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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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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!


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