UPDATE: Cut Cable Line Knocks Out WOW! Service Sunday in Dearborn, Heights

WOW was working to repair the line Sunday afternoon.

Update, 1 p.m. Jan 7: The City of Dearborn tells Patch that there was no water main break on Sunday in Dearborn, nor was the Dearborn Water Department working on a water main at the time.

The City of Dearborn Heights has confirmed that they cut the WOW! fiber optic line on Sunday while working on a water main on Gulley Road, which is on the border of the two cities.

However, the city added that the reason their workers cut the line is because its location had not been property marked by WOW!

Per state law, an individual, contractor or municipal entity looking to dig for any kind of underground work must call to have utility lines marked. The City of Dearborn Heights reports that it did so for this work, and that all lines were properly marked except WOW!

DiNardo confirmed that WOW did not mark the lines.

He explained that their automated system filters out all Miss Dig requests based on whether the company's cable lines in that area are above or below ground. The Gulley Road dig request from the City of Dearborn Heights was mistakenly filed as not needing to be marked, although the street has both above and below ground cable lines.

Update, 10 a.m. Jan. 7: WOW! Michigan General Manager Robert DiNardo said Monday that "the city Water Department, in the midst of fixing a water main break, cut our fiber optic cable" on Sunday.

This caused all internet, cable television and phone service to be lost for WOW! customers in the Dearborn area. DiNardo could not give an exact number of affected customers, but said that it was isolated to Dearborn and Dearborn Heights.

"A good portion of the city that has our service was out yesterday," he said, adding that WOW! workers put a temporary fix in place to bring service back Sunday afternoon.

The cable will need to be replaced entirely, but DiNardo said that's something workers could do late at night, so as not to disrupt service again.

A separate issue with WOW! cable TV service "affected more of our customers" between 8-10 p.m. Sunday night, DiNardo said.

That issue was isolated, he added, and is fixed.

Update, 10 p.m.: While Dearborn-area WOW! customers regained their service after a cable was accidentally cut Sunday, users across Michigan were reporting that their cable TV was not working as of 9 p.m.—including in Dearborn.

Customers said that this has been an ongoing issue with the WOW! service.

Watch Dearborn Patch for updates on the issue Monday.

Update, 8 p.m.: Some customers were reporting that their service was back up as of 7 p.m. Sunday, but others said they have not had cable, internet or phone service all day.

Outages were reported in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights and Taylor, though not all WOW! customers in those cities were affected.

Several WOW! customers said on Facebook that Sunday's outage capped a month of spotty service, with pixelated cable TV and other outages reported.

"I've had great service for 5+ years with WOW," said Ali K. Bazzi on the Dearborn Patch Facebook page, "but the last few months have been terrible."


An unknown number of Dearborn-area WOW! customers were left without cable, internet and phone usage on Sunday after one of the company's local lines was cut.

WOW! explained on its Facebook page Sunday around 2 p.m. that the outage was caused by another utility company accidentally cutting one of their lines in Dearborn.

Attention Michigan Customers: There is a major fiber line cut in the Dearborn area impacting some customers. We have crews on site and will keep you posted. Currently, I have no information on how it was cut, but am waiting for additional information.

As of 3 p.m. Sunday, service was still out for WOW! customers.

Correction: This article originally reported that the cut cable line was located within the City of Dearborn. We have since learned that the cable was along Gulley Road in Dearborn Heights.

