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post #1 of 12 Old 12-13-2006, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I just noticed this past week that Comcast has added advertisements to the TV listings guide. The ads take up what is equivalent to two-rows of program listings and force you to select the advertisement as you scroll through the TV listings.

I was a bit perturbed by this, given that I don't remember Comcsast crediting me for this new advertising space. So, I called Comcast and asked them if I can remove these advertisements from the TV listings guide. The phone agent told me there is currently no way to remove the ads and that they expect the "feature" to be a permanent one.

I thanked her for the info, and then told her I would like to cancel all my premium services. She seemed a bit confused, but I told her I wasn't interested in losing functionality of this already-flawed DVR box, so Comcast could make more money placing obstructive ads in my program guide.

So, Comcast lost a very small bit of money. But, I'd like to think if enough people did likewise, they may rethink their strategy. If you don't like the ads, call 'em up, tell 'em you don't like it, and cancel your premium channels--at least for now...
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-14-2006, 07:28 AM
 
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Your action is one of the few that might have impact. Many people are complaining about the new advertising but you're the first I've seen to say that you're reducing your service level as a result. Most just want to grumble about it but they still see the value in what they're paying for, despite the addition of the advertising.

If you're part of a very small group, then expect that your action won't have any impact. (I suspect that is the case.) OTOH, if more than a few of your are actually serious about the advertising having a negative effect on your enjoyment of the service, then you can credit yourself with contributing to its reversal. Time will tell.
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post #3 of 12 Old 12-15-2006, 12:42 AM
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People just don't realize how much power they have, if everyone called or even emailed and just said they would cancel service if this stays, it would be gone in a day.

I really think more and more people will call and will email, the bad press this creates is not worth it to Comcast and it will first change in form and then be gone. But honestly the best choice would be to put these ads on the page you get when you click info for any show, it would fit on the bottom right corner of the info page and not be in the way of the guide.

Good chance I'll drop the service if this stays the way it is, I was already thinking of doing so anyway, who knows this could seal the deal. Every time they do something like this is just one more reason for people to try another provider.

I'm sure this will send a few more people Verizon's way. Sometimes it almost seems as if people at Comcast wants to lose customers. I guess you could call and complain and even get the CSR to offer you a special promotion to stay.
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post #4 of 12 Old 12-15-2006, 03:32 AM
 
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I disagree. Most large companies have gotten wind of the idea that with the Internet you can make it seem like there is a lot more dissatisfaction than there really is. They know now to not trust unsolicited feedback as much as the actual evidence of revenue reports. The way people have "power" is by making the purchasing decision -- people vote with their wallets. That's what counts. If the issue is important enough to you, cancel your service. THAT will have impact.

Verizon is a joke. They'll gladly serve the center of town and the rich neighborhoods further from their central office, but ask them to serve a less affluent community which isn't dead-center of town and they aren't interested. :rolleyes:
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post #5 of 12 Old 12-16-2006, 02:59 PM
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My thoughts as written in an email to Comcast (I was a bit angry when I sent it):

It's hard for me to verbalize how angry I am at Comcast now. You've put advertisements on a product that I'm paying for w/out my permission (the program guide). I didn't ask for this. No customers want this. So, you are now effectively charging me to give you the medium to advertise to me. Do you really think your customer base doesn't recognize this? We're not stupid. Your customers are mad as hell about it. Peruse the internet a bit to get a feel for what folks think of it. To make matters even more laughable, you apparently have told the phone support to say the ads are a "feature" (once again, treating your customers like they are idiots).

Think of it this way. If you leased a car...let's say a 4 year lease on a nice BMW. At the end of year 2, the dealer swings by your house while you're out of town and proceeds to stamps a big, non-removable sticker on the side of the car advertising Budweiser beer. You're completely unable to remove the sticker. You don't own the car, you're just leasing it. It wasn't in the original terms of the lease, the dealer just decided he wanted to do it to make some extra cash (none of which he would give back to you). That's effectively what you've done here. Does the Comcast Marketing Dept. really think these things through?

As viable competition arises for tv service, I believe that dumb decisions like adding these ads are going to come back to haunt Comcast. These ads surely have a very small effect on bottom-line, but very high impact on customer satisfaction/loyalty.
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-17-2006, 04:09 AM
 
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I doubt your message will have even 1% of the impact of your cancelling your subscription would have. Money talks. If it isn't important enough for you to cancel your subscription, why should they take your written complaint seriously?

