I joked on Facebook the other day that telecom and tech companies are like your boy/girlfriend – you love what they bring to your life, but on some level you are always kind of annoyed by them.
It may be interesting to draw that analogy out a bit further. It occurs to me that your ISP (and most other companies, frankly) are very much like your significant other. And on a certain level, that has serious implications for consumer satisfaction.
When you are dating, most of your friends will never hear about how great your bf is on a daily basis. When he screw ups, however, you’ll tell all your friends. You’ll tell just about anyone who asks.
That’s actually very similar to your ISP. Typically, most ISPs have tremendously reliable service. When that service fails – on the voice, video, or data side – you’ll tell everyone. If the repair guy is late or doesn’t show, you’ll tell everyone you were stood up. If he tracks mud on the floor, you’ll tell everyone he was a slob. If it isn’t resolved when he leaves, you will tell everyone he left you unsatisfied.
Since everyone has similar experiences, they’ll commiserate, tell you that guy is just no good for you, you deserve better, it’s just a shame that there are no decent guys is no competition in the ISP marketplace.
A week later when you are browsing freely, cuddled up watching TV, or talking to your mom back home, will you mention that they’re taking care of you today? Will you talk about all the great things they do for you? All the great places they take you? Probably not.
Most of your friends will eventually grow to think your boyfriend is a big douche who’s always running around and never makes you happy. How many of them have ever heard you say anything good about your ISP?
The fact is, like relationships, telecom can be messy. You may not always get what you want. You may feel you just can’t count on them. You might think you’re putting a lot of yourself your money into the relationship, and they just take you for granted.
But like relationships, we’ll get through this together. Let’s just get a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, browse the web, or just settle down to watch Sleepless in Seattle OnDemand.