Home > #7, Cable MSOs > Comcast, The MSO Titan

Comcast, The MSO Titan

Background

Comcast is one of the largest players in the cable, entertainment and communication industries. According to their website, Comcast has 22.9 million cable customers, 16.7 million high-speed internet customers and 8.4 million voice customers. They also employ about 107,0000 people nationwide.

Blogosphere

While Comcast is indeed a massive corporation and provides services to millions of Americans, this does not mean that those millions of Americans think very highly of Comcast. Comcast has earned the ire of its customers and regulators alike for several of its recent activities. From a customer service standpoint, one only need to google “Comcast blogs” to see the result: the second search result after the official Comcast blog is a blog lovingly titled Comcast Must Die. This is followed by other individual blog posts from blogs not dedicated solely to bashing Comcast, with such titles as “I hate Comcast…” ect.

For in-depth individual accounts of how customers have had bad customer service and be poorly treated by Comacast, The Consumerist blog provides a laundry list of options to choose from. Stories such as this, or this, this one as well, even this one, this one too, and many more clearly show that Comcast has its share of unhappy and unsatisfied customers.

To find positive buzz and good customer relation stories is significantly more difficult than those of individuals slamming the service. The fact that people are more likely to blog their grievances as opposed to their satisfactory experiences does, however, need to be taken into account.

There are even some websites entirely devoted to bashing Comcast. For a slightly more empirical view of the situation I direct readers to Customer Service Scoreboard to see how Comcast stacks up. I feel the results are self explanatory, so I won’t go into much detail other then to say it’s not pretty.

Net Neutrality

One issue in particular stands out enough to merit mentioning on its own: this is none other then Comcast’s assault of the principle of net neutrality. In 2007 it was discovered that Comcast was secretly traffic shaping its network and interfering with P2P traffic. While at first Comcast denied the claims they eventually admitted to doing so after empirical evidence surfaced. The FCC got involved and it eventually went to the courts. What is significant here in regards to customer opinion is that 1)the consumer response was almost universally negative. 2) not only was Comcast engaging in traffic-shaping, but was doing so secretly without informing its consumers and subsequently denying its practices as long as it could. This created a backlash against the corporation among many current subscribers and served to damage the company’s image.

The Bottom Line

What all this boils down to in the end is pretty simple: many current customers are unhappy with their current service and the way Comcast has acted in the past.

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