Business

Time Warner Cable, Comcast set record lows for satisfaction

Image Credit: Illustration by Tom Cheredar

A study that quantitatively measures customer satisfaction released its numbers for 2014 – and it doesn’t look good for Time Warner Cable and Comcast.

The American Customer Satisfaction index confirmed that Time Warner Cable and Comcast are among the least-liked cable television providers, all of which have seen tremendous declines in customer satisfaction.

The two companies’ subscription television services, which are in the midst of becoming one entity, rated poorly on the ACSI, which measures customers’ satisfaction with the quality of products and services these companies provide. Time Warner Cable’s television service scored a survey record low of 56 points, and Comcast’s service fared only four points better to be the second-lowest scoring of the nine companies consumers were surveyed on.

Customer satisfaction with subscription television service dropped 4.4 percent to an ACSI score of 65 one year after peaking at 68. The study says that high prices, low reliability, and declining customer service are to blame for low satisfaction with paid television services.

Time Warner Cable and Comcast also scored poorly across the entire telecommunications industry in areas such as Internet service and fixed-line telephone service. Providers that supply fiber optic cable and Internet services scored on average eight points higher than companies without this option.

The report suggests that Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable could be problematic for consumers. Rather that viewing the new entity as a threat to local competition, the survey questions how two companies with “such poor [customer service] records” could create a positive customer experience.

It’s interesting to note that DirecTV and AT&T, the other telecommunications companies that will be combining forces, rated high in the study; DirecTV had the highest ACSI scored of the subscription television companies, and AT&T placed second, behind Verizon, in the Internet service providers category. The acquisition could set up AT&T for continued high ACSI scores and customer satisfaction, following the report’s reasoning.

However, the report also states that mergers tend to damage satisfaction in the short term, so customers of Time Warner Cable and DirecTV should expect some disruptions when directly dealing with these companies.


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