Overrun with cable lines; what’s a neighbor to do?

South San Francisco, CA August 16, 2013220px-SIF-Overhead-Wires-1-Cropped

Winnie Augustyn Girard brings up a subject that has concerned many of us through the years; visual blight from the increasing number of overhead wires through out our city. Some suggestions have been shared our Facebook page. Thanks to Winnie for bringing this up. It is visual blight and needs to be rectified.  We are re-posting this to get a wider audience and more suggestions.

 Winnie Augustyn Girard:

I have a question and would like some help if possible. I have a utility pole in my backyard and my neighbors homes’ wires (PG&E, telephone, cable) all run from this pole.

Through the years we have noticed that more and more wires are running from this pole. Recently we noticed that one wire is hanging really low and almost laying on my home. We asked my neighbor to contact his cable company to have this fixed. He did and was told by his current cable and telephone company that it’s not their wire, but belongs to the company he had prior. His prior company is Comcast. Because he doesn’t have a current account with Comcast, they won’t come out to remove the wire.

I contacted Comcast and informed them that this wire is a hazard since it’s lying on my home and they told me to go into a Comcast office to request that a tech come out to remove the wire because it is a hazard.

I did just that and got lip service that they would call me to set up an appt but it has been weeks and no call. I went to the office again and was told they are on it and would call and still no call. I was told that wires aren’t removed from homes, the service is turned off from the office, unless requested by the customer at the time they request the service be ended. The new cable company installs their own wires so now we have homes with multiple wires going to them which is not only an eyesore, but also a hazard if they come loose.

The way people are constantly switching cable companies this is becoming a real problem. So what can I do to have these excess unused wires removed? Any suggestions. I’m at my wits end.Top of Form

Cathy Dunleavy Rosaia Michael Finney!

Anita Porpoise Contact the PUC. I did for a problem and they came out.

Winnie Augustyn Girard I thought of contacting Michael Finney but figured this is probably a legal practice and he couldn’t help me. I am going to contact the PUC and see I that helps. Thanks for the suggestion. I’m guessing that people assume all the wires going to their homes are all being used. I’m sure if the cable and phone companies removed all the unused wires we’d be surprised how uncluttered the city would look with tons of less wires overhead.

Everything South City LOVE LOVE LOVE that you are bringing this up. Our city does look blighted with all of the overhead wires that have increased over the years! We are going to re-post this conversation and see if others have more suggestions. Please keep us posted. {ksw}

Joseph Girard Climb up there and cut them all, then all the cable companies will have to come out and replace/ remove the wires.. Problem solved

Winnie Augustyn Girard Yeah but if I fall off the pole you’d be motherless. I think I should bring this problem to the attention of city hall

Janet Delfino McVeigh put it in writing… certified letter, etc. it is a problem Winnie! and i would love the same problem solved under my house! ack!

Stella Augustyn McCloskey Contact your local news station and make it a issue that can’t be ignored.

Sara Meehan Call channel 7…they will get it done. But I would put it in writing and certified letter, always have back-up.

Marv Ravely move to twain harte

Gayle Laber Do you have a consumer guy with you local TV station? If so, call & a Comcast person will be there before you know it. Did in San Diego & was fixed right away. Bad publicity is not a good thing!

Karen Romano Go into Comcast request again AND tell them that if it is not fixed and damages your house they will hear from your attorney. Follow up with a registered return receipt letter.

Mary Clifton comcast came out to move my neighbors line that runs over my driveway, the neighbor refused to allow it because they did not make an appointment, comcast told me that it is illegal to run lines over a neighbors property and that they would be back the following week. They never came back. After 45 years of birds pooping on my car as they sit on that line I would like it gone.

Jacqui Grant Go up there & cut them yourself, that will get the offending companies out there in a hurry! LOL!! Or call one of the news stations 4, 5 or 7 & report them to their consumer affairs people. Just an idea.

Sharon Kay Gustilo Meyer Threaten every possible source on Comcast… Better Business Bureau, see if anyone from the city can help you. Tell them that you will be contacting the fire Marshall since it’s a fire hazard. Watch how quick they’ll send someone. Make sure you’ll talk to a supervisor.

Frank Poncherello If you think it’s hanging dangerously, then call city code enforcement. A note from the city to Comcast will have some weight.

Debbie Lallas You could try calling the fire dept. Im with Jacqui-just cut it yourself!

Winnie Augustyn Girard Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I’m going to start a letter writing campaign to see what I can do. I don’t think us climbing poles is the answer. I’m sure our emergency rooms would be filled with people falling off poles or cutting the wrong wires.

Kamala Silva Wolfe I would be so willing to pay $50 to have someone come out and do it at our home. Any entrepreneurs out there? A new business in the making maybe….although in the best world cable companies should take care of their own cables- period.

Cathy Clausen Maybe not exactly on topic as I live in NY now, but this was HUGE problem here after Hurricane Sandy. Hundreds of poles down and left over wires from companies that no longer serviced the neighborhood.

