Shockingly, Cable TV and Broadband Customer Satisfaction Is Still The Worst In America

from the ill-communication dept

Every few years or so, giant cable and broadband companies like Comcast will proclaim that they've finally seen the light, and will be spending time shoring up their terrible customer service. Like a few years ago, when Comcast proclaimed it had hired a "Customer Experience VP" who would finally make addressing the company's historically terrible customer service a top priority. CEO Brian Roberts also can be found at least once a year claiming that the company is going to finally address the problem by hiring better people, improving support systems, and generally revisiting the company's policies.

But year after year, big cable and broadband companies fail to deliver. Case in point: the latest American Consumer Satisfaction Index was recently released, and ISPs and cable providers continue to see the worst customer satisfaction scores in America. These companies are so bad at what they do, they're routinely bested by even everybody's favorite punching bag: the IRS. When it comes to broadband service on a scale of 100, both Comcast and Charter (Spectrum) continue to see the worst scores in an already terrible sector:

"Internet Service Providers didn’t fare any better than cable companies with the overall industry ratings at the same 62. The only three ISPs with rankings above the average are Verizon FiOS (70), AT&T Internet (69) and Altice (63). At the bottom of the rankings are Frontier (55), MediaCom (56), and Windstream (57). The big cable companies don’t fare well as ISPs – Charter (59) and Comcast (61)."

Things are equally bad on the cable TV front, where despite the rise of competition from streaming providers, incumbent cable ops still can't seem to figure out this whole "treating customers with respect" thing. While most hated industries (airlines) rank in the 70s and more popular brands (Amazon) reach the 80s, cable TV remains struggling in the 50s and 60s:

In the TV sector, the emergence of streaming video has offered consumers some reprieve. Streaming providers like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon routinely rate much higher in customer satisfaction because they give consumers what they've been screaming for for years: lower prices and more flexible channel bundles. Ultimately, cable operators will be forced to actually compete on price, but they're apparently waiting until countless millions of their paying customers have fled to greener pastures before actually seriously overhauling their business models. Still, competition in the TV space is rising either way.

The broadband space is less promising. With no meaningful regulatory oversight and little competition, there's really no incentive to improve customer service or offer a better product in most markets. The focus remains on growth for growth's sake (megamergers) and scale, without scaling customer service in symmetry. The end result should be fairly obvious, given the broadband sector ranks worse than a long list of widely despised sectors like the airline, banking, and insurance industries. That kind of accomplishment requires some serious, sustained elbow grease and the kind of monopoly myopia money simply can't buy.

Filed Under: broadband, cable tv, customer satisfaction
Companies: at&t, charter, comcast, frontier, spectrum, verizon, windstream


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  1. identicon
    Glenn, 17 Jun 2019 @ 1:04pm

    So, people are still dissatisfied with being screwed? Who knew!


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