Adelphia to L.A.: We're Fixing Service Problems

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Los Angeles— Adelphia Communications Corp.'s operation here has instituted a technician-tracking program designed to help shed the mantle of the city's top complaint generator.

System executives detailed service changes for the city's Board of Information Technology, which has criticized Adelphia for its consistent spot atop the complaint list.

Lee Perron, the company's California senior vice president, expressed confidence many complaints will be eliminated with the pending completion of the local rebuild, which will add entertainment choices and improve signal quality.

Repair service should improve, too, with a program designed to wipe out customer callbacks.

Technicians and supervisors have received more training to ensure installations and repairs are done correctly on the first call, Perron said. This includes training to properly instruct customers on the use of new technology.

Consumer callbacks are logged and tracked to the responsible technician, Perron said. Results are publicly posted and workers ranked in the bottom 20 percent have their work checked by a supervisor until the employee improves his or her ranking, he told the board.

Perron said the effort is to save time, not cut back on service to customers.

Adelphia also wants to complete 90 percent of video service and installation calls daily. Currently, that statistic is in the 80s, he said, partly because of visits to unoccupied homes or to addresses where no adult resident is at home. Perron estimated Adelphia can raise its performance 11 or 12 percent by calling ahead to remind subscribers of appointments.

Adelphia wants to limit callbacks within 60 days of a service or installation visit to 5 percent of transactions. That ratio now stands at 11 percent, but is improving.

Perron said in spite of the parent company's bankruptcy a year ago, the local operation has rebuilt 99 percent of its plant with an architecture of 150 homes per node, a lower rate than the industry average of 200 homes per node.

The rebuild is 98-percent done and Adelphia has rolled out digital to some degree in each franchise.

High-speed data is also being launched, except in East Los Angeles, and that community will be offered the product beginning in May, he said.

Adelphia's complaint rate has begun to drop. City statistics put call volume at 544 complaints in the first quarter last year; this year 315 subscribers have called the city.

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