Report: Customers Hate TWC, Comcast The Most

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report being released today, Comcast and Time Warner Cable are the most hated companies by customers in the three "triple play" markets they operate in. The two cable companies, which are attempting to convince federal regulators that their merger plan is a good thing, ranked second-to-last and last in the Internet service, subscription TV and fixed-line telephone service markets, according to the report.

"Time Warner Cable lags behind the entire industry following its second consecutive yearly decline, down seven percent to an all-time low of 56 [on the ACSI's 100-point scale]," the ACSI report said. "The combination of low and downward-trending customer satisfaction for both Comcast and Time Warner Cable is cause for concern amid merger talks between the two companies. The issue at stake is not that the proposed merger will limit competition as the service territories of the two companies do not overlap. Instead, it is the question of whether a combination of two pay-TV providers with such poor records could possibly create a better customer experience, especially given the volume of evidence from ACSI data suggesting that mergers in service industries tend to damage satisfaction—at least in the short term."

The data from the report is based on results of customer interviews for more than 40 different industries. Subscription TV service and Internet service ranked last, and fixed telephone service was in the bottom 10 along with health insurance, according to the report.

"Customer satisfaction with subscription television service falls 4.4 percent to an ACSI score of 65 after peaking at 68 a year ago," the ACSI report said. "The sharp decline positions subscription TV among the least satisfying industries measured in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Only Internet service, which is provided by many of the same companies, scores lower at 63. Customer satisfaction with pay TV service pales in comparison with other types of household services such as energy utilities (ACSI score of 76) and fixed-line telephone service (73), which customers rate as more reliable and a better value."

Meanwhile, Verizon FiOS beat out AT&T U-verse and all the cable companies in both the Internet service provider and fixed-line telephone service rankings. DirecTV and AT&T's U-verse service were the best rated subscription TV products, beating out Verizon, DISH, and all other cable companies.

The report also measured cell phone makers and wireless carriers satisfaction. Samsung was at the top of the heap in satisfaction with customers, beating out Apple, Google's Motorola Mobility, Nokia, HTC, BlackBerry, and LG. Verizon Wireless topped the carrier list, followed by T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T.

Source: Ars Technica

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