Study: Checks Still Rule Cable Payments

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Satellite-television customers are more apt to use electronic- or
automatic-payment options for their programming bills than their cable
counterparts are, according to the results of CTAM Pulse research released this
week by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing.

Of satellite-TV customers polled in the telephone survey, 8 percent paid
their bills with an automatic charge to their credit cards and 4 percent used
automatic bank withdrawal.

Only 72 percent of satellite customers paid by check or money order, compared
with 77 percent of basic-only cable customers. Only 2 percent of basic cable
customers used automatic credit-card payments, and another 2 percent used
automatic bank withdrawal.

Overall, satellite-television customers expressed more interest in using
alternate methods of payments, such as making an annual payment in exchange for
a 5 percent discount (25 percent), paying electronically via the provider's Web
site (21 percent), other online bill-payment services (19 percent) and
automatic-payment options from bank withdrawals (19 percent), debit cards (20
percent) or credit cards (14 percent).

Consumers who used the Internet at home were more likely to express an
interest in paying their bills electronically or by automatic withdrawals from a
bank or credit card.

The CTAM Pulse study reported that customer satisfaction increases when
consumers have multiple payment options, especially when they have the ability
to communicate about their bills electronically via electronic mail or instant
messages.

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