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SEC Filings

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has made an equity investment in Wink. See "Certain Relationships and Related
     Various programming networks, including CNN, NBC, ESPN, HBO, Showtime,
Lifetime, VH1, the Weather Channel, and Nickelodeon, are currently producing
over 1,000 hours of Wink-enhanced programming per week. Under certain
revenue-sharing arrangements, we will modify our headend technology to allow
Wink-enabled programming to be offered on our systems. Each time one of our
customers uses Wink to request certain additional information or order an
advertised product we receive fees from Wink.
     TELEPHONE SERVICES.  We expect to be able to offer cable telephony services
in the near future using our systems' direct, two-way connections to homes and
other buildings. We are exploring technologies using Internet protocol
telephony, as well as traditional switching technologies that are currently
available, to transmit digital voice signals over our systems. Traditional
switching technologies include standard technologies used to connect the public
switch telephone network. AT&T and other telephone companies have already begun
to pursue strategic partnering and other programs which make it attractive for
us to acquire and develop this alternative Internet protocol technology. For the
last two years, we have sold telephony services as a competitive access provider
in the state of Wisconsin through Marcus FiberLink LLC, one of our subsidiaries.
A competitive access provider provides telecommunication connection to the
Internet. We are currently looking to expand our services as a competitive
access provider into other states.
     MISCELLANEOUS SERVICES.  We also offer paging services to our customers in
certain markets. As of June 30, 1999, we had approximately 9,400 paging
customers. We also lease our fiber-optic cable plant and equipment to commercial
and non-commercial users of data and voice telecommunications services.
     Providing a high level of service to our customers has been a central
driver of our historical success. Our emphasis on system reliability,
engineering support and superior customer satisfaction is key to our management
philosophy. In support of our commitment to customer satisfaction, we operate a
24-hour customer service hotline in most systems and offer on-time installation
and service guarantees. It is our policy that if an installer is late for a
scheduled appointment the customer receives free installation, and if a service
technician is late for a service call the customer receives a $20 credit. Our
on-time service call rate was 99.8% in 1997, and 99.7% in 1998.
     As of June 30, 1999, we maintained eight call centers located in our seven
regions, which are responsible for handling call volume for more than 55% of our
customers. They are staffed with dedicated personnel who provide service to our
customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We believe operating regional call
centers allows us to provide "localized" service, which also reduces overhead
costs and improves customer service. We have invested significantly in both
personnel and in equipment to ensure that these call centers are professionally
managed and employ state-of-the-art technology. We also maintain approximately
170 field offices, and employ approximately 2,100 customer service
representatives throughout the systems. Our customer service representatives
receive extensive training to develop customer contact skills and product
knowledge critical to successful sales and high rates of customer retention. We
have approximately 2,300 technical employees who are encouraged to enroll in
courses and attend regularly scheduled on-site seminars conducted by equipment
manufacturers to keep pace with the latest technological developments in the
cable television industry. We utilize surveys, focus