Doesn’t matter what the FCC says Wii love you: Comcast

July 28, 2008

It’s been a rough few weeks for cable operator Comcast Corp. U.S. regulator FCC is on the verge of punishing it for allegedly fiddling with subscribers’ use of peer-to-peer services like BitTorrent while New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is threatening to sue if Comcast doesn’t agree to join other Internet service providers to block access to child pornography.

But the largest U.S. cable operator is hoping to win over its customers by offering a free Nintendo Wii to new subscribers to its Triple Play package of video, Internet and phone.nintendowii.jpg

The national free Wii offer runs from Monday till August 17th for new subscribers who have to agree to sign up for two years to one of Comcast’s premium Triple Play packages: Preferred Plus (at $129 a month) and Premier Triple Play ($159 a month).

Comcast seems to be adopting the tactics of a major rival. Earlier on Monday we posted about Verizon’s drop-off in FiOS TV subscriber growth last quarter after it stopped giving away flatscreen high-def TVs. The expensive marketing push certainly helped Verizon establish the FiOS TV brand in the minds of consumers in areas where it markets such as New York.

Maybe the Wii, which still can’t be found on some store shelves, will help Comcast regain some of that customer love. Or perhaps that’s money better spent on improving customer service .

(Photo: Reuters)


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Comcast’s Wii promotion is very simple. It’s a good opporutnity for new customers (who enjoy gaming) to get faster speeds and the triple play. Since you also mention customer service, you should know that Comcast is listening to our customers and we are making a huge company-wide effort to improve. We’ve hired thousands of reps and technicans in the past few years, opened new call centers and improved training. We are using new technologies like hand-held devices for our techs that will improve on-time reliability. When techs come to your house, we are adding a “whole home check” to the visit, where they will test every product to make sure that everything is working properly. These are just a few of many improvements. You can read more about what we are doing from our head of customer service at these links: rs/customercare.html rs/RickGRoadTrip.html

And from the NY Times logy/25comcast.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Jenn Khoury, Comcast

Posted by Jennifer Khoury, Comcast | Report as abusive

Since I already have 2 out 3 – cable and internet, I’m contemplating your digital phone service, but only if the offer for the Wii is included. I am not a new customer, but that shouldn’t matter if I actually sign up for all three. Let me know what the company decides, so I can make my decision.
Henny van Dijk

Posted by Henny van Dijk | Report as abusive

I’ve been reading on other sites that there are some hidden fees, such as that after the first initial year the bill will be increased $25 EACH MONTH. Is this true? If so, it’s a bit pointless to even sign up for this because in the 2nd year you will have been able to buy a number of WII’s for the amount you’ll be paying to COMCAST.

Can anyone clear this up whether it’s just an initial one time increase of $25 or does it steadily go up $25 each month?

So say on the 13 month it’s 175, 14th 200, 15th 225, and so on.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

I’ve been a Comcast subscriber for YEARS. I’ve upgraded to premium packages, DVR, multiple boxes; I’ve paid on time every month and rarely call with a complaint. What is my reward for being a good customer? Nothing. Only new subscribers are treated to an expensive, difficult to locate gaming console.

I’ve been considering the switch for months and I think Comcast’s new promotion just made up my mind for me. DishTV here I come.

Posted by Jonathan Fisher | Report as abusive

Hi – this is Lynsey at Comcast – wanted to address the question posted by David. I can clear up that the promotional rates are for the first 12 months and then standard rates apply thereafter (which vary by package/market). They don’t increase on a monthly basis. If you have any more questions, though, you should give us a call at 1-800-Comcast.

Posted by Lynsey Silvesti | Report as abusive

Hmm, your going to switch because Comcast in enticing new customers to sign up with a promotion. Since every other satellite and cable service also uses promotions to increase customers I hope you really enjoy your antenna. P.S. be sure you pick up one of the digital converter boxes at Walmart to get your antenna signal effective February. Seriously some people have legit complaints and some just love to hear themselves whine. I would bet you got some sort of deal when you initially signed up also, if not then youre even dumber than your complaint.

Posted by CRAIG EASTOM | Report as abusive

I too have been a long time comcast customer and I do have a triple bundle. My complaint is that when I called comcast and asked what was my incentive to stay – they said to upgrade and pay more money. The fact that I had a reduced rate when I signed up should not exclude me from a loyalty incentive. Craig you missed the point in Jonathons comment. Companies do this to us becuase we allow it. Customers who stay should be rewarded not punished. That is all he is saying. BEsides he can swtich back before February and probably get a free Flat screen TV when he does (maybe that will be the new promotion). It is the power of his action that speaks. You are the dumb one – becuase you do not see the power of your dollar. Imagine if 25% of their long term customers just walked away because they are not given an incentive to stay. Comcast and other companies need to wake up.

Posted by Kay | Report as abusive

So, I’m, already a customer forking out 120 bucks a month for cable. I called to sign up for the triple play but I can’t get a wii. For the privilege of having paid Comcast thousands of dollars in cable service over the past few years I am not eligible for the promotion. Never mind that I would have added 2 services and a 2 year commitment.

To heck with that. I’ll stick with the cable for now but the only thing Comcrap accomplished today is I am now looking at competitor offers instead.

No I remember why I dumped the cable internet service to begin with. Terrible customer service.

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive

Just ordered the triple play… I had to go through 5 different people from Comcast to find someone who knew about the Wii promotion. Not sure how it’s going for Comcast but, customers are having to haggle for the promotion they were promised and end up paying more money for a bundle package than buying each service seperately. Further, Comcast’s poor service, poor signal, and vague promotions leave me wondering how such a company continues to be competative.

Posted by Mac | Report as abusive

I just signed up for this promotion, and I had no hassle. I talked to one operator, was put on hold for maybe two minutes (while they ran my credit I assume), and set up for installation the day after tomorrow. I’ve read quite a bit about this promotion, and none of it has been too positive. But so far, my personal experience has been great. I mean, I want cable, high speed internet, eh the phone is ok, but why not get a Wii for my son’s Christmas and pay for something I’d pay anyway!

Posted by Maria | Report as abusive