Customer Service Woes
When it comes to customer service, wireless and cable companies still have a lot to learn. At least, that's what new data released today by the American Customer Satisfaction Index suggests.
Satisfaction among subscribers of cable and satellite TV dropped during the first quarter, once again earning the lowest level of customer satisfaction among all industries covered by the report, which is an independent survey taken by the University of Michigan. Comcast, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable all lost points this year--a result of unreliable service that has been exacerbated by the new bundling trend. Now that the industry is bundling Internet, phone and cable offerings together, customer satisfaction may dip even more, the survey suggested: Any disruption causes the customer to lose all three services.
The wireless industry appears to have fared slightly better with modest gains made by AT&T's Cingular, T-Mobile and Verizon. In fact, the wireless industry is at an all-time high in terms of customer satisfaction. But that's not saying much: it still ranks far below the national average, earning lower scores than, for example, Continental Airlines, Wendy's restaurants and UPS.
Sprint Nextel, however, continued to slide backwards on this front. Nextel's network problems and outdated phones have been major contributors, the report said, and customer satisfaction with Sprint is "falling way behind competition, from on par with the industry in 2005 to 10 percent below by 2007."
After the company reported major financial losses in the first quarter, analysts pointed out that Sprint's reputation of having poor service has caused many customers to switch to other carriers, even if it means breaking contracts and shelling out more money for a new handset.
What do you think? Is the survey accurate when it comes to Sprint's customer service? Has anyone out there run into serious issues when dealing with Sprint?
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May 15, 2007; 11:40 AM ET
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