Controversial opinion time: Comcast sucks a tiny bit less this year

Up 15 per cent, but ISPs are still bottom of list for consumer satisfaction

Comcast sucks less than last year, but still has a pretty miserable customer rating, according to the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

The organization's new report [PDF] for 2016 shows a remarkable increase in satisfaction with the cable company – up 15 per cent, or eight points. But then it was starting from pretty far down: it went from 54 to 62 per cent.

Perhaps it's a little unfair to pick on just Comcast, because as a whole ISPs and cable companies continue to provide the lowest levels of customer satisfaction across the 43 industries covered by the ACSI.

Just 64 and 65 per cent of customers are satisfied with the service they get from ISPs and cable companies respectively. As the report notes, often they are the same company, thanks to the oligopoly that exists in the United States.

"Though many consumers are cutting the chord [sic] to subscription TV, most of them must still rely on the same companies for the high-speed Internet access required for streaming media platforms like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video," a related ACSI press release says.


That compares to 71 per cent for mobile phone companies (AT&T, T‑Mobile, etc) and 79 per cent for mobile phone manufacturers (Apple, Samsung, et al).

Comcast in particular has been working hard on being less hated, thanks in no short part to its appalling 54 per cent rating last year and the widespread publicity that followed it.

Cable companies' terrible customer satisfaction results have also worked against the industry, which previously felt it was unassailable but has been given a rude awakening thanks to a series of Federal Communication Commission policies, including net neutrality.

Scoring lowest is Mediacom, with a pathetic 54 per cent customer satisfaction – which is actually up from 51 per cent last year. Next comes Time Warner Cable, which was also rated at 51 per cent last year and jumped to 59 per cent – a 16 per cent increase. But, again, still terrible. Verizon sits at the top of the table with 70 per cent.

As to specific services, it will come as no surprise that call centers are bottom of the list with 66 per cent satisfaction. At the top: HD picture quality, with 81 per cent satisfaction. We do love our HD screens. ®

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