Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Oceanic faults score
rebate on UH football

Question: Regarding Oceanic Cable's package for live UH football games. On the day of the first game, I was one of those who didn't get anything until the second half. I was waiting to read in the newspaper about what kind of rebate we would get, but then I got my bill, which showed they charged me for the digital box. It was my understanding that the box would be included in the $75 season package, so I called and was told it was a mistake. Then I asked about a rebate and was told I would be credited $5. But I missed at least two-thirds of the program, since the pre-game show started at 4:30 p.m., so shouldn't I get at least two-thirds of the cost back? What really irritates me is just the lack of information. During the blackout, why couldn't they scroll something across the screen so that we wouldn't have to keep dialing a busy number?

Answer: Actually, any customer who informed Oceanic that he or she did not receive a broadcast of the entire football game will receive a complete credit.

For those who opted to pay for only one game, that would be a $12.95 credit, while those who signed up for the season package ($75 for seven games) will receive a prorated credit of $10.71 per game, said Sandy Davis, director of customer care for Oceanic.

Initially, the $5 figure was quoted, she acknowledged. But later, it was decided to give the ones who experienced and reported an initial blackout a complete credit, she said.

Davis said that 85 percent of the customers who signed up were able to watch the entire game.

Meanwhile, customers who received a cable box solely because they signed up for the UH football games will not be charged the $4.70 cost.

"If you were a customer who did not already have a box, and the only reason for getting the box was the University of Hawaii football games, then we are crediting the box charge all the way up through the last game," Davis said.

As for why a message could not be televised to customers who were expecting to see the game on Channel 255, "we were not able to technically do a scroll," she said.

She explained that "the application" for that channel gives viewers the ability to pick from five different camera actions, plus the "normal feed." It also allowed viewers to pick from three audio slots.

For the upcoming game on Saturday, "we will throw stats in there," as well, she said.

In the meantime, Davis noted Oceanic will broadcast the UH-SMU game on Channels 255 and 256, with strictly the live feed on 256, and the different camera angles available on 255.

To make sure there are no glitches, customers on Oahu who have ordered the game are asked to check Channel 255 after 1 p.m. today to make sure there is a green banner saying "you are authorized."

On Channel 256, a countdown clock will tick away the minutes until 1 p.m. Saturday, at which time the Illinois-Michigan football game will be televised as a prelude to the UH game.

This is meant to give customers plenty of time to check to see if there are any problems in reception, Davis said.

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