Adam karavas January 07, 2013 at 02:47 AM
Wow service has been horrible as of late. My problems are only at night from about 830 on just when the kids are in bed and the wife and I want to relax with tv and can't. The only channels that work flawlessly are abc and NBC too bad most of their programming is worst than my cable service. Tried calling customer service and got a busy signal 9 times in a row finally gave up will be calling Comcast in the morning!!!
Heather January 07, 2013 at 03:01 AM
Another Riverview customer and now twice this week cable is spotting it like watching a disco ball on my TV. I have tried calling for an hour and a half and get a busy signal. I think in going to look else where for cable, phone and internet services
City of Dearborn (Editor) January 07, 2013 at 03:10 AM
I'm seeing on WOW's Facebook page that cable service is being reported as out all over southeast Michigan. It sounds like it's an issue unrelated to Dearborn's cut cable, but I haven't confirmed that.
mike belll January 07, 2013 at 03:10 AM
Went from Comcast to Wow a few months ago and "Wow" what a difference! Currently. Im watching electric static. Nice way to relax on a Sunday evening. I have had nothing but issues with on demand and customer service. I was on hold for forty minutes two weeks ago with issues aand cannot even get through tonight. Back to Comcast it is.
sandy January 07, 2013 at 03:16 AM
Dearborn here, cant watch tv (picture/sound distortion), havent been able to pretty much since I signed up a month ago. Have been calling since week before Christmas, cant get thru. Id like to cancel and go elsewhere, but cant get ahold of anybody to do so :-/
dmn January 07, 2013 at 01:04 PM
I called WOW several times Sunday and the past month. I would say that service with WOW is usually very good but not lately....especially the pixelating problem! They informed me that the outage all day Sunday was because of a water main break in Dearborn and the repairs to that caused the break in WOW lines/services. I hope they can fix this quickly and please their customers for the loss of service not just on Sunday but the last month too....all dvr programs were affected too. WOW...if you are listening you must do something for all customers before you have a mass exodus on your hands....other services are knocking on,the door!
Judy Modelski January 07, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Like everyone else, WOW service/picture has been unwatchable many nights over the past month--and service over the past year has been deplorable. I'm canceling WOW for myself and my Mother (and my neighbors are also canceling). They lie about their lack of proper equipment and you can't reach customer service. I'd bet a year's service that they've turned their phones off. All you get is a busy signal!
Debra SG January 07, 2013 at 01:44 PM
I have had no problems with WOW for 5 years or more, but I agree with everyone else, the last month has been horrible, but I will not go back to Comcast, so I am left hoping that they get it together quickly, seems weird that the service would change for the worse after all this time
becki kain January 07, 2013 at 02:03 PM
dumped WOW a long time ago for att uverse. better picture and more reliable.
bitsy08 January 07, 2013 at 02:14 PM
You know, I've had WOW for years and I've never experienced what has been going on for the last couple of weeks. Everything went out around 2 (I think) and I kept checking the phone to see if it was back up and that didn't happen until about 7:30. I was really happy because I wanted to watch The Good Wife and Downtown Abbey. The reception was so bad due to digital break-up that I couldn't watch. What a disappointment. I'm pretty sure I can see DA on PBS again and I'll have to watch the missed Good Wife on-line - BUT - I'm not ready to give up on WOW yet. I know they've had mega-problems lately and I do feel it's time for them to straighten up - BUT - years of exceptional service won't send me over "to the other side." In normal times, their people on the phone are exceptionally nice and I love their service.
bitsy08 January 07, 2013 at 02:16 PM
Can you tell me how to get to WOW's Facebook page? I put it in and I get listings like I'm going through Google instead of FB. One thing I neglected to mention. When something major like this happens, WOW (or any other company for that matter) needs to put something on your account page to tell us what happened. All I see now is them still apologizing for the mess that was made when they changed their billing system.
Youssef January 07, 2013 at 02:49 PM
I went to WOW! several months ago becasue i was tired of getting ripped off by Comcast/Xfinity. I had very minimal problems with Comcast service. I expected getting less superior technology going to WOW! including a crappy on-demand service. but this digital breakup that i experienced during the past few weeks, along with not being able to login to my online account, and not getting any notifications from WOW! regarding how long my cable/internet would be out and having to wait on hold forever for the tech yesterday may be the last straw.
denny January 07, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Jessica, as a Patch rep, are you able to investigate by interviewing a higher level manager at WOW? These recent problems have been extreme, but I had contacted WOW several weeks ago about video reception breakups that had started to become bothersome beginning in late summer.
James January 07, 2013 at 02:52 PM
I've had WOW since I moved to Dearborn 8 years ago. I'm not going to let yesterday spoil my impression of them. They've given my 8 years of over the top service and they deserve some patience from me in kind. Yesterday was a blessing in disguise, a lot of work was done around the house and the lack of screen time allowed for family game night and quality family time. Think about it, in the future will you remember not being able to see Downton Abbey or whatever Jersey Shore reunion you were hoping to watch tonight? Or will you remember the time you had with your family? If you feel dumping WOW and jumping to AT&T or Comcast will serve you better, you will be back, knowing how royally bad their service is.
denny January 07, 2013 at 02:53 PM
WOW on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/thewowbuzz
becki kain January 07, 2013 at 03:52 PM
