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Shockingly, You Still Hate Your Cable Company
ACSI: Broadband ISPs Rated Worst of Any Industry
by Karl Bode 10:20AM Friday May 24 2013
The latest report (pdf) from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index highlights that consumer satisfaction with cable TV services remains among the worst in any industry -- and broadband ISP service satisfaction is even worse. While some companies made small strides, they haven't been enough. Pay TV and ISPs are ranked on par with or worse than most airlines (never a good thing), and well below the rankings seen by banks and government organizations like the Postal Service and IRS.

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The pay TV industry's average score of 68 (out of 100) is helped slightly by Verizon FiOS (who saw a slight drop to 73 likely due to price hikes), but continues to be dragged down by the likes of Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

Despite seeing a 3% bump in customer satisfaction year over year, Comcast's score of 63 still sits near the bottom of the industry. Time Warner Cable meanwhile saw a 5% drop in satisfaction, and is the worst of the bunch with a score of 60.

Broadband ISPs, notes the ACSI, do "not deliver on any aspect of customer service in any particular fashion."
For the first time ever the folks at the ACSI rank broadband service providers, and the results aren't encouraging. The broadband ISP overall average ranking sits at 65, lower even than the historically dismal pay TV segment, and "the lowest among all industries in the index." Broadband ISPs, notes the ACSI, do "not deliver on any aspect of customer service in any particular fashion."

For ISPs, Verizon FiOS tops the rankings with an overall score of 71. From there it's all downhill, with ISPs like Cox (68), AT&T U-Verse (65), Charter (65), CenturyLink (64), Time Warner Cable (63), and Comcast (62) all vying for the worst performance crown. The study attributes high costs and significant continuing connection speed and reliability issues for the dismal rankings.

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sludgehound

join:2007-03-12
New York, NY

Geez someone actually WORSE than TWC?!

TWC beats Commie by a point. Amazing. RCN doesn't service west side of Manhattan or be there in flash for broadband only.
Cheaper price, faster speed for 3 year lock in. Oh well.
btw stash away any shiny objects, pens, flashlights, etc. when the tech comes calling... Just saying.

Random fortune from 'computers'
We can found no scientific discipline, nor a healthy profession on the technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and IBM.
-- Edsger Dijkstra

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

Re: Geez someone actually WORSE than TWC?!

I know there are plenty of buildings in the upper-west side that has RCN.
Press your building management for FiOS.
Expand your moderator at work

workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by sludgehound:

TWC beats Commie by a point. Amazing. RCN doesn't service west side of Manhattan or be there in flash for broadband only.
Cheaper price, faster speed for 3 year lock in. Oh well.
btw stash away any shiny objects, pens, flashlights, etc. when the tech comes calling... Just saying.

Random fortune from 'computers'
We can found no scientific discipline, nor a healthy profession on the technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and IBM.
-- Edsger Dijkstra

I think I just lost a few IQ points reading that.

Dave
--
I may have been born yesterday. But it wasn't at night.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

1 recommendation

We have nothing but praise for TWC, ever since John Rigas went to prison.

Yes, you have to be a responsible consumer and mind your bills and negotiate your agreements at least annually, but their offerings have been very reasonable for the past four years, and their broadband continues to improve in value.

We pay much less than half what Verizon charges for the same claimed speed, (admittedly, Fios performance is marginally better for a "comparable" speed), and we don't have to play games with repair services.

Nearby, Charter is starting to fall back on bad habits, but they too, have been good up until this year, and Cox is hanging in there.
Babs

join:2013-05-26
Charlotte, NC

Re: Geez someone actually WORSE than TWC?!

Are you in the Earth and same dimension as the rest of us? TWC is the worst, pricing is not their main problem. Customer service (lack of) is. You can never get a straight version of the same story and 80% don't know what they're doing or what they're talking about.

And why should I work at receiving what they are getting paid to do?

You should read the story of TWC in Kansas and Austin now that Google is deploying fiber optics.

Also, if you have nothing but praise, you may like getting robbed, read on and educate yourself:
»www.newnetworks.com/broadbandscandals.htm
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Re: Geez someone actually WORSE than TWC?!

Yes, I am, along with dozens of friends, family and clients who switched over the years from telco services. TWC, at least in our region, is a fantastic choice.

Why should you work at it?
To save money, of course.
If you're too busy, or too lazy (note, I said "or"), that you can't be bothered once a year to read your bill(s) and renegotiate your contract, then perhaps, you can afford to pay the "standard" rates, while the rest of us spend 20 minutes to save a bundle.

The only times I've been robbed, were under the regulated model in the prior century, by telco. Cable and wireless have given us other choices than physically *moving*, when faced with such telco issues, and the price:performance ratio continues to improve every year.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

1 recommendation

No MediaCom

Something tells me if MediaCom was on that list they would take last place.

