WSVN — They had cables running through their neighborhood, but could not get the cable company to bury them. Which left the homeowners with the question: Does the cable company have to bury cables on your property, or do you have to bury them? Here is tonight’s Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

A lot of people have Comcast Cable. Not a lot of people have Comcast cables.

Dean Kautzmann: "This is their burying. Here it is, comes right up. People can trip right over that."

Dean Kautzmann is on the board at Valencia Village in Davie, a position he takes seriously, especially when it comes to the safety of the residents.

Dean Kautzmann: "When things come to our attention that have to be addressed, it’s our responsibility to act quickly, because otherwise you are leaving yourself open to a lawsuit."

Which takes us back outside, where about three quarters of the 311 homes enjoy Comcast Cable … but not those cables.

Dean Kautzmann: "They bury the cable right beneath the surface, an inch beneath the surface, and here in South Florida, you get a rainstorm, and that one inch of cover disappears. And you got exposed cables."

Dean says they have asked Comcast for a couple of years to bury the cables.

Dean Kautzmann: "Our property manager has toured the property with a Comcast construction manager. They’ve seen the problem. It’s not like they don’t know the problem exists, but it never gets resolved."

And then of course, what the board feared, happened.

Dean Kautzmann: "And here we are, faced with our worst nightmare, which is a lawsuit for an exposed cable that a resident tripped over that is not our fault, but we are the ones that are getting sued. It’s extremely frustrating."

Dean wasn’t surprised someone tripped over the cables. He nearly did when showing us the danger.

Dean Kautzmann: "And maybe they walk by at night and get their feet caught up right here and off they go like myself (he trips)."

The association started counting the exposed wires, estimating that the cables running to 50 homes were above the ground. Too many for the small association to bury.

Dean Kautzmann: "We pay our maintenance people to do a maintenance job. We can’t afford to do someone else’s job."

Howard, it’s the cable companies’ wires, but it’s the village’s property. Who has to take care of the cables?

Howard Finkelstein: "The cable company. Comcast has an easement, which gives them the right to run the cables. But along with that easement comes the responsibility to place them in a manner that does not endanger anyone."

The problem was solved quickly. The day we interviewed Dean, residents went on social media telling each other Help Me Howard was out there regarding the exposed cables. When I called Comcast, they had hired a subcontractor to bury the cables, and they did. Their corporate office told me they were not aware of the problem until we went out there and it was announced by residents on social media. They gave me several different ways for people to notify them, including social media, if they have a problem.

And Howard, what about the lawsuit from a resident who says they tripped over a cable?

Howard Finkelstein: "This is what the law calls comparative negligence. If it gets to court, a jury could blame the cable company, or the association if they didn’t warn residents about the cables. Or a jury could blame the resident who tripped for not paying attention. Or they could make all three share the blame."

Dean Kautzmann: "The property management is happy. I’m happy."

That’s the goal of Help Me Howard.

Dean Kautzmann: "Long time coming. Two years to get them to do it, and it took Help me Howard and Patrick Fraser to come out and get it done."

And to Comcast’s credit, as soon as they saw on social media we were out there, their corporate office took care of it. And we mentioned Comcast just following on social media. For example, on their app, you can contact them and they will call you back so you don’t have to wait on hold for service.

A problem left you buried in frustration? Need someone to cover for you? Contact us. We will channel our energy to clear up the picture for you. With this Help me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

To reach a customer service agent by phone: 1-800-XFINITY
Twitter @ComcastCares
Live online chat with a customer service agent:
Apps: XFINITY My Account  

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN
On Twitter: @helpmehoward7

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