TRENTON, NJ -- Continuing to follow up on Optimum/Altice USA customer complaints, Piscataway Mayor Brian Wahler announced on Friday that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) will hold a public hearing about poor service and unfair consumer pricing.
In issuing its initial findings into an investigation that Wahler and mayors from at least nine other towns across New Jersey requested -- notably Robbinsville, Hamilton, Dunellen, Sayreville, Green Brook, Howell, Jackson, Montville, and North Brunswick -- the BPU said it found "sufficient cause" to investigate Optimum/Altice USA (formerly Cablevision).
The municipal and legislative officials cited in their complaints the "frequent and lengthy service disruptions (across all services), inconsistent connections and fluctuating Internet speeds, long telephone wait times, poor customer service, and an inability to get a satisfactory response to these issues from the company both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic."
The BPU Order states that it "reviewed the various complaints, municipal government official resolutions and requests for Board investigation and intervention in this matter, and HEREBY FINDS that there is sufficient cause to convene a proceeding to afford the municipal officials and Altice customers the opportunity to voice their concerns about the services received from Altice; as well as afford the company the opportunity to respond to these concerns before determining what corrective action may be warranted and should be taken in this matter."
Other complaints cite insufficient network capacity and allegations of price-gouging.
“The calls-in by residents and subsequent letters by other residents in town to the mayor’s office prompted Mayor Wahler and his administration to start working very diligently writing letters to the BPU to complain about what was going on,” said then Council President Gabrielle Cahill last September. “Apparently, those complaints were heard.”
The Board designated Commissioner Mary-Anna Holden as the Presiding Officer of the hearing and investigation granting her authority "to rule on all motions that arise during the proceedings and modify any schedules that may be set as necessary to secure a just and expeditious determination of the issues."
A virtual public hearing is set for Tuesday, March 16. Comments must be received by February 26.
Comments on the "Operations of Altice USA in New Jersey" investigation can be emailed to email@example.com in PDF or Word format. Emails must contain the caption “Docket No. CX21020139” in the subject line.
Comments can also be submitted through the Board’s External Access Portal. Directions for e-filing can be found on the Board’s website.
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