Preview: Amazon Changes the Way Consumers Subscribe to Broadband & Pay TV

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– New “Amazon Cable Store” Offers Comcast’s Broadband & Pay TV
– Comcast Assigns Specially Trained Customer Service Reps

The quiet launch of a partnership between Amazon and Comcast, first reported by tvpredictions.com has the potential to shake up the cable market. Comcast has expanded its online sales options in a strategic effort to improve the perception of its brand and provide customers with quality customer service.

Buying a cable subscription from the same retailer providing your OTT video subscription service, a cable provider’s competitor might make you feel like you are in “The Twilight Zone”, but it could be a sign that the market landscape is changing and rather than fight for eyeballs, SVoD services and pay TV services are settling on sharing eyeballs. The mutual business venture can potentially benefit both companies.

The goal behind selling Comcast services through Amazon is to improve and simplify the entire process of subscribing to Internet and TV services according to Comcast’s cable division president Neil Smit.

 

Amazon cable store

Amazon Cable Store: the venture may be a way to repair Comcast’s customer service reputation

 

Amazon boasts on its Cable Store home page that ordering Internet and TV services through the site can be done in a simple three-step process: select a package and equipment, complete a credit check and schedule an installation.

The true star of the Comcast via Amazon option is the re-imagining of the service providers’ customer service options. Comcast is notorious for sub-par customer service so much so that the company has only a 1.5 star rating on Amazon followed by tons of reviews detailing the insufficient and downright bad experiences customers have had with the company.

Amazon on the other hand has a great track record in the area, “a brand that’s unrivaled when it comes to customer service,” said Comcast executive VP of customer experience Charlie Herrin. A large portion of improving the public’s perception of the company falls on customer service so customers who subscribe through Amazon are promised “Dedicated customer service, exclusively for Amazon customers” according to the Amazon Cable Store home screen.

Comcast said it has set aside two call centers with 90 employees trained especially for Comcast sales through Amazon, a move that could encourage customers seeking a better customer service experience to subscribe through Amazon.

Amazon’s Cable Store goes into detail about customer service on its home page saying that it will give customers access to agents that can handle all of a customers’ needs from billing to technical issues, that the goal is to connect customers to a service rep in under 60 seconds and that cancelling and downgrading subscriptions will be a simple process as reps don’t earn commissions and customers can choose a contract without terms.

As of now Amazon is only offering Comcast Xfinity TV and Internet for customers living in areas Comcast services but for those in areas covered by the company Amazon’s Comcast offerings include Internet packages starting at 10 Mbps up to 150 Mbps, an assortment of Internet and TV bundles like the Xfinity Internet Plus 75 which features Internet speeds up to 75 Mbps and 30 or more HD cable channels and HBO and various Triple Play bundles. One of those offerings includes the Starter Triple Play which includes 140 or more HD TV channels, DVR, 75 Mbps Internet speeds and telephone service.

No pricing information is available for the services when searching outside of Comcast-serviced areas and services are still being activated on the site across regions Comcast does service but tvpredictions.com reported that in some areas where service is available some of the service options now display pricing details, giving an example of the Internet Plus TV 25 bundle priced at $54.94 per month for the first 12 months. And Comcast said bundle pricing on Amazon will be the same as what it offers through its own Website.

Amazon will take a fee for each Comcast subscription that a customer signs up for through the Amazon Cable Store and Smit reported that down the road other Comcast products could be offered through Amazon as well.

The Amazon Cable Store is the company’s marketplace for the Comcast offerings but it appears equipped to sell services from other providers so down the road Amazon will more than likely begin to offer services from other providers as well. The Wall Street Journal reported that Charter said it is in talks with Amazon about a retail partnership but no decisions have been made public according to a spokesperson from the company.

This partnership with Amazon could lead to Comcast gaining…

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