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Hundreds of Comcast customers turn out to complain

SALEM – More than 300 people, almost all of them upset Comcast customers, turned out for a meeting tonight to complain about their cable television service, rising rates and reduced channels – as well as getting the run-around when they call 1-800 customer service numbers.

The meeting at the Salem Civic Center was planned to last an hour, but continued an additional 30 minutes in order to get in as many comments from cable television subscribers who live in both Salem and the portion of Roanoke County served by ComCast.

Only the Glenvar and Bennett Springs areas of Roanoke County have that cable service; Cox Cable, the same firm that provides cable TV to the City of Roanoke, is the provider for the rest of the county.

Recurring themes from the 21 people in the audience who spoke were disappointment that Comcast digital TV changes in June took away four channels, including the TV Guide channel lineup; increased costs, delays in repairs, and primarily, not being able to get a straight answer when calling customer service 800 numbers.

Salem City Manager Kevin Boggess opened and closed the meeting, which was not a Salem City Council official gathering. Boggess promised the City of Salem would look getting better cable TV service.

“I don’t doubt but there is a better way of doing it than what is right now,” he said.

Comcast’s contract with the City of Salem and Roanoke County runs through Oct. 15 of this year. The company has agreed to negotiate with the city.

Two district Comcast representatives from Northern Virginia and Maryland spoke for a few minutes at the end of the meeting but did not address individual issues. They stayed after the meeting to field questions and comments one-on-one.

For more details, read the full story in the Aug. 26 issue of the Salem Times-Register.

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