Do you subscribe to cable, but don't exactly love the TV services you're getting? Join the club. Once again, some of the largest cable TV companies—including Comcast and Time Warner, which are in the midst of a merger—are among the bottom feeders in overall customer satisfaction for TV service, according to the Consumer Reports National Research Center’s latest annual telecom survey.
In fact, if it weren't for Mediacom Communications, a cable company that serves a little more than a half-million customers in the Midwest and Southeast, Time Warner and Comcast would have ranked lowest in the survey. Comcast came in 15th out of 17 pay-TV providers for customer satisfaction with TV service, with an overall score of 59 out of 100. The company had low scores for value and customer support. Its proposed merger partner, Time Warner, did no better, ranking 16th overall for TV service with an overall score of 58. Time Warner had low scores for value, reliability, and customer support. Mediacom trailed the entire pack with an overall score of 54.
But the flip side is that two smaller cable companies, Armstrong Cable and WOW (WideOpenWest), topped the Consumer Reports survey for TV service. Those companies were followed by Verizon FiOS, which came in third, Wave/Astound, DirecTV and Dish Network, and then AT&T U-verse.
The two cable giants fared a bit better for broadband service in the survey although both were still nestled in the bottom third of all ISPs. Topping the chart (again) for broadband were WOW and Verizon FiOS.
These findings are just a small part of our annual telecom bundling story.