As many pay-TV subscribers know, Comcast isn’t the only cable giant with customer service issues. Now, after a string of similar incidents at rival and merger partner Comcast, Time Warner Cable has sent a bill featuring an offensive new name for a customer who had recently called to complain. While changing the name on a customer’s account to an insult or expletive probably seems unthinkable to most of us regardless of the setting we work in, it’s looking more and more like a common occurrence in the cable TV business, especially now that this type of mischief is not isolated to Comcast alone.
Unfortunately Time Warner Cable shares many of the same advantages as Comcast when it comes to avoiding any and all accountability when dealing with customers. These embarrassing customer service scandals between the two companies have been one of many factors helping to turn the tide as the FCC and Department of Justice consider whether or not to allow Comcast and Time Warner to merge. The deal, once considered highly probable, is now being seen as much less likely by analysts, citing a tougher regulatory climate. Every headline about a cable company behaving badly helps to keep that spotlight on the ugly side of the pay-TV business, and makes the merger seem like a terrible idea for consumers, businesses, and just about everybody involved, with the exception of execs at Comcast.
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