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Comments on news posted 2014-05-20 10:27:09: The latest American Consumer Satisfaction Index once again confirms that Time Warner Cable and Comcast are among the least liked companies not only in the pay TV sector -- but across all industries. ..

page: 1 · 2 · next


celeritypc
For Lucky Best Wash, Use Mr. Sparkle
Premium
join:2004-05-15
Caldwell, NJ

1 recommendation

I find it interesting that...

more people aren't complaining about their health-care insurers. If people truly knew how much they pay versus what they get, I'm sure we would see some different numbers.

I've said this before: while I do think that the pricing of cable/broadband is somewhat out of hand, let's look at the real underlying issues. Any company has to deal with increased costs on a year-to-year basis. These costs include fuel, insurance, health care, employee salaries, taxes and so on. For cable, there is also the burden of programming costs as well. To expect that any reasonably run company won't pass some of these costs on to its customers is folly.

Unfortunately, we are also in the battle of maintaining shareholder value. In the past, investors looked long-term and invested in companies that had long-term outlooks. Many of these investors are the institutional investors: the mutual funds, 401k and pension plans we all have. With computerized trading and quick trades, we have gone from an economy of long-term investment to short-term investment with investors looking for making the best dollar on share prices. This mentality has lead our corporations look at the short-term profit rather than long-term thinking and thus, maintaining shareholder value in stock prices.

Let's face it: everything goes up and we don't derive any more value for what we get. I don't see people complaining about gas, insurance or food prices as much as they do about cable tv and internet.


vas

@107.4.137.x
I get that.....But cable prices rising at 3x the rate of inflation?


Brian_M

join:2004-06-19
Manchester, GA
Reviews:
·Charter

1 recommendation

reply to celeritypc
Umm, spend time on forums devoted to vehicles (I'm a motorcycle guy myself) and there's more complaint about gas and vehicle insurance prices than ISP/TV. Ditto if you spend time on a foody forum, and it's food prices that take center stage.

As for health care, I haven't been to Any forum in the past 2 years, no matter what the focus, where there hasn't been massive complaint about the state of affairs there (at least for US based forums, it's a bit less of an issue on forums with more user based outside of the US).

APG
Premium
join:2007-01-13

1 recommendation

Then again...

There's no doubt that some cable customers do suffer from poor service... either problems that don't seem to get resolved or take too many calls to resolve.

But how is it that all the cable companies rank fairly close together? I think, from working in the business, is that a lot of disatisfaction comes not from the company, but from customer's expectations.

Sorry... but at 7pm, we're not going to be able to get a tech out to the house that evening. We don't decide what NFL games to show on Sunday... the NFL dictates that to the networks. Alas, we can't really help much with a wireless router that isn't ours. And sadly, the customer can't name his own price for monthly service. Etc., etc., etc.

It's stuff like that that accounts for many of low customer survey scores, and presumably with independent satisfaction surveys.

It's just the nature of the business.


Titus
Mr Gradenko

join:2004-06-26
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Embarq Now Centu..

2 recommendations

reply to celeritypc

Re: I find it interesting that...

I find it interesting that people still apologize for an industry that increases costs at better than 4x the rate of inflation AND has also seen three straight years of higher increases in areas with competition than without. It's obscene.
--
--


Packeteers
Premium
join:2005-06-18
Forest Hills, NY
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 recommendation

people just hate monopolies

people survey badly against any company they are stuck with.
so people take out their lack of choice on that one company.

TWCable is the monopoly where I live, but I love my home ISP
because I have to deal with Verizon at work, and them I hate,
since even our expensive business class service gets neglected.

since most people have probably been stuck with the same ISP
choices for years, they naturally hate not having alternatives.


PlusOne

@50.182.54.x
reply to APG

Re: Then again...

said by APG:

There's no doubt that some cable customers do suffer from poor service... either problems that don't seem to get resolved or take too many calls to resolve.

Sorry... but at 7pm, we're not going to be able to get a tech out to the house that evening. We don't decide what NFL games to show on Sunday... the NFL dictates that to the networks. Alas, we can't really help much with a wireless router that isn't ours. And sadly, the customer can't name his own price for monthly service. Etc., etc., etc.

It's stuff like that that accounts for many of low customer survey scores, and presumably with independent satisfaction surveys.

+1

Lack of options to go elsewhere for most people turns every minor problem in to a major catastrophe. Like a long time married couple that won't divorce and constantly snipe at each other.


SYNACK
Just Firewall It
Premium,Mod
join:2001-03-05
Venice, CA

1 recommendation

Not that much contrast!

From a statistical point of view, the differences are not that remarkable, even between the top and bottom ranked outfits. Not a single company provides stellar scores (e.g. 85+%), so the real live difference is not what it is made to look like. If you would switch from the bottom to the top ranked provider based on that list, you'll only have a 20% better chance to be satisfied.
All the bar graphs in that report are highly biased and overemphasize the small differences. For a more realistic look, the scale for the bar graphs should always go from 0 to 100.

elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to PlusOne

Re: Then again...

