Cox Communications has kicked off a campaign touting its forthcoming wireless service with the tagline, "Unbelievable fair" in TV spots as well as launching a related Web site, unbelieveablyfair.com.
While Cox hasn't yet revealed details of its wireless offering coming in March, the campaign and site suggest Cox is playing on typical complaints about wireless service such as unexpected overage charges and loss of unused minutes. Cox, by contrast, will presumably be "unbelievably fair" in how it treats customers.
That may be setting the bar a tad high, especially as cable companies generally don't enjoy strong reputations for customer service or reasonable rates. Consumer Reports' most recent ratings of TV services in the February 2010 issue indicates people aren't much less satisfied with it than with other telecom services. And for many, TV rates recently got jacked up again. They went up 122% from 1995 to 2008 compared to a 38% increase in the Consumer Price index. That doesn't terribly fair.
Cox itself had a respectable showing in the TV service ratings, ranking eighth among 16 companies. But the fiber-optic services of Verizon and AT&T ranked second and third, respectively. Cox, and other cable companies like Time Warner and Comcast entering the wireless business this year, should hope to fare as well in offering mobile service.
TV spots in the Cox campaign, created by its agency of record, Doner, feature a mall kiosk set up by "Your Wireless" company where a rep tells shoppers about plans where they would pay for all of their minutes whether they actually used them or not. A hidden camera catches reactions including one saying, "That's pretty unfair."
But if consumers find Cox's wireless plans and service anything less than customer-friendly, its new tagline could come back to bite the company. Gripes posted online referring to Cox as "Unbelievably unfair" or "Unbelievably bad" aren't hard to imagine. Maybe something more modest, akin to Avis' "We try harder" tagline would be better for a cable company entering the wireless wars.