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Time Warner Cable Wants $850 from Homeowner to Move Lawn Pedestal It Put in the Wrong Place

Phillip Dampier September 11, 2012 Consumer News, Grande, Public Policy & Gov't 3 Comments

Neighborhood terminal pedestals can serve from a half-dozen to 200 customers. This one is designed to service a small neighborhood.

Time Warner Cable is asking a Padre Island, Tex. customer to pay $850 to move a cable company pedestal box installed in her front yard by mistake.

Dorothy Harper’s home is located right on the shoreline, so utility companies have traditionally placed their equipment in a utility easement adjacent to the street. But Time Warner Cable, for whatever reason, decided to install their unsightly neighborhood terminal pedestal in the middle of her front yard, in front of her home, despite the city’s request that cable operators keep their equipment in a designated easement along the property line.

Harper has been trimming around the pedestal for years, irritated by its presence but infinitely patient that one day the company would do the right thing and move it to its proper location.

Her patience wore out when competing cable company Grande Communications expanded service on Padre Island and felt its own pedestal box would be right at home next to the improperly located one owned by Time Warner. Harper arrived home one afternoon to find both boxes happily creating a tremendous eyesore.

Harper told The Caller she called Grande Communications, which eventually moved their pedestal to the proper location. But Time Warner Cable proved infinitely more stubborn, even when the city got involved:

Edward Villarreal, who issues fiber optic and utility permits for the city’s Development Services, visited Harper’s property. He took photos of the cable pedestal and made phone calls to Time Warner on her behalf, without success, he said.

“It’s definitely an eyesore I wouldn’t want in the middle of my property,” Villarreal told Troubleshooter Thursday.

Harper got tired of the fight with Time Warner and backed off for a while, she said.

“Every time I drive up to our home, I am angered again at Time Warner and their negative response to a problem that their workers created,” she said.

Recently she called Time Warner again and was told they would move the pedestal if she paid $850, Harper said.

The newspaper’s troubleshooter intervened, calling Time Warner’s regional headquarters looking for a resolution and found someone a bit more sympathetic.

Jon Gary Herrera, regional vice president of communications for the cable operator said complaints about unsightly cable pedestals are common, but the company would be willing to move the one in front of Mrs. Harper’s home if the mistake was theirs.

If not, Time Warner has a solution to quiet chronic complainers. The company has been known to provide a rock facade to cover the ugly pale green lawn stump and make things more landscape friendly.

One reader had a last-ditch solution in case that did not work:

Make the switch to Grande and then arrange for someone to “accidentally” do a hit and run on the cable box thus forcing Time Warner to come out and place it in the proper location.

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txpatriot
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txpatriot

I’m not a right-of-expert but it seems to me if Time Warner is NOT in the public R.O.W., then they have no right to be in this person’s front yard and they are in fact trespassing. What am I missing here?

Scott
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Scott

I don’t get it either, I would have dug the equipment up myself if it was on my property, they must have also run the fiber underground to the units too into the property owners lawn.

txpatriot
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txpatriot

Serving other customers from that pedestal doesn’t give T-W the right to trespass. He should sue the heck out of them.

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