Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Cable outage refunds
kick in at 24 hours

Question: For the fifth time in three weeks, our cable has gone off and not necessarily because of power outages. It's so frustrating. When you try to call Oceanic Cable, all their phones have a disconnect sound, so you can't get through. What the heck is going on? Why are we having so many cable outages? What can we do about getting some type of credit to our account? The outages range anywhere from half an hour to two hours. There is no rhyme or reason as to when the outages occur. Plus, Oceanic doesn't give us any kind of apology or explanation.

Answer: The problem, for at least a couple of the outages, had to do with a "software enhancement upgrade" that Oceanic Time Warner Cable was doing to its digital system.

"There was a corruption in the data" sent to the cable boxes of Oceanic's digital cable customers, spokeswoman Sandy Davis told "Kokua Line."

The Star-Bulletin reported Wednesday that all 70,000 digital customers lost power the day before because of the faulty software. Oceanic's 205,000 other customers were not affected.

Many digital customers remained without cable service after the problem was fixed because they did not know they had to manually "reboot" their cable box.

Davis explained that "rebooting" means to unplug the power cord from the box to the wall, wait 10 seconds, re-plug the cord, then wait about five minutes before "powering on the box." The TV should come back on at that point, she said.

While two of the recent outages could be traced to the digital software problem, other outages were related to the bad weather "and the issues everyone was having during the storms, which caused other failures," Davis said.

But as to getting credit, Oceanic will give an automatic credit only "if we are out 24 hours straight," she said. For shorter outages, "the customer would have to tell us how long they have been out," but the outages would have to tally at least 24 hours.

Davis also acknowledged that phone lines have been "very busy" because of recent problems. With a major outage affecting 70,000 customers, the lines simply were overwhelmed with calls.

Oceanic is looking to upgrade its Road Runner status line, where subscribers with computers can go online at to get updated information, Davis said.

Customers having problems can also call the system status hot line, 625-8282. The hot line will give callers an update of what's happening with the system and also will advise them on what to do, such as rebooting or not rebooting their cable box.

"We apologize for the inconvenience," Davis said, but added that "Oceanic is always trying to enhance our services and provide more to our customers."


To the unidentified woman who called for help when my mother fell down in her driveway in Hawaii Kai on March 4. Your assistance enabled my mother to get prompt medical attention, and your comfort and care helped make a terrible accident better. -- No Name


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