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Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment
 

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Customer Service FAQs

How do I file a cable complaint or resolve a billing dispute?
If you are experiencing problems with your cable provider, you should first contact your cable company directly for assistance. If they are unable to resolve an issue to your satisfaction, please contact OCTFME (202) 671-0066 (M-F; 9am-5pm) or you may file a complaint online (in English or Spanish) and we will gladly provide further assistance.

How can I pay my bill?
Each of the District’s cable providers offer 24/7 automated customer service or online access where you may pay your bill. You may also visit the customer service center during their business hours or pay by phone with the assistance of a customer service agent. Please note there may be higher fees associated by paying with a customer service representative than the automated service. Online bill pay, however, is free.

Who do I call for cable installation appointments and technical service requests?

  • New service: Although all three cable providers operate in the District, it’s best to call all three service providers to see what services are available in your individual area. According to current cable standards, you should not have to wait more than 7 days after an order is placed for cable installation service.
  • Service appointments:  If you are experiencing technical service problems, first contact your cable provider directly. Many times issues can be resolves remotely. In other cases, a service call will need to be scheduled. If you have no cable service at all, your cable provider must schedule your service call within 24-hours.

What are monthly protection plans?
Some cable companies offer service protection plans for a reoccurring monthly fee. This optional plan enables you to request a service technician without additional service charges. 

What are the taxes and fees charged on my bill?
Taxes and fees are assessed based on services rendered. Residents may see a change in taxes and fees for various reasons, including ordering movies, late fees assessed, change in rates, or the addition or deletion of channels. Taxes and fees are assessed based on your monthly billing rates.

What is a broadcast fee?
A broadcast fee is an itemized charge on the customer’s bill that is intended to offset a portion of the costs of retransmitting broadcast television signals.

Why is my bill so high?
There may additional charges and fees related to your service. It’s important to monitor your bill on a monthly basis and be aware of your service package and any related costs. If you notice billing discrepancies, first call your cable provider to confirm services and costs, which will allow you the opportunity to verify your current service package and make any applicable changes.

What if my bill is inconsistent on a monthly basis?
It is always a good idea to review your bill each month. If you notice any unfamiliar charges contact your cable provider immediately to have them explain the changes.  Remember, your first call should be to the cable provider. OCTFME does not have direct access to your billing information, but we can help provide additional assistance.

Which type of converter box is appropriate for my service?
There are many different types of converter boxes and they vary according to the types of services you receive. For example, if you wish to view high definition (HD) television, it is necessary to have a HD converter box which has additional associated fees. Check with your cable provider to make sure you have received the right converter box for the services you have requested.

Can OCTFME help me with questions regarding my Internet service?
OCTFME does not regulate the internet or internet service providers. However, OCTFME may be able to provide assistance to cable television customers in speaking with their cable providers. For further assistance, please contact the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322.

How to report down cable lines

  • When reporting a down wire, try to give precise coordinates to the trouble area to help with expediting repairs (i.e. cross streets, address, pole identification and landmarks).
  • Avoid physical contact with down lines and immediately report the down lines to your cable or power company.

Experiencing a cable outage

  • Check for electricity to the property to ensure that you are receiving power. If you are not receiving power, call your electric company for service.
  • Check if the cable box is connected to a working outlet.
  • Make sure that your television is powered on and tuned to the proper television function to display your service.
  • If still are not receiving service, call your cable company to report the problem.
  • When service is returned to your home, call the cable company and request a credit.