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CITY HALL JOURNAL

LONG BEACH : Cable TV Firm Told to Issue Refunds

August 18, 1994|JOHN POPE

The Long Beach City Council has ordered the city's cable television operator to refund about $2.4 million in alleged overcharges since September, 1993. Individual refunds for more than 62,000 cable customers would be about $36, varying depending on the types of services.

Attorneys for Cablevision Industries Inc. said they will appeal the decision with the Federal Communications Commission, a move that could delay the refunds for several months.

Consultants hired by Long Beach told the council that, under FCC rules adopted in September, 1993, CVI has been overcharging for basic cable services and other electronic services. CVI executives, however, said their charges are within the prescribed limits.

The council vote Tuesday was unanimous, with council members Jenny Oropeza, Douglas S. Drummond and Doris Topsy-Elvord absent.

"CVI hasn't done anything unlawful," said Bill Marticorena, Long Beach's cable consultant. "It's a good faith dispute over what the FCC has authorized. And the FCC has acknowledged the rules are vague."

The Signal Hill City Council also approved a similar refund Tuesday.

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