After a relatively calm period in terms of bad viral news, Comcast has found itself reeling from back-to-back late-summer headlines involving installer crime.
Last month, a Comcast installation contractor was charged with running over and killing – perhaps intentionally – a 62-year-old grandfather in East Point, Georgia. Police say surveillance video seems to show the driver accelerating before hitting Dewey Skidmore. Neither police or Comcast have released the driver’s name.
“We are cooperating with the police in their investigation of this incident, which we believe involved one of our contractors,” Comcast reps told local news outlets.
Meanwhile, on August 23 in nearby Augusta, an actual Comcast installation employee, 58-year-old George Stevie Hillard, was arrested for armed robbery for allegedly pulling a gun on his supervisor and stealing a company van.
According to local news reports, Hillard told his supervisor he was quitting his job because he felt overworked. After the supervisor informed Hillard he’d need a ride home because he couldn’t drive his work vehicle home (little thing about it being Comcast property), Hillard forced the issue, heading to the parking lot.
Hillard pulled a gun on the supervisor when he confronted him, then drove away. The van’s GPS signal led police to his whereabouts.
The latest residential installer crime wave isn’t new. As DSL Reports showed, going back nearly a decade, Comcast installers have been accused of murder, animal cruelty and rape, just to name a few instances of criminal behavior.
And as FierceInstaller reported last year, from Charter to DirecTV to Cox, other installers experience the same issues.
But the headlines present special challenges to the biggest cable operator at a time when it’s spending hundreds of millions of dollars to rehab its image.
For its part, Charter has said that 95 percent of its truck rolls now originate in-house, and the company is conducting more background checks on the installation employees it brings in-house.
Comcast reps didn’t immediately respond to FierceCable’s inquiry for comment.
Operators pull installation in-house, begin vetting techs amid a wave of contractor crime
Charter: Up to 95% of truck rolls now handled in-house
Comcast installer LeCom improperly classified workers as indie contractors, suit says