Hastings City Manager Jeff Mansfield will invite the WOW cable service representative to a council meeting to explain questions of inappropriate behavior by its employees, and the perception that they may be treating their the elderly clients poorly.
Councilwoman Theresa Maupin-Moore said Monday a Hastings resident’s daughter called her, and told her that her mother had trouble with WOW when she tried to change the status of her programming after her husband died.
A WOW representative told the woman her husband had signed a binding contract and she had to adhere to that contract. She was told they had recently talked to her husband, however, her husband had been deceased for some time before the contact was supposed to have been made.
WOW dropped her mother’s telephone service and then charged her to hook her back up, the daughter said. Maupin-Moore said she was concerned that WOW may be “honing in on other older adults” for poor treatment.
The city has a non-exclusive, open-ended franchise agreement with WOW allowing the use of the city rights of way, but residents sign individual contracts, Mansfield said. “I don’t know how much leverage we have in that…” He said he was sure the representative would come to a meeting, and suggested the city attorney look into options available to the city regarding the franchise.
City Attorney Stefanie Fekkes said she will look into the matter before anyone takes any action, “to provide them the opportunity to handle it themselves,” if it is an employee problem they weren’t aware of. Saying a person made contact with someone had been deceased for months would be “egregious and deceitful….obviously, that conversation could not have taken place,” she said.
Councilman Willard Redman said he had so much trouble with WOW he told them “to get the heck out,” and advised “getting rid of them.” Councilwoman Brenda McNabb-Stange called on the council to hold WOW accountable; “call them on the carpet…let them know that we’re keeping an eye on them….it could affect their franchise, should this type of thing continue…”