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Windham challenges cable TV charges

WINDHAM - After hearing countless complaints from area cable subscribers, the Windham Cable Advisory Board is putting its concerns in writing.

During Monday night's selectmen's meeting, board Chairman Margaret Case said she's received "the most complaints she's heard in over 20 years on the board" over the course of the past several weeks.

The majority of those concerns, Case said, stem from Comcast's recent practice of charging subscribers $1.99 per month for digital television adapter boxes.

The main issue with that, she noted, is the fact that the adapter boxes are necessary for residents to receive cable programming but residents maintain they weren't told of the charges when the boxes were distributed.

"It's a statewide problem," Case told selectmen. "But it's our job to speak up for Windham."

In a letter sent to Robert Carr, regional director of government and regulatory affairs on March 18, Case said she felt the issue needed to be "brought to attention immediately."

"The Windham Cable Advisory Board has been deluged with complaints from cable subscribers," Case wrote, noting the boxes in question were "originally provided free of charge as part of the changeover to digital service."

"Customers were assured that they were part of Comcast's customer service," she continued. "Windham Comcast customers regard this action as a serious breach of business ethics and question how this fits in with the branding you've been trumpeting nationally as 'Home of the Comcast Customer Guarantee.'"

Selectmen were given copies of Case's letter, as were local legislators and area Comcast representatives.


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