AT&T’s U-verse Tries to Lure Subscribers By Warning of Comcast-TWC Merger

AT&T's U-verse Tries to Lure Customers

Getting in a dig at competitors Comcast and Time Warner Cable and their impending merger, AT&T’s U-verse has sent postcard mailers to prospective customers by warning that “the two cable companies with some of the poorest overall customer satisfaction scores have announced they are merging.”

The mailer makes no mention of AT&T’s own plans to merger with DirecTV, but the message is pretty clear: Two companies that rank at the bottom of a consumer survey won’t make for one bigger, better company.

The source of the AT&T mailer — headlined “The facts are on your side. You have a choice.” — is the American Customer Satisfaction Index for the Subscription TV and Internet Service Industries.

An AT&T spokesman said that the mailer was “one way of informing customers they have a choice of TV providers, and when it comes to customer satisfaction, U-verse is a better choice.”

The most recent Customer Satisfaction Index report, released on May 20, showed Time Warner Cable with the worst score among pay-TV providers, with Comcast tied with Charter Communications with the second-worst score. DirecTV topped the list in satisfaction, followed by U-verse, but customer satisfaction with subscription TV overall has been falling. In fact, according to the report, pay-TV is “among the least satisfying industries measured” by the index. Only Internet service scores lower; fixed phone line and electric service do better.

Comcast CEO Brain Roberts last week was asked at the Re/Code  conference about being labeled “the most hated company in America.”

“We don’t wake up every day and go to work and say ‘We want to be hated.’… There’s a reason the cable box was a real liberator 30 years ago and is a tremendous retarder of innovation today,” adding that the company’s innovations will change the equation.

“We got to improve every year, and I think we will, or we won’t be here,” he said.

The question is whether Comcast-TWC will have their own way of needling AT&T-DirecTV over their merger plans. A Comcast spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 6

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. I cut my cable last year by getting a Media Cube. I get every channel, every TV show, every movie, free PPV, live sports, 1000s of free video games, karaoke and a mini PC for my TV. It has 5.1 and 7.1 digital surround sound and every 3D movie ever made. Best part, there are no fees… ever! I have the v1, but the new version looks even better! You can get one here  

  2. Here’s hoping that (as I am suspecting this “article” was -planted- to say) the Comcast/TWC merger is never allowed to happen. This Variety article strangely implies that it certainly will. I wonder why? And why would AT&T make you want to believe that it is going to happen? Unless they believe the merger is in their best interest as well. Huh?

    If this insane merger is allowed to happen, against all public interest, it will be further proof that the American government has been totally bought and paid for by Comcast. And that the American government is only interested in it’s corporate contributors and overlords, and not in it’s people.

    Cable system monopoly Comcast, by the way, spent more money lobbying (and ???) in Washington last year than any other corporation or any other lobby group, except for defense contractor Lockheed Martin. Unbelievable, isn’t it? They’re spending the money from your cable system and internet service bills in order to east regulations and restrictions on charging you even more. I love corporate welfare.

  3. John says:

    Won’t matter. I don’t pay for TV now, I won’t pay for TV 10 years from now. If I have to buy TV to get TV, I will stop watching. I’ve not paid for TV for 12 years, and like it that way because I don’t like the crap service, I don’t like paying for channels I don’t watch, I don’t like how a cable channel plays the same three days of programming every three days for a month, and I don’t like how they monitor what you watch, then move the channels you watch into a more expensive tier to try and force you to upgrade to keep the channels you like. I don’t pay for bad service, and I don’t deal with people when I think they are thieves, so I don’t pay for television.

  4. No more Direct TV, Dish, UVerse, Tin Cans or Sound Waves and Glad of It says:

    I would not accept tax free compensation to ever have Direct TV or UVerse again. It is easier to just flush my hard earned cash down the toilet than deal with crooks. 250 channels, 8 of which are watched periodically…… thanks. Warning! If you accept a “deal,” prepare to have your rates rise continuously and mercilessly, and if you call customer service, expect to speak with a foreign country.

  5. danfrommv says:

    We used to have DirecTV and switched to UVerse (mostly because DirecTV was holding out on broadcasting the Lakers). Now UVerse and DirecTV are trying to merge. In general, we know that merging reduces competition and therefore results in increased costs and lower service to the end user.

    So, why is Uverse calling the kettle black?

    • “…why is Uverse calling the kettle black?” Because they’re in the same kettle. They want you to think the Comcast merger is inevitable (I hope to god it isn’t) because they want you to think theirs is too.

More TV News from Variety