Brian Dietz, VP of communications for the NCTA, said that Verizon's "fairy tale complaint" to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that cable operators do not allow consumers to switch video providers easily "is a lame attempt to deflect criticism from its years-long illegal practice of misusing proprietary information to prevent consumers from switching to a new phone provider."
Yesterday, it was announced that Verizon is petitioning the FCC to mandate that cable operators allow consumers to switch video providers as easily as consumers can switch voice providers (story here).
In a separate filing with the FCC earlier this week, Verizon said that the cable industry delays its subscribers' switches to competing voice providers by regularly failing to meet the Commission's timing requirements for local number portability.
Verizon's complaint is that cable operators do not accept disconnect orders from their subscribers' new video providers. In its petition, Verizon said cable operators "require the customer to contact them directly to cancel service after choosing a new video provider and to return equipment," which "significantly complicates the process of switching video providers, thereby entrenching the cable incumbents' dominant market position."
In response to Verizon's petition, Dietz also had this to say: "This is yet another example of Verizon looking for a regulatory handout to help them compete, rather than focusing on a customer-friendly approach to providing – or switching – service. The good news is that despite Verizon's ongoing attempts to block phone competition, more than 15 million consumers have switched to cable's phone service and already have saved a total of $23 billion."
Earlier this week, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks accused Verizon of illegally using proprietary information to retain customers who are leaving the telco in order to receive cable operators' phone services (story here).
In a recent filing, the cable operators asked the FCC to crack down on Verizon's practice. Verizon said that it is not doing anything illegal, that its marketing is good for consumers and that the cable operators are trying to block consumer choice.
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