Local family claims cable company "laughed" at loved one's problems

Posted at 5:43 PM, Oct 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-17 22:26:45-04

A Parma family going through terrible health issues said it had insult added to injury. There are claims of a cable TV company mocking a 90-year-old woman's case.

The case involves Cox Communications, and it told us it was unaware of this situation. Meanwhile, a grandson is flat out frustrated just trying to help his grandmother. "The lack of care and effort into the situation has really been disheartening," said Tony Skelnik.

He told News 5 that Cox has ignored his requests to turn off cable services for his grandmother Marie Bezdeka despite her long-illnesses, surgeries and recent loss of her husband. "She was no longer able to take care of herself,” explained Skelnik.

He said six months ago he stepped in to help her, examined her bills, and eventually called Cox to disconnect her cable. "I had a few reps literally laughing at me telling me they can transfer me to a supervisor but they're not going to help me,” said Skelnik. "The amount of frustration that I've faced with each phone call, and I've been transferred to lines that just ring forever… sat on hold, then picked up on and then hung-up on all because I'm trying to do the right thing here."

We called Cox representatives and they did respond right away saying they're investigating what happened. They have recorded lines where they can go back and listen to taped conversations.

They also said they have to have power-of-attorney proof to close accounts and maintain customer privacy. Skelnik told us, “I had it over my grandfather. My grandmother unfortunately wasn't competent enough sign at the time."

Cox told me if Skelnik can provide the power-of-attorney for the grandfather, proof that Bezdeka is in an assisted living facility, and he can return the cable equipment, then they will backdate the account and provide a refund.

This all comes at a time when the national American Customer Satisfaction Index shows Cox ranks near the bottom of the TV subscription category losing 5% on its score from last year.

"(My grandmother) never paid a bill late in her life. She's been a valued customer for some time and I couldn't get anyone to listen to any reason at all," claimed Skelnik.

So, what should you do if you find yourself in a case like this? Cox recommends you add your name to the accounts of family relatives as personal contacts and make sure someone has a power-of-attorney to help make decisions for emergency situations.