Telling Customers To Go FICO Themselves

Today’s screed is yet another instance of someone committing the grievous error of telling the truth about his organization’s bad behavior, and doing so in a public forum! Not surprisingly, this executive comes out of the cable industry, which is renowned for having a somewhat less than favorable reputation among consumers.  This guy isn’t helping.

Let me state upfront that I know plenty of cable executives.  I grew up in the TV business with some. Heck, I’ve even had them as clients (none of them are at the moment!).  I will categorically state that they are generally good business people and even better human beings, at least most of them.  I’m not sure why the cable industry has the generally lousy reputation among consumers, but facts are facts.  This statement, spoken by the CEO of Cable One might shed a little light on it:

According to company CEO Thomas Might, the Phoenix, Ariz.-based MSO has deployed a “very rigorous FICI credit scoring process” on its video customers since 2013.  “We don’t turn people away,” Might said, but the cable company’s technicians aren’t going to “spend 15 minutes setting up an iPhone app” for a customer who has a low FICO score.

Yes, you’re reading that right.  He’s happy to take the money of people with bad credit scores but he’s not going to service them to any degree.  As you might be aware, not everyone with a bad credit score is of lesser means.  Maybe you had a billing dispute so you didn’t pay it and the vendor put through a ding to your credit report.  Maybe you didn’t get paid by clients and you couldn’t pay some bills. Or maybe you just live in the “wrong” neighborhood.  In any event, Cable One isn’t going to service you even though you’re paying the same fees as the folks with sterling credit scores.

It goes without saying that  every one of these customers is signing the same contract with the cable company and, therefore, is entitled to the same support for the level of cable service they’re buying. Not in the CEO’s mind. In my mind, discrimination of any sort is a bad idea.  That’s not to say rewarding your best customers with “extras” is bad – it isn’t.  That’s not what we’re seeing here.  This is denigrating the basic support a customer can expect based on a measure of that customer’s financial stregth, and I think it’s wrong.  You?

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