Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) developed a proprietary system for measuring the performance of its installation subcontractors, penalizing under-performing firms with millions of dollars in chargeback fees, according to a vendor lawsuit.
Last month, the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about a lawsuit filed by two Pennsylvania contractors against Comcast, claiming the MSO enticed them to ramp up for business, then shifted direction, reducing its reliance on outside installation firms from 176 in 2009 to just 39 by 2012.
The lawsuit, subsequently published by The Consumerist, sheds further light on the cable companies strategy regarding outside firms.
According to the federal complaint, Comcast's so-called "Cable Data" program was designed to reward outside contractors for successful, efficient truck rolls. But the program, the suit said, was "easily corrupted."
Larger companies, the plaintiffs claim, "could easily view and change the information stored in Cable Data," while smaller companies could not.
Larger companies, the plaintiffs added, had the further advantage of being able to contact complaining customers directly to resolve issues.
Since the plaintiffs are complaining about interactions with Comcast dating back several years, it's unclear as to whether the Cable Data program is still in operation.
Comcast spokeswoman Jenni Moyer said the company has no further comment on the suit.
Speaking in regard to the overall suit last month, Moyer told the Inquirer, "The contracts are very clear about the parties' rights, and we were not required to do business with these companies."
She told FierceCable she didn't want to expound on that statement, given the pending litigation.
- read the lawsuit
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