Update: An official announcement from Comcast confirmed that it will, in fact, not be changing its corporate name, but rather branding its cable services as Xfinity.
Comcast, the biggest cable provider in the United States, is changing its name. According to the company’s blog, Xfinity will now replace Comcast as the company’s new product name in an attempt to show customers that it’s not the “same old company,” but rather an innovator. That could be a tough sell considering the company’s current reputation as a behemoth with terrible customer service.
If Xfinity sounds familiar, it’s because Comcast used the name back in December when it announced the launch of Fancast Xfinity TV, providing the internet TV platform a host of popular TV shows, including The Simpsons and The Sopranos. The company actually announced the name change on its blog last week, but is only making a big publicity push for it now.
While the company says Comcast will still remain its corporate name, all new products will be branded under Xfinity. The company states that the new name is about new products across technology platforms and faster speeds. While it’s great to improve on more TV shows, HD features and more language channels, what about customer service?
Comcast’s Achilles heel has been its notorious bad customer service and technical difficulties. On the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, Comcast has a substantially lower rating than competing cable and satellite TV providers like DirecTV and Cox Communications. A Google search on “Comcast” lends several high ranked anti-Comcast results, including ComcastSucks.org, a site dedicated to making Comcast a responsible business entity.
While I commend Comcast for attempting a new start, it would seem that fixing customer service and technical issues should be the main focus. And while a Twitter account dedicated to customer service and a new Comcast Customer Guarantee are good steps, they are small ones. Comcast is going to need more than a new name to keep customers from grumbling and looking at more innovative and flexible products like Boxee or Apple, which tap into the internet to watch shows rather than through cable.