BizFeed: Sorry Comcast, Time Warner Cable Finds New Buyer

Ken Wolter /

Ken Wolter /

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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PPA Mobile App Taking Shape


Philadelphians should be getting a lot less of these soon.

It’s not every day (or any day, really) that I find myself saying good things about the Philadelphia Parking Authority. Yes, it’s got a rep as a tyrannical organization that shows no remorse (or mercy) with its monopoly on parking tickets and towing in the city. But, the PPA is working hard on a mobile app that will allow users to pay for parking at meters or in lots with their smartphones — and that’s got to be applauded.

On Thursday, the PPA announced a partnership with Pango to deliver the new payment option. The PPA said it was selected from five vendors and allows the PPA to share in advertising revenue generated from the app.

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5 Things I Learned at the Philly New Technology Meetup

Sharing a launch at the Philly New Technology Meetup's College Demo Night.

Sharing a launch at the Philly New Technology Meetup’s College Demo Night.

As the founding editor of BizPhilly, I’m finding myself at more and more tech meetups. They’re generally a good time with food, beers and lots of smart young people. In fact, watching college entrepreneurs pitch businesses at last night’s Philly New Technology Meetup, I couldn’t help but feel like a slacker. Why didn’t I start a business in college? Was I too busy drinking beer and watching reruns of The Simpsons?

At the tech meetup last night at Quorum at the University City Science Center, nine college entrepreneurs delivered spitfire demos of their new products, many of which looked sleek, cool and scalable.

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BizFeed: Philly’s Tourism Boom; Google’s “Buy” Button


1. Philly’s Tourism Boom

The News: Summer is prime time to see out-of-towners riding the duck boats, running the Rocky steps, and checking out all the weird stuff in the Mutter Museum. And it all means dollar signs for Philadelphia. Just check out these 2014 tourism numbers recently released by Visit Philadelphia: 39.7 million day and overnight visitors created an economic impact of $10.4 billion, supporting 92,000 full-time jobs and generating $655 million in state and local taxes. Nice. 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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Shark Tank Deal Falls Through

Beatrice Fischel-Bock, Madeline Fraser and Elizabeth Grover of ZOOM Interiors.

Beatrice Fischel-Bock, Madeline Fraser and Elizabeth Grover of ZOOM Interiors. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

If you watched Shark Tank on Friday, you might have seen Philly-based ZOOM Interiors strike a deal with Barbara Corcoran.

After other sharks like Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner passed on spending $100,000 for a 20 percent equity stake in the tech-meets-design business, a visibly uncertain Corcoran offered $100,000 for 33 percent — and they struck a deal.

Yay! Cue the hugs and the happy Shark Tank theme music…

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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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Market Report: 5 Beauty Apps That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier

DIY beauty straight to your phone. | Shutterstock.

  • Expedite your skincare and beauty routines with the help of these five genius beauty apps. [Town and Country]
  • Kylie Jenner just admitted that she has temporary lip fillers. So, let’s ditch the “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge” for good, ’kay? [E! Online]
  • Following Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth and Barneys warehouse, Macy’s is set to debut four off-price pilot stores this fall. [Fashionista]

Next: A Victoria’s Secret Angel spills her skincare routine.

Philly Interior Designers Ready for “Shark Tank Bump”

Beatrice Fischel-Bock (left), Madeline Fraser, and Elizabeth Grover about to enter the Shark Tank.  (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

Beatrice Fischel-Bock (left), Madeline Fraser, and Elizabeth Grover about to enter the Shark Tank. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

Hiring an interior decorator seems like something only available to the extremely wealthy. If you have a mansion or killer apartment, you can probably afford to have a professional pick out your sofas, coffee tables, pillows and lamps.

If you’re like the rest of us, you’re stuck doing the best you can to make things match. In fact, I saw this trend first hand. My parents used to own a retail drapery, window treatment and wallpaper store from the 1980s to early 2000s and worked frequently with designers. (If you remember Dana Interiors on Old York Road in Jenkintown, you’re instantly in my cool list.)

But two-year-old ZOOM Interiors offers a new approach: Design your living room, dining room or bedroom online and have designers pick out the sizes and styles. You send in photos, measurements and answer a few style-preference questions — they send you conceptual photos and a shopping list with links.

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