Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


Americans can be fickle about some things.

However, when they decide to dislike a certain company, the feeling tends to stick.

Look at the list of 10 brands that America doesn't warm to and you'll see repeat offenders.

Traditionally, cable companies have tended to rank among the greatest offenders to consumer sensibilities.

Somehow, these companies manage to enjoy the customer service abilities of Uzbek corner stores circa 1953.

They seem to have a talent for annoying people in fresh, exciting ways that make screaming compulsory.

Who could forget Comcast's so-called retention agent who retained all the gentle charm of a waterboarder in resisting the idea that a customer would want to close his account?

Comcast has, indeed, managed to top the Consumerist's Worst Company In America competition on more than one occasion.

In 2011, it even asked staff to vote, so that it didn't "win" again.

In 2016, however, Comcast isn't the worst (though it's still below average). Mediacom Cable is.

Sadly, it achieved a 54 customer satisfaction score for its subscription TV services. This is out of a 100.

But when I say "the worst," this is actually the worst ACSI score achieved by any of the 300 large companies among the 43 industries the organization surveys.

This isn't a small survey. It includes the views of 12,710 customers. What can Mediacom have done imperfectly?

It explained that the score was up 3 points from last year. The company hit on the idea of simplifying bills too. It launched new products and a fine new app.

55 out of 100, here we come.

It's odd, though, that companies peddling technology have managed to alienate so many of those they should excite.

There's a certain talent in selling products geared toward entertainment and creating an atmosphere with all the warmth of a December power outage in Alaska. In a wooden hut.

What might have driven companies such as Mediacom -- which offers Internet and TV services to smaller cities and towns across America -- to somehow neglect one of the fundamentals of business?

Could it be a fundamental lack of competition?

Mediacom, though, remains unbowed.

On its website, it offers these words of comfort: "Join us in celebrating 20 years of Mediacom!"