Monday, May 4, 2015

Good news, bad news with Time Warner, Comcast deal dissolved

The bad news is that the deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is off. The good news is that the deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is off. The two struck a deal to merge; actually, Comcast was doing the buying. But after lots of pressure from consumers and the Justice Department to stop the deal, Comcast pulled out, leaving Time Warner Cable customers wondering what might have been, good and bad.

Time Warner Cable is known as the worst of the worst for consumer satisfaction. It not just applicable to the cable/internet/telephone trade but that rating is for all businesses. Unfortunately, Comcast which is the parent company of Universal which owns NBC is next to last in the same surveys. For some reason, TWC customers, including me, thought the combined company would perform better. We were adding zero to zero and trying to get something other than zero. That’s part of the “new math” we were taught in high school in the last 1960s.

Unfortunately, even with some alternatives in some areas, Time Warner Cable and Comcast, and Charter Communications which may make a second play for TWC, are pretty much monopolies in the areas that serve. In my home, we could have AT&T telephone, and a very slow AT&T internet, and Direct TV or Dish TV, having one supplier actually offers us better service, but that’s not saying much. After struggling with AT&T for telephone and internet, a couple of years ago, we reluctantly switched to Time Warner for extremely fast internet that has WiFi issues, telephone service that’s sometimes iffy, and cable TV that’s overpriced. Soon, the combination will over-overpriced. The up side is that we make one phone call to complain about all three. We could cut the TV cord because our Roku provides lots of the programming using the extreme internet service and the free TV local channels are available with an antenna.

Google Fiber is on the way but that’s years down the road, even in the high rent districts that will be able to afford its services. In the meantime, Time Warner Cable and Comcast need to look after the consumers they have in an effort to keep them instead of driving them away. The stockholders should prefer keeping customers and improving images and services of the company. But that may be asking too much. With the deal off, customers of both are probably in for bad news, but then more bad news could have been the result of the merger.
-------------------- word of the day
diurnal (adjective) [dahy-ur-nl] of or belonging to the daytime

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