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Cable Technology Feature Article

July 30, 2012

Cable Companies Top List of 'Least Liked' U.S. Firms

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor

The most disliked companies in America once again include airlines, utilities and banks, according to the latest cycle of ratings from the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Of the top-11 most disliked firms, cable companies followed two power companies in the index.

Charter Communications (News - Alert) was ranked third, according to ACSI. Comcast (News - Alert) ranked fourth for its video service. Time Warner Cable was ranked sixth.

Cox Communications ranked seventh for its video service. CenturyLink ranked 11th – the worst ranking for a telco. DirecTV (News - Alert) ranked 14th on the list.

None of those scores is especially unusual. Cable TV companies traditionally score rather lower than the national average for all industries. Fixed network telcos also tend to face obstacles in the rankings. But mobile service providers score no better than fixed network service providers.

Service industries typically score worse than manufacturing because of limited competition and the difficulty of interacting with customers.  Most common complaints include billing issues and customer representatives not being knowledgeable or helpful enough.

It’s probably worth noting, though, that although consumer satisfaction tends to be below average for all the recurring service providers, none of that stops people from purchasing the services at a very high level.

It also wouldn’t appear especially easy for any single provider to consistently provide customer service satisfaction that is markedly different from the other contestants in a single industry, with perhaps one important distinction. Since scores are measurably higher for “other providers,” it might be argued that smaller providers seem to have an advantage over larger providers.

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Edited by Braden Becker

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