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Union Helps Sandy Victims Secure Cablevision Refunds; Lawsuit Threatened In Response

Phillip Dampier November 27, 2012 Cablevision, Consumer News No Comments

Union members of the Communications Workers of America, unhappy that customers are not going to receive automatic service credits for the extensive outages caused by Hurricane Sandy, are robocalling possible Cablevision customers to help them secure refunds.

In response, Cablevision’s lawyers threatened to sue the union, claiming they were engaged in “deceptive and illegal” practices, and accused the union of stealing customer records.

Cablevision is one of the few holdouts that require customers to personally request service credits for outages caused by the October storm. Most providers in the hardest hit areas have issued automatic blanket credits for affected customers. Companies requiring customers to contact a customer service representative to request credit are assured many will not, either because of long hold times, other matters taking precedence, or simply because customers forget to ask.

Union officials say the robocalled numbers were gathered from publicly available phone records in the affected areas and did not come from Cablevision’s customer database. Cablevision also objected to the suggestion the union was calling “on behalf” of the cable company — a charge also denied by the union.

“We are just calling people in the affected area to let them know they are eligible for a refund and help them get it if they are entitled to it,” CWA organizer Tim Dubnau told the New York Daily News.

Callers who are interested in pursuing a claim are transferred by the union direct to Cablevision customer service for assistance.

Cablevision and the CWA have been at odds ever since the union began attempting to organize workers in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

The cable company is also facing a $250 million lawsuit filed separately on behalf of subscribers Irwin Bard, a retired businessman from Oyster Bay, N.Y. and his son Jeffery, a lawyer from Huntington.

 

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