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ACSI: Pay-TV Customer Satisfaction Drops, Internet Customer Satisfaction Shows No Gains

July 22, 2015 By Steve Senne in

On average, Americans are more satisfied with their landline phone service than they are with subscription TV or Internet service – but they’re not tremendously happy with any of those services, according to recent research from ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index).

ACSI measured satisfaction with both consumers’ subscription TV provider and Internet service provider (ISP) at 63 on a 100-point scale in 2015, while landline phone service provider satisfaction came in at 69. The ISP rating was unchanged from 2014. But both the subscription TV and fixed line phone service rankings were down from last year – from 65 and 73, respectively.

Rankings for all three services were among the lowest that ACSI measured for any industry.

The combination of poor service and high cost is driving customer satisfaction lower, ACSI states. At the same time the rising popularity of OTT video services makes for a more competitive, fast-changing Pay-TV landscape.

Telecom industry players, meanwhile, are focused on mergers and acquisitions. Charter Communications continues with its efforts to join with TWC and Bright House Networks in spite of the failed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger proposal, ACSI points out.

ACSI data shows that mergers tend to lower customer satisfaction, at least in the short-term. A Charter-TWC merger would combine two poorly performing telecom providers which leads ACSI to conclude that it would do little to improve the quality of services that consumers receive.

Among Pay-TV providers, fiber optic and satellite providers score higher than their cable counterparts. Verizon FiOS topped this group with an ACSI score of 71, followed by AT&T U-verse at 69 and DIRECTV at 68. That said, customer satisfaction with AT&T U-verse and DIRECTV remain well below the national ACSI average for other industries.