Study Shows Comcast Sucks Just A Tiny Bit Less This Year

from the from-awful-to-just-really-bad dept

The good news for Comcast? The latest edition of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) indicates that the nation's largest cable company actually has a slightly better customer satisfaction rating than last year. The bad news? Comcast remains among the worst-rated companies of any industry in America thanks to limited competition. According to the firm's full ratings for cable providers, Comcast saw an eight point rise in customer satisfaction, thanks in part to crazy ideas like actually showing up on time for appointments and a website that actually works.

However, Comcast's score of 62 still falls notably below the industry average score of 65, and even further below companies that people actually like -- such as Apple (81) or Amazon (83). Still, Comcast's improvement shows that the company's now annual promise to improve customer service isn't entirely hot air, even as Comcast relentlessly pursues ideas that customers loathe -- like usage caps, or the $50 per month fee Comcast now charges to avoid them.

Overall, the report notes that the cable and broadband industries continue to struggle with low satisfaction ratings due to the general lack of competition, especially in the broadband sector. And as companies (like Charter, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks) continue to merge, the ACSI issues a warning that things can, and usually do, get worse:
"Charter Communications and Cox Communications each fall by 5% to 60 and 59, respectively. Time Warner Cable, on the other hand, surges 16% to an ACSI score of 59. Despite this big jump, TWC’s score is still low. The Charter-TWC-Bright House merger will bring together more than 25 million customers—making the new entity the second-largest pay TV operator after Comcast. ACSI improvement notwithstanding, both Charter and TWC still lag the majority of the industry. This does not bode well for customers, especially those of Bright House, as mergers tend to cause customer satisfaction to deteriorate, at least in the short term."
And while Comcast certainly should be applauded for actually trying, a company going from incredibly awful to just really bad doesn't exactly warrant champagne.

Without improving the volume of competition Comcast faces in the lion's share of its broadband markets, there's just no real incentive to work too hard to make consumers happy or spend much more on customer support. And despite pockets of progress courtesy of municipal broadband and Google Fiber, overall things are actually getting less competitive in many areas. AT&T and Verizon continue to back away from unwanted DSL customers they refuse to upgrade, providing many cable providers with a stronger local monopoly than ever before.

Filed Under: broadband, competition, customer service
Companies: comcast

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jun 2016 @ 8:17am

    Doesn't fix the monopoly problem.

    The argument the FCC seems to be trying to dance around these days, is that common carriage regulations need to be different for the cabal because the value added services they built create distinct needs.

    The assumption that is wrong, is that Comcasts "value added" services actually add value. They may for Comcast, but they don't for GDP, or the people of the United States.

    Value added services from the Cabal constrain the evolution of end node services and product markets. Nobody is willing to invest in end node services because of the comparative advantage held by the carrier.

    It doesn't matter if Comcasts customer service improves from wet turd to dry turd. These companies will continue to constrain the evolution of natural market forces on the Internet as long as they diversify into products above OSI layer 3.

    They suck at managing anything above OSI layer 3. They will NEVER be good at it, because they will never have competition there. This market space is crying out for running room to develop. The FCC's failure to differentiate regulation below and above layer 3, rigs the market in favor of the carrier, endowing regulatory capture over a sector that would otherwise encapsulate thousands of small business's. Instead, right now, tumbleweeds.

    This market wants to explode. The Cable cabal is preventing it from happening, and spinning a whirlwind of bullshit to prevent anybody from catching a clue. Congress flies a kite, and the FCC shakes it's head quietly.

    ISP's aggregate dozens of completely distinct business models. Applying macro theory to them doesn't work, because they aren't large companies. They are many, many, many small ones in aggregate. So "telecom sector" is a market concept like "cloud" is a technical concept, or like "god" is an ethical concept. The diffusion of logic in the abstraction, exceeds the clarity created by it.

    In turn, regarding services above, and below layer 3 in a single framework of regulation, is a fallacy of composition. Yes, Comcast is diverse in its services. THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

    You cannot fix this without breaking them up. Content or Carrier. Pick ONE.

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