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Time Warner offers customer service with new plan

Jennifer Collins Nov 25, 2010

Time Warner offers customer service with new plan

Jennifer Collins Nov 25, 2010


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.

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