Cable Customers Thwarted In Returning Cable Boxes

Jan. 18, 2005 –– Although Innovative Cable TV advertised for many weeks that St. John customers could exchange their old cable boxes for the mandatory newer models Tuesday through Friday this week, customers got a surprise when they queued up Tuesday morning to make the exchange.
The staff at the company's Marketplace office told the customers that the date had been changed, they had no idea when it would be and that the exchange would be made at an unknown location elsewhere in the shopping center.
Innovative spokesman Tom Dunn apologized Tuesday for Innovative's failure to get the word out to all its St. John customers about the change. He said that Innovative stopped running the television ads announcing the dates on Jan. 13 and posted signs at the Innovative office on Jan. 15.
He said the boxes were not available because they were delayed in shipping.
"I do not have the new dates," he said, noting that it would be "soon."
He said Innovative did not want to issue new dates until they had the new boxes on hand.
He said that Innovative would also rent space elsewhere at the Marketplace to make it easier for customers to pick up their new boxes.
Dunn promised a "big media splash" so St. John customers would know when and where to pick up their new boxes.
"We're not going to step on our necks again on St. John," he said.
He did not know the number of Innovative Cable TV customers on St. John.
Meanwhile, customers who had Tuesday disconnected their cable boxes because they expected to get new ones immediately, were forced to reconnect their old boxes if they wanted to watch TV.
One customer also said that he called the Innovative main telephone number to complain about the cable box problem, but was left waiting for an hour. Dunn had no explanation for that situation. He said that studies show that calls are answered on average in three minutes.
While some customers were disgruntled about the wasted trip to the Innovative office and the wasted effort in disconnecting their old box, at least one customer was glad for the delay.
"I'm not ready," Kathy Demar said.
Demar has 10 cable boxes, one from each of the vacation villas she manages, to haul down to the Innovative office.

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