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Cable scofflaws beware: SubscriberWise sees you

Fri, 01/06/2012 - 2:42pm
Mike Robuck

SubscriberWise has come up with an interesting way of tracking down people who are viewing cable services after previously being disconnected for non-payment.

SubscriberWise is offering its "community unit policy" to video operators in the United States. The solution works by identifying individuals who have been consuming an operator's offerings while cohabitating with the same individual who was previously disconnected for non-payment.

While it sounds very Big Brother-like, the policy was designed to mitigate non-pay churn, which is a constant thorn in video operators' sides. And it's legal.

"SubscriberWise incorporates indicative information from federally compliant, permissible-purpose consumer reports in conjunction with proprietary social security and address-matching technology," said David Howe, president of SubscriberWise. "Operators leverage the information to identify individuals masquerading as 'new' subscribers while attempting to circumvent past-due accounts with half truths and lies. The policy essentially holds responsible all adults, regardless of the relation or association, who are – or who will be – living with the disconnected subscriber and consuming service."

SubscriberWise uses "subscriber-level segmentation" technology to ID credit-challenged subscribers. Combined with Red Flag compliance and operator-controlled rules, SubscriberWise analytics enable customer service reps to view and respond to payment and credit characteristics.

Count executives of Massillon Cable as true believers in the effectiveness of SubscriberWise.

"The benefits of this policy are profound, and it has literally transformed our bottom line," said David Hoffer, chief operating officer for Massillon Cable. "Rather than trading one write-off today for another liability tomorrow, we have raised the bar by enforcing a policy that is not only common sense, but, more importantly, one that could be defended in any court in this country."

"It's absolutely true," said Massillon Cable President Bob Gessner. "Enforcing SubscriberWise's community unit policy has created tremendous value for Massillon Cable and the customers we serve. It protects our capital investments while delivering operational efficiencies from the call center to the service techs in the field."

So take note of that dirt bag roomie who is sitting next to you on the couch while watching TV.

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