Make us your home page

Bright House customers feel burned by spotty service

If you're a Bright House Networks customer, you're not going crazy.

The audio and video hiccups on cable TV, the silence when you pick up your phone, the problems connecting to the Internet — this stuff has happened to other people, too.

How many of the million-plus customers in Bright House's seven-county service area were having problems? Spokesman Joe Durkin wouldn't share.

Yes, he said, a piece of router equipment affected customers throughout the area for about six hours Wednesday. But unlike utility and power companies, which typically release information about outages, Bright House was mum.

Engineers fixed the network problem as soon as they could, and by 6 p.m. Wednesday "everything was up and working like it should," Durkin said.

But the complaints were still rolling in Thursday.

Alfred Thomas of St. Petersburg said he was still having problems with his cable shows freezing up Thursday afternoon. Penny Geiger of Tampa said she was watching HGTV on Wednesday night when the TV went black. Mike Keough of Tarpon Springs finally disconnected his cable box, calling his cable channels unwatchable.

The St. Petersburg Times on Thursday solicited readers on its Web site,, to share their recent Bright House woes, and more than 60 people e-mailed or called in the first five hours.

So Durkin went back and checked with Bright House engineers again. They were unaware of any further problems related to Wednesday's equipment glitch, he said.

"These folks might be having unrelated issues and their service may need attention," Durkin said. "I would direct those people to contact customer service."

Several customers wondered if the problems, which seemed mostly cable TV-related on Thursday, were related to cable companies' digital conversion, which will take place today.

No, Durkin said, Bright House expects a smooth transition.

Competitors at Verizon had another theory: The fiber-coaxial cable network that Bright House uses has its limitations. Verizon uses a fiber-optic communications network, which can handle much larger amounts of data at quick speeds, spokesman Bob Elek said.

"As far as I know, they're trying to get more and more customers and more data on their network, and it can only handle so much," Elek said.

"Bottom line is, our network is far more reliable. Do we have outages? Yes. But we've never had anything like what Bright House is experiencing."

Durkin denied that theory, calling it spin. The issues that customers have been experiencing before or after Wednesday could be anything, he said.

"Bright House has an incredible, state-of-the-art network that consists of highly advanced equipment, and we all know equipment from time to time has issues," he said. "You'll be amazed at the number of calls we get, and a good number of those problems have nothing to do with Bright House services."

As for the legitimate complaints, he said, they'll be addressed on a case-by-case basis. The company had not made any decision about refunds for customers with problems Wednesday, or what, if any, action to take.

"The focus has been on identifying and correcting the problem, which they (engineers) have done in a timely fashion," Durkin said.

Emily Nipps can be reached at or (727) 893-8452.

Bright House customers feel burned by spotty service 06/11/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 13, 2009 11:37am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs and Bucks: HBO's Hard Knocks series boosts local businesses


    TAMPA — Men can enjoy yoga, including the most athletic ones. That is the message that the co-founder of Camp Tampa, a fitness studio located in South Tampa, wants to push after a few Tampa Bay Buccaneers players were shown practicing on HBO's television series Hard Knocks.

    Longtime hairstylist, Katie Ellwood styles Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander's hair last week at New Identities Hair Studio of Tampa Palms. The camera crew follows Kwon Alexander and other Bucs players during the team's training camp for the HBO show "Hard Knocks," a documentary television series about the ups and downs of an NFL training camp. [Courtesy of New Identities Hair Studio]
  2. Old Time Pottery adds store in Largo


    LARGO — A home decor and furniture store opened Thursday at 1111 Missouri Ave. N, according to a news release from the Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce. This is Old Time Pottery's fourth location in the Tampa Bay area, joining stores in Kenneth City, New Port Richey and Brandon. The company, which has 41 …

  3. Tampa Bay has two new million-dollar ZIP Code areas — is yours one of them?

    Real Estate

    You might not be a millionaire, but chances are greater now that you live in a million-dollar Tampa Bay neighborhood.

    Tampa's ZIP Code 33606 is among the six bay area ZIPs in which at  least 10 percent of the homes are worth $1 million or more. This  Davis Islands home sold in January for $6.275 million. {Courtesy of Smith & Associates]
  4. Powerball jackpot climbs to $510 million, 8th largest


    DES MOINES, Iowa — The Powerball jackpot has climbed to an estimated $510 million, making it one of the largest in U.S. history.

    A store clerk pulls a Powerball ticket from the printer for a customer, Tuesday, in Hialeah, Fla. The Powerball jackpot has has rolled 18 times, since the June 14, drawing, resulting in an estimated $510 million for Wednesday night's drawing. [Associated Press]
  5. Security threat leads Florida to cancel prison visitation


    TALLAHASSEE — Visitation to all Florida state prisons has been canceled this weekend after evidence surfaced that inmates are planning possible uprisings to coincide with Saturday's march for prisoners' human rights in Washington, D.C.