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Time Warner Cable, Comcast Flounder in Consumer Reports Survey
by Karl Bode 02:41PM Tuesday Mar 25 2014
A new Consumer Reports survey of customers satisfaction once again finds that Comcast and Time Warner Cable are among the worst-rated companies in the nation. According to a Consumer Reports statement, Comcast ranked 15th among 17 television service providers included in the ratings and earned particularly low marks from consumers for value for the money and customer support.

Time Warner Cable was ranked 16th overall for television service with particularly low ratings for value, reliability, and phone/online customer support. Both Comcast and Time Warner Cable are also the lowest rated companies in the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, not only in telecom and TV -- but across all industries nationwide.

Consumer Reports suggests that the survey, which polled some 81,848 Consumer Reports readers, should give regulators pause when considering the $45 billion union between the two companies.

"Both Comcast and Time Warner Cable rank very poorly with consumers when it comes to value for the money and have earned low ratings for customer support," said Delara Derakhshani of Consumer Reports. "A merger combining these two huge companies would give Comcast even greater control over the cable and broadband Internet markets, leading to higher prices, fewer choices, and worse customer service for consumers."

Can you feel the potential synergies?

view:
topics flat nest 

why60loss

join:2012-09-20
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Time Warner Cable

Seems about right

Time warner cable really does suck. Comcast well I could see how folks wouldn't like them. Bet if they didn't cap anyone and improved CS some they could make it up a few places.

Consumer reports seems to have hit the nail on the head for once.
Expand your moderator at work
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

Re: Seems about right

said by why60loss:

Comcast well I could see how folks wouldn't like them.

trust me, they suck. and I speak from personal experience.

why60loss

join:2012-09-20
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Time Warner Cable

Re: Seems about right

said by nasadude:

said by why60loss:

Comcast well I could see how folks wouldn't like them.

trust me, they suck. and I speak from personal experience.

I speak from personal experience when I say Time warner cable is worse than Comcast in nearly every way you can think of.

There DVRs blow and good luck just getting one to work with a modern TV. You will NEVER leave level 1 support unless you call 10+ times that week about the same issue. They always blame your stuff yet the techs never bring a PC of there own to test it them self's. They think 60% packet loss is just how cable is and if you can't connect to anything but the time warner cable site well that's just fine with them. Google, cnn, engadget, bestbuy and more could all not be working due to 90% packet loss yet because the Time warner cable web site loaded after the 10th reload that's fine.
en103

join:2011-05-02
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: Seems about right

I don't know... I've tried both (in the same location no less!!)
This was a Comcast market 10 years ago - and prices were REALLY high - and they wouldn't even offer phone service.
Comcast bought it from 'AT&T Broadband Internet' (probably why they wouldn't sell phone service). It was ~ $100/month for 'basic' TV and 6Mbps Internet. Digital would cost more + fees.

Time Warner came in - took their time gutting the system, and now I pay $110 for Digital TV (2 STB+DVR), Phone and 22/2.5Mbps. TWC has had their share of issues with items like DNS, blackouts, dropped Superbowl, etc. When it works - its fine. When it drops - they drop the ball big time.

why60loss

join:2012-09-20
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Time Warner Cable

Re: Seems about right

said by en103:

I don't know... I've tried both (in the same location no less!!)
This was a Comcast market 10 years ago - and prices were REALLY high - and they wouldn't even offer phone service.
Comcast bought it from 'AT&T Broadband Internet' (probably why they wouldn't sell phone service). It was ~ $100/month for 'basic' TV and 6Mbps Internet. Digital would cost more + fees.

Time Warner came in - took their time gutting the system, and now I pay $110 for Digital TV (2 STB+DVR), Phone and 22/2.5Mbps. TWC has had their share of issues with items like DNS, blackouts, dropped Superbowl, etc. When it works - its fine. When it drops - they drop the ball big time.

I had Time warner cable from 2011 to 2014 and Comcast from 2014-now.

Though they were not the same areas they both have only DSL as the other "choice" for internet that in the time warner cable area was 5mbs max and in the Comcast area 1.5mbs max.

I paid $120 on Time warner cable for phone, 3 TV's with one DVR and 15/1. On Comcast the cost is $130 with TV, phone and 36/6.5.

Yea the when it works is the big key. If not you shall go though CS BS that is far, far worse than anything I have yet to see from Comcast.

All I am going to say, is that they are below Comcast on nearly every poll I have ever seen for a very good set of reasons.

Though really I guess it's the eye of the beholder type thing.

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR
said by nasadude:

trust me, they suck. and I speak from personal experience.

I had Comcast cable + Internet for a little over two years and I thought the service was fine.

The two or three times I had to call customer service, the experience went well and the repairs were timely. No complaints here.