The reality is that these things have a very small impact on customer loyalty -- many customers in the mass-market simply aren't loyal, to any extent, any longer.
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-21-2006, 11:54 AM
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I agree with bicker1 the impact of complaints to a big company like COmcast, but I would qualify it that I don't think either response, whether it's a complaint or a cancellation, has nearly the impact if it is only one individual. What companies fear most is organized dissent. I would love to see this group set up a thread to collect all the short-comings in Comcast's products and collectively approach them with the choice of making changes or losing a GROUP of subscribers. I for one would pledge my committed support. Just as a starter, here are the things I would put on the list:

1. Lack of "support" for the various connections on the DCT 6412/6416, including IEEE1394 (which I thought was required by law), USB, Ethernet, etc. etc.

2. Advertising on the guide without any compensation

3. Reluctance to activate a privately-owned STB/DVR

There are probably 100 others but I'll ante up these and hope others will add to the list. BTW, if anyone knows of work-arounds for any of these problems, I'd love to know about them.
Thanks,
Z
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-21-2006, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delhux
I just noticed this past week that Comcast has added advertisements to the TV listings guide. The ads take up what is equivalent to two-rows of program listings and force you to select the advertisement as you scroll through the TV listings.

I was a bit perturbed by this, given that I don't remember Comcsast crediting me for this new advertising space. So, I called Comcast and asked them if I can remove these advertisements from the TV listings guide. The phone agent told me there is currently no way to remove the ads and that they expect the "feature" to be a permanent one.

I thanked her for the info, and then told her I would like to cancel all my premium services. She seemed a bit confused, but I told her I wasn't interested in losing functionality of this already-flawed DVR box, so Comcast could make more money placing obstructive ads in my program guide.

So, Comcast lost a very small bit of money. But, I'd like to think if enough people did likewise, they may rethink their strategy. If you don't like the ads, call 'em up, tell 'em you don't like it, and cancel your premium channels--at least for now...
Nose: cut off.
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-22-2006, 04:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zugig
collectively approach them with the choice of making changes or losing a GROUP of subscribers.
Talk is cheap. Have your manifesto signed by a series of folks who have unsubscribed from cable service, and then it would make a difference.
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-22-2006, 06:29 AM
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Guys, you're going to have to look at this from their perspective. I don't like this, but anything they can do to make money, they're gonna do it. This is just another way to do it. They can have a few, and it will be a very few, people drop their service and they'll still be making a killing with both ads and subscriptions. They won't listen unless they actually have a good percentage of their clients be lost. And believe me, it's not much better on the other side (satellite). I hate that they're doing it too, but it's not going to go away. I'm surprised they haven't started using scrolling ads at the bottom of the screen like they scroll the news on fox and cnn. Don't say those last words out loud. The microphones they put in the dvr boxes might pick it up and give the man (ad exec) a new idea.
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post #11 of 12 Old 12-23-2006, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandonnash
Guys, you're going to have to look at this from their perspective. I don't like this, but anything they can do to make money, they're gonna do it. This is just another way to do it. They can have a few, and it will be a very few, people drop their service and they'll still be making a killing with both ads and subscriptions. They won't listen unless they actually have a good percentage of their clients be lost.
Sorry to say brandonnash is probably right. If you take a look at Comcast's customer churn rate, the few that actually do reduce their level of service or drop cable all together over this will not even be a blip on the graph.

They will never make the connection or chose to ignore it because they are making good money on the advertizements. In reality these ads cost them next to nothing to deploy, so they are pretty much pure profit.

A 'phile and his money are soon parted...
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post #12 of 12 Old 12-27-2006, 09:14 PM
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The key on the issue of the ads is the slippery slope.

This is just comcast's first foray into treating its subscribers as product to be sold. Comcast knows a lot about each subscribers behavior. Aggregating and using that data is easier than ever and targeted marketing and advertisement is the most profitable.

We are used to advertising on free programming (broadcast), where the view is the product that is sold. It is an understood relationship.

It is quite a different story with service providers. This has not occurred with ISP or cell phone providers Once the boundary of added advertising is crossed the next logical step is use (sale) of viewing habits.
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