Does Your Cable Operator Measure Up?

The National Cable Television Assn. has recommended standards for customer service among cable companies during "normal operating conditions."

(The NCTA opposes government re-regulation of cable, a possibility under the Senate's proposed Cable Television Consumer Protection Act of 1991. These recommendations may be a way of backing up the argument that the cable industry is capable of policing itself.)

Among the voluntary guidelines:

* Telephone answer time, including hold time and transfer time, should be 30 seconds or less--and phones should be answered in no more than four rings.

* Customers should get a telephone busy signal less than 3% of the time.

* Installations should be performed within seven business days.

* Service interruptions should be responded to promptly--and no later than within 24 hours.

* Customers should be notified at least 30 days before rate or channel changes.

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