May 21, 2008
| by Arlen Schweiger
How happy are we with our cable and satellite TV services? Happier with satellite than the major cable providers, according to the recent quarterly release by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).
The ACSI, which measures on a 100-point scale, revealed that overall—including ratings for hotels, airlines, restaurants, health care and other categories—customer satisfaction is 75.2. That was a 0.4 percent increase, the first gain in a year shown by the survey, which is produced by the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
For the Cable/Satellite TV category, overall satisfaction rose 3 percent to 64—the same number it received in 2001 when the category was added (the ACSI’s first measurements were taken in 1994). That’s with cable heavyweights Comcast, Charter and Time Warner notwithstanding, as satellites and smaller cable companies led the way.
Consumer satisfaction for Comcast and Charter were just 54 and Time Warner’s 59—well below the 2001 marks of 64, 63 and 63, respectively. Cox Communications was at 63, which is the same number it’s received every year since being recorded in 2004, but for “All Others” in the cable business, customers were largely content and measured a 69 rating.
DirecTV and Dish Network continued to score higher than cable. DirecTV earned a 68, and has never been below 67 since 2001. Dish Network dropped to its all-time low, but its 65 was still a point higher than Comcast has ever received.
“The reason for the industry’s uptick is the large improvement among smaller cable TV providers such as Cablevision and RCN,” says Claes Fornell, founder of the ACSI. “Small is often better in terms of being able to provide good customer service. Cablevision, with some 3 million subscribers, is barely 1/8th the size of Comcast. These companies don’t generally seek to expand quickly beyond their geographic footprints and are often targets of acquisition by larger firms, companies that may be able to withstand depressed customer satisfaction in the short term as operations of the smaller providers are integrated.”
So are you satisfied with your satellite company or cable provider? If so, why? Tell us in the comments below!
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.