Companies need to offer better service

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 18, 2008

Balancing profitability and customer service can be a tricky walk along the business tightrope.

Businesses generally want to offer the least amount of service, for the maximum amount of price in return; customers, obviously, want the opposite.

Those basic rules of business are easy to understand.

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Companies that continue to underperform for customers by failing to provide basic-service minimums are difficult to comprehend.

For Natchez area cable subscribers, what should be considered “local” channels — from Jackson and Baton Rouge — have been coming in snowy for years and years.

Yet, Cable One, the company with the franchise in Natchez, knows what needs to be done, but consistently is too cheap to fix it. Consumers get aggravated by this almost daily. Yet for years, nothing has been done.

AT&T has similar woes in providing DSL Internet service to areas of the county. High-speed Internet service has become nearly as “basic” of a service as is water and power, yet several developed areas of our community still don’t have accessibility to it.

For example, one of the area’s newest and nicest subdivisions, Beau Pré off U.S. 61 South, has been in development since the 1990s. Ironically, it’s still stuck in the 1990s in terms of Internet service, too.

In a repeat of the cable woes, residents complain and complain and nothing gets done.

Natchez’s leaders need to get serious about fixing the issues, as both are a hindrance to development. New industries — and their employees — expect better service, as do existing, paying customers, too.

We fully understand the costs associated with the infrastructure needed to fix these issues. And, we know the fixes require careful treading on the tightrope for the businesses, but consumers could care less.

They just want good service and they deserve nothing less.