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Print 13 comment(s) - last by Motoman.. on May 21 at 12:19 PM

The latest results from American Customer Satisfaction Index should give customers pause

Comcast’s efforts to acquire Time Warner Cable (TWC) are coming under increasing scrutiny from all sides. Netflix has come out in direct opposition to the merger, stating that, “the combined company would possess even more anti-competitive leverage to charge arbitrary interconnection tolls for access to their customers.”
 
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is already assessing the proposed merger, while the state of New York is launching its own “rigorous review” to “determine whether the proposed transaction is in the public interest.”
 
But we can’t leave out the consumer in all of this, and that’s where the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) comes into play. The ACSI bills itself as the “only national cross-industry measure of customer satisfaction in the United States.” ACSI’s scientific model allows it to measure customer satisfaction across a broad spectrum of products and services across the country — including internet, television, and mobile/landline phone services.
 
According to ACSI’s latest annual report on customer satisfaction, Comcast and TWC represent the two worst companies with respect to internet service, TV service, and fixed-line service in the United States. We have to hand it to the two companies for managing to strike out on all three of the major services that they offer to customers.

 
Among Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the industry average was a score of 63 on a 100-point scale. Comcast was rated at 57, while TWC was dead last at 54.

 

The industry average for Subscription Television Service was 65 on a 100-point scale. Comcast pulled in a score of 60, while TWC again brought up the rear with a score of 56.

 
You should be noticing a pattern here by now, so it should be no surprise that the Fixed-Line Telephone Service category saw an industry average of 73 on a 100-point scale, with Comcast and TWC bringing in scores of 67 and 65 respectively. TWC again was ranked dead last.
 
So what does this mean for consumers, when the two worst performing companies in customer satisfaction are gearing up to walk down the aisle together? “It’s a concern whenever two poor-performing service providers combine operations,” said David VanAmburg, ACSI Director. “ACSI data consistently show that mergers in service industries usually result in lower customer satisfaction, at least in the short term. It’s hard to see how combining two negatives will be a positive for consumers.”
 
It should also be noted that the readers of The Consumerist recently voted the Worst Company in America Comcast for 2014.

Sources: American Customer Satisfaction Index, Ars Technica [Charts], The Office of the Governor of New York



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>.<
By Motoman on 5/20/2014 12:33:20 PM , Rating: 5
Not only should Comcast & TWC *not* be allowed to merge, realistically everything needs to go in the opposite direction.

Eliminate all regulations everywhere that create the artificial monopolies and rare duopolies. All consumers everywhere have been abused horribly since the beginning of the cable industry by these monopolies. Eliminate the regulations that artificially create these environments, and all consumers everywhere win.

Change the status of broadband internet status to be the same as electricity and landline phone service. Make it available to all US citizens. Don't really care whether a given house out in the boondocks has access to DSL, cable, fiber, powerline internet, or whatever...just so long as it's a bona-fide broadband service.

Enact *actual* net neutrality regulation. ISPs should have no ability to affect the content coming through their "pipes" - period. You want to be an ISP, then serve all data without prejudice. Or don't be an ISP.

Otherwise stop pretending this isn't a massive fascist boondoggle. Because that's exactly what it is.




RE: >.<
By mdogs444 on 5/20/14, Rating: -1
RE: >.<
By Motoman on 5/20/2014 1:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
These are not monopolies because there is competition


No, there categorically is NOT competition. The number of areas in which there is more than one choice is statistically insignificant.

http://consumerist.com/2014/03/07/heres-what-lack-...

Here's another good article about why this shouldn't go through:

http://consumerist.com/2014/05/18/heres-why-the-ju...

Oh, and keep in mind also that the monopolies allow the cable companies to wantonly increase their prices without just cause - like at rates 4 times the rate of inflation. Just because they can.

http://consumerist.com/2014/05/19/fcc-basic-cable-...


RE: >.<
By marvdmartian on 5/20/2014 2:08:02 PM , Rating: 2
It's pretty well known, by now, that the big cable companies sat down and divvied up the country amongst themselves, so they wouldn't be competing against each other. It's only Time Warner's ineptitude that has gotten them to the point where Comcast has been in a position to buy them out.

So I guess that if someone wanted to say that it wouldn't create a monopoly, they'd be right....since the monopolies already existed, albeit on a smaller scale, and included BOTH companies enjoying their own.

Until such time as fiber optic internet & TV service are available across the majority of the country, this type of deal should NOT be allowed. If Time Warner cannot run a business, with little to no real competition, then maybe they need to be bought out....but let it be by a company not currently in the same business (like Comcast), or an investment group.

Meanwhile, I sort of like the deregulation idea, if it can be worked out. Comcast & TWC are allowed to still offer services, but are forced to also lease their networks to outside companies, at a reasonable cost. Those companies can then offer internet and/or TV service, utilizing the wires already in place, at whatever price point they want to charge. I really can't see any reason why it wouldn't work.....

....though I'm sure that companies like Comcast & TWC would raise quite the stink over it!


RE: >.<
By marsax2014 on 5/21/2014 10:49:55 AM , Rating: 2
I have no options when it comes to cable. Brighthouse (TW) is the only real option. AT&T's 3 Mbps DSL?? Please. Then there is DirecTV. Don't think so. Actually Brighthouse has been ok when it comes to service/cost but I had Comcast before I moved and it was horrendous. Expensive, data capped, horrible DVR devices, etc. I guess the a la carte option will never happen. I could pick 20 channels we actually watch and be happy with that. The internet speed is our biggest concern.


RE: >.<
By Hakuryu on 5/20/2014 2:11:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but why shouldn't an internet company be able to charge a company like Netflix a premium for using up the majority of its badwidth?


Because the cable companies have their own competing services for streaming movies and TV. It is in their best interest to force out competition through the use of fees, data caps, and slow connections. Even if they get caught price fixing or using illegal tactics, the millions in fines is money well spent if they can grab a portion of the market.


RE: >.<
By Motoman on 5/20/2014 2:38:56 PM , Rating: 3
Yup. The sheer stupidity of people who ask that question is mind-boggling.

Example: Verizon has a stake in Redbox. That's an online movie streaming service that competes with Netflix. For what possible reason would Verizon *not* throttle Netflix traffic? When people call up to complain that Netflix is all jittery and crappy, Verizon can say "huh, well you know we offer Redbox on a *fastlane* that is guaranteed to give the best performance possible" and then people switch. Through no fault of Netflix, they lose customers to Redbox - because it was legal for the ISP to monkey with the data.

Beyond paid-for services, the problem continues. Say Faux News contacts Comcast and offers them a billion dollars to put them in a "fastlane" and relegate CNN, MSN, Reuters, so on and so forth all to throttled connections. Unless CNN et al also pony up, Comcast subscribers will become frustrated with poor performance on those websites, and likely be funneled to Faux News.

The world that leads to irrefutably is a world in which your eyeballs are bought and sold to the highest bidder. The internet will cease to function...it will be owned by the largest corporations that have the deepest pockets to pay the largest bribes to the ISPs. And if you're not able to bribe the ISPs at the same level as the big boys...you're done. Game over, man. GAME OVER!


RE: >.<
By MikeDiction on 5/21/14, Rating: 0
RE: >.<
By Motoman on 5/21/2014 12:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
Just saw this...data caps for everyone! Whee!

http://consumerist.com/2014/05/21/latest-data-says...


"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone














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