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Letters To The Press: For the Week of July 22 – July 28


Not-So-Optimum Online

Last week, thousands of Optimum subscribers across Long Island and beyond lost e-mail access for more than 24 hours, bringing Web-reliant businesses to a halt. Without any immediate information from Cablevision, angry customers used the Press site to vent. Here’s what they had to say:

I’m scratching my head that I cannot find in any Long Island media outlet the fact that Cablevision Optonline e-mail system has been completely down in the Northeast for almost 24 hours with absolutely NO communication to their customers either on their website or on either of their own media outlets (Newsday and News 12).
—Karin Stucchio, Northport


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I haven’t been using the Dolan cable machine in years and I’m very happy. When they bought the remnants of Newsday, I watched what was left go downhill, if that were possible, very quickly. Monopolies can work, when the owners of those monopolies are straightforward and reasonably upright. When they are slimebuckets like the Dolans, it’s another story. Can’t wait to see the excuses they put in Newsday or on News 12! Oh wait, I don’t get either one of them!
—CrankyPaul

Look, things can happen, but the fact that Cablevision has no mention of any of this on any of its websites or company-owned media outlets is inexcusable. How much time did customers spend trying to figure out if the problem was on their end, especially given the error messages about a wrong password? When logging into webmail, again, no mention of a service problem, just blank screens. What is wrong with this company? They are in the media for God’s sake.
—JMO

You WON’T see this in Newsday or on News12! Gah! Cablevision’s customer service is the absolute WORST! No notice on their website, no notification WHATSOEVER. Extremely arrogant.
—goodbyecable

While a migration to a new server could be messy, and if this is the issue, why not warn customers of this to better prepare for possible outages? Give the customer the option of forwarding their e-mails to another account (a free one on another service), provided the e-mails are actually being taken in. How about doing it over a weekend, so that it minimizes the damage? I am a Cablevision customer for too many years, both at home and business and we don’t deserve this. Had FiOS when it first came out and was so disappointed with them that I switched back to cable. Maybe it’s time to reconsider that! I have many clients on cable and never really had any issues with their customer support. They should have posted this issue on their website and updated it hourly! Unfortunately Verizon is not much better, and their customer service is worse.
—Russell

This is horrible!! I work from home and my e-mail is crucial to my business. My BlackBerry won’t even work. Optimum has been dealing with this most poorly. They should refund all customers on their next bill for the loss of service. To be without e-mail of any kind with work going on 24 hours means a loss of work.
—Joe

This should have been posted on Optimum’s home page, at the very least, under “Important announcements.” Optimum’s last “Important announcement” was posted on 04/01/10 and it was a “phishing alert.” I think that if there are technical difficulties, users want to know rather than being kept in the dark. This is bad PR for a company that’s facing some heavy heat from Verizon et al.
—Roger Silverberg

They should have posted an update not more than four hours after the outage. I wonder if the Dolans’ e-mail is down. Probably not, or are they using a Gmail account?
—DL

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