Comcast, one of the nation's largest and most successful media companies, lost its battle to take over Time Warner Cable and has now turned its attention once again to its customer base — which was undoubtedly among the most vocal opponents of the Time Warner deal.
They had every right to be concerned. Forget for the moment the cable TV aspect of the deal. The combination of Comcast and Time Warner would have given that company 35% of the Internet subscribers in the United States, which may well have been the real goal of the combined companies since many consider the Internet to be the delivery platform of the future for video and information into American homes. And both companies have reportedly been losing TV customers in recent years. There is a good reason for that.
Comcast was named the worst company in America in 2012 and 2014 by the Consumerist website. It also has consistently ranked poorly in the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. And every couple of years, it seems, they hire a new executive to "fix" their customer problems or have one speak out on the subject, as the Senior Vice President of Comcast's Freedom Region, LeeAnn Talbot, did recently.
"Going above and beyond and not just looking at that customer as one more job to do, and really making that connection and knowing how valuable each interaction is, we have that opportunity to show the heart and soul of our company. That's my goal." I think she's trying to say that Comcast will do better by its customers.
Talbot said Comcast will make major investments in improving its customer service, including hiring 5,500 additional customer service people over the next few years and providing customer service representatives with up-to-date technology and tools so the entire process runs more smoothly and on time. That makes you wonder what they have they been using in the past. And they are redesigning their stores in Philadelphia to improve its retail experience. Who cares?
If history is any predictor of the future, Comcast will have a difficult time making its customers believe they will get fair and consistent bills every month (sorely lacking in the past) and that Comcast executives, who make millions of dollars every year, will show some real concern for loyal customers in the Philadelphia region and throughout the country.
We've heard promises in the past. The company will have a tough job making anyone believe it will do better in the future.
Beau Weisman, Editor