🖤 Donations of all sizes power our public service journalism Give Now

Time Warner offers customer service with new plan

Jennifer Collins Nov 25, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Time Warner offers customer service with new plan

Jennifer Collins Nov 25, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

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.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.