The Cable Guy Wrecked Our Home


Supporting Founder
Original poster
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
Fri Mar 26- New York Post


Everything was going well for Madelyn and Mike Youngelman and their
daughters, Sara, 2, and Tori, 8.

They had just moved into their dream house in East Meadow, L.I., and
Mike was enrolled in a training program for a promising new sales

Then their new house went up in smoke - and the outlook for Mike's
new job seems equally grim. All because of the cable guy.

Seems while the Cablevision technician was drilling in Sara's
upstairs bedroom last Saturday, he hit the main power line,
triggering a fire that caused extensive smoke and water damage to the
family's Starke Avenue home and its contents.

Next problem - Mike's job.

When he missed work to meet with fire inspectors and insurance
adjusters, he was told if he took any more time off, he'd have to
drop out - without compensation - until the next training session, on
April 20.

Did we mention his new job is with Cablevision?

After a series of anxious calls to various company supervisors - with
Mike, 38, raging "I don't have a place to live, I'm out of cash, I
don't know what to do" - he was told Cablevision would keep him on
the payroll.

But he's still mad at his new employer.

"I was burned out of my house by Cablevision, my daughter was almost
killed . . . but nobody from Cablevision has assisted us in finding a
place to live," he said.

The Youngelmans spent one night in a hotel before moving back to the
Bellmore house they had been living in - minus all furnishings.

Mike is now in a quandary about his job.

"I need to work, but I don't know about representing Cablevision,
trying to get new customers for a company that has basically turned
its back on me.

"If you burned down a customer's house, would you treat them like

Cablevision spokesman Jim Maiella called the Youngelmans'
situation "unfortunate."

"We are continuing to investigate," he said. "Our first concern is
the well-being of the family."
That seems a bit ironic how the company he is wanting to work had an installer do such a thing then had no pitty for him, when they should have realized that he could have made them responsible for loss of work. Does not seem like a company one should work for if they are going to be like that.
It's the poor training that they give to technicians and installers. As a professional dbs installer, telephony technician, plumber, HVAC technician and electrical installer, I have years of training of electrical mechanical training in the structure of homes and buildings. These minimum wage low ball fulfillment installers have no idea on what damage they can do or how to avoid doing it.

I an currently completing a job including an 8 outlet DirecTV home av system, all in wall speakers, 6 telephone lines, extended two bathroom outlets from the vanity GFCI's, a floor outlet circuit in the center of the living room floor between the first and second floor, and a basement workshop subpanel. In all, I had only to cut one access hole in the ceiling sheetrock. And, everything was in-wall fishes and a finish basement, with cables going from the attic down two floors to the basement.

I spent 4 hours analizing the structure of the $2 million home. The homeowner was well pleased.

Cable TV and satellite TV technicians should have the same experience. I did fulfillment installs and trained a few of them. You have to watch them like a hawk. When not watching them, I often found them drilling into electrical wires in the walls. Fortunately, they were protected by circuit breakers.

The main feed cable between the meter box and the main breaker panel is not protected by breakers. Some local codes require a main breaker at the meter, which should be standard, if it was my decision. Evidently, there was none at this house, where the CableVision person drilled into the main feed.
Those that have a good bit of experience would probably not do such things, especially those with carpenter skills, although someone should not have to have carpenter skills to do such work.
In new homes, if there is no main breaker at the meter, I perfer to run the main breaker panel and the meter box as close as possible and connected with a rigid steel conduit nipple or a 2" rigid conduit run.

Then, there may be some yahoo installer, who might even drill through that.
Thats just like the Job I had about 3 years ago when I knocked the customers electrical meter off their house!

The customer had a piece of crap house, the roof was so rotten the lag bolts wouldn't hold the Dish to the roof and all the bricks on the south side of the house where loose which ment they wouldn't support the Dish in a heavy wind.

So finally I ended up installing the Dish on the brick wall near the customers electrical meter since this was the only place on the back side of the customers home where the bricks where solid enough to drill into.