Why not. Cable is a 24x7 SERVICE business and that is what I am paying for. So I "expect" that response is in kind. A service outage no matter when it happens is still a service outage.

And only servicing when people have to work (and showing up or not) REALLY pisses off people. If service was scheduled around people's lives satisfaction would go up tremendously. This is simply not consumer-friendly.

My Dell laptop breaks, I can call at 2AM and they respond. Sure it's broken english, but the resistance of the operators to run a 24x7 business and service during bankers hours with ultra premium pricing is just arrogant--hence their oligopoly status or worse.

Even my bank has hours until 8PM now--not that I go.

The other issue is pricing and bundles. They are not uniform, fair, predatory, etc. It's almost like going to buy a car to sign up for cable. If you are good a negotiating, you can make out. If not you get shafted. People resent that.

bundling - A SOX violation in almost any business, but perfectly legal in cable. This is bulls**t. People HATE paying for what they are not watching and KNOW they are getting screwed.

Even in wireless which makes obscene profits, quality is higher because:

1. Stores are open later and service is better.
2. While prices can be hidden, that is slowly going away and you know upfront what you are looking at.
3. The product itself while somewhat reliable provides true value to most people.

elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

reply to SYNACK

Re: Not that much contrast!

Look at the massive drop in FiOS. I can tell you for sure they have become much more anti-consumer in the last year (below the line fees, and above) and purposely causing peering issues with CDNs, saying to their customers if you don't have FiOS you aren't getting it, etc....

There is however night and day difference though. Even Verizon's diminishing scores and service is nowhere as nightmarish as dealings I have had with TWC. I would put Verizon at a B- and TWC D- at best. TBH, their people are not bad, it's just they are neither empowered, have the tools, or are properly trained. It basically boils down to management incompetence and/or focus on the bottom line.

These guys are simply consolidating only to be broken up by the government in 10 years when they go too far.


norm

join:2012-10-18
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1
I saw a FiOS van in a grocery store parking lot the other day. On the side it said something along the lines of:

Nation's Fastest Network*

I couldn't find on the vehicle what the * meant.


why60loss
Premium
join:2012-09-20

Time warner cable is last

Time warner cable gets last place or worse than Comcast on nearly every ranking like this one, yet no one talks about it. Yet if Comcast got last on any of those type reports there would be 100+ comments about how evil Comcast is.


maartena
Elmo
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Orange, CA
kudos:4

1 recommendation

reply to celeritypc

Re: I find it interesting that...

said by celeritypc:

Let's face it: everything goes up and we don't derive any more value for what we get. I don't see people complaining about gas, insurance or food prices as much as they do about cable tv and internet.

I suggest you spend some more time talking to people other then computer nerds. Here, in the real world, a hell of a lot more discussion about gas prices, food prices, AND health insurance takes place then about TV or internet prices.

If you just spent time with other techies, whether offline or online, yeah you are going to see tech-type complainers.

Go ask your plumber next time you see him, and ask him what it costs to run his truck all over town.... and you WILL get an earful. And at the same time, he's probably fine with cable TV, as long as football is on. ... And internet is that YAHOO thingy address on his business card he checks twice a week.
--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"


maartena
Elmo
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Orange, CA
kudos:4

1 recommendation

reply to vas
said by vas :

I get that.....But cable prices rising at 3x the rate of inflation?

Inflation average between 1.5% and 2.5% per year. (I looked it up for the last few years, 2011-2012 inflation was 2.1%, 2012-2013 was 1.5%, and 2013-2014 was 1.8%)

So lets say average 2%.

Now go see if your cable bill has gone up about 6%. My DirecTV bill was raised $5 last year, but that was only the "announced" increase. At the same time, they added a $2 local sports fee surcharge, and increased some other fee I forgot. All in all, my bill went from $102 to $110, and that is nearly 8% as opposed to 2013.

And I know cable prices aren't all that different, and I am SURE they were risen by more then 5%, so the statement of 3 times the inflation is quite correct. If we were looking at last years inflation only (1.8%) and compare it to the rates DirecTV jacked up, it was a little more then 4 times the rate of inflation.

And that is one reason I cancelled it, and told them where they could stuff their price increase. I cancelled in February, I paid 1 bill with the new price per Feb 1st.
--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"


maartena
Elmo
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Orange, CA
kudos:4
reply to norm

Re: Not that much contrast!

said by norm:

I saw a FiOS van in a grocery store parking lot the other day. On the side it said something along the lines of:

Nation's Fastest Network*

I couldn't find on the vehicle what the * meant.

"Service not available everywhere." most likely....

I see FIOS ads everywhere here too, but the greater LA area is about 50% AT&T, 50% Verizon on the telco side (give or take 5%, I didn't do the actual math), but TWC covers about 80%. (Cox 15%, Charter 5%, again not actual math).

So if they want to advertise on cable to please come to FIOS, they have to have a disclaimer in there somewhere that all you people in AT&T territory, are still screwed.
--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"


maartena
Elmo
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Orange, CA
kudos:4

1 recommendation

reply to why60loss

Re: Time warner cable is last

said by why60loss:

Time warner cable gets last place or worse than Comcast on nearly every ranking like this one, yet no one talks about it. Yet if Comcast got last on any of those type reports there would be 100+ comments about how evil Comcast is.

