UPDATE: NEWS10 ABC has confirmed with Bonnie Kleinke that HughesNet has been in contact with her. The company has waived the fees and apologized for the misunderstanding, according to Kleinke. The homeowner said that she would like to thank the community for the outpouring of support her family has received, and that her son will most likely be released from the hospital on Friday.
SLINGERLANDS, N.Y. – A Slingerlands woman says she was told she would need to pay cancellation fees after she lost everything to a house fire.
Homeowner Bonnie Kleinke lost all of her belongings when her home caught fire Sunday afternoon, and when she went to cancel her satellite and internet, she was told she had to pay a fee.
Kleinke said she realizes her family is very lucky, and she is grateful everyone made it out alive. Kleinke, her boyfriend, her son, TJ, and his two daughters were all home at the time the fire started. They ran out of the home with just the clothes on their backs.
She said she has received an outpouring of support and generosity from members of their community. She said it's the community's spirit of giving that is keeping her spirits up.
Kleinke is disabled, and the fire destroyed all of her medications and important documents. She was able to refill her prescription and cancel her utility service.
However, she says her satellite and internet provider, HughesNet, initially told her she would have to pay a cancellation fee of $280.
"I don't even have clothes," she said. "It's just ridiculous.
HughesNet issued the following statement on Wednesday:
"Hughes is very sorry to hear about the recent fire at the Kleinke residence. Losing everything in a fire is a truly devastating event.
Like many other service providers, Hughes does have an early termination fee. However, we have a policy in place that provides relief to customers that have experienced catastrophic events. After investigating this case further, we determined the agent did not apply the policy as intended. Please be assured that we have waived the early termination fee for the Kleinke's, and regret any additional pain this may have caused."
They need food, clothes, household items, and monetary donations. Here are sizes provided by the family:
341 Northern Blvd., Albany, NY 12204
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