Comcast Comes in Last, Again

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Posted: April 9, 2014, 1:56 p.m.
by Shannon Auvil.

On April 8, Comcast was named Worst Company in America by Consumerist, a consumer advocate news site. It’s the second time Comcast has won (or lost), previously snagging the honor in 2010.

Comcast faced a tough field: Monsanto, SeaWorld, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and Walmart were all worthy competitors.

When Comcast was first named the WCA, the company urged its employees to vote for other companies so that faux pas would never happen again. Alas, having employees vote on its behalf could not suppress a tide of dissatisfied Comcast customers, and Comcast took home the sad trophy yet again.

The WCA competition is hosted online, and a winner is determined via a bracket by voters. There is no criterion for the distinction – Consumerist builds a bracket and voting commences. It is remarkable then that Comcast took the initiative in 2010 to ask its employees to vote and prevent the company from winning again.

Comcast urged employees to vote for other companies from work, from home and from mobile devices “to show that Comcast is a great company.”

Consumerist called out Comcast for the internal memo, which was rather embarrassing for the Internet, phone and cable provider.

That’s not all. Comcast repeatedly scores terribly on the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey. On the same day it was named WCA, it merged with Time Warner Cable, to great consumer skepticism.

Critics of the merger suspect Comcast will raise broadband rates with its newfound size and impact and that, “The Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger would give Comcast unthinkable gatekeeper power over our commercial, social and civic lives.”

Comcast’s FCC filing and impending Senate hearing will determine whether the government will side with Comcast or its opponents. Comcast released a lengthy, highly detailed public interest statement defending the merger and outlining the benefits to consumers that will result from it.

The Comcast-TWC merger is a massive opportunity for Comcast to fix its image and emerge from its decade-long reputation as a terrible service provider, a necessary evil or a last resort. In order to come out on top, Comcast needs to keep its big promises, including “faster Internet speeds, especially for current TWC customers; high-speed broadband services available on bundled and standalone bases; [and] a fully upgraded network that provides highly reliable and secure service.”

Perhaps Comcast’s second time being named the absolute worst isn’t too bad – Comcast can always take advantage of the humiliating recognition and turn it around. Maybe Comcast will let this one go and do some real work amidst the merger to improve its brand instead of foolishly using employees to manipulate an online poll.

2 Comments

  1. Peterson Wellford

    I find it absolutely appalling that Comcast would tell its own employees to vote for other companies. That means that Comcast knows how terrible a reputation the company has and that everyone in America knows it. The companies that they went up against, in my opinion, are not known for having as terrible customer service as Comcast. As an ex-customer of Comcast, I can say that I had nothing but problems with the services and eventually just turned my service off because it was that bad. I am now an AT&T U-verse user and it has been nothing less than perfect. I have never had any problems with my service (although I am setting myself up for doom now that I am saying this). Comcast is and will always be the worst company in America until they lower their prices and get people with half a brain to work in the customer service departments.

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  2. Kathryn Gallagher

    Being a Comcast user myself, I understand the company winning the title of the worst company in America. I am continuously under impressed by its consumer service and ineptness. However, I was shocked to see that Time Warner Cable was ranked so poorly. As a public relations student, I had always admired Time Warner Cable and the previous chairman and member of the board of directors, Ted Turner.

    I respect Turner because he is a media mogul. He created TBS, the first system to be broadcasted throughout the country by using a network of local cable television operators. Also, Turner created CNN in 1980. CNN is the first live, 24-hour news station in the world. Turner is truly an intelligent businessman.

    Turner stepped down from Time Warner Cable in 2006. I am curious to see if his resignation caused the company to suffer in popularity; it is hard for me to imagine consumers being significantly unhappy during Turner’s time with the company.

    Lastly, I think it is odd that Comcast would ask its employees to rank other companies poorly. Anyone with a background in publicity understands that this tactic is unjustifiably stupid. I am curious to know if Comcast continued to ask its employees to vote for other companies after being publicly shamed by Consumerist.

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