Sue Peterson Pirazzi Why not bring this issue to the city council? Make it mandatory for anyone terminating service to have the cables removed from the poles? They have the power to terminate contracts with cable providers doing business within the city. Might stir up the issue a little more.

Laura Flynn Peradotto When a wire came down in our backyard we were told they wouldn’t come out because we didn’t know which company the wire belonged to so I told them fine if they didn’t come out and take care of it my dogs would chew it up then we would find out who it belonged to. Found out it was AT&T it connected my neighbors phone.

Erika Cuadra Stone I just moved to the area and had the same issue with my neighbors many cable lines crossing into our yard to the pole that resides in my backyard as well. I learned from the cable technicians that have come out that it is not correctly installed if they are crossing into the neighbor’s property, it is considered trespassing. They should be routed from the home directly to the line.

I have successfully resolved the problem and this is how you do this;….. Ask your neighbor which cable service they are using and see if they are ok with you arranging the removal of the other services routed to their houses. Have them call the service they are using and tell them they want to have a “hazardous drop line” moved. You call comcast and tell them the same. Once they are out to your house have them identify the rest of the lines that are crossing your property. Once you identify these call each cable service they identified and tell them the same thing. Be sure to say “HAZARDOUS DROP LINE” They will respond within 24-48 hours of your call.

Anastasia Cougarhausen I was outside supervisor w/AT&T 22 techs in SF/COLMA reporting to me….its almost impossible to resolve UNLESS that line coax or copper is live service. THEN the provider Will dispatch a tech to restore a paying customer.

Erika Cuadra Stone If your neighbors are not ok with their removal then they can be rerouted directly to the line instead of crossing your property

Anastasia Cougarhausen All of you have valid ways to resolve it but today’s economy dictates the only thing that matters is the paying customer….I guarantee no company no provider will resolve it easily.

Erika Cuadra Stone I had no trouble at all Anastasia. We had 3 separate companies come out to remove the lines and reroute the one they were using. All said the same thing. They are not supposed to install them by crossing over properties. And they were all pleasant. The only trouble was finding the telephone number for AT&T since they were not my service provider.

Anastasia Cougarhausen Joint use pole hierarchy is like this: top is always power bottom is always copper. Cable/coax middle.

Anastasia Cougarhausen @erika good..you had cooperative neighbors.

Cecilia Sainez Would ‘7 on your side’ work? Worth a try… Many businesses HATE bad publicity. They will AIR ALL DIRTY LAUNDRY in defense of the customer, dates, times, names. Then they will drop a visit to confirm and they are so shamed to come to the camera, either way, most complaints get resolved… Hope this helps

Cecilia Sainez Oh and those tennis shoes on those lines are hideous! Those should also be removed! I would think those post a serious concern as well

Everything South City Cecilia Sainez if you ever see tennis shoes on the wires, please contact code enforcement with the location. They will work with Dept of Public Works to get them down asap. BUT we need to make that initial call to get the ball rolling! Thanks! City Codes for Community Preservation
The City of South San Francisco has adopted Municipal Codes (ordinances) that can help esthetically enhance your neighborhood as well as keep it safe.

Refer any questions to Code Enforcement at 829-6645. To submit a complaint, please call our 24 hour complaint hotline at 829-6682.



2 comments for “Overrun with cable lines; what’s a neighbor to do?

  1. Cynthia Marcopulos
    August 20, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    There is no reason why our neighborhoods are overrun with unsightly cables from the telecommunications’ corporations. Remember, we, the people, own the airwaves and these corporations are allowed to use our public airwaves, yet they litter our neighborhoods with their equipment, not caring whether they leave rolled up cabling on telephone poles making it even more unsightly (drive West Winston Manor). And, to threaten our citizens with removal of their cabling? How dare they!

    I can assure you this practice is not tolerated in Hillsborough…

  2. Editor
    August 23, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    UPDATE: BIG Thanks to Winnie Augustyn Girard for this encouraging update on the removal of the visual blight caused by all those unused cable lines running through her yard from her home as well as the neighbors.
    Here is Winnie’s update (congrats Winnie!)

    ‘Messy overhead cable wires—Mission accomplished.

    Just wanted to report that I found a work around to get unused cable/telephone wires removed from the pole in my yard. Since we figured out that cable companies refuse to come out to homes that don’t have current service, we called to make appointments with our current providers claiming low wires.

    When they came out we asked them to identify which cable was theirs and asked them to cut down any wires that didn’t belong to them as they were nonfunctioning wires. In each case I persuaded them to climb the pole and cut them down. We removed them from the homes ourselves, that’s the least we could do.

    Not sure if they were allowed to do that but I have to say that was the best customer service I have seen in a long time. I had 3 removed from my house and between my two neighbors and myself had a total of 9 wires removed. There’s still too many for me but it really looks better out there. The best would be if the city went underground but not sure if that will happen in my lifetime. Thanks to the cable companies and my very cooperative neighbors I am now a happy camper.’

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