Customer service crisis directly impacts Comcast's merger chances, analyst says

For those wondering if Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) never-ending bad press about its customer service will impact the regulatory review of its proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), high-profile media analyst Craig Moffett has an answer for you: yes, indeed.

"The customer service nightmares of the past 12 months certainly aren't going to help," Moffett, a senior analyst at MoffettNathanson, told the Chicago Tribune. "It's unclear how much politics matter in these things, but they have to matter at least a little bit."

In fact, the ongoing Comcast-TWC review by the FCC and Justice Department not withstanding, Moffett believes the regulatory wind that has helped shape the FCC's emerging net neutrality stance has been, at least to a point, caused by Comcast's customer service reputation.

New broadband definitions, for example, "increase Comcast's apparent market share, making it easier for the Justice Department to block the transaction," Moffett said. "But it is also emblematic of a relatively hostile environment in Washington for cable operators right now."

Comcast continues to put out sporadic brush fires related to its billing reps changing the names of customers to pejoratives. The MSO has apologized to affected subscribers, offered them free services and fired offending employees.

For more:
- read this Chicago Tribune story

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