Time for Comcast to deliver

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2012

St. John the Baptist Parish Council members have been listening to what they say are promises and commitments from cable giant Comcast for the better part of 2012, with little to no improvements.

And they are fed up.

During a recent meeting council members unleashed their frustration on Michael Davenport, director of operations for Comcast. He listened as one council member after another vented about how the west bank was still without high-speed Internet, the overall poor quality, how west bank customers have fewer channels than east bank residents, and even the fact that council meetings cannot be aired live when held in LaPlace because of technical difficulties.

What’s more, the complaints come at a time when RTC, which has provided cable service on the east bank for years, is making inroads into the west bank market.

Also, complaints were directed at Davenport about customers encountering difficulty getting through to a customer representative and what the public perceives as reluctance by the company to issue credits for when service is down.

 “The service is unacceptable at this point in time,” Councilman Art Smith told Davenport of Comcast’s performance. “I keep hearing rhetoric coming and coming. Christmas is coming. When do we get to unwrap that gift?”

Davenport pointed out to Smith that high-speed Internet is available on the west bank, a fact neither the councilman nor Comcast employees were aware of, since Smith had been told shortly before the meeting by a company rep service was still not available and no timetable had been established regarding its availability.

Davenport identified the problem as an internal miscommunication but therein defines the confusion of the past year. Comcast officials can color it in any hue but the company appears to have been long on promises but short on results.

Ultimately, the future of Comcast in St. John Parish lies not with the company but with the council. But for now the company has the opportunity to overcome what has been a public relations nightmare.