Cable Industry Tries To Distance Itself From Decades Of Poor Service By Eliminating The Word 'Cable'
from the good-luck-with-that dept
Annoyance with the cable industry appears to have reached the tipping point, with consumers fed up with skyrocketing prices, inflexible programming options and some of the worst customer service in any U.S. industry. The cable industry’s ingenious solution? Stop using the word cable. Last week, the cable industry held its annual trade conference, previously dubbed “The Cable Show.” Trying to distance itself from the aging, negative associations with the word “cable,” the industry has decided to rename the conference The Internet & Television Expo.
Former FCC boss turned top lobbyist Michael Powell “hates” the word cable and wanted to turn the page on the word’s negative connotations:
“I hate the name,” Michael Powell, president of NCTA, the cable industry?s trade group, said Tuesday. “It doesn?t fairly capture what they do.”…This year?s trade show was renamed to “be more centered around its future as it’s associated with the Internet,” Powell said on stage at the conference. The term “cable company,” he said, “has a proud history, but it needs to be retired.”
Of course when your entire business revolves around using coaxial cable to deliver Internet and television service, deciding to drop the word in the hopes of forcing a brand refresh might be an uphill climb. Most attendees of the show couldn’t remember the new name, and just wound up calling the conference by the old name for simplicity’s sake:
“It’s called Internet something something something, right?? said Chris Gagliano, who works at Anvato Inc., which provides online video software. “I don?t even know what it stands for.” Most people preferred to call it the ?cable show,? even if that?s not the name anymore. “I’ll probably call it that forever,” said Brian Hanrahan, a regional sales manager at Optelian, which helps build broadband networks. “Until everyone else starts calling it ‘INTX,’ I?m going to call it the cable show.”
Clearly, it’s going to take a lot more than a simple word change to erase memories of waiting days for the cable man or spending four hours trying to get an answer from Comcast’s kafka-esque phone support system. Atrocious customer service certainly isn’t the word “cable’s” fault. It’s thanks to a lack of competition and the resulting apathy, which by proxy results in skimping on subcontractor and support quality. Eliminating the word cable in the hopes of fixing this industry chain of dysfunction is kind of like trying to put out a forest fire by proudly proclaiming it’s a walnut — it’s just not going to get to the root of the problem.