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One U.S. city has a message for Comcast: Stay away from our citizens

One U.S. city has a message for Comcast: Stay away from our citizens
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Comcast doesn't have the best reputation lately and its customer service track record is to blame. Angry customers have taken to the Internet to share their horror stories. Remember the customer service call from hell that a disgruntled customer uploaded to SoundCloud? That bad reputation is coming back to haunt the company. The Worcester, Massachusetts, City Council is trying to keep Comcast out of its town altogether.

The City Council in Worcester, MA, does not want Comcast coming anywhere near its residents. The cable company is seeking a license transfer from Charter as part of a customer swap that's tied to its purchase of Time Warner Cable, but the council is trying to block it.

Basically, the City Council is worried about Comcast's poor customer services. They've heard all of the gory details from disgruntled customers and want to protect their citizens from a similar fate.

Councilor Gary Rosen called Comcast's customer service "deplorable and substandard" and referred to the company as "a wolf in wolf's clothing..." Those are some harsh words, but can the council really block the company from entering the community?

The Worcester City Council voted 8-3 in favor of recommending that the City Manager not sign off on the transfer of the city's license to Comcast. While the vote holds no weight on its own, it does give Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. something to think about. City Councilors also think the vote could help influence the Federal Communications Commission, and it could block the merger altogether.

If Augustus decides to agree with the City Council, Comcast can then appeal the decision to the state cable commission. But, it might not even make it that far.

Comcast may not have to take it that far. According to Deputy City Solicitor Michael E. Traynor, the transfer cannot be blocked based upon Comcast's customer service record. "The cable license transfer can only be based on four criteria: the company's management, technical and legal experience, as well as its financial capabilities."

Worcester isn't the only city upset about the merger. Lexington, Kentucky, officials want the company to improve upon its customer service before they'll sign off on letting it enter the market.

While the Worcester vote may not block Comcast in the long run, it does show how powerful social media and the Internet can be when it comes to holding businesses accountable. Click here to learn how to complain to businesses on social media and actually get results.

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Source: ARS Technica
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