I'm currently on U-Verse. Pretty much the same experience.
ipv5

join:2014-03-16
Bryn Mawr, PA
If/when Comcast/TWC close their deal, I wonder where the 3 million subs will come from and end up? Charter? Cox? Suddenlink? A CLEC?

Who wants to stay or go?

RWSI

join:2012-11-27
Albuquerque, NM

And the award goes to......

Comcast just keep doing whatever your doing. Were making bank on this side.

I feel just like most Comcast ads everywhere all the time makes me sick and want to stop watching
TV all together.

I bet you have a comment on Xfinity ads.

bmccoy

join:2013-03-18
Port Orchard, WA
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
·Wave Broadband

Re: And the award goes to......

Click for full size
Smells like bullshit!
"With the fastest in-home WiFi!"

mikedz4

join:2003-04-14
Weirton, WV

no caps for comcast yet

Comcast doesn't cap yet. I'm sure if you use over 1tb a month you will get a notice though and i don't blame them. 1 tb is a little much.
norm

join:2012-10-18
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: no caps for comcast yet

said by mikedz4:

Comcast doesn't cap yet. I'm sure if you use over 1tb a month you will get a notice though and i don't blame them. 1 tb is a little much.

In your area or period? The latter would not be accurate.
bn1221

join:2009-04-29
Cortland, NY

Re: no caps for comcast yet

I watch a lot of Netflix and USTVnow and I've yet to go over 500 GB a month even with nailed up VPN and imaging machines and running a PC repair shop out of my apt. I have no kids, no BT, no dirty movies though. YMMV
norm

join:2012-10-18
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: no caps for comcast yet

I am not a Comcast customer but it is my understanding that the caps are typically 300 GB, depending on the area. Even if I was a Comcast customer, the caps would not impact my current habits; however, I disagree with the caps on a principle level.

- 1mbps (125KB/s) sustained for an entire month will exceed Comcast caps
- Today's heavy user is tomorrow's normal user
- If they want to do usage based billing, I suggest they do 95th percentile - those that use less pay less; those that use more pay more (FAT chance)
- Caps are nothing more than a tool to introduce artificial scarcity and to provide additional streams of revenue on top of already high monthly rates
bn1221

join:2009-04-29
Cortland, NY
Reviews:
·TowerStream

Re: no caps for comcast yet

Can you watch Netflix 24/7? I could do Pandora for background music though I would submit it isn't a full mbit stream 1 mbit works out to around 100KB/sec - a T1 is 1.544 Mbit and I see peak of 140KB/sec on that. TCP has some overhead as well as ethernet.
norm

join:2012-10-18
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: no caps for comcast yet

said by bn1221:

Can you watch Netflix 24/7? I could do Pandora for background music though I would submit it isn't a full mbit stream 1 mbit works out to around 100KB/sec - a T1 is 1.544 Mbit and I see peak of 140KB/sec on that. TCP has some overhead as well as ethernet.

I'm not entirely sure what you are trying to ask me. Assuming I could and did, and assuming the 3mbit (there are much higher rates) stream quality, I would hit nearly a TB worth of data in a 30 day month. If you have several family members that watch a lot of Netflix, it's not difficult at all to imagine a young tech savvy family exceeding a 300 GB cap from Netflix usage alone.

In addition to the above, you're now entering an age where digital game downloads are relatively normal, backup solutions are becoming normal, people stream music, and much more.

I work from home and my girlfriend lives with me. We don't partake in much media consumption at all, so our overall usage isn't that high. A normal month for my house is 150-200 GB.

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:42

1 recommendation

They are running slowly-expanding cap trials, mostly in Southern markets: »customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···pansion/
Expand your moderator at work
Dampier
Phillip M Dampier

join:2003-03-23
Rochester, NY

Re: no caps for comcast yet

said by Karl Bode:

They are running slowly-expanding cap trials, mostly in Southern markets: »customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···pansion/

Especially in markets not exactly known for technology activism. TWC started their cap trials in 2008 in Beaumont, Tex., which barely noticed. When they added Rochester, the Triad in N.C., San Antonio and Austin there was some surprise over the resulting street protests.

Comcast management says on conference calls the caps are "positively received" or get little reaction at all in the test markets. Considering how shabbily Comcast has treated cities like Savannah in the past (»stopthecap.com/2012/02/08/comcas···service/), those people are happy when their Internet service actually just works!

So don't be surprised when those "net activists" in Jackson, Miss. or Central Kentucky get to be your proxy for caps impacting San Francisco, Philly, Atlanta, and beyond.
--
Phillip M. Dampier
Editor, Stop the Cap!
»stopthecap.com

chazpaw
Premium
join:2007-03-28
Terrell, TX
Reviews:
·AT&T DSL Service
Why is 1 tb a little much? I cant utilize my dsl to the fullest because I have AT&T with a miserable, puny 150 gb a month cap.

