UPDATE: Attorney General’s Office responds to Suddenlink service complaints
KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - The Attorney General’s office says they requested to meet with Suddenlink to discuss the ongoing internet issues affecting customers throughout Eastern Carolina.
Kinston mayor Don Hardy posted a letter on Facebook that he received from Assistant Attorney General Tracy Nayer in response to the complaints.
Nayer says they received complaints from 10 towns and cities across the east about customers being “unable to regularly or reliably access the internet through Suddenlink’s network, either at the internet speeds promised, or, even, at all.”
The Attorney General’s Office says the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for reliable internet more than ever, with students learning from home and many working from home.
In the letter, the office says they reached out to Suddenlink to talk about the issues. They did not say whether Suddenlink responded or if a date has been set.
Cove City resident Brian Truelove deals with an outage every day.
“My stuff freezes up,” Truelove said. “My internet slows down and stops. My phone service is down. I pretty much have nothing.”
For Truelove, who lives on Wetherington Farm Road, having internet is crucial.
“We are out here in the country,” Truelove said. “We have no service, even our cell phones don’t have very much service. So, without the internet and without having WiFi, we can’t really do anything. And if something were to happen out here and we have to make a phone call, what are we going to do?”
Despite numerous calls and complaints to Suddenlink, the issue is ongoing.
“Nobody’s ever come to fix it,” Truelove said, adding he took days off work for scheduled visits. “The guy pulled up in my driveway, walked over to the [TAP], never even took the cover off of it. Got back in his truck and left.
Truelove is one of many residents in eastern North Carolina looking for a solution.
“If they’re not going to provide a service for us, then why are you billing us for it? If you’re not gonna provide a service, why can’t you find somebody that can?”
Mayors from Washington, Tarboro and New Bern are asking state officials to investigate, including Attorney General Josh Stein.
“Folks out there need internet connection, for safety and security and health reasons,” New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw said. “The problems are very patterned ... not getting credits for return of equipment, overbilling, when the billing should stop, they keep billing. The customers are very frustrated and I feel [their] pain.”
Suddenlink said the following in a statement:
Outlaw said he’s considering other providers such as MetroNet, a new fiber optic network that the City of Greenville announced a partnership with.
“The competition is extremely important in the market because not only does it help with the quality of service, it also helps with pricing,” Greenville Mayor P.J. Connelly said. “Other municipalities around us will probably be having the opportunity to reach out to MetroNet and be able to offer potentially their cities to have them invest or infrastructure in.”
By joining neighbors in the East, there is no time to waste, according to Outlaw.
“We have to work together for the betterment of broadband for all of our areas. School, COVID-19, the need for an internet connection. This is no time to drop the ball.”
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