AT&T, DirecTV Customer-Satisfaction Ratings Fall But Comcast and TW Cable Fare Far Worse

DirecTV AT&T

Overall, U.S. pay-TV subs are unhappier with their service, according to ACSI’s latest annual survey

America’s pay-TV subscribers have grown unhappier over the past year with their providers, as their bills continue to climb. And with two megadeals in play — AT&T’s bid for DirecTV, and Comcast’s takeover of Time Warner Cable — customer satisfaction in the segment is poised to deteriorate further.

AT&T and DirecTV, proposing to merge in a $67 billion pact, have the happiest customers in the pay-TV biz, but both have seen their satisfaction scores drop in the past year on the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Meanwhile, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, in the midst of their own multibillion-dollar union, had the worst ratings in the pay-TV category on ACSI’s 2014 survey.

SEE ALSO: AT&T, DirecTV Deal Details Emerge as CEOs Sell Merger Benefits

ACSI’s data consistently show that mergers in service industries typically result in lower customer satisfaction, at least in the near term, according to managing director David VanAmburg. With the Comcast-TW Cable deal, “it’s hard to see how combining two negatives will be a positive for consumers,” he said.

Compared with last year’s survey, DirecTV declined 4% and AT&T dropped 3% while they tied for the lead in pay TV with ACSI scores of 69 (on a 100-point scale). Comcast was down 5% to 60, while Time Warner Cable slumped 7% to 56, its lowest score since ACSI began tracking the MSO in 2001.

Overall, customer satisfaction fell for all of the major pay-TV providers tracked by ACSI, with the sector average declining 4.4% (to 65) versus 2013. Cable TV continues to score lower than telco and satellite services. Verizon FiOS TV (68) and Dish (67) each declined year-over-year but still beat the top-scoring cable company, Cox Communications, which fell 3% to a score of 63.

SEE ALSO: Why People Still Hate Their Cable Company

The ASCI also found general customer dissatisfaction among broadband customers, with the exception of Verizon’s FiOS Internet, which held its rating of 71 out of 100. Internet services from AT&T and CenturyLink trailed with 65, and cable operators again brought up the rear: Comcast’s broadband score declined 8% to 57 and Time Warner Cable plummeted 14% to 54.

The ACSI’s survey is based on interviews with about 70,000 consumers annually. The research company benchmarks customer satisfaction for more than 230 companies in 43 industries.

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  1. James Boshell says:

    Direct Tv is a joke. I’m a new customer of about 3 months service is poor. The signal is always going out. It can be a clear day and it freezes up. Have called and complained but nothing is getting done. I was with Dish for about 12 years. And never had this problem. My cell phone is with AT&T I changed my program and I have been lied to by them all. On 5/26/2016 I call in the first time. I was never treated or talked to as bad by any customer service in my life. Even by customer service reps in the Philippines. Oh by the the way the one I spoke with was in the U.S.

  2. Scott Trester says:

    I hope AT&T will buy out their bad reputation. My final words TO DTV: TO me and many customers, DTV is a fraudulent company and I will most assuredly actively turn thousands of customers away from you by telling the world what you did to me. It is my fault for not checking with BBB or consumer affairs about the warnings they are posting that completely to a T describe your deceptive scammer policies. (See BBB) Besides that Your technology is years behind Netflix. Your user ability sucks. The glitches alone are not worth the headaches. The corruptness away from Christian values will send a multitude to HELL as you will be held responsible. Let me explain. Your default settings Show PORN Channels and Pornography stations where even the names and pictures could tempt and cause kids to adults to end up in Hell with you for causing these little ones to stumble. Your family packages are laced with vile programing and commercials that are anything but family. Then you leave out of family packages cheap rerun stations which are the only stations that have awesome shows like Touched by an angel!! And you want an extra 30 some dollars to get one channel.. No matter how hard me or your tec worked nobody could keep from showing non-package shows as part of my plan shows so over half of my set to record shows were non viewable when we finally sat down to watch with error messages that took months to get a clear answer on from your phone people. Also the fact that my bill was triple what promised and I still did not get the few cheap channels I needed. The fact that we have to also watch commercials galore after already paying a small fortune for your sloppy service is theft . Commercials should be paying you enough for the service to more than pay you.. I mean tons of commercials (20 to 45%).. So your salesman’s promised me a trial period. From the first month you would not send me your return boxes. You convinced me you would wave my fees if I gave your technicians a chance to fix my service extending the nightmare for months which you later charged me for.. Your technician’s finally came and called it an unfixable Glitch. (Said he had the same problem at his home) Then 3 months after I thought my life was free from you. You suddenly stole 570 dollars from my account because I was stupid enough to give you guys my charge card numbers before installation. (why didn’t I check the BBB?) Nobody once ever called me back after spending 30 hours on the phone with you guys and never getting anywhere but a bad ride of lies. In the end you never called me back. But kept hanging up on me while waiting for managers. forced to go through the chain of managers all over again several times. A lesser manager finally warned me that in 10 years of working there no body had ever been released of the unauthorized debit like the 571 dollars that was taken from account without permission. (Against policy to reverse pending charges on my card) So next I promised in a few weeks they will call me LOL and my bank says it will take up 90 days to dispute the theft. So now my daughters Birthday party was ruined on top of it by the unauthorized 571 dollars they stole from us. All together they are trying to get like over a thousand dollars from us for a few months of HELL. they claim they have no record of the promise that if I let a Technician come out that they would wave my contract fees.. But months later yesterday they said I would have had to give their technician 5 trys to have gotten the set up fees forgiven.. (After the fact) So you see the long web of lies they use to keep you racking up months of charges? Thankfully I got out after a few months of HELL. Unfortunately I will be forced to pay for years of service anyway without any tv by DTV scum of the earth. Hopefully I can afford a lawyer I sued them for the Hell they put me through and I am 55 and have never Sued anybody before in my life.. I give up on you guys.. DONE DONE DONE. you are running out of time to call me and do the right thing. You have proven yourself.

  3. Anybody who hasn’t given up on cable by now deserves whatever they get.

    • Skip_Plummer says:

      I gave up on cable in 1980 when it wasn’t even the gorilla that it is today. I haven’t found any logical need for it since then.

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