Spectrum's customers remain wired over not-so-free digital boxes

February 28, 2018 05:17 PM

It has been nearly a week since NewsChannel 13 first reported that some Spectrum Cable customers were being charged for digital cable boxes. The company said those boxes would be free for a year.

NewsChannel 13 has heard from hundreds of people reporting the same or similar problems. It's just the latest frustration customers are feeling thanks to Spectrum's digital conversion.

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There's lots of activity at the Spectrum office on Circular Street in Saratoga Springs this week -- so much that the company has set up an overflow space at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn and asked local police to maintain a presence there. It's all because hundreds - likely thousands of customers - need to come get one of those digital cable boxes -- though some put it a different way.

"I'm here to get ripped off and that's what I told them on the phone. I said this is just robbery as far as I'm concerned," griped Marcy Taylor of Saratoga Springs.

Most people have been offered those cable boxes for free. Despite that, many still wound up getting charged. Taylor says no one offered her anything free, claims she was told it would cost $8.50 per box and that her service plan went up too.

"I have a friend who had 34 channels with basic cable before this happened. As of yesterday, she has 11 channels and her bill went up $12," she noted.

One man who was driving out of the parking lot asked if we were waiting to see a fight -- certain there would be one. 

Al Frolish of Saratoga was ready to go a few rounds.

"I think it's a normal scam that they play on everything else. Just increasing the bills and increasing the money to get it out of your pocket and hope you don't notice it," he explained.

He says like Taylor's friend, his bill went up and channels went down. He picked up his "free" box on Wednesday.

"We'll see if it's free or if it's not free," he noted.

His complaints are like the complaints of so many others. Without proper competition, they've got customers by the box.

"They're just doing this to reach in my pocket. It's armed robbery without the gun," he asserted.

If you're having any of those "free box" billing issues, let us know.

NewsChannel 13 asked Spectrum if they're going to start reviewing bills for accuracy, but we haven't heard back yet. So it's still up to you to check.

Saratoga Springs police say their presence is not costing taxpayers money to provide that security. Spectrum is reimbursing the police department for the cost.


WNYT Staff

Copyright 2018 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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