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Cox Communications

Cox expanding its home security/home automation reach

By the end of 2012, the cable company plans to offer Cox Home Security in seven states
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10/24/2012

ATLANTA—After a successful trial of its home security/home automation offering in Arizona, Cox Communications is now expanding Cox Home Security to six other states.

Good news for security companies: Cable Guy’s customer service ratings fall to new lows

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Professional security companies proudly point to the good service they give consumers as an important differentiator between them and their giant cableco and telecom competitors. And a new consumer satisfaction survey suggests they don’t have to worry about losing that edge to the Cable Guy anytime soon—because it shows new dips for Time Warner Cable and Comcast, and AT&T and DIRECTV don’t fare too well, either.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index released its annual measure of the communications industries this week. The ACSI report measures consumer satisfaction in such categories as Internet service providers (ISPs), subscription TV service, fixed-line and wireless telephone service, computer software and cellphones, according to a news release. Ratings are done on a 100-point scale.

“Customer satisfaction is deteriorating for all of the largest pay TV providers. Viewers are much more dissatisfied with cable TV service than fiber optic and satellite service (60 vs. 68). Though both companies drop in customer satisfaction, DIRECTV (-4 percent) and AT&T (-3 percent) are tied for the lead with ACSI scores of 69. Verizon Communications FiOS (68) and DISH Network (67) follow.”

AT&T’s and DIRECTV’s dips in customer satisfaction are of particular note because I just wrote about how AT&T’s $48.5 billion plan to buy DIRECTV could impact Digital Life—AT&T home security/home automation offering—and the security industry.

Hmmm…a dip in customer satisfaction regarding any part of those companies’ businesses doesn’t seem like a positive—especially if they want to bundle services!

There’s also a $45 billion pending deal for Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable. Both of those companies have home security/home automation offerings but they’re not making customers very happy, at least when it comes to TV and Internet service, according to ACSI.

“Cable giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable have the most dissatisfied customers. Comcast falls 5 percent to 60, while Time Warner registers the biggest loss and plunges 7 percent to 56, its lowest score to date,” the news release said.

The release also has a prepared statement from David VanAmburg, ACSI director: “Comcast and Time Warner assert their proposed merger will not reduce competition because there is little overlap in their service territories. Still, it's a concern whenever two poor-performing service providers combine operations. ACSI data consistently show that mergers in service industries usually result in lower customer satisfaction, at least in the short term. It's hard to see how combining two negatives will be a positive for consumers.”

Customers also aren’t happy with their Internet service from such providers, according to ACSI.

“High prices, slow data transmission and unreliable service drag satisfaction to record lows, as customers have few alternatives beyond the largest Internet service providers. Customer satisfaction with ISPs drops 3.1 percent to 63, the lowest score in the Index, the release said.

“At an ACSI score of 71,Verizon's FiOS Internet service continues to lead the category, surpassing AT&T, CenturyLink and the aggregate of other smaller broadband providers, all at 65,” according to the release. “Cable-company-controlled ISPs languish at the bottom of the rankings again. Cox Communications is the best of these and stays above the industry average despite a 6 percent fall to 64. Customers rate Comcast (-8 percent to 57) and Time Warner Cable (-14 percent to 54) even lower for Internet service than for their TV service. In both industries, the two providers have the weakest customer satisfaction.”

However, customers are happy with their cellphones. That rating is “up for a second straight year, rising 2.6 percent to a new all-time high ACSI score of 78.”

The release said, “Steady growth in the use of smartphones, which have much higher levels of customer satisfaction, helps drive the overall industry gain. However, as data usage increases, costs to access overloaded networks are high, leaving customer satisfaction with wireless service providers stagnant at an ACSI score of 72.”

ACSI found that, “among wireless phone providers, Verizon Wireless separates from the pack after climbing 3 percent to 75. T-Mobile (69), Sprint (68) and AT&T Mobility (68) are tightly grouped behind. As smartphone adoption continues to grow, network demands increase along with costs to the consumer, each contributing to stagnant customer satisfaction.”

Also interesting were the ACSI POTS ratings. “Customer satisfaction with fixed-line telephone service dips 1.4 percent to an ACSI score of 73, but remains the most satisfying of all types of telecommunications. However, the score is due to shrinking landline usage. As more households abandon fixed-line service for cell phones, the customers that remain tend to be the most satisfied,” the release said.

Faulkner to lead Cox Home Security

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09/05/2013

ATLANTA—Kristine Faulkner has been promoted to vice president and general manager of Cox Home Security and Smart Home, the company announced in a Sept. 5 news release

'20 under 40' 2013 - Erik Evans

 - 
06/11/2013

Erik Evans, 37
Southwest region operations manager,
Cox Home Security, Cox Communications
Atlanta

Influx of telecoms, cablecos into security not alarming, study says

According to IMS Research, the new players will help boost the home penetration rate very rapidly over the new few years
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06/07/2013

AUSTIN, Texas—The penetration rate for U.S. residential intruder alarm products will increase by 5 to 8 percent during the next three years, aided by the entrance of new telecom and cableco players in the market, according to a recent study from IMS Research, now part of IHS.