When AT&T started to cap me I bought a router I could put dd-wrt on to monitor my usage. We have only gone over once when my wife binged watched a series on Amazon. No caps would be great at my house.

Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: no caps for comcast yet

said by chazpaw:

Why is 1 tb a little much? I cant utilize my dsl to the fullest because I have AT&T with a miserable, puny 150 gb a month cap.

When AT&T started to cap me I bought a router I could put dd-wrt on to monitor my usage. We have only gone over once when my wife binged watched a series on Amazon. No caps would be great at my house.

getting ripped off since att offers 250gb here
--
Live Free or Die Hard...
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

Re: no caps for comcast yet

150 for DSL. 250 for Uverse.
63475675

join:2014-01-06

Honorable mention for worst service goes to .....CHARTER!

Lets not forget Charter, which seems to slip under Karl's radar often.

The current CEO Tom Rutledge has removed social media as a customer service option so you are only left with the phone, and although the CSRs are polite they simply are of little help unless the issue is the most basic issue.

Lets not forget the internet options...or lack of them..You basically have ONE choice 30/4 at a regular price of 52$/mo and while if you use a lot of bandwidth it might be a reasonable value for the rest of the customers if you want a less expensive slower option look elsewhere, because there is NOTHING cheaper at Charter. Basically those of us that use little bandwidth and rarely stream video are subsidizing those that do.

Charter's new corporate tag line should be :
"Take it or leave it, otherwise get lost!"

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

...rank very poorly with consumers when it comes to value for the money...

but they keep buying it.
I would agree that customer support, especially the first level contact needs a makeover/to be envisioned.
but if people REALLY hate the product so much, WHY do they use it?
It's not really crack, you can walk away.
63475675

join:2014-01-06

Re: ...rank very poorly with consumers when it comes to value for the money...



The internet has become essentially a utility. Plenty of people use it to work from home, pay bills, ect.

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: ...rank very poorly with consumers when it comes to value for the money...

said by 63475675:

The internet has become essentially a utility. Plenty of people use it to work from home, pay bills, ect.


So it has value. It's the pricing people object too.
but Comcast's speeds price ratio and availability were better than some that received higher numbers. I think the consumer numbers are tainted by a certain spin/people opposed to large companies.
I don't find CR's ratings to be nearly as accurate/objective an indicator of quality as they used to be, and this one mushes dissatisfaction with TV services in with internet.

Having just looked at the actual CR article I noticed several things.
They changed the methodology on this survey making it not comparable to previous versions
Almost every service received a similar "Fairly well satisfied" 60-70 point VALUE rating scale as Comcast(62).
If you look JUST internet service, the price easily is worth the convenience of

said by 63475675:

people use it to work from home, pay bills, ect.

Like most utilities, it isn't free, most people wish it was cheaper, and that it ALWAYS worked perfectly. Life isn't always that simple.
masterbinky

join:2011-01-06
Carlsbad, NM

Re: ...rank very poorly with consumers when it comes to value for the money...

Unlike utilities it isn't regulated.

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: ...rank very poorly with consumers when it comes to value for the money...

said by masterbinky:

Unlike utilities it isn't regulated.

Which implies it is not ACTUALLY a utility...yet.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
I think Consumer numbers are tainted by the large number of NEGATIVE experiences people have with the companies. I know plenty of people who have no problem cheerleading for large companies that they are happy with and like their products and services. When you get poor numbers it's because, well, as they say.... "You're doing it wrong."
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Re: ...rank very poorly with consumers when it comes to value for the money...

said by KrK:

When you get poor numbers it's because, well, as they say.... "You're doing it wrong."

I think it tends to go both ways because of preconceive notions
said by KrK:

called corporatism

But marketing experts have long held that negative connections are a more powerful influence and tend to be over reported, while many positive experiences yield an "they're OK, I guess" reaction.
People LIKE to complain about pretty much anything and everything.
63475675

join:2014-01-06

Re: ...rank very poorly with consumers when it comes to value for the money...

said by tshirt See Profile
People LIKE to complain about pretty much anything and everything.

But USUALLY people complain about cable service when there is in fact a problem, especially when it is an ONGOING problem, and the customer NO service doesn't solve the issues.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
Can't disagree here. Also, I find that people become spoiled by good service.

At first they are wowed and impressed. A few years on and you're still handling their accounts with enthusiasm and attention to detail but now they are used to it and it's just "Average." You can find that "good" service becomes "bad" service now, because expectations are so high and they demand excellence 24/7. This appears to hold true. There are exceptions. As one who has worked with many aspects of the public for years I cut workers a lot of slack. I can tell "real" bad service from just unrealistic expectations.