MediacomChad
Mediacom Social Media Relations Team
Premium,VIP
join:2010-01-20
Gulf Breeze, FL
kudos:118

Re: No MediaCom

Hate to hear you have had a bad experience with us. If you need any assistance with your services feel free to let me know.

OSUGoose

join:2007-12-27
Columbus, OH
Na, Insight would, but well TWC bought them so, karma?

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

1 recommendation

It is endless price increases, not bad service

At least that is my guess. When wages are stagnant, people really get bent about annual 3X inflation price increases.
--
Nocchi rules.
djcrazy
Premium
join:2009-08-05
Minneapolis, MN
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US

Re: It is endless price increases, not bad service

said by skeechan:

At least that is my guess. When wages are stagnant, people really get bent about annual 3X inflation price increases.

I agree with this except the increases seem to be semi annual, so we get hit twice a year, not just once.

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

Comcast pretty good

In the two years I had Comcast cable service, their customer service, cable service and Internet service were pretty good. Installation went well on the day it was scheduled but my first bill did not reflect the promotional rate under which I signed up. A call to their 800 number got it resolved.

I had a service issue on my Internet once which turned out to be caused by my own wireless router -- their tech support stepped me through the process of fixing it. Overall I was very satisfied with my Comcast service. But I'm sure others have had different experiences.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

TWC is really that bad

TWC in the last two months have lowered packages (the basic two play is like 5 Mbps) and raised prices, meaning $20 or more per month. The sad thing is that my FIOS cost $80 a month for the two play all in, and TWC wants almost $100 for 5 Mbps where Im getting 50/25. I don't know what they are thinking.

In any case I can confirm TWC dismal service because back in Jan I tried to switch to TWC and they botched up the install so bad, I just turned everything back in. Luckily Verizon had Select HD (which is actually more than I wanted) except for Fox channels but I can get over that, for $75 for 2 year lock in.

In any case I had Adelphia for 8 years before TWC snapped them up and it was like a slap in the face going from excellent customer service to ghetto thugs. In any case I was counting the days that FIOS came, and I was out in a second, thankfully.

Also I noticed that TWC uses contractors in my area where any FIOS interaction is an actual Verizon employee that knows what they are doing. Not that I am against contractors, but they knew absolutely nothing about cablecard nor stocked them. Am I the only person w/ CC? They showed up w/ a STB (an FCC violation BTW), which on the order clearly marked CC. In addition once they got that, they didnt even know what an SDV box was, nor could they get it activated. Back it went.

TWC needs a wake up call. My cousin in UNY ONLY has TWC as an option and I was trying to use their "STB" the other day. Holy crap it took like 5-8 seconds for anything to happen. And they also recently encrypted locals, so my mother was asking why clearQAM was no working. She had no idea. Start snapping up those idiot converter boxes.
mlcarson

join:2001-09-20
Los Alamos, NM

Signal ingress

The number one complaint I've had with cable broadband service is signal ingress. Inevitably, somebody in the neighborhood will have a bad connection which introduces noise into the system which causes packet loss for everybody nearby.

Another complaint I have is unannounced maintenance which brings the whole system down without warning for hours.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Happy with Comcast broadband

I'm very happy with Comcast broadband. The TV is another story though. Over-compressed, and missing a lot of channels/ HD channels.
15444104
Premium
join:2012-06-11

Its worse than this outfit claims. Is the company for profit

I seriously DOUBT that any of these companies have shown actual improvement with customers in the REAL WORLD, from what I see it is getting WORSE.
TCS

join:2013-03-26

Frontier?

So I assume frontier wasn't even on the list? There's no way they managed a 71.

frontierrep

@comcast.net

Re: Frontier?

I believe we may be in the all others category... how odd... regardless though our company is working on improving our reps customer service skills. By actually making nearly half our commission based upon our individual customer survey skills.

CoolMan

join:2008-01-07
Tennessee
kudos:2

Charter more than likely will continue to drop.

Charter's score will probably continue to fall until they get rid of CEO Tom Rutledge.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Re: Charter more than likely will continue to drop.

said by CoolMan:

Charter's score will probably continue to fall until they get rid of CEO Tom Rutledge.

Charter should be lower than the bottom already! That dip s**t that is currently running it has destroyed anything good Charter had done in the last few years!

But, even given this report should show Charter getting worse, 3rd from the bottom is still not very good!!
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/

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

There are worse industries

ISPs destroy data packets. Banks destroy communities. Used car dealers destroy bank accounts.

Bank of America is the worst of the worst with their predatory lending and is the ringleader the housing meltdown. If it wasn't for EA and the SimCity fiasco, they would have gotten the Consumerst's Worst Company in America Golden Poo award.

I bank with a small bank that is based in Western Mass. TD Bank is convenient but expensive. I like having free checking, which can be found at most smaller banks.

