Credits for loss of Optimum services

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Cablevision Systems Corp. said Friday that it will offer credits to Optimum customers who lost services during superstorm Sandy, which ravaged Long Island and other parts of the New York metro area earlier this week. Two other cable companies followed suit.

The Bethpage-based telecommunications and media company, which owns Newsday, said customers could receive full or partial-day credit for the loss of television, telephone or Internet services, even if the loss was caused by electrical outages. The company will also replace, without penalties, any storm-damaged set-top boxes or modems.

"Many of our customers have been severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy, and we want them to know that credits are available for the period of time that they have not had Optimum services, including when electrical power was not available," said Kristin Dolan, Cablevision's senior executive vice president of product management and marketing.

Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc., the two largest U.S. cable providers, instituted policies similar to Cablevision's after the Cablevision announcement. Dish Network Corp., the second-largest satellite-TV provider, adopted a similar policy.

Verizon Communications Inc. has said it would not charge customers for storm-damaged equipment.

"We routinely credit our customers when they're out of service, whether for power outages or other reasons where service has been impacted. We will of course do the same for those affected by Hurricane Sandy," a Verizon spokesman said.

Cablevision customers must call within 30 days after their service is restored, the company said. Customers should call their local Cablevision service number or email the company through the contact pages at optimum.net or cablevision.com.

-- With Bloomberg News

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