Can selling through Amazon make Comcast’s customer service better? Maybe

By Jim O'Neill on Mar 22 2016 at 5:00 AM
Can selling though Amazon make Comcast’s customer service better? Maybe

Amazon isn’t moving into the cable TV business per se, but it is planning to help pay-TV operators and ISPs male it easier to connect with consumers by offering pay-TV, Internet and phone sign ups through its new online Amazon Cable Store.

For the moment, only Comcast is in the e-tailer’s product lineup, part of a deal, according to the Wall Street Journal, that came about after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos met with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and cable division CEO Neil Smit last year.

“They helped us in our thinking about how to simplify the experience and just make it clean,” Smit said. “We’re partnering with a company that’s so good at the customer experience—I think that’s really what excites me.”

For Amazon, it’s just one more service fee to collect, which it will get for each transaction.

Appearing on Amazon’s site also increases Comcast’s already high profile.

Consumers will be able to one-click purchase service and, more importantly, gives subscribers a dedicated customer service team to work with. Customer service has long been a bugaboo for operators with most routinely finishing at the bottom of customer service studies. By using Amazon, Comcast is trying to make buying service less daunting, a good move in an industry that often shoots itself in the foot when it comes to customer care.

The Amazon site walks customers through Comcast’s various Xfinity service tiers, using examples of usage patterns, for example, to help choose Internet plans. But the Comcast offerings available through Amazon are no different than those through its own service reps; even the price is the same.

What is different is that Amazon is also promising to make it easier to cancel various services, another oft-reported customer service hassle.

While Comcast is the first operator to join the portal, it’s not likely to be the only one.

The Journal reported that Charter Communications also is talking with Amazon about working though the site.

Currently, only consumers that are in Comcast’s service footprint can subscribe, but that likely will change as operators offer more virtual services.

Stay tuned.

Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

Posted in: 

READ THESE NEXT

Data? A growing, critical resource for the pay-TV and OTT industry
Pay TV, OTT, Big Data
Data? A growing, critical resource for the pay-TV and OTT industry
Jul 25 2017 5:15 AM

Earlier this year, a survey of pay-TV providers by the Pay-TV Innovation Forum 2017 found that the majority of pay-TV execs believed data and analytics will be critical to pay TV direction over the next five years.

SVOD, Pay TV, Millennials, Cord Cutting
Q2 likely to be miserable as operators brace for big customer losses; OTT anyone?
Jul 24 2017 3:00 PM

Could second quarter pay-TV subscriber losses in the United States top 1 million, the highest figure ever? In a word, yes.

The second quarter routinely is a weak one for operators and in the current environment – remember the first quarter saw more than 800,000 subscribers cut the cord, according to Kagan – reaching one million may be an easy task.

Pay TV, Live sports, Millennials
A skinny bundle without sports? Duh
May 25 2017 10:30 AM

Skinny bundles from cable operators – and their OTT surrogates like Sling TV – are becoming more common as the companies try to look more attractive to consumers tired of paying for 200-plus channels when they really only watch a dozen or less. Survey after survey has shown that subscribers are hungry for not just a slimmed down offering but also for the subscription savings smaller bundles would engender.

Pay TV, SVOD, Millennials
Is cord cutting over? Far from it, and that’s creating new OTT opportunities
Mar 16 2017 1:15 PM

Has cord cutting finally run its course among U.S. operators who have, over the past five years, watched millions of subscribers walk away from traditional pay-TV delivery? Are Millennials – and their following generation, Gen Edge – ready to join Gen X and Baby Boomers in tying themselves to arcane and expensive contracts that deliver bloated tiers of content that they have little interest in watching, let alone paying for?

Nope.