Cable Company Explains Momentary Post-Tornado Insensitivity

After tornadoes struck Alabama, Charter Communications customer service reps told customers whose homes had been obliterated that they’d have to somehow find their cable boxes or face fines. Realizing the policy was insensitive, Charter decided to waive fees for lost and damaged boxes.

A spokesperson for Charter sent us an email that explained what went wrong and how the company is attempting to help disaster victims:

The sheer magnitude of the tornado came as a shock to us all. Immediately following the storm, we went into recovery mode, ensuring the safety of our employees in Alabama and assessing damage to our plant to quickly and safely restore service to our customers. We also made a $50,000 contribution to the American Red Cross in Alabama to assist with disaster relief efforts and began airing public service announcements to encourage additional donations. During this time, some customers who called into our customer care centers immediately following the storm were unfortunately given direction on our equipment policy that did not fit the magnitude of the storm. Given the catastrophic circumstances throughout the state, we adjusted our policy, waiving fees for equipment that was lost, damaged, or destroyed during the tornado. This was the right thing to do for our customers, and no equipment fees were collected from customers who contacted us before the policy was adjusted.

We continue to support our customers and the state of Alabama as it recovers from the tornado. We are distributing water, tarps, and other necessities at our local offices in Alabama and in the community; our staff is volunteering at local events; and we continue to seek out opportunities to do more. Also, because of the diligence of our employees, Charter services have been fully restored in Alabama.

We understand that recovery will be an ongoing process throughout the state, and we will continue to work alongside our customers and the community during this time.

What do you make of the way Charter handled the disaster and responded to its mistake?