Monday, December 28, 2015
One Mystery of the Universe Solved: Why Just About Every Comcast Subscriber Hates the Company
Recently Comcast CEO Brian Roberts concluded that subscribers hate his company, because they don’t want to pay for content. http://bgr.com/2015/12/14/comcast-ceo-brian-roberts-interview/. Simple, glib conclusion, but quite wrong.
Subscribers do not mind paying for content if they feel they receive fair value. How many times have you heard someone complain about the cost of Netflix service? People do pay for content and gladly so. Just ask the millions of subscribers to Hulu, SiriusXM, etc.
People don’t like getting ripped off. People don’t like paying for something they don’t want, but can’t seem to avoid like the dozens of cable channels they never watch.
People don’t like getting nickeled and dimed, or inconvenienced. Comcast has done both to me in the last few weeks. First a company technician refused to repair a set top box claiming my service tier did not qualify for access to one. The technician seemed not to know that even lowly basic tier subscribers are entitled to a “free” set top box now needed even for viewing certain basic tier channels.
After repeated calls and a second day waiting for a technician, the company issued a $20 credit, but of course there’s a catch. I had to pay the full billed amount after which a credit would accrue in a subsequent bill. So the company issues a credit only after receiving an overpayment. Clever; too clever.
To compound the confusion, Comcast or the U.S. Postal Service managed not to get a bill delivered. Of course Comcast never informed me of an overdue payment, by email. Instead they issued a $9.50 late payment fee and implied dark and negative consequences should they have to refer my debt to a collection agency.
Mr. Roberts just about everyone hates your company, because of its obsession with squeezing every last dime it possibly can, regardless of the value proposition. What else could explain the creation of a new line item called Broadcast TV Fee for local carriage, already paid for in the basic tier charge? What else could explain the 65% increase in that fee summarily announced in the bill I never received?