First let me apologize again to all the Spectrum customers who have been affected by Spectrum's abrupt termination of any negotiations with Northwest. This should have remained a private issue between two companies without Spectrum using their unsuspecting subscribers as pawns to gain leverage on Northwest. For the record when Northwest offered Spectrum a second extension on February 2nd, their response was, "We are taking your stations down in the next ten minutes" and they hung up the phone and we have not heard from them since.
While we wait, many of you have missed the Super Bowl, News and other entertainment programming. Their call centers tell people that we are in current negotiations. This is another fabrication in an effort to keep you from canceling or refusing to give you a refund. Now, their unbridled corporate arrogance, that same arrogance that started all of this, is about to deny many of you the opportunity to watch the Winter Olympics, Daytona 500 and March Madness after that.
Their strategy is to continue calling Northwest names and posting additional stories about our past retrans negotiations to their "northwestfairdeal" web site in an effort to make you think that somehow Northwest is the "bad guy". Truth is they created this disruption because they just don't care about you. We found out yesterday that they purchased the domain name for the "northwestfairdeal" web site on January 18th which happened to be the same time they told Northwest they would not counter Northwest's proposal to them and then disappeared for two weeks. This was a set up and Spectrum's subscribers were just collateral damage.
While many may believe their propaganda, a large majority of you don't. The way they are treating Northwest is the same way they are treating you as customers. Because of their size they don't care about their subscribers or business partners. They are the bully on the block who thinks their subscribers are nothing more than an ATM machine from which they can extract money at a moment's notice or with no notice at all, as I'm learning.
When Tom Rutledge made what appears to be a premeditated decision to take down Northwest's stations he knew or should have known that he was in violation of his own Annual Customer Notification Policy which is filed at the Federal Communications Commission, a copy which is on Spectrum's web site https://www.spectrum.com/policies/annual-notice.html. In the section titled, Programming, it states, Spectrum will provides notice to its customers at least thirty (30) days in advance of the deletion of any programming service, channel assignment changes or rate increases. Clearly that's not the case here.
In spite of what Spectrum's customer service people are telling you, you have a right to a refund. While this is not going to bring back the programming you have missed or will want to watch this weekend or beyond you should not be paying for something Spectrum is not delivering to you. Each and every one of you should demand that you get a refund for every day that you are not getting the programming you are paying for.
The City of Yuma, Arizona has put Spectrum on notice that it is seeking damages for every day that Spectrum blacks out local channels and is demanding that Spectrum credits Yuma subscribers for dropping the channels without notice. If you don't get the full refund you deserve, ask the Mayor's office in your town for help, as the Spectrum subscribers did in Yuma. If that doesn't work send an email to the FCC and your Congressman. I am heading to Washington, DC next week armed with your stories of how Spectrum treats you. There are 450,000 homes that are affected. If enough of you speak up, they will listen.
In the meantime continue to email or call Tom Rutledge and express your dissatisfaction with how he is treating you. It is highly unlikely he will take the time to respond but maybe he'll have one of "his people" get back to you. I am sorry that Tom has put you all in the middle of a negotiation that should have remained private and without disruption to you. email@example.com 203-905-7999
President and CEO
Northwest Broadcasting, Inc