Comcast has announced a name change for their technology platform and products.
Comcast’s TV, Video and Voice services will now be known as XFINITY TV, XFINITY Voice and XFINITY Internet. Comcast spokesmen said the branding change was the culmination of years of development work.
David Watson, Executive Vice President of Operations for Comcast, said, “XFINITY is the culmination of years of work to transition Comcast’s network and products to a platform that will now offer 100+ HD channels, 50 to 70 foreign-language channels, approaching 20,000+ VOD choices, incredibly fast Internet speeds (50 Mbps growing to 100+ Mbps) and thousands of TV shows and movies online for our customers to watch whenever and wherever they want.”
Reaction to the name change has been mixed, ranging from negative to worse.
Comments to this announcement on Comcast’s blog have ranged from “I’d rather see you rebrand your infrastructure in DC so I don’t have to call you every six months,” to “In my entire life, there was only one company that I would never do business with again, ever, forever. That was Comcast. Now, and I didn’t think this would happen, there are two. Comcast and XFINITY.”
The big problem here for Comcast is that this move smacks of an Altria-style rebranding of an incredibly unpopular service to consumers. Comcast is notorious for its miserable customer service. After all, what other company has inspired the type of consumer hatred behind Comcastmustdie.com?
Ironically, Comcast would rather insist that nothing has changed that admit that this is a strategic rebranding exercise. Scott McNulty, a Comcast spokesman, said that “We aren’t changing the name in an effort to address any service issues we might have had in the past. The entire company has been working very hard to improve our customers’ experiences. … we as a company are dedicated to taking care of our customers.”
Comcast, it might be prudent to admit that this was a strategic move, even if nothing has changed. The Comcast name has such a huge amount of negative baggage attached to it that it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try to distance the XFINITY name from Comcast customer service. Scott McNulty and his coworkers should probably consider this.