Fess up, Time Warner.

Or pony up the refunds.

A bit of background: Costa Mesa residents are experiencing more than a little difficulty with their television screens, and at some inopportune times, such as during sporting events.

Consider: It was the heart of the Angel’s final playoff game. Thousands of fans were glued to their television screens, watching every pitch of an epic matchup, when the images and voices suddenly began to scramble, becoming more and more intermittent by the minute until it was impossible to see what was going on.

The much maligned Time Warner Cable customer service department was flooded with angry phone calls, but a message told customers that their calls were futile because the company has no control over the problem.

The city’s cable provider says the problems were caused by a phenomenon known as “solar interference,” which happens twice a year for about a week each time.

“It peaks then it subsides over time, and gradually the interference will decrease until it completely goes away,” said Time Warner regional Vice President Kristy Hennessey.

We’d like to make two points: 1) This is not an isolated incident. Costa Mesa residents have reported all kinds of problems with their Time Warner service. Many have called for the city to take action, and council members have openly talked about suing the company; 2) Even if the “solar interference” excuse is true, is it fair that residents are paying for a service that — at times — they’re not getting?

Absolutely not.

Time Warner should clean up its act.

First, it should improve, in general, its service to Costa Mesa and beyond. Secondly, in the wake of the latest debacle, the company should offer refunds to those residents who lost service.

It would be the fair thing to do.

Conversely, it’s unfair to take money for a service that you’re not providing — at least not 100% of the time.

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