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Refund issues resolved after cable line goes through sewer pipe

Ricochet might have sent cable line through sewer pipe

Q: In January, I had an issue with my toilet and called a plumber to resolve the problem. Although the service man couldn't find the cause of the backup, he cleared the blockage. I paid $189 for this service.

About two months later I had the same problem with my washing machine and called in the same company for repair. This time the plumber came with a camera to snake through the pipes in order to find the problem.

He found that a Verizon cable went through the sewer pipe under my driveway.

I called Verizon customer service and was given a number for Path Creations. The customer service representative told me that Advanced Communications Inc. does its cable work and I should send all the bills there once the repair work was completed.

After all work was done, I sent that bill, along with the original $189 bill. The plumbing company was to be reimbursed for the repair costs and I was to be reimbursed the $189.

I never received a response from Advanced Communications. I wrote it in May stating that it was responsible for my sewer damage and it should pay for all repairs. My daughter called the plumber and found that he had not been paid at that point either. It has been extremely difficult to deal with such an unresponsive company.

At this time I have to rely on your ability to contact Advanced Communications to help me resolve this problem. I would like an apology and my $189.

Madeline Ziegele

A: Steve Browne, an inspector for Advanced Communications, did contact you in response to your inquiries and later picked up copies of both bills.

Sherry Cowell, a customer complaint agent with Advanced, said that Browne requested a check for the plumbing company's work, but failed to note the additional reimbursement that needed to be paid to you.

Cowell said that this payment was overlooked by both herself and Browne. Advanced Communications has sent the $189 bill to the corporate office and said the claim has been expedited so that you will receive a check this week. The plumbing company has also been refunded for all repairs.

I'm glad to hear you're getting your refund, but I wondered how a cable line became accidentally lodged through a home's sewer line.

Peggy Howard, a customer complaint agent at Advanced Communications, explained the process of running cable and how it most likely occurred.

The fiber optics cable is housed in a conduit that is led through a predetermined underground path by a sort of computerized missile.

Howard said the "path is presumably deeper than any sewer line so the chances of hitting a sewer line is almost zero," but underground there is always a possibility of hitting an unseen object. She suggested this could have happened and caused the missile to detour upward and through your sewer line.

Although this was a rare occurrence, it sure was a nuisance to you.

Refund issues resolved after cable line goes through sewer pipe 08/01/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 1, 2009 4:31am]
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