After 100 angry subscribers turned out for a public hearing, the City Council voted to deny CommuniCom cable television a rate increase and asked the city attorney to investigate the possibility of suing the company for false and misleading business practices.
The company, which is operating under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, requested a basic service rate increase from $7.50 to $8.40 a month, and an increase in the converter box rental from $1.50 to $2.10.
Discussion centered on CommuniCom's recent changeover to a new converter box. Subscribers accused the firm of telling them that the new box required a remote control device which cost $6.90 a month, although the converter will work without it.
"I think both the competency and ethics of the business operations of CommuniCom are in question," Council member Paul Netzel said in an interview. "This is based on my personal experience as a subscriber and also in talking with and hearing from a great many subscribers in the community over a number of years."