Austin woman says cable company caused nearly $1,300 in damages

An Austin woman shows the damage made by a local cable company (KXAN Photo)
An Austin woman shows the damage made by a local cable company (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Jenny Richardson is out of patience. “I have been sending emails, I have been calling and I keep getting the runaround.”

The problems at her northeast Austin home started in September. “There was a huge hole in my street the previous day and the street was blocked off. The city of Austin was working on my next door neighbor’s water line,” she said. “In the process of digging the massive hole, the city of Austin cut my Time Warner cable/internet line.”

A technician with Spectrum, formerly Time Warner Cable, came to fix the cable line. Jenny says they had to take a cable from three houses down and run it from there, and another one to connect to the side of her house to the neighbor’s house.

“Since Sept. 16, I have had 2 cables that have littered my front yard. It’s 2017 and they finally buried them last Friday.” Unfortunately, Richardson says when they buried the 2 cables, they cut her water line, both times.

“I’m a teacher. I teach everyone about logic, about actions, consequences. If you do this, this happens. Time Warner came out twice, they buried my line twice, my water line was cut twice.”

The first time, the city of Austin said the pipe spilled 10 gallons per minute into Richardson’s front yard. She had to shell out $500 for her December water bill, and pay an emergency plumber more than $700. “I was without water for three days,” she said.

Richardson said when she called about the water pipe the first time, Spectrum came to check out the problem and document it, but since then nothing’s been done. Her frustration grew when a second pipe was hit four months later.

“I got home and I’m not even kidding you, there’s a shovel sticking right out of the ground. They had buried the cable line right down the middle of my lawn, but one of this dirt was around my cable box, it was all wide open and the pipe was cut right in half once again and water is dripping from it,” she said.

Richardson said the contractors are avoiding blame. “They say well it was left open, anybody could have walked by on the street and stepped on your pipe. Yeah you know who probably stepped on my pipe? The guy you hired to put that in the ground right there,” Richardson said.

Now, she’s looking for answers, accountability and all the money she paid to fix someone else’s mistake. “It’s been a mess. Everyone has been nice and professional, but nice and professional does not fill the void that’s in my bank account right now.”

KXAN reached out to Spectrum. A representative said they do not have any information on this case for us right now. The city of Austin says they cannot make repairs on private property, but they will come out and turn off the water if they spot a leak.

If you need to report a problem, city officials say the best way to do it is by calling 311 or using the 311 app. That way, it can decide who should be dealing with it and route it to the appropriate department.

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