue other broadband options. At this point, I would not trust your company to perform basic arithmetic, let alone possess the decency to help an old lady cross the street. (Basic spelling and grammar likewise seems to have failed you.)

Since I am entitled to a 30 days money back guarantee, I wish to disconnect my service, effective June 29, 2007. I will return my equipment to your New Jersey address and be sure to postmark it for that date. I demand the immediate refund of the $100 that I initially paid you.

I assume, based on this history, that your company will likewise fail on this front. So here’s the deal, Doug. If I do not receive my refund within 30 days of June 29, 2007, I will have no choice but to pursue a small claims action. I trust that we can resolve this dispute amicably.

— Edward Champion

[6/28 UPDATE: Word apparently has made the rounds of my Cablevision horror story. This morning, I discovered that my service had been cut off without warning. This evening, a gentleman by the name of Bob Weisman, who claimed to be the head of the Brooklyn branch of Cablevision, called me, wanting to see if there was anything he could do to keep me as a customer and noting that he had “seen my writing.” I talked with Mr. Weisman for about fifteen minutes, pointing out that I had already taken steps with a new provider who had communicated with me at all stages of the installation process. But I did go through the history of events with him. I don’t know if this will have any effect upon the way that Cablevision treats its customers. But Weisman’s gesture is a start. I’m only sorry that it took a public callout to get Cablevision to listen to its customers.]


  1. The first few months of NY are filled with these types of events. Having moved here 3 years ago from a less worldly but wonderful city (not unlike SF) I can only describe your first year in NY in the following manner. Whereas before your days may have been filled with nice ups and reasonable downs, NY is filled with blissful & rapturous ups and jarring & infuriating downs. Hold in there for a few more months. The ups are a little less frequent than the downs. It is a rollercoaster.

  2. They did this to me, too! We had to call the cable company and sit in the living room awkwardly for TWENTY minutes while we waited for some bullshit confirmation that the cable guy could install a box for my cable. And it was my cell phone, day time rates.

    Oh, New York, I love you! But sometimes it’s an abusive kind of love.

  3. You should have mentioned in the letter that you’d be posting it on your website that has thousands of readers. Nothing like some bad PR to put a cap on things. That’s the great thing about the blogosphere, a company never knows if the person they’re pissing off has a widely read blog.

  4. I LOVE this line!!

    [At this point, I would not trust your company to perform basic arithmetic, let alone possess the decency to help an old lady cross the street. (Basic spelling and grammar likewise seems to have failed you.]

    I am RIGHT NOW on hold listening to their nicey, nice hold music as billing is trying to transfer me to their tech support because – as usual – Cabelvision has failed to dot all their i’s and cross all their t’s in the entire brief time I have become a new customer.

    My own experience would be way to lengthy for a comment, and warrants a full post of my own. Let’s just say ” I hear ya”! What was supposed to be a 20 minute installation turned into a 4 hour 3-ring circus between technical support, customer service and the contracted installers ,and I became the unwilling audience member getting dragged into the awful show.

    Two weeks later, I find out that I have to get technicians out again because my alarm company isn’t receiving the signal from my new phone numbers and, “By the way, Mrs. We Don’t Care about Your Time, our billing never processed a payment you so kindly provided over the phone to sales for an outstanding balance from years ago -which you chose not to dispute or research in the interest of everyone’s time.”

    Now they’re telling me that I – yes ME – have to fax THEM proof the payment was processed.

    Who’s the one getting paid here and by the way, have these clowns ever heard of the phrase customer service?

    I earned the $74 I owe them, just in the time I’ve spent helping them fix their mistakes. Offering an innocent customer some kind of retribution or gesture who’s suffered at the hands of poor service is Customer Service 101. Not once has any offer of a credit or a free month been made.

    If they feel I’m not worth the measley $74 to keep me as a happy and satisfied referring customer with a big mouth and even heavier typing hand, then I wish them all the luck in the world! When competitors like Vonage, Verizon and Direct TV improve their abilities to offer everyone uninterrupted service that rivals Cabelvision in both technology and costs, unwilling circus clown recruits like me will quickly quit the Cablevision carny gig and sign up!

    Thanks for the forum to rant!!

  5. cablevision is the worst cable company to deAL with…especially the people who work there..A BUNCH OF GESTAPO’S

  6. Cablevision is a low life scheming entity that rushes in to have you sign a contract, even tho in NYC they have a monopoly. I signed with them because they bought out my old cable company, which gave me superior service and admitted to any issues and fixed them AND a very reasonable cable rate. My bill doubled when I took on Cablevision. My bill is more than my sales contract. I don’t get calls on that, but I get some numbnut sales rep calling me six times a week asking if I have internet. They want to offer ‘discounts’. Really? How about charging me the rate I signed on with. How’s that for a discount? A zillion bull channels I don’t want just to get twenty channels that I do want. They know they have crappy channels on their “Broadcast Basic”. My old cable company even had better tiers than Cablevision.

