Cable company forcing payments, Ocala residents say


OCALA, Fla. - Some Ocala residents are taking on a cable company they say is forcing them to pay for services they don't use.

The homeowners of the Palm Cay community said Cablevision has threatened them with liens and foreclosure.

Some homeowners said they are still charged by Cablevision, even though they use a satellite TV company.

The cable company said it doesn't matter.

One homeowner's cable bill, which he said he hasn't paid in years, went up to $1,200 – and ended up in court Wednesday.

Leonard and Annette Gaze, residents of Palm Cay, said they have to stand up for themselves and many of their neighbors.

"They are afraid. They don't want to make waves. And they're too old to fight. So they just sit back and pay," Leonard Gaze said.

Some residents don't want it. One said she didn't like the excuse she got when her cable went out.

"The moon was in the wrong place and we lost our signal," Hill said.

She said the company told her they have a contract in the community and she has to pay forever.

When the community, for ages 55-plus, was built back in the 1980s, cable was considered one of the amenities -- homeowners had to pay for it.

But the service has changed hands over the years. The Gaze's said the old rules no longer apply and they haven't paid their bill in years, so they took the case to court with dozens of their neighbors in tow.

A letter from Cablevision's lawyers to the Gazes insists the homeowners are "contractually obligated" to pay their cable bill, whether they use the service or not.

The Gazes said too many seniors in their community have been frightened into paying.

"They're afraid their kids will inherit a problem when they die," Annette Gaze said.

The court case resumes next Monday with one last witness -- the owner of the cable company.