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Insight Leaves 300,000 Louisville Customers With Frozen Pictures for Nine Hours – No Refunds (Unless You Ask)

Phillip Dampier May 4, 2010 Consumer News, Insight, Video No Comments

More than 300,000 residents from Louisville to Lexington in Kentucky and north into Indiana were left with no cable service for more than nine hours today after an equipment failure at an Insight Communications office on Okolona Road wiped out analog cable.

Louisville cable viewers channel flipping up and down the dial found nothing but frozen pictures, a captured moment in time from 2:53am this morning.  What they found next when calling Insight was nothing but hours of busy signals.  Some customers in southern Indiana found some channels worked fine while others did not.  In all, the outage impacted at least some channels across most of Insight’s service area in Kentuckiana.

Louisville, Kentucky

Insight initially blamed the problem on a router failure that developed during routine overnight maintenance.  A backup router also failed at the same time.  Company officials originally anticipated service would be restored by six this morning, but that did not come to pass.

Because the equipment failure had never been seen before by Insight technicians, it took nearly nine hours to finally resolve the problem.  Local television stations were deluged with calls from viewers wondering what happened to their favorite shows, and Insight’s dropped ball was topic number one on most local talk radio programs today.

Insight subscribers were especially upset that they couldn’t reach the cable company for answers.  Customer service lines were left jammed through much of the day.

Insight spokesman Jason Keller apologized for the outage.

Subscribers either saw this message, or a frozen picture across their channel lineup this morning.

“Everything that we have has a redundancy built into it. This is no different, but unfortunately on this particular morning with this particular piece of equipment, both the main equipment and the backup did not function properly,” Keller said, calling the outage “highly unusual.”

Keller called today’s outage the largest that he has seen during the company’s 10 years of service in Louisville.

By 10:00am, Louisville customers had their HD channels back, with the remaining analog channels restored by 1:30 this afternoon.

Despite the severity of the outage and its widespread impact, Insight Communications is refusing to issue blanket refunds to affected customers.  Instead, individual customers have to call or contact the company and request a refund, which they characterize as an amount under $1.00.

Customers can cost Insight more than that just by availing themselves of that option, and registering their displeasure over today’s long-lasting outage.

Impacted customers can request a refund online or by phone at (502) 357-4400.

Most television newscasts in the Louisville area treated today’s outage as their top news story, with several issuing periodic updates throughout the morning into the afternoon about the service problems.

WAVE-TV in Louisville told viewers “it’s not our fault” that Insight subscribers couldn’t watch the station for at least nine hours today.  (2 minutes)

WLKY-TV in Louisville said it received tons of calls from concerned viewers, one of whom was upset that the company “doesn’t want to give customers answers.”  (2 minutes)

WHAS-TV, also in Louisville spent time outside of WHAS Radio’s studios this afternoon covering angry reactions from Insight customers on local talk radio.  (2 minutes)

WHAS followed up its earlier report with a wrap-up during its early evening newscast explaining what caused the nine hour outage.  (3 minutes)

WDRB-TV in Louisville explained to its viewers how they could get their money back for a day’s worth of frozen pictures.  (2 minutes)

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