You’ve probably heard of Comcast. You know, Comcast? The largest cable provider in the country. The monolith that’s been called the Worst Company in America. The company that inspired Mona Shaw, 75, to invade a local office and smash a customer service representative’s computer with a hammer. The place where this guy works.
Every so often, there is an eruption of outrage over the failure of American cable companies to serve their subscribers’ best interests. That’s the problem with monopolies: they have little to no competition, and therefore little to no incentive to be nice to their customers.
Comcast has asked for permission to acquire Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable provider in the country, further solidifying its dominance in the cable and internet market.
One of my favorite descriptions of the cable company paradox comes from comedian Eugene Mirman, a fellow Time Warner prisoner. "Overall your company is run like an ill-managed soviet factory," he wrote in an open letter.
(Runner-up Time Warner horror story: Patrick Stewart tried to set up an account and "lost the will to live.")
Comcast has gone before Congress insisting the combined company is not a monopoly, claiming that 3G and 4G wireless networks count as competition — an argument that’s tenuous at best considering wireless networks don’t perform at cable’s level. The Federal Communications Commission is reviewing the proposal, and the public has until August 25th to submit comments.
Earlier this week, AOL executive Ryan Block published a recording of a call with an aggressive Comcast rep. We followed up on that story with a piece about how Comcast’s internal policies and employee incentives end up affecting customers.
We've spoken to several current and former Comcast employees since then and we’d like to hear more. Have you worked for Comcast? Got a friend who works there? Give us a shout: firstname.lastname@example.org.