Concast is larger. Comcast has had some bad press in recent years that people pick up on.

Its just like Microsoft. They really don't make bad products, and their support is actually quite good if you ever called them. But Microsoft will always be the "big bad company" if stuff doesn't work. (even though most commonly, computer problems are caused by 1) faulty hardware, 2) dumb users infecting them, and 3) software other then the OS)
--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"

dotditdot

join:2009-09-23
New York, NY

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to elefante72

Re: Not that much contrast!

B- is being generous. I just had fios installed and am not impressed. Between the techs that couldn't be bothered to show up on time, being forced to buy a lousy $100 router (or rent it), as well as the mediocre performance of the connection (probably all peering related); I feel like I'm paying overpaying (and I signed up during the recent promo).

etaadmin

join:2002-01-17
Dallas, TX
kudos:1
reply to maartena

Re: Time warner cable is last

said by maartena:

Its just like Microsoft. They really don't make bad products, and their support is actually quite good if you ever called them. But Microsoft will always be the "big bad company" if stuff doesn't work. (even though most commonly, computer problems are caused by 1) faulty hardware, 2) dumb users infecting them, and 3) software other then the OS)

Correct, people like to parrot what others say and between shills and corporate character attacks Comcast and TWC had their share.

I can't say anything bad about TWC's service and the service has been flawless delivering the speed that I'm paying for.

These numbers and polls mean absolutely nothing!


jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

2 recommendations

reply to APG

Re: Then again...

said by APG:

It's just the nature of the business.

The entire customer experience is the issue. To make a ridiculous claim that service is grand but with the exception of a few ignorant customers is laughable.

I don't feel that there is much value in their services for the cost. I rue ever having to contact the ISP for any technical issues with the service. I'm worried every month that the bill will not be correct. Trying to get straight information online is often a futile endeavor.

The poor customer survey results are just the nature of this industry, because they don't need to worry much about how the customer feels about their services, since customers don't really have any other options available to them. These businesses spend a great deal of their resources to ensure that things stay this way.


Anon19383245

@173.162.229.x

1 recommendation

reply to celeritypc

Re: I find it interesting that...

These ISP's are greedy, plain and simple. They took billions of taxpayer money and threw it in their pockets, with no repercussions that was supposed to be allocated to upgrade infrastructure. This next move to cap data and merge TWC and Comcast is just another way to cash grab without providing any quality. Shame on you for just proclaming "everything goes up" instead of finding out why, in some cases, things shouldn't be going up.

etaadmin

join:2002-01-17
Dallas, TX
kudos:1
reply to Titus
I don't really mind if they increase their internet speeds at the same rate... so far they have done a good job.


Blade

@174.69.145.x
reply to celeritypc
It's not just the insurance companies. It's the hospitals that charge excessive amounts of money even for the smallest thing like an asprin. They jack the price up to about $20 for one pill.


antdude
A Matrix Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:5

Not surprised!

It will get worse when Comcast takes over!

jeff17

join:2000-12-11
US
reply to maartena

Re: I find it interesting that...

Why do people tie price increase of a product or service with inflation? Supply and demand. That's what business is all about. Consumers keep wanting more content/bandwidth, so why would prices stay the same when the business delivers?

logger

join:2012-06-14
Carmel, NY
reply to APG

Re: Then again...

In my case the dissatisfaction came from the company, not my expectations. I expected what the company stated was included in the service tier I subscribed to. That is what I got for decades from the previous owners of the only cable TV system that serves my address.

The current owner of the local cable TV system did not provide what they stated they provided. They did not fix problems I reported. I am no longer a cable customer.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to why60loss

Re: Time warner cable is last

You haven't seen Comcast's true colors. At least Time Warner has more responsive customer service.

I've gotten better customer service from government agencies than from Comcast. Comcast's customer service goal is to deny responsibility for service issues, even if it's their fault.
--
Stop the Comcast-Time Warner merger, I'd rather Time Warner buy out Comcast.


why60loss
Premium
join:2012-09-20
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Time Warner Cable
said by IowaCowboy:

You haven't seen Comcast's true colors. At least Time Warner has more responsive customer service.

I've gotten better customer service from government agencies than from Comcast. Comcast's customer service goal is to deny responsibility for service issues, even if it's their fault.

And you haven't seen Time warner cables true colors. So agree to disagree it is then.


Rick4769

join:2012-11-21
Buffalo, NY
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon FiOS

It will get worse before it will ever be better!

You are absolutely right about Comcast, things are only going to get worse. I left TWC after I heard about the merger. Decided to do it now because I have a feeling once Comcast takes over, other providers will be inundated for service in our area. (Direct TV, FIOS and DISH Network.


chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH
reply to maartena

Re: Not that much contrast!

At lest there's fios in the city where you live I saw a fios ad in Cleveland there is no fios for a 100 miles or more...


plencnerb
Premium
join:2000-09-25
Carpentersville, IL
kudos:3

1 recommendation

I think this sums up TWC and CC's Customer Service