Since posting about the threat to public safety posed by the Comcast installation in Kingwood, I have received feedback from dozens of damaged residents and their HOAs. However, the people responsible for safety at Comcast don’t seem to be hearing about all of the damages. Or if they hear, they won’t admit it.
Example: Despite my verifying a gas-line break onsite with FIVE independent sources (the homeowner, CenterPoint, HFD, Aspen and Hydroz), a VP at Comcast in another city insisted the line wasn’t broken; that it was just a near miss. Why? Some possibilities.
- Comcast’s subcontractors sometimes encourage residents not to report damage.
- Employees rarely like to report bad news to their employers; it makes them look bad. Ditto for subcontractors. When it comes to protecting your job security, unreported damage and safety issues are as good as not having accidents in the first place.
- Alternatively, residents may not know where to report damage. Many residents claim Comcast and Aspen did not give them that information.
Regardless, it’s clear (to me at least) that Comcast’s damage-reporting system isn’t working. To eliminate the possibilities above, let me try to explain where and how to report damage.
Proper Channels For Reporting Damage/Problems
Here is what I have pieced together through talks with the City of Houston, Comcast and Aspen leaders.
Step 1: Email Aspen at:
Aspen_damages_kingwood@theaspencompany.com for Damages.
Xfinityinfokingwood@theaspencompany.com for other Concerns.
Or call 281-578-1000.
The companies claim you should get a response within two days, but I have talked to many people who have fallen into black holes. So also…
Step 2: Simultaneously Email the City of Houston District E Office at:
District E represents Kingwood. The City prefers email because it’s easier to search, track and forward.
In an emergency, however, you can call 832-393-3008.
Step 3: Contact Relevant Supervisors:
Comcast Manager of Construction for Houston
8590 West Tidwell Road, Houston, TX 77040
Vice President Governmental Affairs:
Ernest W Spicer Jr.
The Aspen Utility Company
10000 Richmond Ave | Suite 300
Houston, TX 77042
Safety and Claims Manager:
Cell # 346-257-7240
Director of Safety:
Cell # 832-612-8189
Aspen’s Corporate Parent: Quanta Services
Project Director – Greg Loop
Cell # (346) 857-7457
Construction Manager – William Brillhart
Cell # (346) 254-3314
Shuffled Off to a Subcontractor?
Comcast and Aspen use many subcontractors, especially for hydro-excavation. If one damages your property, get as much information from them as possible. Take pictures. Make sure you get photos of the trucks, their license plates and the operators.
But, if they tell you not to report the damage and that they will handle the repairs, report the problem anyway. Especially in that case. Someone’s likely trying to conceal damage from the City or supervisors. Many people have not reported problems and regretted it.
In such instances, I have heard reports of shoddy repairs by unqualified, unlicensed people without the proper permits. The companies involved may be trying to save money, bypass city inspections, or make their safety records look better.
Contact Numbers for Other Utilities Impacted by Comcast
If Comcast/Aspen cuts into one of your utility lines:
For cable tv/internet, call:
- Comcast: 1-800-934-6489
- AT&T Uverse 1-800-288-2020
- Suddenlink 1-877-794-2724
- EnTouch/Astound 1-888-765-6461
- Tachus 1-832-791-1100
For gas or electric:
- To report a suspected natural gas leak, immediately leave your home, go to a safe location and call 911 and then CenterPoint’s natural gas Leak Emergency Hotline: 713-659-2111 or 888-876-5786.
- For electric-line cuts: Call 911 and report to CenterPoint Energy immediately at 800-332-7143.
For more information visit CenterPoint’s “Reporting Page.”
Getting No Response or the Runaround?
If all else fails, contact:
Administration and Regulatory Affairs
City of Houston Department of Utility Regulation
611 Walker, Houston TX 77002
Better Business Bureau
Federal Communications Commission
A Word About Insurance
The safest bet? Call your insurance agent before Aspen and its subs start digging near you. Find out what your exposure is.
Homeowner insurance won’t necessarily cover damage caused by a negligent party. Unless you have an endorsement for your lawn or landscaping, your insurance company will likely only reimburse you for damage caused during covered peril events. Covered perils are listed in your policy (for example, fire).
So, the only compensation you get may be from the people who caused the damage.
For purposes of determining fair compensation, keep in mind that the property should be restored to the principle of indemnity. That’s the way it was immediately before the damage occurred, not necessarily like new. With that in mind…
Take Plenty of “Before and After” Photos
Many residents say that Comcast and their subs are denying claims based on alleged “pre-existing” damages. Or they may just say, “It’s just not our fault.” So remember to take plenty of before and after photos in case you decide to press your claim through the courts.
Good luck. None of the companies or government entities involved monitor social media. So, to make sure you are being treated fairly, start with the channels they set up. Vent later if you can’t get satisfaction.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/2/2023
2256 Days since Hurricane Harvey
The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.