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The Irony of the Triple Play

1:15 PM -- Recent findings from J.D. Power and Associates ' telephone and cable satisfaction surveys reveal the irony of the triple play. Consumers are identifying cable companies as the best providers of voice service and telephone companies as the best providers of video service. Who would have thought? But you have to wonder: Is this a true reflection of customer satisfaction, or is it more representative of pent-up frustration?

Both cable and telephone enjoyed virtual monopolies for their core services for decades before triple-play competition arrived. More often than not, customers endured less-than-helpful customer service from the local cable and telephone monopolists. Oh, how times have changed. Is there a “revenge factor” in play? Or are customers genuinely more satisfied with their phone service from the cable company and their video service from the phone company?

I would venture to guess, a little of both of these factors are at play. Competition, by its design, leads to lower cost and more value, at least initially. Both cable and phone companies have done a good job of enhancing their own core services with additional features, while also lowering the price to compete. That is generally a good recipe for improving customer satisfaction. Add to that, customers who are happy to get from under the cable or phone company that they despise or resent, and initial customer satisfaction is sure to rise for the “other guy.”

Call it the triple-play honeymoon effect. The real question is: How long will that honeymoon last? Since we are really at the beginning stages of triple-play competition, the real measure of lasting customer satisfaction will be measured over the years to come. Maintaining initial customer satisfaction will be more of a challenge, and much more deserving of praise.



— Bernardin Arnason, Managing Partner, Pivot Group , and Chairman, TelcoTV 2008
Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to TelcoTV 2008, a conference and expo that will examine the convergence of communications and entertainment, and its impact on service providers from across the globe, to be staged in Anaheim, Calif., November 11-13. For more information, or to register, click here.




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