Tangled mess: Stray wires a safety concern in Streamwood

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Neighbors reached out to the ABC7 I-Team about an unsightly problem that they said was putting children at risk. (WLS)

Neighbors in northwest suburban Streamwood reached out to the ABC7 I-Team about an unsightly problem that they said was putting children at risk.

The problem was cables spewing out into the ground. Townhome owners called it a safety concern.

When residents couldn't get answers from the utility companies, they emailed the I-Team.

"They are just hanging out there for any kid to run through and pull," Heather Natal, Southgate Townhome Association board director said.

Natal and other neighbors are concerned about several similar problem areas in the complex.

"We've been trying to get some resolution for about a year and a half," she said. "The utility companies blaming each other and we're really concerned about the kids."

They're worried that a child can trip, or be injured by cords with exposed metal.

"We don't have cable. I called the cable company and they're coming out tomorrow," April Smith, a resident, said.

But Natal said several months of calls about the overall problem went ignored.

"It's extremely frustrating for us. It feels like we're not important to these utilities," Natal said.

"It's a blame game and we feel that we are not getting anywhere so far," Fred Peters, a resident, said.

So the I-Team alerted all of the utility companies. They all sent crews to the scene that day and those who were responsible quickly made repairs. Comcast and AT&T made repairs and AT&T said only one location was their own.

The tangled mess is now tucked away

In a Statement AT&T added, "Safety is our first priority and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."

"We are so happy to actually get a resolution on this and we are very thankful," Natal said.

Other residents thanked the I-Team on Facebook, but the conversation and the investigation uncovered more in at least five other locations in the same complex, where they say tangled cables have been an ongoing issue.

Residents say that the cable companies are all responding to complaints about the new areas in question. They are confident that those will be fixed soon. The I-Team will follow up to make sure.

Tips from the Citizen's Utility Board if you are having a similar problem:

1) We recommend that people file complaints with each of the companies potentially involved. Mark down the time and day of the call, get the name and ID number of the utility employee you talk to and insist that you be given the date and time frame the tech will be at the premises. If the customer service rep cannot provide one, ask to speak to someone (a supervisor) who can. Don't exaggerate the situation or be alarmist, but describe the problem accurately and be clear about your concerns.

2) If you don't receive prompt attention, or you get an inadequate response, or you're not quite sure which companies to call, then file complaints with the Illinois Commerce Commission or CUB

3) Also, if the companies are unresponsive, don't be afraid to go on the social media pages of the companies to complain (politely). But only do this after you've tried to reach out to the companies and they've been unresponsive.
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