Comcast, Time Warner Still the Most Hated as Regulators Weigh MergerBy: Josh Wolford - May 20, 2014
The American Customer Satisfaction Index, a gigantic (80,000 or so) annual survey that asks Americans about their satisfaction with certain companies and areas of the national economy, has once again shown that people really, really hate Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
You know, those two companies that are trying to merge right now.
This year, Comcast’s TV service fell five percent to a score of 60 (out of 100) in terms of customer satisfaction. Time Warner Cable’s subscription TV service fell seven percent to 56, its lowest score to date.
Remember, Comcast is currently attempting to purchase Time Warner Cable. It’s undergoing regulatory investigations right now.
If you thought the numbers on the TV service satisfaction were bad, wait until you hear the numbers for the internet service. Comcast dropped eight percent this year to 57, while Time Warner plunged 14 percent (!!!) to 54.
Though their scores have changed, Comcast and Time Warner’s positions on the index have not. They are, once again, the two companies with the most dissatisfied customers.
Once again, these two companies want to become one, and promise that it will be better for their customers.
“Comcast and Time Warner assert their proposed merger will not reduce competition because there is little overlap in their service territories,” says David VanAmburg, ACSI Director. “Still, it’s a concern whenever two poor-performing service providers combine operations. ACSI data consistently show that mergers in service industries usually result in lower customer satisfaction, at least in the short term. It’s hard to see how combining two negatives will be a positive for consumers.”
In other words, blending a rotten apple with a rotten orange does not a delicious smoothie make.
To be fair, it’s not just Comcast and Time Warner that everyone hates. Americans are incredibly unsatisfied with their ISPs in general–all across the board.
“High prices, slow data transmission, and unreliable service drag satisfaction to record lows, as customers have few alternatives beyond the largest Internet service providers. Customer satisfaction with ISPs drops 3.1% to 63, the lowest score in the Index,” says the ACSI report.
But Comcast and Time Warner performed the worst. By far.
“The Internet has been a disruptor for many industries, and subscription TV and ISPs are no exception,” says Claes Fornell, ACSI Chairman and founder. “Over-the-top video services, like Netflix and Hulu, threaten subscription TV providers and also put pressure on ISP network infrastructure. Customers question the value proposition of both, as consumers pay for more than they need in terms of subscription TV and get less than they want in terms of Internet speeds and reliability.”
Dissatisfaction in your ISPs–as American as apple pie. If you think that plunging numbers in one of the country’s most important consumer surveys would affect any change among these companies, well, it’s best to remember this.
Image via Wikimedia Commons