Cable, Satellite Customer Service to be Focus of Portman-McCaskill Hearing

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kevin Smith (Portman) | 202-224-5190

John LaBombard (McCaskill) | 202-228-6263

WASHINGTON – Cable and satellite television providers’ customer service practices will be the focus of a Senate hearing led by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) this month. 

Portman and McCaskill—the Republican Chairman and top-ranking Democrat of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations—will lead the hearing on Thursday, June 23 at 10:00 a.m. ET. 

“Consumers in every corner of the country share common experiences about fending for themselves against customer service and billing practices by TV providers that are at best confusing, and at worst deceptive,” Portman and McCaskill said. “For more than a year, we have conducted a bipartisan investigation of the largest cable and satellite TV companies.  We believe our hearing will be a big step forward for consumers, allowing them to understand how their TV providers really work and make informed decisions about their video service.” 

This hearing will examine the cable and satellite provider industry, and will focus on practices involving billing, fees, refunds, and other customer service issues. The Senate panel will continue to investigate potential barriers to competition in the industry, including the difficulties faced by companies attempting to create innovative new television delivery models.  The Senators plan to conclude their investigation in fall 2016. 

The companies that will testify at the June 23 hearing provide television services to more than 70 million subscribers, representing more than half of all American households and more than 70 percent of households with pay-TV service.  A recent American Customer Satisfaction Index survey found that pay television service ranked near the bottom of the 43 industries it studied.  That result followed the previous year’s survey finding that the pay-TV industry tied for the lowest score out of all industries surveyed. 

Portman and McCaskill’s June 23 hearing will be streamed online here

Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Senate Hearing

Customer Service and Billing Practices in the Cable and Satellite Television Industry 

Thursday, June 23

10:00 a.m. ET

Senate Dirksen Office Building #342