dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
1165
share rss forum feed


pugsam4
It's Nature's Way

join:2002-03-30
Charlottesville, VA

Predatory Pricing in Montgomery County, MD

At the hearing tonight, a Starpower rep charged that Comcast is engaging in a variety of anti-competitive (and probably illegal) practices designed to cripple Starpower and maintain Comcast's de facto monopoly position.

One of these anti-competitive practices, in particular, might explain a lot.

It seems that Comcast is treating customers differently depending on whether or not they are in an area served by Starpower. If you do have the Starpower alternative, you are offered price breaks and special treatment -- goodies that aren't publicized and aren't offered to Comcast customers in other areas of the County. (Which means, of course, that these goodies are in effect subsidized by the customers in the other parts of the County.)

I wonder if this might help explain why most of us on this forum have terrible Comcast experiences, yet we also get a few folks who seem to be on Comcast's easy street and therefore can't relate to our frustration. Could this division be correlated to whether or not the customer is in one of Comcast's "special" targeted areas?

Maybe, when we hear from people who say Comcast is great, we should ask them whether they are in an area served (or soon to be served) by Starpower.


J D McDorce
Premium
join:2001-12-29
Westland, MI
Were the statements similar to this?: »www.wideopenwest.com/00_frame_ne···ry4.html


JTRockville
Data Ho
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-28
Rockville, MD
Oh yeah, wjdorceyjr. Very similar.

WOW seems to be movin a lil faster in MI than Starpower is here in MCMD. As far as I know, Starpower provides service to two teeny tiny lil areas, and they're not makin any bold moves to expand.


big monkey

join:2002-02-19
Charlotte, NC
reply to pugsam4
The correct response to this type of behavior isn't to try to get Concast to stop it, it is to get Starpower EVERYWHERE in the county.

As a first step, county officials should let Starpower cherry-pick the areas it would like to serve, likely those with high-enuf density to to have good economies of scale, and not insist that it try to go toe-to-toe with Concast yet.

Concast will howl, bluster, threaten, and perhaps go to court, which the county shouldn't be afriad of. Then you can make the case that rather engage in a costly and nearly impossible round of monitoring Concast's pricing and promotions to every possible customer, the route of speeding Starpower's rollout by removing regulatory roadblocks was deemed the preferable and more efficient course.

Besides, do we really want to say that all loss-leader promotions are ipso facto predatory? Granted, it is different with a state-licensed monopoly, but I prefer to work that side of the equation.


JTRockville
Data Ho
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-28
Rockville, MD
reply to pugsam4
said by big monkey:
As a first step, county officials should let Starpower cherry-pick the areas it would like to serve, likely those with high-enuf density to to have good economies of scale, and not insist that it try to go toe-to-toe with Concast yet.
Unfortunately big monkey, I don't think the county is preventing Starpower from expanding. I don't know all the details, but I do call Starpower from time to time, just to see if they're gonna be passin me a pipe anytime soon. None of the conversations lead me to believe regulation was a roadblock. And none of the conversations lead me to believe they'd be rollin out to my 'hood anytime soon. Starpower's lack of capital for investment seems to be the key factor here.

So *technically* Comcast does does not have a monopoly for cable services in MCMD, but *realistically* for many of us, maybe even MOST of us, there is no choice.


toddbs98

join:2000-07-08
North Little Rock, AR
reply to pugsam4
I have a great Comcast connection and Comcast has no other cable competition anywhere near here . In fact, they just signed a new 15 year contract with the city,so they won't be having any for quite some time.
While my service with Comcast is good I would still love to see some competitors around.


Attila13
Premium
join:2002-05-01
Rockville, MD
reply to JTRockville
said by JTRockville:
I do call Starpower from time to time, just to see if they're gonna be passin me a pipe anytime soon. None of the conversations lead me to believe regulation was a roadblock. And none of the conversations lead me to believe they'd be rollin out to my 'hood anytime soon. Starpower's lack of capital for investment seems to be the key factor here.

So *technically* Comcast does does not have a monopoly for cable services in MCMD, but *realistically* for many of us, maybe even MOST of us, there is no choice.
I just tried their website and confirmed they're not available at my address. Do you know where they are available in Monkey County? Also, what kind of package are they offering? Yeah, yeah, I know it's premature.

