Last week’s failed $45 billion Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) deal has left customers angry and without options, The New York Times reported Sunday.
With Time Warner Cable customers already upset about service from the company that’s already created somewhat of a monopoly (it scored the worst in terms of customer service on recent surveys), the newspaper reported additional anxiety due to the failed buyout.
According to the Times:
Now, with Time Warner Cable back in play after Comcast abandoned its $45 billion takeover last week, many of the company’s more than 15 million subscribers are resigned to frustration, stuck for now with the company they love to hate and wondering if any future deal could be any better.
But Charter Communications, a regional cable operator, has already expressed interest in a potential deal to acquire Time Warner Cable, the newspaper wrote. Regardless, that kind of deal may still leave customers feeling helpless.
“If you’re selling consumers something they can’t live without, and you’re subject to neither oversight nor competition, consumers aren’t going to be happy,” Susan P. Crawford, co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, told the newspaper in an interview.
Meanwhile, the discontent over Time Warner Cable comes at a time when the company has made improvements to its service:
The company spent the last year preparing its network to be turned over to Comcast in the best shape possible. Today, said Richard Greenfield, a media and technology analyst at BTIG: ‘Broadband speeds are higher. Customer service has improved. I think they’ve gone out of their way to invest in their consumer experience to position for if the deal didn’t happen they could simply move forward.’
Fortune’s Michal Lev-Ram recently wrote about what’s next for the two companies after the failed merger.