Mediacom warns cable thieves - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mediacom warns cable thieves

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August 29, 2003

Valdosta - You may start seeing more of the cable guy around your neighborhood, but he's not here to set up your service. He's part of an audit team that's making sure you're paying for it. "There are a lot of cases we see where the pedestal has been broken into and traps have been stolen," said Eric Prime, Cable Technician.

Whether you're receiving a whole cable package, or just a few extra channels, if you're not paying for everything you get, you're breaking the law. "Industry wide, we're seeing about a 4.5 billion dollar loss in sales from cable theft," said Sally Bloom, Mediacom Director of Operations.

But Mediacom has a plan to stop the problem. "We have hired an audit team to go door to door and find out whose a paying customer and whose not," said Bloom.

Technicians are looking in your cable box, and from several color coded tags, they can tell what you're subscribing to and whether or not you're a paying customer. If your plan doesn't match your payment, first you'll get a warning. But after that, you'll have to pay a fine. "The first offense brings a $250.00 fine, and for the second offense, it's a felony with a fine of $5,000.00," said Bloom.

Bloom says Mediacom is giving people a chance to fess up. If you call to report the extra channels you're receiving, they'll sign you up for an additional plan, no questions asked. But if you're caught by the audit team, you'll pay the price.

posted at 2:45 by ashley.harper@walb.com