The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) fined Suddenlink more than $2 million last week for inadequate and unreliable service to the Mountain State.
The PSC found the communications company failed to provide safe, adequate and reliable service to West Virginia subscribers of its cable, internet and phone service.
Moreover, the PSC ordered Suddenlink to locate a call center in West Virginia. Suddenlink had a call center in Parkersburg as late as 2015 but European-based Altice closed the center when it purchased Suddenlink in 2015.
State Public Service Commission Chair Charlotte Lane says the quality of service for cable operator Suddenlink Communications deteriorated since the purchase.
“Suddenlink’s conduct and performance with respect to its operations in West Virginia have
been nothing short of egregious,”stated PSC Chair Lane. “There is no excuse
for its conduct except to increase its bottom line, doing so with a blatant disregard for its
subscribers. Suddenlink should be penalized for its actions.”
The PSC determined that Suddenlink intentionally reduced its maintenance work and budget, the number of full-time employees, changed its method of communicating with customers and ignored thousands of customer complaints.
PSC Chair Lane met with representatives of Suddenlink last year to discuss the staggering
number of quality of service complaints the PSC had received, including delays in
service restoration, billing errors, the inability to place orders for service or contact personnel
regarding the status of service. Suddenlink was directed to provide the PSC a
correction plan within 30 days. In response, Suddenlink sent a letter that contained neither a
correction plan nor details of the steps that the PSC had taken to improve service.
The PSC assessed immediate penalties of $2,242,000, which is the maximum penalty to date. The PSC has the authority to impose future penalties.
Suddenlink was given 90 days to present a proposal to the PSC where this call center will be located and a plan to staff it.