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Kupuna have issues paying Spectrum bill

LIHU‘E — Lawa‘i resident and retired NASA mechanic Matthew Harms just wanted to pay his cable bill safely last week, however, could not find a dropbox outside of the new Spectrum store at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e.

“I was surprised I could not find a dropbox. They used to have one at their old location,” Harms said. “Other places have them. I don’t understand why they don’t have one or want to keep people safe. I don’t have a computer or smartphone. If they care about the people why would they have a policy on drop boxes?”

Harms said he tried to pay his cable bill last week but was told by Spectrum that they don’t have a dropbox and it was against their store’s policy.

“We had to walk inside of the store. We felt uncomfortable,” Harms said. “And another lady didn’t have a bank account. She was pissed because she had to go to the post office to get a money order.”

Harms also said the Spectrum representative told him he could pay other ways, but the only option he had was to mail it in. But Harms felt it was a waste to pay for a stamp when he drives to Lihu‘e once a week.

“How can this company not think about the safety of the people?” Harms asked.

Dennis Johnson, senior director of Spectrum’s west region communications for Hawai‘i, explained Spectrum’s views.

“We are making our new Hawai‘i stores safe, convenient environments to add or manage services, shop for devices and accessories or make payments while ensuring we adhere to current local and state health and safety guidelines,” Johnson said. “Our Spectrum stores team is here to help our local customers who need support in getting and staying connected during these uncertain times.”

COVID-19 safety measurements are enforced in every Spectrum store.

“To help protect the safety of customers and employees, and in accordance with CDC guidelines and state and local orders, social distancing is required in the store, with occupancy of the store managed by store employees,” Johnson said. “Spectrum stores are cleaned and disinfected regularly, with frequent cleaning of high-touch areas and hand sanitizer available throughout the store.”

Johnson pointed out that the new Spectrum store in Kukui Grove Center has special hours for kupuna only. The hours are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. to assist any high-risk or elderly customers with services.

“If customers don’t want to interact with someone in the store, there is a payment kiosk in the store where they could process their payment. It accepts cash, check and credit cards,” Johnson said.

Although some customers prefer a dropbox, Spectrum did not address the issue directly, but ensured their new store is much larger than the previous store and it is also open later in the evenings and on the weekends to assist customers better.

“In addition, we have added social-distance markers on the floor, our agents wear face coverings, and we have installed plexiglass screens at all of our work stations for the safety of our customers and employees,” Johnson said.

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Stephanie Shinno, features, education, business and community reporter can be reached at 245-0424 or sshinno@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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