Residential ISP Satisfaction Drops

October 28, 2010

Overall customer satisfaction with residential high-speed Internet service providers has decreased slightly from 2009 due to declines in satisfaction with cost of service and offerings and promotions, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Study.

Pricing Dissatisfaction Drives Overall Decline
The study finds that overall satisfaction with residential high-speed internet service averages 634 on a 1,000-point scale, a decrease of five index points from 2009.

The study also finds that customer satisfaction with cost of service averages 584 in 2010, a 12-point decrease from 596 in 2009. Contributing to this decline are decreases in satisfaction with fairness of prices paid and ease of understanding pricing options.

Price Fairness, Ease of Understanding Key Switching Motivators
Among customers who intend to switch for a better price, satisfaction with fairness and ease of understanding is lower than the industry average. However, the percentage of customers who actually switched service providers during the past 12 months for reasons other than moving has declined by more than 25% compared with 2009.

High-speed Internet service providers are examined in four regions:

Optimum Online Satisfies East
Optimum Online ranks highest in the East region with a score of 659 and performs particularly well in two of five factors: offerings and promotions and customer service. Verizon follows in the regional rankings with a score of 658, while EarthLink ranks third with a score of 643.


Verizon Soothes South
With a score of 675, Verizon service ranks highest in the South region and performs well in the performance and reliability and offerings and promotions factors. EarthLink follows in the rankings with a score of 672, while Bright House Networks’ RoadRunner service ranks third with a score of 661.


Wow Wows North Central
Performing particularly well in all five factors driving satisfaction, Wow ranks highest in the region with a score of 722. Cincinnati Bell follows with 674, while Cox Communications ranks third with 671.


Cox Captivates West
Cox Communications ranks highest in the West region with a score of 659 and performs particularly well in performance and reliability, cost of service, billing, and offerings and promotions. Following Cox in the regional rankings are Cable One (646) and EarthLink (642).


Other Findings

  • The overall satisfaction gap between DSL customers and cable modem customers has narrowed by eight index points between 2009 and 2010 and now stands at 17 points (638 compared to 621, respectively).
  • Technician visits to households using DSL are due to issues such as troubleshooting and service restoration 63% of the time, compared with 53% among cable modem users.
  • Competition may breed satisfaction, as overall satisfaction among respondents who have one choice for Internet service averages 556. For those with three options, overall satisfaction averages 653, while satisfaction among respondents with five options averages 665.

About the Data: The 2010 Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 29,847 residential customers of Internet service providers nationwide. The study was fielded in four waves: November 2009 and January 2010, April 2010 and July 2010. J.D. Power & Associates is publisher of the study, which is the source of the enclosed charts.


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