Comcast Vows to Fix Customer Service. We’re Not Holding Our Breath.
By jlebkowsky on Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
One of the reasons the Comcast – Time Warner Cable merger has prompted so much public opposition is that both companies have terrible track records when it comes to customer service. Most people — us included — don’t think things will get better if the merger gets OKed.
Survey after survey has rated both companies poorly when it comes to customer satisfaction, including the most recent one by Consumer Reports. Comcast executive David Cohen acknowledged problems at a congressional hearing earlier this year, but claimed that its JD Power rating was improving. Too bad the most recent JD Power survey ranked both Comcast and Time Warner Cable among the worst in the industry for customer satisfaction.
Comcast’s customer service department, in particular, has become legendary for treating consumers so bad, as a recent spate of recorded phone calls have made painfully clear. The poor customer service provided by both companies has even prompted the New York Public Service commission to delay its vote on the merger.
After months of bad pr, Comcast is now vowing to change. It recently named a new vice president in charge of the “customer experience,” but even he doesn’t expect big improvements anytime soon. “Transformation isn’t going to happen overnight,” wrote Neil Smit on the company’s blog. “In fact, it may take a few years before we can honestly say that a great customer experience is something we’re known for.”
How did things get so bad? It’s simple. There’s very little competition among cable TV and high speed broadband providers and that’s allowed both companies to ignore customer complaints about poor service. The only reason Comcast is responding now is because it has a $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable at stake.
Don’t expect things to get better if this merger is allowed. A larger Comcast with increased market power will have even less incentive to address consumers’ needs. Consumers can expect the same lousy service and high prices.
That’s why it’s so critical for us to keep up the pressure. Call FCC Chairman Wheeler at 1-888-598-4221 and say “No to the Comcast merger – it’s a rotten deal for consumers!”