Time Warner offers customer service with new plan
Person watching football with remote control
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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Time Warner Cable is experimenting with new services packages. One for the high end viewer and another for the viewer of more modest means.
Marketplace's Jennifer Collins takes a look at why.
Jennifer Collins: For nearly $200 a month, Time Warner will offer hundreds of channels, a super fast data plan, and -- get this -- you'll be able to schedule a time for the cable guy to show up. Robert Thompson is a television professor at Syracuse University.
Robert Thompson: Getting access to cable people and getting them to show up and everything has been one of the stereotype problems of cable companies. 'Course there was a movie called "The Cable Guy" and let's just say it wasn't a flattering portrayal.
Jim Carrey as "The Cable Guy": Hi.
Here's Jim Carrey in that role.
"The Cable Guy": Is there a problem with your service?
Customer: Yeah, my cable is out.
"The Cable Guy": Funny how you call when you need something.
Yeah, funny how a customer would actually think they could do that. Thompson says those deluxe cable plans could be the next must-have status symbol. But for those with a tight budget, Time Warner is also rolling out a plan for around $40 a month, with limited channels and no customer service extras.
Craig Moffett: This is sort of Marketing 101.
Craig Moffett tracks the cable industry for Sanford Bernstein.
Moffett: In most industries, it's routine that you would have a good-better-best kind of packaging. This is an industry where they're just getting to that kind of segmentation now.
And with Time Warner losing about 2 percent of its subscribers a year -- every little bit helps.
I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.