Coughlin & Benson Pro-Consumer Bill Helping Cable Subscribers Get Credits, Rebates for Service Outages Clears Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Assemblyman Daniel Benson that would exempt cable television subscribers from notifying cable television service outages to receive credit or a rebate was approved, 69-1, by the full Assembly on Thursday.

Under existing law, a CATV subscriber is to notify the CATV company, the Office of Cable Television, or other designated complaint officer of a service outage to receive a credit rebate.

“As of right now, cable TV subscribers may call their company and request a rebate or credit for the time they have gone without service due to an outage,” said Coughlin (D- Middlesex). “Many residents take the time to inquire about a rebate; however, others may not have the time or even know they can call to receive a credit to their account.

“With this bill, we ensure residents get the credit or rebate due to them — in the event an outage interrupts their service for a substantial period of time – without any undue stress.”

“Residents who are busy with work and families may not have time to call and ask for a refund every time an outage happens,” said Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “The onus should not be on the subscriber but on the company to make sure a resident is credited for an outage.”

The bill (A-2023) amends existing law to provide that a cable television company is to issue, within 30 days of a subscriber’s CATV service outage, a credit or rebate or any other form of compensation deemed appropriate by the cable company for a subscriber’s cable television service outage, regardless of whether the subscriber notifies the CATV company, the Office of Cable television or notifies the CATV company, the Office of Cable Television, or other designated complaint officer of the service outage.

The bill was advanced by the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee on January 29.