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Comcast's lobbying team handed out "priority assistance" cards for faster customer service

Ordinary customers wait on line at the Comcast Customer Service Center in Washington, DC
Ordinary customers wait on line at the Comcast Customer Service Center in Washington, DC
Timothy B. Lee / Vox
Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

The Washingtonian's Luke Mullins has an extremely thorough, deeply-reported piece on how David Gregory was ousted as host of NBC's Meet the Press. Though low ratings appear to have been Gregory's main problem, Mullins reports some fascinating information about how the network's corporate parent Comcast tries to win over influential people in Washington, DC (as Chris Needham flagged on Twitter):

Comcast also had an even more personal way of sucking up to Washington. Its government-affairs team carried around "We'll make it right" cards stamped with "priority assistance" codes for fast-tracking help and handed them out to congressional staffers, journalists, and other influential Washingtonians who complained about their service.

A Comcast spokeswoman says this practice isn't exclusive to DC; every Comcast employee receives the cards, which they can distribute to any customer with cable or internet trouble. Nevertheless, efforts like this one have surely helped Comcast boost its standing inside the Beltway and improve its chances of winning regulatory approval for its next big conquest: merging with the second-largest cable provider in the country, Time Warner Cable.

The planned merger of Comcast and Time Warner has been criticized as potentially anti-competitive. It's currently being reviewed by the FCC and the Department of Justice. Head over to the Washingtonian to read Mullins' full excellent piece.

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