Seattle -- The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing and
Cable Television Laboratories Inc. are launching a "Cable Movers Hotline" -- the
industry’s first program of its kind to hand off subscribers who move from one
cable system to another.
MSOs have had internal programs for years to track subscribers who move
within systems. But no system existed, for instance, that allowed Cox
Communications Inc. to hand off a subscriber who was moving from San Diego to
Houston to Time Warner Cable.
Nine MSOs are participating in the program: Adelphia Communications Corp.,
Bright House Networks, Cablevision Systems Corp., Charter Communications Inc.,
Comcast Corp., Cox, Insight Communications Co. Inc., Mediacom Communications
Corp. and Time Warner Cable.
When a subscriber calls to disconnect service because of a move, a
customer-service representative would have the ability to transfer the call
directly to the subscriber’s new cable system, if the customer desired.
In the early months of the program, some 57% of subscribers elected to be
transferred to their new operator, officials said.
The hotline -- already several months in development -- uses CableLabs’
Go2Broadband database. CSRs have at their fingertips the phone numbers of MSO
call centers in cable systems across the country.
CTAM said all of the MSOs participating are receiving calls from subscribers
who are moving. Only one-half of the MSOs are currently forwarding calls, but
CTAM expects that number to reach 100% in the first quarter of 2004.
CableLabs is picking up the cost of the service as part of its Go2Broadband
initiative. The goal of the hotline is to prevent cable subscribers who move
from choosing direct-broadcast satellite in their new town.