Today, The Black Institute joined Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio, CWA, and a host of other unions and community organizations at a press conference to launch the release of a report documenting Cablevision's failure to properly serve its Brooklyn workers and consumers.
In January of 2012, 282 Cablevision workers in Brooklyn voted to form a union. They faced down Cablevision’s campaign of harassment and intimidation, holding together to become the first union workers at the cable company. Since their vote, the workers and their union have been fighting for a fair and just contract.
The report revealed survey results of Brooklyn Cablevision customers showing wide dissatisfaction and violations of the company’s franchise agreement with the City of New York. It also documented the poor conditions of Cablevision equipment and lines throughout the borough that pose a danger to residents and workers.
According to CWA’s in-person survey of 700 Brooklyn Cablevision customers, nearly 25% rated their service as “poor” or “terrible” and only 37% rated it favorably. Only half rated their picture quality and cable box as favorable. Additionally, nearly 90% of Brooklyn customers considered Cablevision costs too high for the services they are receiving. Customer feedback from the survey also indicated a range of violations of the company’s franchise agreement with the City of New York, including un-rebated service delays, improper charges, and extraordinarily long waits for installations.
Cablevision’s treatment of workers in Brooklyn has brought increasing scrutiny to the company’s practices affecting both workers and customers in the borough. CWA’s report documented numerous examples of faulty equipment throughout the company’s Brooklyn service areas. Data from CWA’s SpeedMatters.org website has shown Cablevision internet speeds in Brooklyn are 25% slower than those in the Bronx. In addition, Cablevision’s refusal to grant automatic credits to customers who lost service during Sandy forced people who may have been displaced or lost power to contact the company to receive the refund due to them. This practice is in contrast to Time Warner Cable who provided automatic credits to its customers for lost service.