McCaskill-led Senate panel to grill pay-TV on customer service and billing practices

A bipartisan Senate panel, led by longtime pay-TV foe Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), is getting set to grill cable, satellite and telco TV execs on their billing practices and overall customer service.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is getting ready to conduct the hearing on June 23. The panel is led by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). But its top Democrat is McCaskill, a longtime critic of pay-TV billing practices. 

The hearing has yet to be formally announced. According to the WSJ, citing unnamed sources, the hearing will not include CEO-level executives, but decision-makers from Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR), AT&T (NYSE: T) and Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) are expected to be on hand. 

Cable operators actually posted significant improvements in a survey of 12,700 U.S. consumers recently conducted by the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. 

Overall, on ASCI's 100 point scale, the cable sector improved 3.2 percent over 2015 in the TV services rankings, with Comcast up eight points, or 15 percent, to score an overall grade of 62. TWC was also up eight points, or 16 percent, to a grade of 59. 

"It's not too hard for cable companies to improve when their starting point is the cellar," said ACSI Managing Director David VanAmburg, in a June 1 press release announcing the survey.

For more:
- read this Wall Street Journal story

Related articles:
Senators ask FCC to investigate 'ridiculous' pay-TV prices
Sen. McCaskill asks pay TV consumers to post their pricing complaints
Comcast, TWC drive major overall pay-TV improvements in ASCI customer satisfaction survey

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