Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Sorry, Comcast, the Cluetrain has left the station.

Here's something funny. My Comcast cable bill has one large block called For Your Information where they can communicate to their customers. What's in it this month?

WARNING Theft of Cable TV is a state offense. Please call 1-888-824-8041 to report cable theft or email Dallas_Security@cable.comcast.com.

Wow! My cable bill wants to make sure I know that it's illegal to steal cable. The company has one opportunity to communicate with me, their customer, and the best they can come up with is a suspicion-filled threat.

No friendly verbiage about how much they appreciate me as a customer. No talk about recent improvements or coming features. And absolutely no reward for ongoing loyalty. The only way I'm reminded that another year has passed is when my bill goes up. Try to imagine this...

We've noticed that this month marks your 3rd year as a Comcast customer. Please accept this $10 credit as our way of saying thanks! And as a loyal customer, we want to hear how we can improve your Comcast experience. Visit our online forum where you can discuss your ideas and concerns with other customers and the Comcast leadership team.
The worst thing any organization (from companies to churches to political parties) can do is take its customers or members for granted.

I honestly have never seen a company more clueless about customer respect and retention. Verizon is flooding this area with their new FIOS fiber-based internet and phone service. They are offering a substantially better and faster connection for less than Comcast, in addition to a much-improved customer experience. I switched without hesitating, as have most of the people in my neighborhood, and yet Comcast has not made any effort to keep us. Even when I called to cancel, there wasn't a single attempt to convince me to stay.

And they must know what's coming. Verizon recently received a license to offer cable television over FIOS in Texas. Within six months, I expect we'll be a Comcast-free home.