Cox expands home monitoring service

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03/20/2013

WEST WARWICK, R.I.—Cox Home Security, the security branch of Cox Communications, based here, is expanding its home monitoring service to Rhode Island, Connecticut and Ohio, according to a company statement March 19.

Cox to expand home security

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First, Cox Communications began trialing its new home security/home automation in Tucson, Ariz. last summer. Then, it expanded the service to customers in Phoenix this April. Now, the Atlanta-based cable company announced yesterday, the pilot project has been such a success that the company plans to launch Cox Home Security—which is professionally installed and monitored by a third-party provider the company has declined to name—to other markets later this year.

Where? That’s still anybody’s guess. Todd Smith, director of media relations for Cox, told SSN that the company "plans to expand its Home Security service to several additional markets later this year, following a successful pilot over the last 12 months in Arizona. We’ll announce specific markets as we get closer to launch.” The company also is not saying exactly when that will be.

But Cox did say that it has appointed a new general manager for this new growth area: Vince Groff, formerly the company’s director of video product development.

Here’s more from a company news release:

“Cox Home Security provides advanced features not found in most traditional alarm systems with time-saving, cost-saving, and worry-saving features to help customers manage their family’s safety. The reliable, 24/7 secure monitoring systems feature: intrusion and home safety monitoring (includes fire, gas and flood); remote access so the system can be controlled away from home via a secure online site or Smartphone app; email/text alerts to notify customers of occurrences at the home; safety sensors to detect hazardous conditions such as carbon monoxide and smoke; secure video monitoring available via smart phone or a web browse; [and] control of home functions such as lighting and temperature.

One of Cox’s competitive advantages with this product is the ability to offer to customers through a Cox bundle. With the addition of home security services, all of a customer’s Cox services will appear on one bill …
 
As Cox moves to the next stage of deployment, the company has appointed Vince Groff to the new role of general manager of this new business. Groff led the initial Cox Home Security development and trial execution and will now be responsible for the broader rollout and ongoing management of this new business.

Groff joined Cox in 2000 and was a director of video product development before his promotion to executive director of new growth and development. Vince began his career in systems engineering at Delta Air Lines, and also spent time in strategy consulting and venture capital before coming to Cox.

Cox’s launch in 2011 made it a leader among the telecoms and cablecos entering the security market. Check back here for more developments on this new industry player.

 

Cox launches home security in Phoenix

The cable company expands its trial of Cox Home Security, which started in Tucson last summer
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05/30/2012

ATLANTA—Cox Communications has expanded the trial of its home security/home automation offering to Greater Phoenix. The expansion follows the success of a trial of Cox Home Security in Tucson, Ariz., which began last June, the company said.

Security providers early winners in home automation/home security space

But telecoms and cable companies also are ‘in it to win’ and shouldn’t be discounted, an industry analyst says
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05/29/2012

DALLAS—Security providers have a “first mover” advantage in home automation/home security right now, but the big telecoms and cable companies entering the space are serious competitors who may be game-changers in the future, according to a market research company analyst.

The Cable Guy goes pro as telecoms enter security space

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Watch out security industry! Here comes the new version of the Cable Guy—one that’s more likely to wear a suit and have a computer science background than be a rube who’s always late.

As the telecoms enter the security space at a fast and furious pace—I’ve recently written about the new home security/home automation offerings of Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Frontier Communications, AT&T, Cox Communications, and Comcast—the security industry has expressed confidence that small, professional security companies will outperform those giant companies when it comes to service.

That’s because the archetypal Cable Guy in everyone’s mind is someone who’s always late and barely seems to know what he’s doing. But as the telecoms offer new products such as professionally installed and monitored home security systems, they’re also creating new teams of professional Cable Guys to install and service those products, according to a recent The New York Times article.

Here’s more from the article, entitled “Today’s Cable Guy, Upgraded and Better-Dressed:”
 

“Long depicted as slovenly cranks who dodged growling dogs and tracked mud on the living room carpet, cable guys (and gals) these days often have backgrounds in engineering and computer science. That kind of training is now required — along with a new dress code for some, calling for button-down dress shirts and slacks — as cable companies and their telephone rivals try to lure customers and increase revenue with a suite of [new] products. ... That means added pressure for installers and new requirements for a job that traditionally appealed to high-school graduates looking for reliable blue-collar work. …

… Robert Kolb, a 33-year-old installation and service supervisor for Comcast’s Xfinity television, phone and Internet service, has a one-year certification in network engineering. He wore pressed slacks and a sporty fleece jacket on an Internet upgrade job in the Philadelphia suburbs recently, where he worked on a company-issued MacBook laptop and had a waterproof hand-held computer that could withstand a five-foot drop.

… To make sure he stays up to date, Comcast requires him and other installers to take classes at an in-house training facility known as Comcast University.

OK, the advent of the upgraded Cable Guy doesn’t mean that small professional security companies won’t still have a service edge with customers who continue to view them as their trusted security provider.

But I do think it shows that no security company should be complacent about the telecoms entering the market this time around—and that having professional, well-trained staff that provides excellent customer service is a key to success, no matter what size your company is.

 

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