Jonesboro takes grievances with Suddenlink to AG; won’t rule out possible lawsuit

by George Jared ([email protected]) 1,489 views 

For years, residents have complained about poor internet and cable service provided by Suddenlink. There are many parts of the city that the company is the only internet option. Last February, representatives from the company met with angry customers in Northeast Arkansas’s hub city, but since then nothing has been done.

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin is seeking help from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to combat the city’s problems with Suddenlink. Despite a visit to Jonesboro by executives of Suddenlink and its parent company, AlticeUSA, the problems have not abated, Perrin said.

He expressed his concerns in a letter to Rutledge last week, and the two plan to meet about potential options for action regarding Suddenlink.

“The mayor has reached out to me, and our office has also received several complaints on Suddenlink,” Rutledge said. “And I have assured Mayor Perrin that my office will be looking into the matter.”

Perrin said he called the AG because Suddenlink’s franchise agreement is with the state, “so it limits what I can do. That said, Rutledge can help us explore any legal options we might have fighting this problem.”

Perrin said he considered the effort by Suddenlink staff in their February visit sincere, but the bottom line is that service has not improved.

“Very little evidence of any meaningful resolution has taken place,” Perrin said. “We cannot sit by and pretend that things are OK when they are not. Too many households in Jonesboro do not have options when it comes to cable or internet, and Suddenlink has not proven to be responsive to its customers.”

Perrin said the number of people working from home or quarantined by the COVID-19 outbreak has amplified not only the awareness of Suddenlink’s cable shortcomings, but the reliance of dependable internet needed for those working or communicating from home.

“We get calls and emails almost daily from people are just incredibly frustrated,” Perrin said. “The executives we contact seem to help when I or city staff forward the complaints, but we shouldn’t have to do that. At this point, nothing is off the table, including filing legal action, as far as I am concerned.”

Suddenlink did not respond for comment on this story. Talk Business & Politics will update the story if a response is received.

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