Cable/Pay-TV Customers: Can’t Get No Satisfaction? Is Help on the Way?

Erik Keith
Erik Keith

Summary Bullets:

  • Can’t Get No (Satisfaction): U.S. consumers consistently name their pay-TV/broadband Internet providers as offering their worst customer service experience. Can suppliers drive these operators to improve their customer experience, boosting satisfaction and reducing churn?
  • The Good News: New, disruptive service providers, such as Google Fiber, could spur the incumbents to compete not only on broadband connection speeds and TV channel packages, but also on the customer satisfaction front, which includes quality-of-service/experience (QoS/QoE) and price.

Earlier this week, a now ex-Comcast customer’s audio recording of a telephone call with a Comcast customer service representative went viral, highlighting a well-known issue that many pay-TV/Internet/triple play customers (and consumer survey groups) have known for years: consumer satisfaction – or, more notably, the lack thereof – is an increasingly critical factor in customer retention/churn. The customer was calling simply to have his service disconnected, and a process which should have taken a few minutes (at most) was drawn out by the Comcast rep to 18 minutes, due overwhelmingly to the agent’s badgering of the customer in a poor attempt at customer retention (e.g., “Being that [Comcast is] the number one provider of TV and Internet in the entire country, why is it you don’t want the number one provider?”). Comcast has since apologized and stated that this instance was atypical, but the national media soon picked up on the story, expanding the scope of negative exposure. Continue reading “Cable/Pay-TV Customers: Can’t Get No Satisfaction? Is Help on the Way?”