Mediacom "guaranteeing" better product, service

By Mark Adkins
Posted 7/8/99

According to Mediacom senior vice-president of operations Jim Carey, his company will “guarantee” a better product and better service in the wake of its purchase of Triax Midwest Cable …

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Mediacom "guaranteeing" better product, service


According to Mediacom senior vice-president of operations Jim Carey, his company will “guarantee” a better product and better service in the wake of its purchase of Triax Midwest Cable Company.

Carey spoke to a group of concerned municipal administrators June 28 at the Best Western Westfield, Coralville.

“Our company wanted to get into the small market level of cable services,” he said. “We have made a sizable investment in buying Triax Midwest ($740 million) so what we are going to do has to work.

“We feel we have found a good niche,” he added. “We think small towns want the same service that big cities are getting and we think we can provide that type of service.”

When asked by cable attorney Pat Callahan about Mediacom’s future plans and if they included turning around and re-selling to another big company in the next five years, Carey said he “couldn’t predict the future”, but that Mediacom will keep its interest in the areas served by Triax Midwest.

“We have the capital available to keep the service and product to where the customer wants it to be,” he said. “We plan on re-building almost all of Triax Midwest’s systems in the future and providing them with many more products along the line of digital television, internet access, 200-channel capability and so forth.

“We want to be here a long, long time,” he added. “We service 310 franchises right now and the buying of Triax Midwest will add another 342,000 subscribers to our current total of 360,000.”

He also guaranteed that all of Triax Midwest’s current projects would be finished. Along the lines of customer service, Carey informed the group that Mediacom has a policy of service calls within 24 hours, installation of service in three days after customer request, pre-burying cable on installation and handling previous “drop” cable situations in seven days after notification.

“Myself and Rocco Commisso, Mediacom’s chairman and chief executive officer, have been in the cable industry for over 20 years each,” Carey said. “We know this industry and we know what it takes to serve our customers and provide them with a good product.”

Carey’s statements followed a session of complaints from administrators from Williamsburg, Blue Grass, Manchester, Newhall, West Union, Monticello, Tipton, Walcott, Wyoming, Anamosa, Kalona and Wellman. All complaints were leveled at the poor service rendered by Triax Midwest.

“It’s gotten so bad, I got myself a dish,” Williamsburg Mayor Murry Armstrong said. “I put up with Triax’s lack of service as long as I could.”

“Some of residents receive service for some channels and others don’t,” Tipton city manager Gus Glaser said. “Triax is just undependable. We get numerous complaints and there are a lot of repairs to be made. It just seems like Triax wants to sell their company.”

“We are supposed to have a complete rebuilding of our system by February to May of 2000,” Walcott cable commission representative Dick Hagen said. “If Triax doesn’t get it done in that time range, there is a $100 a day fine. There has just been a lot of dissatisfaction.. Triax is rude on the phone and so on.”

“We didn’t see any of Triax’s people in town working on our initial installation until right before it was due to be done,” Manchester representative Dave Heiar said. “Then, at the end, there was a frantic pace to try and get their work done.

“We are still getting complaints of poor reception quality and so on,” he added.

“They have used the storm of last June 29th as a major excuse for not getting things done,” Williamsburg City Clerk Jenifer Karsten said. “We had a whole list of complaints we sent to them to check over before a recent city council meeting and they came to the meeting and said they had received no complaints.

“Our upgrade was done at the last minute, there is still cable laying on the ground in some areas and there is no movement on the public access channel we had requested,” she added.