Verizon FiOS, satellite pay TV providers beat cable companies in customer satisfaction poll

Summary:Cable companies have long been dogged with the reputation for poor customer service, and there are many, many examples of why this is so. Comcast is even rebranding its service as Xfinity to remove some of the negative aura around the Comcast name.

Cable companies have long been dogged with the reputation for poor customer service, and there are many, many examples of why this is so. Comcast is even rebranding its service as Xfinity to remove some of the negative aura around the Comcast name.

So the results of the annual poll conducted by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) should come as no surprise when it comes to the subscription TV industry. In this year's survey, companies using fiber optic to the home (like Verizon FiOS and AT&T's U-Verse) and satellite technology (DirecTV, Dish Network) scored higher than all cable providers, though the difference between DirecTV's score and Cox Communications was a single point.

Verizon and AT&T U-Verse, in the survey for the first time, led with scores of 73 and 72, respectively, on the 100-point scale, while Dish Network was the 10.9-percent gainer from 2009, jumping ahead of DirecTV, which dropped the most. There was a marked drop-off from Cox's 66 score to Comcast and Time Warner's respective 61 scores and Charter's 60 score. Charter at least could take solace in the fact that it was the biggest gainer from last year, though that was because it received a 51 in 2009. Both Comcast and Time Warner jumped from the 59s they received last year, but still score lower than when ACSI began the survey in 2001.

Of course, customer satisfaction includes more than customer support, also factoring in pricing and features. While there are plenty of horror stories about FiOS, this ACSI poll provides more proof that Verizon has a somewhat more satisfied customer base than its cable competitors, which still apparently have more work to do in order to overcome their more negative public perception.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility, Networking, Telcos

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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