By: Carly Levy
Residents in Coral Springs have been facing a multitude of problems with one local cable provider ranging from poor customer service to unreliable internet connections.
Vice Mayor Dan Daley raised the issue at the August 2 city commission meeting discussing the calls he was getting regarding the lack of customer service – as well as the lack of service.
“It’s massive,” he said. “Considering there are home-based businesses and families that rely on it [internet].”
But Commissioner Vignola was puzzled as to where Daley was hearing about the issues with Blue Stream. “I live in Cypress Run and installed Blue Stream two months ago, and I am thrilled. I know you are saying people are giving you complaints…but I haven’t had any issues. So I’m a little nervous when I see someone saying something like that.”
But just four days prior, a resident from the Eagle Lakes community sent Vignola an email asking for his help with his ongoing problem with Blue Stream. The resident even received a reply back from Vignola’s administrative assistant.
Previously named Coral Springs Cablevision, the Coral Springs portion of the company was purchased by Schurz Communications in 1978 who changed the name to Advanced Cable Communications. Last year, Schurz sold Advanced Cable Communications to Twin Point Capital and the company was renamed Blue Stream – which provides broadband and cable service to both the cities of Weston and Coral Springs.
Three months ago, Coral Springs resident Jodi Miranda started using Blue Stream after she saw an offer that promised a fast internet speed of one gigabyte. One week after receiving Blue Stream, her cable box stopped working. When Miranda called Blue Stream’s customer service number, she was kept on hold for three hours. She then decided to stop into Blue Stream’s office.
“Within my fifteen minutes of me arriving there, the lobby was packed with screaming people,” exclaimed Miranda. “People were coming into the office and they were throwing their equipment back to the people…It was really horrible.”
A Blue Stream employee gave her a new cable box, however, it still didn’t work, so Miranda to called Blue Stream again.
“I was on hold for at least an hour to an hour and a half for tech support,” explained Miranda. “I spoke to several people from all over. Finally they told me they would give me an appointment for July 28th. That was two weeks later.”
She was promised a phone call and a visit to her house to fix her internet service, yet neither one occurred. The next morning she got on the phone with Blue Stream and they told her to check the box they had given her. It was then they realized the box didn’t have any serial numbers on it.
“I realized that it was not even a box that was in inventory yet….They gave me a box that was not working, registered, or even uploaded for me to use.”
After talking to others on social media, Miranda realized that she was not alone, and there were many more Coral Springs residents complaining about the service. One neighbor suggested that she use AT&T U-verse as backup in case Blue Stream went down. Now, Miranda is paying for two internet services: AT&T U-verse and Blue Stream.
Brian Wright, a resident in the Royal Gardens community said that his service went out for three days last week and started working again last Tuesday afternoon with intermittent outrages. A technician came out Friday morning and told him his signal was weak and installed an amplifier, telling him that would fix his problems.
“Needless to say, my internet went out again last night at 9:30 and is still not working,” he said.
Before the August commission meeting, Daley reached out to Blue Stream to get answers.
“One of the regional managers said the cause of the outages is actually massive infrastructure improvements that Blue Stream is making,” explained Daley. “The gentleman I spoke with said Blue Stream’s board of directors had approved all of the funding for additional customer service representatives and for infrastructure upgrades.”
Because of the frustration with Blue Stream, Miranda wanted to switch to Comcast but was told by Comcast that they did not service her area.
Daley said that there is some confusion about Comcast’s whereabouts in Coral Springs.
“Twenty or thirty years ago, there was an exclusive deal [between Coral Springs and Advanced Cable],” said Daley. “The problem is, that exclusive deal has expired…It hasn’t existed since 2007. Comcast, up until about six months ago, has blamed the city and said the city won’t let us come into the city. It’s not true. There has not been an exclusive deal since 2007.”
Two years ago, Comcast decided to provide service to Coral Springs. Comcast claims that they have expanded in the entire city, but Daley says otherwise.
“They didn’t want to provide for the city of Coral Springs because they didn’t put their money where their mouth was. It was easier to blame us,” said Daley.
He said that Comcast is already in the city and they already offer commercial and some residential service, but it’s going to take time and investment and it’s got to be installed and programmed. “But it’s their schedule and not mine. You don’t need the city’s approval to do it.”
Despite Daley’s attempts to raise the issue at the city commission meeting, there isn’t a lot that can be done on their end. However, last week he did ask staff to find out AT&T and Comcast’s timelines for expansion.