First, let us recap the business model for cable companies:
- High prices
- Poor reliability
- No customer service
Add in the high cost of entry, and our choice of provider is limited to five or six large clown outfits.
The following story out of California seems like more grist for the cable mill. This one is so bad, though, it should get its own mill.
“The Los Angeles city attorney's office plans to sue Time Warner Cable…alleging that the company caused major havoc and distress…
…claims the company violated its franchise agreement with the city by having subscribers spend hours on hold with customer service representatives and allowing excessive repair work delays…Nearly 500,000 subscribers in the city were affected.
…brochures and television advertisements…gave the false impression that pricing for cable and Internet services would stay the same.
Cable and Internet service was so intermittent and inferior in quality that it was not much better than no service at all, the suit says.”
TWC’s Marketing team had to be either understaffed or underinvolved. During a major transition (TWC was taking over and upgrading Adelphia’s system), normal marketing communications should be suspended. Nobody needs a bill insert offering a “cable triple play” when service has been out the prior three days. Proactive, honest notices (“We may experience system issues over the next month…”) and make goods (“Due to recent customer service issues, we are offering free VOD for a week“) are a must.
What if the late, great George Carlin were in charge? Of Time Warner Cable, or its marketing department, or the FCC? He’d need about a half-day to sort it all out. His job title might have been “comedian,” but his job description was “find the inanity and insanity in anything, in less than two seconds.” He never failed at it. What a gift he was given. What a gift we were given.
Last evening, Keith Olbermann reran an interview with Carlin from October of last year. Toward the end, noting how our government openly curtails some of our freedoms, Carlin said:
“They [people/citizens] don’t want to rock the boat.
They don’t want to make any trouble…
Nobody questions things anymore…”
Seventeen blocks from where you grew up, George, I hear you loud and clear.
Rest in peace, brother. They say the cable is much better in heaven.