I know it’s said time after time after time, but you only get one chance to make a first impression.

My recent situation with my cable speaks perfectly to that.

Fed up with high prices and the company’s refusal to work with me, I decided to switch my cable provider. I decided to go from a national conglomerate to a regional provider.

Calling my national provider to cancel was fun. There was slight groveling to try to get me to stay, but I had made up my mind. In fact, the technician was there installing my new service as I was on the phone. Fast forward two days later, I get home from Easter brunch and my cable service isn’t working. This was bad because it was causing me to miss a crucial Detroit Red Wings playoff game. So I call the regional provider and the person runs through all the steps that anyone with cable service has heard a million times over. It doesn’t work and I’m told the earliest technician can’t be scheduled for two days. Ugh. But, a few hours later, the cable comes back on and I think we’re good, so I cancel the appointment.


I come home to watch the next game in the series two days later and guess what? The cable’s not working again. I call in again, wasting 30 more minutes of my time and am told they can’t get anyone out until the following day.

This isn’t going so well.

They come out the next day, and I’m told the problem lies in the equipment. Great. By this point, I’m about fed up. A few days later, I visit the national provider to return my old boxes. They basically gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse to come back. Normally, I wouldn’t go through the trouble, but I had been so put off by the regional provider and its lack of services that I was looking for any excuse to leave and go back to the old provider.

So that’s why I’m leaving the regional cable provider after two weeks of service. I came in ready to give them a chance and they failed. They failed to service my needs in a timely manner, and because of that, they’ve lost a customer.

The lesson here is this: Make sure you take care of your new customers. The old ones will keep coming back (and it’s important to make sure they’re happy), but, if you burn a new customer, the impact will be far more reaching — because they’ll tell people. When you have the opportunity to capture someone’s home for a long, long time, don’t let it slip through your fingers.