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June 9, 2004


Everyone Hates the Cable Company +

Looks like I知 not the only person in America who痴 currently pissed off at their cable provider. The American Customer Service Index (a project of the University of Michigan Business School) reports that cable television providers rank lower in customer satisfaction than any other group in the public or private sector, including the IRS.

How can companies with such a disgraceful attitude toward customer service survive? Professor Claes Fornell hits the nail on the head:

展hen buyers have meaningful choice alternatives, this level of customer (dis)satisfaction is neither competitive nor sustainable�Under normal competitive conditions, there would be mass customer defections. The reason this is not the case for the cable industry is due to local monopoly power, which means that in most markets, the dissatisfied customer has nowhere to go.�

Is this the reason that while most people I speak to are filled with mouth-foaming rage over their cable service, only 14 complaints against Time Warner have been filed with the Better Business Bureau in the past three years? Are we just writing checks out every month for sub-par service because there痴 nowhere else to go?

People, we don稚 have to take this lying down. Just because your cable company is the only game in town doesn稚 mean you池e powerless. If you池e pissed off, if your problem isn稚 being resolved, take action. File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. File a complaint with the Attorney General痴 office. Leave a paper trail. The Consumer痴 Union is supporting a bill that will allow you more choices in your cable programming - email your Representatives about it! Don稚 stand for crappy service just because it痴 all that you know.

And Professor Fornell has a message for all you cable-minded entrepreneurs: 典he weak ACSI for the cable industry suggests that its customer base may well become vulnerable to new competition.� No shit. Listen to me, business people: Offer me comparable services to Time Warner, prioritize customer satisfaction, and I値l cancel my account today. -Emily

Em, don't forget that you can just get satellite service and get hundreds of channels, including the local affiliates. It's still hundreds of channels of crap, but it's crap from space. -ADM

categories: Business
posted by Emily at 12:18 PM | #