The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has been released for the first quarter of 2008, and satellite continues to dominate cable when it comes to customers’ overall satisfaction with their TV service.
Rising scores for smaller cable operators offset the deterioration in customer satisfaction by Comcast and Charter Communications, the ACSI reported. The cable industry rose 3 percent, to land at 64, led by a 5 percent jump to 69 for the collection of smaller cable operators.
Among the larger cable operators, Comcast dropped the most, shedding 4 percent to land at 54. Charter lost 2 percent to end up with 54, as well.
Satellite continued to fare better than cable. DirecTV edged up 2 percent, to 68. And even though Dish Network fell 3 percent, to land at 65, it remained well ahead of the largest cable operators.
Traditional local and long-distance telephony services were up 4 percent, to 73, reaching the highest score since 1999. AT&T improved by 7 percent to lead the industry at 75.
Cox Communications jumped up 6 percent, to 74, while Verizon’s fixed line telephony service slipped by 3 percent, to 70. And Comcast improved by 3 percent to come in at 69, but the MSO remained at the bottom of the fixed line industry.
Customer satisfaction with wireless telephony services maintained an all-time-high score, according to the ACSI, coming in at 68 for the second-consecutive year. Verizon Wireless topped the industry with 72.
AT&T Mobility (formerly Cingular) improved by 4 percent, to 71. AT&T was the first wireless company to let customers use phones from any manufacturer, and it is also the only wireless company to offer Apple’s iPhone.
Sprint Nextel plummeted 8 percent, to 56, still suffering from service problems and customer defections after the acquisition of Nextel. The company’s drop dragged down the ACSI score for the wireless phone service category, the ACSI said.
“Business is unsustainable in a competitive marketplace when customer satisfaction scores are as low as Sprint Nextel’s,” said Claes Fornell, founder of ACSI.
The ACSI’s scores – which are on a 100-point scale – reflect overall customer satisfaction with a particular service. Customers surveyed by the ACSI in the first quarter of 2008 were also asked about such issues as perceived quality, perceived value and their expectations prior to subscribing to the service. The ACSI also measures customer loyalty and retention.
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