    I’ve had Cablevision for a month and a half. It’s like I’m being raped of my money. Heaven help me if I ever wanted to look at HBO. Why is it that the pay on demand channels only work when you already have the 30 channels of HBO? What if I only want to look at a pay channel for that day? Why do I have to buy a DVD in order to buy a movie on my box? Who does this? Why do I have to scroll through literally a hundred HD channels (that are blocked since I don’t have an HDTV or an HD box for that matter) just to get to something I can look at?

    I’ll be waiting for Verizon to be granted access to NYC next year. I hope there is true competition, and not the dividing up of five boros between three companies. It only serves these multi million dollar companies. Who would have thought that a person would have to pay almost a hundred dollars to watch televison THAT HAS COMMERCIALS.

    Oh, yeah… Cablevision shows its own commercials and overlays them over other commericals. Probably national and other regional ads. Is that even legal? That’s double billing, isnt it? An ad agency buys time for a 20 second spot and Cablevision overlays their own spot. I have the damn service, I don’t need to see commericals for it constantly.

  7. I’am not sticking up for them but cablevision doesnt have contracts…never did and never will.HD IS THE FUTURE…TIME TO REALIZE THAT

  8. Well, what is that pink slip of paper titled “Sales Contract”? A figment of my imagination? A few hundred of my neighbors signed this as well. Maybe Cablevision didn’t have YOU sign a Sales Contract, but I did. I couldn’t give a flying crap about HD.

  9. I have to totally agree with Edward Champion. Cablevision is one of the worst cable companies we have ever experienced! Our experience with CableVision was a disastrous nightmare. Many days I lost pay from work based on Optimum CableVision’s claim they would send a technician to connect our cable. This fiasco went on for several weeks. On one occasion, I actually made 15 calls in one day attempting to get assistance for my cable connection to be told the technician would arrive, only to realize after many hours of waiting at home that no one was going to show up.

    On another nightmare occasion, after missing several days from work, I had a relative come over to wait for the Cablevision technician. I arrived home after 8 hrs. at work to find out once again, no Cablevision technician arrived! On one occasion,Cablevision tried to claim their technician arrived, but no one was home. THERE’S MORE! We decided to give it one more try and called Cablevision in an attempt to schedule another appointment, waited all day mind you once again. Around 4 pm, I decided to look out the window and saw the Optimum Cablevision truck parked outside, I rushed to the phone to confirm this was our cable guy and was told that he was in the adjacent building and would be at our house as soon as he completed the cable connection he was working on. GUESS WHAT! I checked and looked out the window after an hour had gone by only and see the Optimum cable truck driving away!

    We called Cablevision once again and requested to speak to a Manager who had no idea why these continuous fiascos had occured. Suffice it to say after three weeks of nightmare calls and recalls, lost time from work, and no shows, an Optimum Cablevision technician finally arrived at 9 am to install our cable. At this point, I was so disgusted, we decided to switch to our local community cable. Although they didn’t offer as many cable channels as Cablevision, we felt satisfied with the channels they offered, their prices were much cheaper, and the service we received was excellent. My advice is to anyone living in NYC, if you want to connect to cable, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES! REPEAT, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER! would we recommend that you sign up with OPTIMUM CABLEVISION! It is one of worst cable companies I have ever encountered in my entire life!

    Our suggestion to unsuspecting customers would be if at all possible, try some other cable company that might offer cable in your area. As for our family, we are currently waiting for Verizon Fios cable to come to our area in hope they will offer a much better deal and most certainly better quality service than Optimum Cablevision!!!

  10. The true is that you did not sign a contract. You only signed a Sales Order (please read again the pink copy that you have). With a sales order you do not have to agree to keep the service for a period of time and there are not termination fees. The internet service from cable (OOL) is great. It gives you 30mbps this is faster that any other company.

  11. Maybe it’s me but I’m confused.
    You said:

    “I ordered your Triple Play package last month. I was told that I would be given a static IP. It was under this specific condition that I ordered your service. When the technician arrived on May 30, he was hostile and threatened to leave when he saw that I did not have a television. The cable service was more or less a fringe benefit that I could do without”.

    First off, why would you order the triple play just to get phone and internet service when you should’ve either ordered the double play instead, or atleast request the specific services you needed? And secondly, why would you even order the triple play which includes cable when you had no television to begin with?

  12. I also have gripes about cablevision. I already get TV service from Direct tv, so my first few months with cablevision phone and IP, they bombarded me with ad calls on my cell phone to switch to them for TV as well. It took several phone calls and complaints to get them to stop. NOW, it would appear, that I CONSTANTLY have land line phone issues. They are very nice when I call (from my cell) to complain, but the service is not dependable. They tell me my signal is coming in fine at their end, but they can never offer me any reasonable option on how to keep the line working. Why do we need to order phone service from a cable company anyway!!!!???

