Why We Love to Hate Cable, Internet and Phone Companies

Why We Love to Hate Cable, Internet and Phone Companies

Calling up your cable company probably never topped your list of most beloved activities.

But according to a new survey, the experience is now more miserable than ever.

In the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index, information service providers—think: cable TV, Internet, landline phones and computer software—were found to have the lowest rates in seven years.

More specifically, cable and Internet providers tied for very last place among 43 different businesses surveyed—effectively earning them the "most loathed industries" label.

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Dragging down the cable scores were big-name brands like Comcast, which was rated 54 out of 100—a drop of more than 10% from last year. Meanwhile, Time Warner scored a 51—the lowest figure among all 300 companies on the list.

To be sure, these providers have never exactly received glowing reviews from their patrons. “Customer service in these industries has long been bad,” David VanAmburg, director of the Index, told the New York Times. “They don’t have a good business model for handling inquiries with efficiency and respect. It goes back a decade plus.”

Still, consumers might now be growing increasingly weary of the unending price hikes on top of that poor service—especially when compared with flashier, lower-cost options like Hulu and Netflix.

As competition heats up, cable and Internet providers might finally be incentivized to enact major changes. “There was a time when pay TV could get away with discontented users without being penalized by revenue losses from defecting customers,” Claes Fornell, chairman and founder of the Index, said in a press release.

“But those days are over.”

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