After Fire, Comcast Probaby Won’t Make Low-Income Seniors Pay For Burned Cable Boxes

The good news was that no one was killed or injured when a fire destroyed an apartment building for low-income senior citizens in Battle Creek, Michigan last week. The bad news is that the seniors’ cable provider, Comcast, can’t rule out that they’re going to charge the residents for the Kabletown-owned cable boxes that were destroyed in the fire.

Generally, cable companies will send a bill to people whose cable boxes and modems have been destroyed by natural or man-made disasters, then wait for homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to cover the balance.

The CEO of the agency that runs the housing complex told local news that Comcast had asked for $120 per destroyed box from someone. When contacted, a Comcast spokesperson said that the seniors who have just lost their homes and belongings won’t be asked to pay that bill, and the fees will probably be waived, but they can’t guarantee

We get that cable boxes aren’t cheap and are important, but maybe telecoms should wait more than a week before they start hounding their customers for the balance. Maybe.

Seniors displaced by fire could be charged for cable boxes [WMMT] (Thanks, Heidi!)
Over 50 seniors displaced by fire at Battle Creek apartment complex [WZZM] (Warning: auto-play video)

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  1. webalias says:

    Comcast is a terrible company, but that doesn’t mean they’re always in the wrong. In this case, it sounds like they are at least making an effort to show some flexibility and compassion, while not offering a blanket guarantee to waive charges in every case. That doesn’t seem so unreasonable. The fact is, those whose apartments where devastated still owe for the cable boxes — just as they would be on the hook for furniture they were renting or bought on credit but hadn’t paid for yet, or anything else in their apartment that was someone else’s property. That’s why people buy insurance. Heck, if I loaned somebody something valuable of mine, and it was damaged in a fire while in their possession, I’d feel bad for them — but I’d expect to be compensated, just as they would expect insurance to cover their losses. It doesn’t matter if those who owe for the cable boxes are poor old seniors or rich yuppies — we all know Comcast is not a charity. So let’s find something Comcast has done lately that is truly beyond the pale and probably illegal. That shouldn’t be too hard.