December 21, 2006 -- Governor Granholm signed legislation for video services in the state of Michigan. Public Act 480 of 2006, or as it is more commonly known: The "Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act," charges the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) with implementing the Act. The MPSC now has the responsibility to handle cable inquiries and complaints.
You can view the "Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act" by visiting the MPSC Video/Cable website.
To send a cable complaint please stop by the central studio to fill out the complaint form in person or email the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org: Name, Address, City, Phone #, First call date to Charter, Problem (installation, construction, service, outage, billing, or other), Description of Complaint and Action Requested by Customer.
Are you having problems with your local cable provider?
If you are experiencing problems with your provider, you should first contact your provider and attempt to resolve your dispute with them.
I'm upset that my cable rates keep increasing. What can I do?
If you would like to join a grassroots group that is dedicated to trying to improve cable service, then visit www.makecablebetter.org and join their e-mail distribution list. The number of people in this grassroots campaign can be used to let elected or big businesses know of growing cable/video concerns. The group will also keep you posted on important legislative happenings and things you need to know as a cable consumer. There is no charge to join and your e-mail will NOT be listed or given to anyone.
I'm not satisified with my cable provider's response to my complaint. How do I file an informal complaint with the MPSC?
If you are dissatisfied with the provider's response, or the dispute is not resolved to your satisfaction, then you may file an informal complaint with the MPSC at
How does the informal complaint process work?
- A customer contacts the MPSC with a video/cable televsion complaint. MPSC staff are available to assist with your informal complaint Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays, by calling (866) 552-7725 or
- MPSC staff forward the complaint to the provider and information mediates (if necessary) between the provider and the customer.
- The provider is allowed up to 10 business days (under normal circumstances) to respond and provide a detailed resolution to both the customer and the MPSC.
Customers can also file a formal complaint and request a hearing. If you remain dissatisifed even after you have completed the informal complaint process, then you may file a formal complaint.
A customer will be permitted to file a formal complaint only:
- After the informal complaint process has been completed; and
- A satsifactory resolution has not been reached between the provider and the customer.
How do I file a formal complaint and request a hearing?
To request a formal hearing, prepare a letter of complaint explaining the problem. Send the original and seven (7) copies of the letter/complaint to the MPSC at:
Executive Secretary, MPSC
P.O. Box 30221
Lansing, MI 48909.
The written complaint must contain the following information:
- Customer name, address, telephone number and signature
- The name and address of the provider with whom there is a disagreement
- The location/address of the disputed action
- The time and dates of the disputed actions
- A description of exactly what happended- include all details, the names and addresses of any persons involved, disputed charges and costs.
- Identify the specific section(s) of the Video Act that are alleged to have been violated and state sufficient facts to support the alleged violation(s) -- for assistance in this process please contact the MAC TV Network Main Office at (989) 773-9730.
- Specify the relief requested.
MPSC staff will review the formal complaint, and if the disputed amount is under $5,000 and all required information is included the Commission shall appoint a mediator within seven (7) business days of the date the complaint is filed. Mediation may include a review of the complaint and discussions with the customer and company.
If through this process the customer and company are still unable to agree, the mediator will issue a recommended solution within 30 days from the date of appointment.
The customer and company have 10 days to either accept or reject the recommendation. If the customer or company rejects the solution, the complaint proceeds to a formal hearing. If the dispute involves an amount over $5,000, it proceeds directly to a contested case hearing with no prior mediation.
Formal Complaint Hearing Process
A formal complaint hearing is a trial-like proceeding. This means that the customer, the cable company, and MPSC staff will come before an administrative law judge. A formal complaint proceeding is separate from any information proceeding related to the problem that may have taken place. Lawyers represent the cable company. Customers may hire a lawyer, represent themselves (excluding some businesses), or bring someone to assist them. The customer must present information and witnesses, to prove or justify his/her position. The MPSC cannot provide a lawyer or pay any legal fees. After the hearing, the judge will issue a proposed decision. However, the MPSC will make the final decision and will issue its decision in a MPSC order. During this process, the customer and the company may continue to try to settle the problem. However, the MPSC must approve any agreement that is reached.
If the customer or company rejects the mediator's decision, and if found by MPSC order to be at fault, that party will be responsible for the legal costs of the other party. If both the customer and the company reject the mediator's decision, then each party pays their own legal costs.
MPSC Contact Information
Attn: Video Franchising
6545 Mercantile Way
P.O. Box 30221
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (866) 552-7725
Fax: (517) 241-2400
Filing Satellite Complaints
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at: (888) 225-5322 or www.fcc.gov handles satellite complaints/inquiries.