Used car dealers are pretty bad as well. They spend more resources on the appearance of a car as opposed to the mechanical condition. If I see a used car lot, I basically see a fruit stand selling lemons except they have four wheels.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.
djcrazy
Premium
join:2009-08-05
Minneapolis, MN

wow

I know Comcast is bad, not so much for broadband, but the TV end sucks. What I don't understand is how CenturyLink could actually be above them. CenturyLink is still offering obsolete internet. They should be on the bottom.
beavercable
Premium
join:2008-05-11
Beaverton, OR

Here's a shocker

Their employees hate them too.

PeteC2
Got Mouse?
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-20
Bristol, CT
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Ridiculous

Of course, consumers are now geared towards going gonzo if they have an hour of internet or tv service down, or heaven forbid an ISP employee should actually make a gasp... mistake! Then they just "know" the cable company is out to screw them!

Of course, those same folks certainly expect that their customers or clients accept their own lack of such perfection with grace and understanding.

It is a sad commentary on our culture.

I have had Comcast for 2 years now. Great connectivity, not low, but not outrageous prices, as far as the tv? Considering what is available for content, perfectly adequate, but then I grew up in an era of 3 networks and rabbit-ear antenna, so I admit my expectations may be less than younger customers.

As far as customer service, Comcast is exactly in line with almost all consumer customer service paradigms: Limited quality initial contact support, followed by more competent support if the problem proves to be more complex, with a hit or miss on the competency of the individual support person.

Nobody wants to actually pay for support, but magically expect it to be at a high tier.

This isn't to say that there are not legitimate beefs or room for improvement, but all too many customers have a very unrealistic level of expectation.
--
Deeds, not words

OSUGoose

join:2007-12-27
Columbus, OH

Re: Ridiculous

See, that's the thing, when you pay for a service you expect good, if not better service and support. When the only answer to your call is powercycle and then roll a truck, its not a matter of not paying for support but rather the company not wanting to pay for it.

PeteC2
Got Mouse?
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-20
Bristol, CT
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Re: Ridiculous

But there's the rub: For many, in fact most customers, outside of re-booting the modem/wireless gateway, there are limited resolutions aside of a truck roll. For example, my 82 year old mom isn't going to change splitters, check for connector problems, look at signal strength, etc.

Sure, you and I can elevate a call to a tier 2 support and make some changes, but the vast majority of calls are either a simple re-boot, or send a tech out. From a business perspective on customer service, the tier one "script-tech" approach actually makes good sense. Having a customer like my mom speaking with a higher level (and higher salaried) tech in all reality is an increased cost to the ISP with no greater percentage of issue resolution. Heck, when she calls me with an internet problem, aside of the very most simple fixes, I have to go out and check it out for her. (A "car roll!" )

As far as a company paying for enahnced levels of support...why of course they don't...not a one of them. You and I do as customers! An ISP could have a more robust initial technical support paradigm, however, that cost is inevitably passed on in the price of service. All customer support is payed for, free is an illusion.

Do I want to pay more for my Comcast service so that someone who can't or won't really gain from that can speak directly to a higher paid tech? Not so much.

Most folks posting here are far beyond the average customer's understanding of broadband service and network connections. Sometimes it is hard to keep that in mind.
--
Deeds, not words

OSUGoose

join:2007-12-27
Columbus, OH

Re: Ridiculous

True, but its when T1 rolls a truck on something they shouldn't that waists the most money. The extra time spent on the phone to accurately diagnose the issue saves more in the long run. I've had that level roll trucks to me just so the tech can verify the levels and escalate to the proper level. If they would just handled that on the call, and had other depts. check out what could be causing it, and the issue then remains then yea rolling a truck would be warranted.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

It isn't . . .

It isn't that they don't have the assets or the engineers. It isn't that they can't provide better service and customer support.

They don't wan to. And they particularly don't want to in rural America. The U.S. is the their largest country in the world, yet we as a nation - REFUSE to provide affordable communication for basic 911 service to every home in America.

You expect us to: ___________? Yes I do. It is un-American and unacceptable to sell 100 TB of fiber to Paris and London and leave rural America with out any type of telephone service just because you can.

You've got your vig. Now it's time to pony up and pay the piper for 75 years of non-service.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside

jap
Premium
join:2003-08-10
038xx

Re: It isn't . . .

said by linicx:

It is un-American and unacceptable to sell 100 TB of fiber to Paris and London and leave rural America with out any type of telephone service just because you can.

Bah. It's more American than apple pie to follow the short-term easy money. Our entire owner/management financial reward/penalty structure orbits around exactly that. Culturally we lack the long view it negatively affects many areas of society.

Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4

Pretty cool Actiontec posted this on their blog.

»blog.actiontec.com/