So, yeah. However it's not hard to break the perception of bad service: Just provide people with good service consistently over time. It's VERY easy to ruin your reputation for service by providing bad service when people are used to getting good service.

If Comcast or TWC's perceptions are truly wrong they would win over people over time. However like many industries with insufficient competition they just don't care enough if people are unhappy, and thereby earn their reputation and perception.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

wizardry

@ohio-state.edu
People like their TV and home Internet service. The term "inelastic" applies here.

goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big
said by tshirt:

but they keep buying it.
I would agree that customer support, especially the first level contact needs a makeover/to be envisioned.
but if people REALLY hate the product so much, WHY do they use it?
It's not really crack, you can walk away.

We DID walk away from Comcast. The minute something else came along. And we won't go back.
underthehood
Premium
join:2006-01-04
When you have nowhere else to go because their market is "protected" where else DO you go?!

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: ...rank very poorly with consumers when it comes to value for the money...

THEN (or even before) you work on your elected representatives to forge an ACTUAL, COMPREHENSIVE, NATIONAL broadband policy, something noted in Karl's news this week as missing from the process of getting ubiquitous broadband as a utility.
Companies will continue to act for their own benefit.
If their interests fail to meet the public need, the public through their gov't needs to form a long term policy to encourage the market to fill that need.
It starts with each individual, and progresses based on the continued efforts of their collective efforts.
No one is going to do it for you.

buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME

I though both companies...

had nowhere to go but up in these metrics, I guess I was wrong.

•••
waycoolphil

join:2000-09-22
Cathedral City, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

It must be the television service that sinks cable

I have TWC Internet and phone here in the desert and have no problems with either one. I have Charter Internet and phone at my mountain home and have no problems with either one. I have DIRECTV at both homes and have no problems at either one. I have a suspicion that if I had TV service/DVR service with TWC and Charter I would be a very unhappy camper. I have heard horror stories from neighbors at both locations.

why60loss

join:2012-09-20
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Time Warner Cable

Re: It must be the television service that sinks cable

said by waycoolphil:

I have TWC Internet and phone here in the desert and have no problems with either one. I have Charter Internet and phone at my mountain home and have no problems with either one. I have DIRECTV at both homes and have no problems at either one. I have a suspicion that if I had TV service/DVR service with TWC and Charter I would be a very unhappy camper. I have heard horror stories from neighbors at both locations.

Nope I had most of my issues with there crappy run down internet service.

really 57.99 for 15/1 is a rip off. Also throttling stuff like youtube, netfilx and hulu sucks.
waycoolphil

join:2000-09-22
Cathedral City, CA

Re: It must be the television service that sinks cable

I guess it's all in the location. I have encountered no throttling or caps on TWC or Charter. No outages either. I stream Netflix HD on both services flawlessly. Just lucky I guess.

momcat1
No Relation To The Bobcat

join:2002-10-21
Wappingers Falls, NY

Time Warner Cable, Comcast Flounder in Consumer Reports Survey

incomplete report

YukonHawk

join:2001-01-07
Patterson, NY

As the saying goes......

you put stink'in crap in ya get stink'in crap out....I wonder if ANYONE from Comcast's HQs actually reads this or CR's Survey and ACTUALLY might say we should do something to improve the end users experience? Pipe dream!

RalphBrian

@comcast.net

Re: As the saying goes......

Yes, we do read it. We love our customers so much that we want more of them.
Thank you for paying your bills on time!

Nameless

join:2014-02-25
Austin, TX

Well TWC has SOMETHING to brag about at least...

»consumerist.com/2014/03/24/eas-w···r-cable/

They just defeated 2-time WCIA champ EA in the first round. Given the amount of hatred towards EA over bullshit like day 1 DLC, microtransactions and the like, I'd say that's quite an accomplishment.

It would be awesome if Comcast and TWC faced off in the finals.

UR D problem

@144.160.130.x

leave

we all complain about it, the politicians are in bed with these guys. And we are mostly to blame! why? we make it seem that tv is a "must" in life. When in reality it isn't. I once felt that way, but i was able to cut the cord! I dont need all those channels, just a HD antenna on my roof, get my local channels. Break away from it and spend more time outside. just my 2 cents

Selenia
Gentoo Convert
Premium
join:2006-09-22
Fort Smith, AR
kudos:2

Not looking forward to merger

It only gets worse when companies of this size merge. Right now,I am happy with TWC, likely because I made contacts there and know how to get up the ladder in the event I have a problem, resulting in me having few problems for a long time and most problems I have taken care of very quickly. I would hate to start over with an even bigger Comcast. Ugh!
--
Dedicating my signature to help my big bro in his new upstart by asking people to come like his Facebook page and help spread the word(not a FB user myself). »www.facebook.com/mikethecomputermechanic