-- Attila


somebodeez
Premium,MVM
join:2001-09-24
here
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to pugsam4
said by pugsam:

Maybe, when we hear from people who say Comcast is great, we should ask them whether they are in an area served (or soon to be served) by Starpower.
I think Comcast could use a lot of improvements but so far, I'm doing pretty much ok here.
There is no other cable internet/tv services in my area.
Digital and internet service became available in my area last year, around September or so. They called us up to let us know and offer the first 2 months free for internet service.

I would like to see some competition from other cable providers


JTRockville
Data Ho
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-28
Rockville, MD
reply to Attila13
said by Attila13:
Do you know where they are available in Monkey County?
They've got a lil bit of Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, and Gaithersburg. I was told by a sales rep that Starpower will reevaluate their expansion plans in 2003, but nothing is planned for MCMD in the meantime.

I think Starpower is disgusted with the free state.
Cable Firm Pulls Plug On Deal in Maryland Provider Won't Enter Pr. George's Because Of 'Unfair' Demands

Click here to see the status of Starpower's HSI net. It shows an outage in Bethesda from 04-29-2002 04:33:31 till 04-29-2002 14:00:29, with regular updates to the status posted in between.

SWEET

Lovejoy

join:2002-03-25
Rockville, MD
reply to pugsam4
Hmmmmm...... I wonder if I could use this info to get better pricing on my cable and or HSI? I am in the process of changing from ELDSL or CHSI. Suggestions?

Lovejoy


nifft

join:2001-02-10
Newton Center, MA
reply to pugsam4
I know starpower is in my new neighborhood where I will be moving to in a few months. I will find out what kind of "discounts" they will give me. BTW my new place is in zip 20878 in gaithersburg...


chasmp
Are We There Yet?

join:2000-11-16
Rockville, MD
reply to pugsam4
I don't seem to be having problems with my Comcast. I've always wondered if the many of the county legislators (outside of their offices) are in Rockville.

Anyhoo, Starpower isn't ready for Rockville. I remember that when they were first allowed into MC, then Mont. Cable protested that Starpower was targeting only high population areas while Mont. Cable had to still supply rural areas.

The county agreed and made Starpower change its master plan to include the rural areas (Gaithersburg?) so they've slowed down their expansion. Way slow.

I would seriously consider changing only because I know that my older neighbors won't... the faster for me!
--
it's not the after life... more of an apres vis.

SkipMDMan

join:2002-02-09
Riverdale, MD
reply to pugsam4
As much as I hate to post anything remotely
resembling a positive commet about Comcast I
thought I had to say something in this thread.

There is a lot more of this "competition"
pricing than you realize in all levels of
your consumer experience.

The main one is in grocery store chains.

I used to work for Giant Food,this is the
#1 grocery chain in the area. We had what
was called "zone pricing" and that was
dependent on the location of Shopper's
Food Warehouse stores. If a Giant was
close to a Shoppers,prices were lowered
to draw people away from that store.

I'm sure other retailers do it also,it's
a perfectly normal part of capitalism.

That said I hope they stick it somehow
to Comcast to make it not worth their
while to gouge prices.

Skip


pugsam4
It's Nature's Way

join:2002-03-30
Charlottesville, VA

Re Giant's "zone pricing" :

1. It might be legal but it's ethically questionable

2. Giant, unlike Comcast, isn't operating under a public franchise that gives it special concessions and a virtual monopoly

(and I believe that one of the speakers last night pointed out that the franchise agreement requires that Comcast charge everyone "uniform" prices - so Comcast's predatory pricing is violating its own franchise agreement)

3. Any customer can walk into every Giant and get that store's prices - but other Comcast subscribers can't get the special predatory "drive-out Starpower" price that they are subsidizing by paying the ever-escalating full Comcast price
[text was edited by author 2002-05-10 17:21:46]


Mei Guo Ren

join:2001-11-05
Silver Spring, MD
reply to pugsam4
I have a friend who live in G-burg, and he has Starpower as an alternative. For some reason (he didn't ask me), he signed up with Comcast instead. And he pays just as much as I do, and is service is just as horrible-- they erased his account after it had been working for one weekend, and then blacklisted him. It took a week to work out.

So maybe Comcast is trying to screw Starpower, but they are just as incompetent as it as everything else they do.