BizFeed: Pharma Execs Wildly Overpaid

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1. Pharma Compensation Reigns Supreme

The News: Pharmaceutical executives make more money than any other slice of the health care sector, according to data compiled by Forbes. The annual compensation for C-level and senior executives at five pharmaceutical companies (Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, Amgen, and Novartis) is $265 million. The five CEOs alone made $100 million. Read more »

BizFeed: Sorry Comcast, Time Warner Cable Finds New Buyer

Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

1. Charter Set to Acquire Time Warner Cable

The News: Well that was fast. About a month after Comcast‘s deal with Time Warner Cable fell through, Charter Communications is set to buy Time Warner Cable and another provider, Bright House Networks in a $78 billion deal.

Why it Matters: Combining the second- and third-largest cable providers would create a serious competitor for Comcast (which is No. 1). The combined company would give Charter approximately 24 million customers, second only to Comcast’s 27 million.

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Only Two Philly CEOs Make Top 100 List

Eric Foss, CEO of Aramark.

Eric Foss, CEO of Aramark.

Although Comcast is the most recognizable company in town, its CEO Brian Roberts isn’t the highest-paid chief executive in Philly.

That distinction goes to Eric Foss of Aramark, who earned a cool $32.4 million in 2014, according to a new study by the New York Times and Equilar. Foss’ compensation is up 95 percent from the previous year’s $16.6 million, ranking him 22nd in the United States. It came as the food-services company raked in $14.8 billion in profits.

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Three Things We Learned From Fortune’s Big Comcast Story

Fortune today has a big postmortem of Comcast’s failed merger with Time Warner Cable. It’s long and interesting — read the whole thing — but here are three things that stand out.

We always knew the merger was really unpopular — thanks in part to the combined unpopularity of the companies as separate beings. Turns out it was really, really unpopular.

The movement to stop the merger gained momentum in the final weeks of the government’s evaluation as more and more people and companies—even entire municipalities, such as the town of Moultonborough, N.H.—stepped forward to voice their opposition. In all, an unprecedented 300,800 comments were filed with the Federal Communications Commission, which with the Justice Department was one of the two government bodies tasked with evaluating the proposed merger’s effect on consumers and competition. The vast majority of comments were against the deal. By contrast, AT&T’s proposed merger with T-Mobile in 2011 elicited 40,526 comments before the parties abandoned the idea.

Emphasis ours. Read more »

Are Comcast Nondisclosure Forms Common Practice?

Comcast Xfinity Store Customer Service

Update 12:40 p.m.: Comcast provided the following statement regarding nondisclosure forms:

“This past week Comcast announced plans to significantly improve the customer experience. These efforts will go a long way to prevent these experiences from happening again. With regard to release forms and NDAs, we do not have a national policy regarding their use with customers and we don’t think that confidentially agreements should be used in these situations. We are using this example to create a clear policy that will clarify this with our employees.”


Original: Was it company policy or the product of a rogue employee? That was the big question for Comcast after reports surfaced that the company offered angry customers a $600 refund if they agreed to sign a nondisclosure agreement and keep quiet about the incident.

John and Carol Lehman were offered the credit in response to a dispute regarding five years of erroneous charges for a cable box they say they never had. After having trouble getting the cable giant to move on the matter, they contacted Action News — and before the segment aired, they received a voicemail stating they would get the refund if they signed the agreement. That sure made it seem like hush money.

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Comcast Offered $600 Refund if Customer Kept Quiet: Report

COMCAST-TWILIGHT-jeff-fusco-940x540

Hey Comcast, how’s that image rebuilding going? Just days after announcing a customer-service overhaul, a report surfaced that the cable giant offered a $600 credit to settle a bill dispute — as long as the customers keep quiet.

Action News reports that John and Carol Lehman were offered the credit after the news organization got involved in a dispute regarding five years of erroneous charges for a cable box they never had. But the deal came with one caveat, a nondisclosure agreement.

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Customers Not Buying Comcast’s New Plan to Make Nice

Comcast Xfinity store demo

Comcast‘s shiny new plan to fix its dreadful customer service isn’t going over well with customers. While the company sees as a step forward, customers simply hear lip service.

To Comcast’s credit, it admits the need to “get this thing right” as Comcast Cable President & CEO Neil Smit said Tuesday. And it’s investing big dollars to do it, giving recently minted Executive Vice President of Customer Experience Charlie Herrin a $300 million budget to find a solution. (Check out more on his plan here.)

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Comcast Unveils Much-Needed Customer Service Overhaul

Comcast Xfinity Store Customer Service

Comcast today unveiled an ambitious new plan to fix its horrifying customer-service record. The company vows to be on time for all service appointments by the third quarter of 2015 — one minute late and customers get an instant $20 credit.

To keep its promise, the company plans to hire hundreds more technicians and rollout new technology — such as allowing agents to screen share with customers on the X1 platform to remotely fix problems. It also plans to rollout Tech Tracker nationwide — which allows customers to use their smart phones to track the location of technicians in real time (much like the Uber app.)

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