The Meter was just hanging off of the main elecrical cable going into the home since the lag bolts have come loose from the brick.

I accidently bumped the meter as I was cleaning up my tools and it came un-attatched from the main electrical feed to the house!

And the customer wanted to know what I was going to do compansate them for being without Electricity :(
I put a dish on a customers house last december that was a real p.o.s. 30 days later I got a service request saying the dish had blown off the house.
I knew it was securely lagged on so I call the customer to see what happened , her chimney fell down destroying the dish in the process.

The mangled remains of the mount still securely fastened to the wall. guy drilled two walls in my outside wall and only used one for the cable. He did nothing to fix the other hole. I guess I will have to mend it myself. Many contractors get paid by the job and that gives them an incentive to rush it. I did have a tech directly from Dish but he left me with little confidence in them.
dishjockey said:
I put a dish on a customers house last december that was a real p.o.s. 30 days later I got a service request saying the dish had blown off the house.
I knew it was securely lagged on so I call the customer to see what happened , her chimney fell down destroying the dish in the process.

The mangled remains of the mount still securely fastened to the wall.

Did the customer pay to have your come out and fix it, or did they expect another Freebee?
What do you mean by "another" freebee? I know that each day I have to stay home to wait for the tech I lose at least two or three hundred dollars.
Claude It was an I-Pro job and they paid me to fix it I am sure they charged the customer.
Sky king . Call dish and complain , threaten to sue for your cost of having a contractor fix the hole .You shouldn't have to be home to have a hole fixed in the outside.
As long as the customers accept these shoddy installs nothing will change we need to get rid of these hacks that underbid professional installers who take their time to do the work properly.
Sky King49 said:
What do you mean by "another" freebee? I know that each day I have to stay home to wait for the tech I lose at least two or three hundred dollars.

If your chimney falls off your house and damages the Dish, it ain't the installers fault and the customer needs to pay to have the Dish replaced, just like they have to pay to have their chimney re-built.

There are alot of customers who have this this thing in their head that "Everything should be FREE" and what these people don't realize is that there are certain things that are free and things beyond an installer or service providers control have to be paid by the customer!
Well, I think many people are use to be Cable subscribers. I was from the first day it
came to my area. We never had to worry about paying for anything. If my cable was
out they would send someone to fix it. They would not keep me on the phone for
3 hours trying to troubleshoot the problem. I am not a tech and have zero experience with this stuff. I felt like I should be getting paid for my time since I was doing all the physical work. I think this is why many stick with cable. I know my parents would
never switch because they are old and all they want to do is turn the TV on and it works. They do not want to go through resetting anything. They would be lost with satellite tv. I have heard some here say things like, if you have a water problem get up there and seal this or that. Why should I have to do anything. The installer should
do ALL of that and if he doesn't he should have to come back free of charge and fix it.
I realize that if its my fault or if something falls on it..its not their fault. I am just saying that with Cable I never had any service call fees and all my equipment was replaced by the tech if something went wrong. They brought out the equipment and
did the charge. They did not mail it to me and charge me for shipping plus make me swap out a receiver. Don't get me wrong, I like my Dish TV and I like the price I am currently paying. I am currently on hold with the tech folks, concerning the extra hole they drilled and did not fix. I told her I should not have to be home because its outside but she HIGHLY recommended I be home. Well there goes a few hundred more dollars because I will have to miss work. It would be cheaper for me to hire someone to fix the hole. Either way I lose. Until Dish and Direct TV can get their systems to work as easily as cable they will miss out on a lot of customers. I just took yesterday off so they could fix another problem. Mutt and Jeff showed up almost 2 hours late, laughing as they came into the house. They said they were going to blow me off because I had a "minor" problem and later told me they were just kidding.
They were not professional. They couldn't or wouldn't even tell me what they did to fix the problem. I figured I could fix it next time. By the way..I am still on HOLD.:)

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