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ACSI-Customer-Satisfaction-Telecom-Sector-June2016Customer satisfaction with pay-TV services has inched up this year after falling to an almost decade-long low last year, finds a new report [download page] from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The index for subscription TV services climbed a couple of points to 65 on the 100-point scale, edging pay-TV ahead of internet service providers (ISPs), which saw their aggregate score increase by a point to 64. The pay-TV and ISP sectors contain several of the same companies, such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

This year, the highest-rated pay-TV provider is Verizon Fios, with its index score of 70 just slightly ahead of AT&T U-verse (69). Time Warner Cable moved out of the basement this year with a sizable increase from 51 to 59, with Comcast also seeing its own relatively large gain, from 54 to 62. That leaves Mediacom as the lowest-rated pay-TV provider, with a customer satisfaction index of just 51.

Satisfaction with various elements of the pay-TV experience remain largely steady from last year, led by picture quality. Despite the ongoing discussion about à-la-carte services and an over-abundance of channels, satisfaction with available premium channels (75) and the range of channels available (74) remains fairly high.

Still, with call center satisfaction remaining low albeit increasing (66, up from 62), the analysts caution that the sector’s overall improvement may be short-lived.

In other results from the report:

  • Verizon Fios (+5 points to 73) was the top-rated ISP for customer satisfaction, overtaking a declining AT&T U-verse (- 5 points to 64);
  • Frontier Communications was the lowest-rate ISP (56), just below Mediacom (57);
  • Vonage (78) was the highest-rated fixed-line telephone service;
  • Sprint was the lowest-rated wireless phone service; and
  • Apple (81) edged Samsung (80) for the customer satisfaction lead among cell phones, but Samsung’s Galaxy Note5 (86) narrowly beat out the iPhone 6s Plus (85) as the highest-rated model.

About the Data: ACSI describes its methodology in part as follows:

“The ACSI Telecommunications Report 2016 on cellular telephones, fixed-line telephone service, Internet service providers, subscription television service, and wireless telephone service is based on interviews with 12,710 customers, chosen at random and contacted via email between March 5 and March 31, 2016. Customers are asked to evaluate their recent experiences with the largest telecommunications service providers and phone manufacturers in terms of market share, plus an aggregate category consisting of “all other”—and thus smaller—companies in those industries.

The survey data are used as inputs to ACSI’s cause-and-effect econometric model, which estimates customer satisfaction as the result of the survey-measured inputs of customer expectations, perceptions of quality, and perceptions of value. The ACSI model, in turn, links customer satisfaction with the survey-measured outcomes of customer complaints and customer loyalty.”

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