Journalist Ryan Block’s highly viral recording of his tangle with an aggressive Comcast service rep has helped bring the cable company to its lowest consumer perception levels in two and a half years.
This long-time low point of consumer perception has come at an inopportune time: the Justice Department and FCC are yet to decide whether Comcast can merge with Time Warner Cable, with public interest being part of its mandate.
Word of mouth levels for Comcast have increased since the beginning of the year and have stayed elevated. However that word of mouth is predominantly negative: Comcast and Time Warner Cable in particular have spent most of this year with far more negative perception levels than other cable providers, and at generally worse levels than before the merger announcement was made.
In contrast, Verizon FiOS’ word of mouth levels have been on the upswing since early this year, and the brand has maintained its relatively high consumer perception, placing it at the top of the cable and satellite TV category with scores fluctuating between 6 and 9. Possible scores range from -100 to 100, with zero being neutral.
Cablevision has maintained a neutral level of consumer perception since early 2013 with the lowest and equally flat word of mouth scores as well.
Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS were measured with two of YouGov BrandIndex’s scores: Buzz, which asks respondents "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”; and Word of Mouth, which asks: “Which of the following brands have you talked about with friends and family in the past two weeks, whether in-person, online or through social media? All respondents were age 18 and over.
YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz scores range from 100 to -100 and compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback. Word of Mouth is expressed a percentage, with a range of zero to 100%.