There’s no competition for cable television in New Paltz. As in other communities around the state, a franchise agreement is worked out every ten years with a single vendor. The talks with representatives of the local cable company — which now has “Spectrum” on the bills — tend to focus on getting more people access to these cables and the broadband internet that comes with them, and the discount for senior citizens. Village trustees are fed up enough with the question of that discount that they have agreed to lodge a complaint. They will be encouraging their colleagues in Town government to do the same.
According to the agreement, senior citizens who pay on time are to be given a free month every year. Unfortunately, customer service representatives at Spectrum routinely claim ignorance when asked about this. According to Mayor Tim Rogers, some local senior citizens have given up hope of ever seeing this credit, while others have spent “hours and weeks trying” to receive it. “I think it should be included automatically” in the bills, Rogers said. “This should not just be about squeaky wheels.”
That’s why Spectrum leaders are going to be copied on a letter to members of the Public Service Commission (PSC), in which trustees will allege that this state of affairs is in breach of the franchise agreement. The PSC is the state agency under which this monopoly is regulated. In addition, Rogers said that Village officials are considering “seeking special counsel” to pursue getting money back for everyone who is eligible, but has not received the annual credit.