Cable vs. council, and the loser is . . .


Representatives from Falcon Cable were on the hot seat at the City Council’s telecommunications recent subcommittee meeting. The city had ordered rate refunds for alleged overcharges. Falcon’s customers received those refunds in their August statements but the cable company appealed the order to the Federal Communications Commission.

Subcommittee members Harry Barovsky and Tom Hasse criticized the cable company for filing legal documents in its appeal that claimed Falcon was engaged in conversations with Malibu’s city manager and with the telecommunications subcommittee.

“That is a factually inaccurate statement,” said Hasse. “You have never been engaged in conversations with this subcommittee.”

“I think it would go a long way if you’d correct that with the FCC,” said Barovsky, who said the statement “engenders more suspicion and distrust.” Barovsky urged the cable representatives to represent the situation in a fair and accurate way.

The subcommittee members also criticized Falcon for an alleged lack of service. “Unless I demand to have my bill adjusted, nothing occurred,” said Barovsky. Customers should be treated “as though we are clients of your firm, who are valued.”

“I’ll acknowledge that customer service sucked,” said Dan Delaney, divisional vice-president for Falcon. “That’s been rectified. That’s something that public relations and time are going to fix.”

When asked whether he thought the meeting was productive, City Manager Harry Peacock said, “If you finally get the mule’s attention, you can finally start discussing what you want the mule to do. Sometimes you have to hit the mule over the head with a 2-by-4 to get its attention.”

Does that mean the city has Falcon’s attention? “Well, time will tell,” said Peacock.