Coral Springs, Fl May 15,
2012: If you are unfortunate enough in this city to
live on one of those areas that are not serviced by
U-Verse or Comcast, your cable TV provider is Advanced
Cable. This is because the city of Coral Springs signed
an exclusive franchise agreement with them so that the
City can receive additional funds to finance their
The franchise fees are shown on each customer
statement as the Advance Cable company is allowed to
pass the fees on to us...the suckers that have to
subscribe to them.
I recently had to deal with Advanced Cable customer
service. I called them because they overcharged me
in their billing. One month into their service and
I had a bill of $455 dollars. To put it into perspective
UVERSE for full service including telephone, internet
and TV full choices never cost more the $189 per month.
Even Direct TV ( if you don't mind the rain fade that
happens every time a thunderstorm is in the area) would
be billing less than this amount, but you would have to
add in some telephone and internet charges.
So $455 is ridiculous.
I decided to contact them so that we can straighten this
out since this was an obvious mistake.
Jan answered and after I mentioned my customer number
and the issue at hand made sure to treat me like any
government employee would have : With condescending
tones and lack of understanding. Jan proceeded to
lecture me on how the bill is not a mistake and that
I am wrong.
" You are wrong. The bill is right. You owe $455.
" Can you look at the bill and tell me why I owe
Jan looked at the bill.
"You owe us $409 as of May 2"
"So the bill is wrong?"
" No it isn't . You made changes to your account
and that is why you owe $409 "
So I am wrong. Now I owe $409 for one month of service.
" Why do I owe $409 if monthly service is only $240
"That's the bill"
"But it was $455 dollars a few minutes ago"
"But now I owe you $409"
"I don't understand"
"Ok. If I wanted to make payment today, May 15th ,
what is the only amount I owe ?"
"$409 for service until June 25th."
" But why am I paying for service until June 25th
when all I owe you is for the month of May ? "
"So all I owe you is the month of May ? "
"And what is that amount ?"
"$ 179 "
I paused. It was like a scene out of Abbott and
"What happened to the $409 ?"
"You will have to pay us this anyway so you might as
well pay us now "
Now I understand where they got the name Advanced Cable.
"Say I only want to pay you now for what I owe
you...can I pay you the $179 and we are up to date ?
" Can you send me a confirmation indicating that
this is what I owe?"
"We do not send any corrections to the billing in
"Really? Why not"
"We do not handle billing in this office"
"Can you transfer me then to the office that handles
"No I can't "
"How about transferring me to your supervisor "
"Not going to do that either"
" Well how do I know that I will not be penalized
for paying late..if I only pay this amount?"
"Mark on the statement Jan said it was ok. I am
the only Jan here"
(Good to know when writing an article about customer
"But I am paying by credit card "
"I will note this in your account"
"Can you send me confirmation of that?"
I paid the $179 dollars which was all I owed using a
credit card, even though I did not have a bill that was
corrected. Just to add fuel to the fire, while she was
reading me back the credit card authorization
code, our phone disconnected.
Why is it that Advanced Cable is so behind the times?
The amount of stations they offer is far less than their
competition, especially when it comes to High Definition
channels. Now I know that they are more expensive than
anyone else, offer less and have rude customer service.
As well their channel line up does not meet the
standards of all of the other players. The only thing
that is going for them is that for some reason the City
gives them exclusive right to servicing its citizens
even though its the citizens that pay for the exclusive
right through the franchise fee charged on the bill!
I think their business plan must be that they really do
not give a hoot about the cable service since they do
nothing to compete with the other businesses. They
only want the internet access as well as the phone
service that goes with it. That is where the real
money is these days anyway. As a matter of fact,
when looking at the Trace scan, I see that they are
using COMCASTS connection to access the internet anyway.
SO perhaps their play here is to turn over the Cable TV
customers to Comcast and keep the internet revenue
I certainly hope so. Right now, I need to accept
getting screwed in the billing by Advanced Cable or
accept the rain fade and go with Direct TV until U-verse
is in my area!
Meanwhile my advice to all customers of Advanced Cable
TV is to check your bill. I can't possibly be the
only customer of theirs that is being overcharged.