The Truth About Profit Over People: Charter Communications

If you’re looking for an example of a company that has opted to value profit over people, all you need to do is toss a rock in any direction. Literally. One of the most prominent local examples of this negative business mindset is Charter Communications.

If you’re a Grand Traverse region resident, an angry epithet about Charter has most likely slipped through your lips a time or two. They’re evil. Pure, unfiltered evil. I’m not exaggerating. They take profit over people to a whole new low while pushing advertising propaganda that takes an opposite stance.

Here are 4 ways that Charter Communications proves that profit over people does not work.

Monopoly
Charter Communications has virtually monopolized the cable internet and TV market in the tri-state area.

In Northern Michigan, the only available option for cable TV and Internet is Charter. In fact, the only other option for “reliable” internet is through the satellite providers.

Recently, Charter announced an intent to purchase Ohio internet mongoloid, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. This is a huge jump and expands Charter’s reach to:

  • Ohio
  • Indiana
  • Florida
  • Alabama
  • California
  • Texas
  • New York
  • Maine
  • Wisconsin
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina

“The proposed transaction would bring together fourth (Time Warner Cable), seventh (Charter), and tenth (Bright House Networks) largest multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) in the country to create the third largest provider in the country, serving roughly 17.3 million customers. Additionally, the new company would bring together 19.4 million broadband subscribers, creating the second largest broadband internet provider in the country and would provide services to customers across portions of nearly 40 states.” Source: FCC.gov

This is a bit scary, considering the fact that Charter Communications has been practicing some pretty serious profit over people tactics for years.

Reliability
Let’s not even get started on reliability.

Charter may have started out with reliable coverage, but over the last 10 years, they have steadily dug themselves a hole that they likely will never get out of.

Both personal and business internet and cable services have been unreliable at best – total garbage at worst. Based on the pricing and advertisements, subscribers should be receiving blazing fast service. Especially considering the fact that we have NO other option for the internet in this area.

As mentioned above, the only other option lies with the satellite providers like Dish Network or Direct TV. However, for a state that boasts heavy snowfall for majority of the year, satellite just doesn’t make sense.

Customer Service
Not only are their products/services a low priority, so is good customer service. Honestly, I don’t know a single person or business who has had a good experience with Charter Communications. Ever.

Their representatives are often combative and lack product knowledge.

Hidden Pricing
They have hidden pricing stashed all over the place. Literally, everywhere.

Hidden pricing is essentially a staple when it comes to the cable tv business. I’m sure you’ve seen the recent commercials from DirectTV poking fun at the fact that you end up swiping your card every time you want to watch a different channel.

Swipe anxiety is a real thing.

Although Charter Communications began as a customer service-oriented cable company that valued honesty but has regressed over the years and adopted a profit over people model. Unfortunately, it may not hurt them financially because of their strategic local positioning, but this stance is detrimental to customer satisfaction across the board.

In case you’re a little behind, read our recent Book Report: People Over Profit by Dale Partridge to get caught up.

Book Report: People Over Profit by Dale Partridge

I firmly believe in the idea of valuing people over profit. Always have. Always will. That’s why the book People Over Profit by Dale Partridge caught my attention and my heart. Here are just a few of the things that I learned or re-learned while reading this book.

The notion of people over profit has been around a long, long time and has been practiced by many huge conglomerates that I of know today. The idea rarely remains at the top of the corporate ladder, and businesses often revert to less than savory methods to turn a profit. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Being a good business is synonymous with being a good person. You’d never treat someone the way that some companies are treating their employees, customers, and third-party vendors. Would you?

No matter what industry you’re in and what your relation to that industry is, everything should relate back to these two very basic principles: People Matter & Honesty is the Best Policy.

People Matter

People Matter

No matter who they are, where they come from or how they relate to your company – People Matter. No one should have to spell this out for you.

Every person that your brand touches should be valued and treated with the utmost respect and care whether they’re an employee, vendor, or customer. It should be both purely instinctual and your first priority in business to make sure that every person feels valued and appreciated.

If you feel that your brand may be guilty of valuing profit over people, take a step back and look at things from a different perspective. If you were an employee, would you want to work here? Would you buy product or services from your business? Or, would you want to do business with your brand as a vendor?

If the answer is “No” to any of these, or even a hesitant “Maybe”…make changes.

When people aren’t your priority, they will start to leave you. Maybe not now, but they will. Believe me, I’ve been there.

Here are just a few options to get you started on your journey to valuing your people:

Ask questions. Ask your employees, vendors and customers. Take their answers seriously.

Give your employees purpose and recognition for a job well done.

Assess your current product quality control, and make changes where needed.

Honesty is Always the Best Policy

Honest is Always the Best Policy

Because people matter, honesty matters.

There are several chapters devoted to this idea in the book, and again, it shouldn’t have to be explained. Be real. Be truthful. Be transparent.

You’d be surprised at what amazing things can come from simple honesty. People wholeheartedly appreciate and are more likely to gravitate towards an authentic brand. Put your best face forward in all things and you’ll be rewarded in the end.

That means you should begin by being honest with everyone that you deal with, starting and ending with your employees.

1. Be transparent with potential employees right out of the gate. Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep just to bring in great talent. That skill will come to you when you cultivate an honest company culture.

2. Be real with your current and tenured employees. If a choice you’ve made or are going to be making affects them, be sure to let them know. Even if it is a negative impact, they’re more likely to trust you if you share the details. Always be sure to provide all employees with a detailed description of duties, so everyone will know what is expected of them.

3. Be truthful and transparent with your potential customers and loyal clients. Everyone appreciates honesty, and that is never more true than when you are trying to sell something. Withholding details or beating around the bush is never a good way to begin a relationship.

4. Keep things straightforward and honest with your vendors and contractors. Think of them as employees, and treat them accordingly.

So, this is what I “learned” from Dale Partridge’s People Over Profit. Take a minute to read the book yourself and share your findings with me!

Do you know of a brand or local company that does an excellent job valuing people over profit? I’d love to hear about it!