JONESBORO — While there’s little the City of Jonesboro can do about the issue on its own, Mayor Harold Perrin said he hopes the help of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge can help bring relief to Suddenlink Communications customers who have problems with cable TV and internet service.
“At this point, nothing is off the table, including filing legal action, as far as I am concerned,” Perrin said Friday in a news release.
Despite a visit to Jonesboro by executives of Suddenlink and its parent company, AlticeUSA, arranged by Perrin last February to address customer complaints, the problems have not abated, Perrin said.
He expressed his concerns in a letter to Rutledge last week, and the two plan to meet about potential options for action.
“The mayor has reached out to me, and our office has also received several complaints on Suddenlink,” Rutledge said. “And I have assured Mayor Perrin that my office will be looking into the matter.”
Perrin said he called the AG because Suddenlink’s franchise agreement is with the state, “so it limits what I can do. That said, Gen. Rutledge can help us explore any legal options we might have fighting this problem.”
City officials in Batesville have were also flooded with complaints about their service last week, the Batesvillåe Daily Guard reported Friday.
Perrin said he considered the effort by Suddenlink staff in their February visit sincere, but the bottom line is that service has not improved.
“Very little evidence of any meaningful resolution has taken place,” Perrin said. “We cannot sit by and pretend that things are OK when they are not. Too many households in Jonesboro do not have options when it comes to cable or internet, and Suddenlink has not proven to be responsive to its customers.”
Perrin said the number of people working from home or quarantined by the COVID-19 outbreak has amplified not only the awareness of Suddenlink’s cable shortcoming, but the reliance of dependable internet needed for those working or communicating from home.
“We get calls and emails almost daily from people (who) are just incredibly frustrated,” Perrin said. “The executives we contact seem to help when I or City staff forward the complaints, but we shouldn’t have to do that.”
Ashwin Bhandari, a spokesman for AlticeUSA, Suddenlink’s parent company, told The Sun the company remains committed to its customers.
“We are committed to delivering high-quality service and support to our local customers and are especially proud of our recent network efforts related to service restoration following the recent tornado as well as the high performance of our network in handling increased data traffic during the COVID crisis,” Bhandari said in a Friday evening email. “We value our longstanding relationship with the city of Jonesboro and will continue to work with the mayor to address any concerns.”