  13. Well you were right but in my case I have no choice as Verizon doesn’t transmit well In my area. I’ve stayed home three days this week waiting for the installer from Cable vision they’ve been a no show each time. When I call to ask they tell me the tech called and since no one answered he didn’t show up. Well my cell has call display/id and an answering machine and each time its shown no missed calls. I guess cablevision hasn’t made a name for itself with good customer service. I don’t know what to do

  14. too bad bro you missed out on a kickass internet connection because of a sales rep that lied. (they do that a lot to yanno…make sales)

    might i recommend a dynamic dns setup? comes free with the boost connection.

  15. I’ve lived in 5 other states and never had a problem with new cable installation until I moved to Long Island and called Optimum! They had to come to my home 4 times, they cancelled appointments on me, they did a horrible job on the install and scratched my furniture as the installer decided to scrape the boxes across the wood with total disregard to my property. I finally have service, which compared to previous cable, is marginal at best! I have yet to get compensation for my damaged property and I don’t expect that they care to compensate me for any missed time at work to come home for all of these “appointments”…..Welcome to NY! Customer service should be renamed…..Customer Beware!!!!

  16. I had a lot of issues with them but i can deal with those. What i can not deal with is
    1. I press the guide button. After 5 minutes im finally at a screen where, I have to select the guide? Why is there a guide button. Shouldn’t it be a menu button. Not a guide button if it does take you to the guide.
    2. DONT PUSH THE DOWN ARROW TO MANY TIMES! you’ll be waiting all day for the scrolling to stop. and god forbid you accidentally click a wrong button while your looking through the guide. It’ll take 5 minutes before you can get back to where you were.
    3. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES VIEW THE GUIDE BETWEEN 12:00AM AND 12:15AM. you will see the updating date screen. I have waited, get this, 22 god damn minutes for this friggin screen to go away.

    It is simply the absolute worst service there is.
    Its really time they took the hostage money from the broadcast companies and put it into some kind of software development.


    I feel better now.

    p.s. I forgot to mention, i had fios. Best service ever. These bastards at cablevision convinced my wife to switch, which she regrets now. well when the tech was here to install he asked me Why did you switch? I said we’ll fios was expensive. He said “Honestly, you get what you pay for.” And O BOY was he right. He knocked his own company. HaHA

  17. i can beter the main story in this web page if you want to.
    two years ago we got optimum tiple plat tv-phone-voice-internet. a month later i orderd boost. and got a static ip. after two years my ip was changed to a sticky changing ip. the rest is like like the story in this page. but theres more. optimum sead i never had a static ip. a road runer user is using it now. more.. the ip i had is in the static ip range. and assigned. it allways was a static ip. after i forst got boost i did a check on my ip. with optimum and with whats my ip sites. back to now… when i told optimum it was checked out as a static ip he downplayed the sources that checked it saying optimum knows more then those sites that will tell you anything to join them. and i know it was a static ip. im not sure yet if i should take leagal action because they may go by the word of a big compane like optimum who may turn around afterwards and civel sute me. i feel like optimum kissed me and stuck its tung in my mouth. isent there a place on the net where hopefuly thousands of customers like me can all file complaints to the bbb.

  18. One of the worst companies to work for ever!!!!
    I left Cablevision in good standing. I was laid off with 15 people. I was talking to the hr rep and told them i was going to go on disability. they must have known a layoff was supposed to happen so they told me to just go on unemployment. So I followed their instructions, after all it was “senior” management giving me… the advise. well whiile on unemployment my disability worsened so i applied for… disability and was awarded it from the state. they put the date of disaiblity one day before i got laid off. the hr rep refused to put in a disability claim with the company. I was to be paid 60% of a 67,000 salary for two years. That would have been $80,000. (I tried to sue them but I was told that they have a team of attorneys and I would never win close to that amount plus the attorneys do not take it upon contingencty)The human resources dept. in long island suck. they treat employees like shit and discriminate among the disabled. I mean can you imagine beating down a disabled person making $19,000 a year who cant work. The owner is worth 3.3 billion and the company could not make a $80,000 claim for a disabled person. How sick is that?? I am just protecting the public.

  19. I’m so utterly disgusted with Optimum right now, I could puke. Their “superior internet connect speeds” amount to a decent 7 mbps. For about five minutes that is, then it plummets to the point where I cannot load a ten minute YouTube video in under 20 minutes. And uploading a video is near impossible. This is a big problem for me, considering I make YouTube videos for a living. It is not my router, or computer, as both are fairly new and in perfect working order. Before, when I had Bresnan, I was always happy with my internet. But from the very moment Optimum took over, I have been presented with the most inconsistent, unreliable, and absolutely disgusting ISP I have ever had.

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