Is Your Cable TV Out? You May be Surprised Why

Jason Hargraves
Written by Jason Hargraves
Updated June 15, 2021
Dealing with your cable provider can be a frustrating experiences. Being well-prepared before picking up the phone to complain could save you time and help you avoid too many hassles. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

Battery thieves leave residents without TV in bad weather

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Here’s one more thing to add to your list of possible reasons your cable TV isn’t working – theft.

It was probably the last thing on some Northern Virginia residents minds after their cable went out recently.

Technical problems, weather-related woes or perhaps even a connectivity issue seemed among the most probably explanations.

Turns out, though, thieves were to blame. Battery thieves to be exact.

“Over the past year and a half, we noticed there was a spike in the number of batteries missing from some of our power supplies,” Jessica Carver with Cox Communications tells WTOP.

Carver says the 80-pound batteries are attached to power poles throughout Northern Virginia and they act as generators to keep cable service on when the power goes out.

How best to deal with your cable provider

Fairfax County Police say about 183 of these batteries were found to have been stolen. They quickly can be sold as scrap metal.

So, next time you call your cable provider with a problem, remember that the situation may be out of their control, or a problem with your television that you may need to have repaired.

Switching to a satellite service is an option if dissatisfied, but try talking through the problem first. It could end up saving you money and a lot of hassle.

Here are three tips to consider before picking up the phone.

  • Be ready with your account number and any pertinent information, such as dates and times when service was interrupted. It's helpful to write questions beforehand.

  • Be friendly and take note of the customer service representative's name and remain calm throughout the conversation. 

  • Be specific about what you want. If you want a credit applied to the bill, say so. Ask to speak to a supervisor if your questions and concerns are not being handled to your satisfaction.

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