James, att has been fine, for my service. What they have not been fine for is other customer service. Someone stole my social security number (and I think it was when Dr Burgess sold her business to Dr Froman) and tried to set up uverse in detroit. ATT called me to confirm, since I already had it in dearborn, I told them it was fraudulent and THEY STILL SET IT UP. This happened 11/14/12 and they called me last friday to demand payment even though they have in their notes (so I was told) that they knew it was a fraudulent account. They have also not sent me a copy of the fraudulent application, that i requested and that the law states they have to, within 30 days. Neither has GE Capital.
Armada Oil & Gas Company January 07, 2013 at 04:03 PM
I have had WOW since 1998 have had very few problems, I think they are still recovering from the storm in early December. I will give them a chance to recover they have been a good company.
bitsy08 January 07, 2013 at 04:09 PM
All I know about AT&T is that my sister had WOW, switched to AT&T and within a few DAYS switched back. They told her that all e-mail going to her e-mail from WOW would come up with a notice that her new e-mail was now this..... and forward those automatically to the new e-mail. Didn't happen.
Nancy Lehnert January 07, 2013 at 04:11 PM
I agree with many of you that WOW has had excellent service for years. The past few weeks have been unusual for them. Yesterday was terrible but explainable at least. I'd prefer to see if things are improved before changing to another company. Won't go back to Comcast. Would appreciate it if someone would post if they find out if Downton Abbey is rerun sometime soon. what a disappointment.
Mary Laundroche January 07, 2013 at 04:33 PM
We are not sure what "City Water Department" the general manager is referring to. The City of Dearborn had nothing to do with the WOW outage. Dearborn DPW confirmed that there were no crews working on water main breaks on Sunday, and so no cables could have been cut.
marooned in Dbn January 07, 2013 at 04:36 PM
I had no problems watching Downton Abbey last night on ch. 56.1 on regular, everyday, old fashioned, over the air, broadcast TV. The special 2 hour broadcast was spectacular. I believe there are 7 episodes to this year. Hopefully, all your problems with the cable situations will be fixed by then. Not to worry though, I believe that these episodes are repeated on ch.56.2. You can try that at some point in the future if you missed the first time.
Mary Laundroche January 07, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Nancy: You can watch the full episode of Downtown Abbey by visiting PBS.org.
Renee January 07, 2013 at 06:24 PM
WOW is just experiencing growing pains and that is a good thing. The company is growing because of so much dissatisfaction with Comcast. Can you imagine what Comcast would be like if there was not any competition. WOW is 5 times the company Comcast is and alot smaller. Are you forgetting about the unethical business practices of Comcast. I would much rather suffer a little inconvenience than be treated the way Comcast has developed a reputation for HORRIBLE customer service. I refuse to give greedy Comcast a penny! Yesterday's problem wasn't even caused by WOW.
Kathryn Maurin January 07, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Wow has been very good to me. They always give credit when there is a problem on their part, if you are polite to them. Much better than uverse and comcast,and I have had them all. I have ULTRA WOW and it is much better than uverse which was always problematic.. Read the article the line was cut in Dearborn Heights
dmn January 08, 2013 at 12:24 AM
I agree with most everyone above who have said that WOW has been a great company to deal with all these past years that we have had them. This weekends problems aren't a regular problem and in fact not caused by WOW in the first place. The reception/pixelating problem is something that really needs to be corrected though and hopefully soon. WOW is still better than Comcast as far as service goes and I hope that remains to be true.
Lee Jacobsen January 08, 2013 at 12:31 AM
Wow is still better than comcast. The lack of service forced a trip to The Henry Ford, visiting with the family, working on projects, reading a favorite book. Perhaps wow should fail more often....a lot more may get done besides video.......
VIda Bonacci January 08, 2013 at 12:47 AM
Have to agree with those saying WOW has had great service until just a couple of weeks ago. It is frustrating to get busy signals. I heard that Channel 4 had a story about this today. I did not see it. Yes, WOW will credit money if you ask,
brion January 08, 2013 at 04:57 PM
You rock :)
bitsy08 January 08, 2013 at 05:03 PM
If you go into PBS.org, you can watch it on-line. I watched both The Good Wife and the first episode of Downtown Abbey, Season 3, on-line.
bitsy08 January 09, 2013 at 02:07 AM
Letter I got from a Vice President and General Manager of WOW: I’m writing to apologize for recent problems with your television service in Michigan. Every day, WOW! employees dedicate themselves to delivering an exceptional customer experience, but we recently failed to follow through on that promise. Several evenings between January 1-6, part of our technical system became overloaded. That caused intermittent bandwidth problems on many of your favorite channels. The resulting video “tiling” interfered with several important football games – a major aggravation for sports fans. Maintenance technicians began work on the problem as soon as it occurred, but because it didn’t happen consistently, it was difficult to diagnose and resolve. This led to repeated incidents, as well as higher volume at our call centers when you called in to report the problems, which compounded your frustration. To make matters worse, a utility company in Dearborn Heights cut a fiber line on January 6, causing an outage for WOW! customers there. Our Dearborn Heights fiber is restored and we are now confident that we have fixed the tiling problem. That doesn’t change the impact on your television enjoyment over the last week. I want to apologize personally for this inconvenience and assure you that we’ve taken the necessary steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Thank you for your patience and understanding. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve you and your family.


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