August 19th, 2014
No, that’s not clickbait, or a quiz, or a question…The Verge, one of the more respected technology outlets in America, has named Comcast as the singe worst company in the entire nation.
I’m a bit surprised they didn’t go ahead and say the entire world, but hey, I guess BP is technically British.
But I digress.
Of course, there’s been a lot of piling on Comcast recently, mostly due to their notoriously poor customer service (summed up with this infamous call that’s gone viral) and their recent attempt to acquire (of course) possibly the second worst company in America in Time Warner Cable (that deal is still being reviewed by Congress and the FCC), but The Verge’s recent feature paints an even fuller picture…if you thought that was even possible.
Adrianne Jeffries speaks of these above issues, and delves even further into the general contempt Comcast seems to have for anything that makes sense in business or customer service. Of course, the company is making money — and lots of it — but that more and more seems to be due to their monopolistic control of media in certain areas, payments they’ve essentially forced onto services like Netflix, and by slowly increasing prices on customers who have no other recourse.
Despite being reviled, Comcast is enormously successful. Itâ€™s the largest cable company in the US, the product of a deliberate, then aggressive, growth strategy that involved buying up short-lived companies from cableâ€™s early days. Most recently, Comcast bought NBCUniversal as part of an effort to own more of the programming it serves, making it the largest media company in the world. It is also the 57th most profitable public company, ahead of Intel, Anheuser-Busch, and Goldman Sachs.
Jeffrries even uses their building headquarters in Philadelphia (pictured above) as a metaphor for the entire companies attitude: glass mirrors, as in, any customer who looks to Comcast for help will eventually be staring at themselves if they wanted anything done.
For its next act, Comcast wants to acquire Time Warner Cable: Americaâ€™s second-largest cable provider with a similarly poor reputation of tormenting its customers.
Comcast says the merger will allow it to deliver more programming, faster internet, and other improvements for customers, while allowing the combined company to compete against new media challengers. “We will continue to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in our network to continue to create innovative products and services for Comcast and Time Warner Cable customers,” says Dâ€™Arcy Rudnay, Comcastâ€™s head of communications.
It’s a scathing review, no doubt, and one that many are likely to take seriously — although The Verge is an online-only publication, it’s certainly one of the more respected tech-review sites on the web. We’re not talking about Gawker or Deadspin here.
Comcast and Time Warner claim a merger wonâ€™t create a monopoly because they donâ€™t currently compete anyway. In fact, no one in the cable industry competes â€” which is why most people only have one choice for cable.
The cable industryâ€™s spirit of cooperation is underscored in the “divestiture” section of the proposed merger, in which Comcast, Time Warner, and Charter Communications propose trading customers the way kids might trade baseball cards.
The transaction involves some contortions. Time Warner will transfer 3 million customers to Charter, and Charter will transfer 1.6 million customers to Time Warner. Then, Comcast will transfer 2.5 million customers to a new, yet-to-be named, publicly traded company, referred to as “SpinCo” in filings. SpinCo will be 67 percent owned by Comcast shareholders, 33 percent owned by a Charter-owned holding company, and managed by Charter.
Creepy. Some of this is downright hard to read about such a large company. Although, I guess it would take a large powerful company to get away with such absurd practices. Here’s to hoping congress comes to their senses and blocks the Comcast/TWC merger.
Categories: DISH & TV news