Survey Finds Like and Hate For TV, Wireless-Phone Service
The American Customer Satisfaction Index has just released its latest quarterly survey of consumer attitudes, and some telecom firms are not going to be happy about it.
The Index, a project of the University of Michigan's National Quality Research Center, uses phone interviews of randomly chosen U.S. consumers to gauge their satisfaction with industries and companies within them on a scale of 0 to 100.
The survey covers a different set of industries each quarter (for instance, last summer it examined the personal-computer business); this time, hotels and restaurants, health care, "information" (telecommunications, media and software), transportation and utilities got the ASCI treatment.
The information, er, information interests me the most, of course.
The ACSI found that you've gotten significantly happier with cable and satellite TV--the industry sector earned a score of 69, its highest ever--but not if you use Comcast, which bottomed out at a lowest-ever 54. (DirecTV customers were happiest, giving it a score of 68; Dish Network was slightly behind, at 65 or 67--for some reason, the survey has separate listings for Dish and its parent company, EchoStar--and the other major cable operator in the D.C. area, Cox, came home with a 63.
Wireless phone service, another perennial punching bag for dissatisfied customers, showed a similar pattern. The business as a whole scored a 68, not far behind fixed-line phone service, and most carriers did better yet: Verizon Wireless hit 72, and AT&T and T-Mobile each had a 71. But Sprint Nextel fell to 56.
The computer-software part of the survey only had two entries: Microsoft and everybody else. Microsoft fell to 69, while "All Others" held steady at 75.
Among all the industry categories surveyed, airlines ranked lowest with an average of 62 (Dulles flyers, rejoice: United scored a woeful 56). And as NPR saw fit to remind me in its recap this morning, the second-lowest-ranked sector, at 64, was newspapers. Ouch.
The full results are online at the ACSI site, where U-Mich. business school professor and National Quality Research Center director Claes Fornell also offers his spoken and written commentary on the results.
Tell me about your own TV and wireless-phone experience: Would you rank your provider higher or lower than the ACSI did?
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