Spectrum service 'fully restored' but questions remain

Some customers still say they don't have service

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Spectrum said all services were fully restored to customers in Central Florida by Tuesday afternoon, after a massive outage.

Joe Durkin, Spectrum director of communications, said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that storms Sunday night caused the outage.

"Even after commercial power was restored, power-related issues continued to impact some Spectrum TV services throughout the day Monday," Durkin said. "As mentioned, engineers worked around the clock to resolve the issue as quickly as we could."

Durkin did not elaborate on why power-related issued continued to impact some services even after commercial power was restored Sunday night shortly after it went out.

Some customers who went Tuesday afternoon to Spectrum's service center on All American Boulevard in Orlando said their service was not restored.

"I've been out three days now," one woman said. "You can't get any answers, you're getting a recording."

Durkin said he couldn't understand that.
"Could you help explain what you mean about 'answers not given' to customers?" Durkin wrote in an email to News 6. "Spectrum communicated to customers via phone, social media, and at our stores — we acknowledged the impact on our services, explained that our engineers were working around the clock to resolve the issue, and apologized for the inconvenience it caused our customers. Our total focus was on restoring service quickly and completely - we will comprehensively look into what caused this issue now that services have been restored."

However, some customers did not agree.

Dozens of customers told News 6 on Monday and Tuesday that the information Spectrum provided did not include how many customers were affected, what caused the outage, a time frame for when service would be restored and if they would be credited for the loss of service.

Durkin did not address those questions.

Customers said a recorded message only confirmed the outage, apologized for the inconvenience and mentioned restoration efforts.

Customers said they waited on hold for almost an hour to speak with representatives who didn't know more than was stated in the recorded message. Some customers were so upset they drove to Spectrum service centers while on the phone.

News 6 sent Durkin several messages and quotes from frustrated customers it received over the past 48 hours, including:

"You call them and call them and nobody answers; they hang up on the phone"

"You got a recording that was very nice and told you how they were sorry and hung up on you."

 "I asked them, saying, 'Do you have any idea when the system will come back up?' No idea. 'For the people that lost their system are you going to credit your account?' No idea."

"The issue is nationwide so it was not the storm last night. Maybe they were hacked and don't want to admit it. It's been out for over 12 hours, which is not a normal outage."

"Give us an explanation for what is wrong. I doubt it is some sort of super-secret national security issue, so why are you not at their office demanding the reason behind this incredible outage?" 

"Twelve hours of no service, can't get through to support ... as lines are all busy, no calls at this time, nor can you get into them online. Horrible customer service."

"This is the second time in the last three months that spectrum has had widespread outages like this. Last time was a day or more as well. I'm sure they will credit all of us? No?"

"Too big of an outage to be caused by a lightning strike. This has been across the entire state! Also, as a utility company, they would/should have protection and grounding to avoid any damage by lightning. Hacker possibility? Maybe...."

Durkin released a statement Tuesday evening.

"Customers who have a question about their Spectrum account should contact us so we can work with them directly," Durkin said.

Customers said they were unable to get through to a representative when they attempted to contact Spectrum.

About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.