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