Satisfaction: Pay TV Up, ISPs Down

May 21, 2013
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, customers are happier with telecommunication services and technologies than they were a year ago. The Information sector benchmark - the combined aggregate score for wireless telephone service, Internet serv...
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, customers are happier with telecommunication services and technologies than they were a year ago. The Information sector benchmark - the combined aggregate score for wireless telephone service, Internet service providers (ISPs), subscription TV service, cellular telephones, fixed-line telephone service and computer software - climbed 0.6% to 72.3 on a 0 to 100 scale.Subscription TV service ended a three-year run of stagnating customer satisfaction with a 3.0% gain to 68. While the boost is good news for cable, satellite and fiber-optic TV providers, the industry remains the third worst of the 43 industries covered.The ACSI's coverage of telecommunications expands with inaugural measures for the Internet service provider (ISP) industry. ISPs debuted with a customer satisfaction benchmark of 65 - the lowest score among 43 ACSI industries. Only Verizon's FiOS and the aggregate of all other smaller ISPs broke out of the 60s with identical ACSI scores of 71. Cox beat the average at 68, followed by AT&T U-verse and Charter at 65. The low end belongs to CenturyLink at 64, Time Warner Cable at 63 and Comcast at 62.The wireless phone industry reversed a two-year trend of declining customer satisfaction with a 2.9% gain to 72. Despite matching its 10-year high, wireless service remains well below the national ACSI average.Customer satisfaction gains populated nearly the entire fixed-line phone business, even though customers continue to migrate toward wireless. Higher satisfaction amid dwindling usage indicates that those who stay are more satisfied than those who leave. The fixed-line industry's ACSI score increased 5.7% to 74, with gains for individual companies ranging from 4% to 8%.

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