The Garden State is no stranger to strong storms that knock out power, and even if the lights do stay on the cable often goes out. A bill sponsored by State Sen. Linda Greenstein to give consumers greater choice when asking their cable television provider to reimburse them after a lengthy service outage has been approved today by a Senate committee.

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“While many cable customers may prefer a monetary reimbursement when they experience an extended outage of their services, providing consumers with multiple choices of how they wish to receive their reimbursement is a positive not only for the cable companies but also for customers,” says Greenstein. “If a consumer is already planning to order a premium channel or purchase a pay-per-view event, it just makes sense to allow them to apply their credit towards these options.”

Current Law Only Allows Direct Credit, Rebate

Under current New Jersey law, cable companies are only allowed to provide either a direct credit or rebate against monthly subscription charges as reimbursement to customers who experience a service outage that lasts at least six hours. Greenstein’s measure would give consumers the option to instead receive alternative compensation, such as free access to premium programming channels or pay-per-view special events.

The Senate Economic Growth Committee released the measure 5-0. It now heads for a vote in the full Senate.