Cable One used customers' credit scores to decide how good their Internet would be


#1

[Read the post]


#2

The really great thing about this is that it puts everyone, even people who have no need or use for consumer credit, on the treadmill of checking on, being concerned about and playing the whole FICO score game – as featured about every fifth advertisement on TV.


#3

But broadband providers are profit maximizing businesses — not charities or social justice warriors

Once again proving that anyone who uses the term ‘SJW’ is a trash fire.


#4

too bad nothing will happen to the company. They give a half assed apology and go right back to being wankers.

Late stage capitalism indeed.


#5

Is anyone else waiting for ‘death-throes capitalism’? No, just me?


#6

Well that’s sufficiently terrible, but also not at all surprising.

I’ve had many friends that have worked for telco/cable companies in the customer service field and everybody has told me more or less the same story: whenever a customer calls in there’s a retention metric that gets displayed on their screen associated with the customer. That metric is determined by how often they have called in the past, the severity of their issues, the tiers of service, the amount they pay, the lifetime of their account, and so on. I wouldn’t be surprised if credit score counted into this as well provided they pulled this as part of signing you up.

In essence it’s making an algorithmic determination to if you’re considered a profitable customer or a leech. Profitable customers will get superior service, “oh, you’re not happy with your current cable bill? let’s give you this promotional rate that saves you 30%.” If you’re a leech, “oh, you’re not happy with your current cable bill? we’ll be happy to cancel your service for you.”

Seeing that a company uses a low credit score to QoS you into a lower tier seems completely par for the course to me.


#7

Well ‘free market’ capitalism anyway.
The whole shareholder value, profits must grow every quarter, long term be damned give my money now capitalism yes that can die soon please.


#8

I’d prefer “public benefit” capitalism.
Make shareholder value officially second to providing a service to your customers.


#9

I didn’t quite catch from the article whether the company used credit scores as part of their targeted marketing/sales or they actually funneled you into a speed tier you couldn’t buy your way out of.

The “customer has high credit score, push the premium package”, “customer has a low score, discourage the premium package” sales approach seems almost expected, and ventures into evil for sure if it’s “customer has a low score tell them the premium package is unavailable.”


#10

Yep, that’s the kind I meant.

I saw a corporate billboard the other the other day, proclaiming that “growth should never be a problem,” and it made me want to slap someone.

Because unchecked growth without sufficient sustainability within a finite environment is indeed a HUGE fucking problem:


#11

I think it was Lenin who said that would be when capitalism is focused on destruction rather than creation. If asset stripping and companies whose only customers are the military are anything to go by, it has already happening for a while.


#12

Even before I had finished reading all your comment, I was thinking “You mean, like right now, even as we speak?”

SMDH


#13

Didn’t you know? He came out of his tomb just to tell you that. He became a lich when he realised that Stalin wanted him dead, slept for nearly 100 years, and now he’s back to take over free the world.


#14

Oh, yay.


#15

Nope, definitely not an oligarchy. :unamused:


#16

[quote=“Melizmatic, post:10, topic:78968, full:true”]
I saw a corporate billboard the other the other day, proclaiming that “growth should never be a problem” [/quote]
Yeah, tell that to the next cancer patient you meet. “Hey, you’ve got fantastic quarter-over-quarter growth!”


#17

I didn’t even think of it in that context, but you have a point.

And having known more than a few Cancer survivors personally, I would never deign to say such an insensitive thing.


#18

Waiting? Some of us are actively plotting to destroy it from within.


#19

By not pushing more-expensive (and high-margin) products on people with lower credit scores, this company was actually doing them a favor by not trapping them in further debt for services they couldn’t afford. It’s not like Cable One was only allowing them to buy dial-up service, and it’s not like Cable One was denying them the option of buying higher-tier internet services - they were just limiting marketing of PAY TV services to people whose credit scores indicated they were likely to afford them. This was specifically and explicitly about marketing pay TV services, not internet service. If you read the original linked article, it’s about how this company has cut way back on trying to market premium pay TV services to customers who have a history of not being able to afford it - which I would think we would applaud.

Bad debt is a cost to the company, but it’s a nightmare for the consumer who owes money they can’t pay. A 70% decline in bad debt means a 70% decline in people who are harassed by bill collectors, whose credit scores are further damaged, who are forced to make tough decisions between paying their cable bill and buying necessities. At various times in my life I’ve been the subject of collections efforts for running up bills I couldn’t pay, and it’s a complete nightmare. Not sure what the outrage is about on this one.


#20

isn’t this the capitalist version of the class/cast system?
we wouldn’t want to offer customer service to the untouchables with low credit scores…

the more we change the more we stay the same…sighs.