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Unhappy with Cable TV? Join the Club

It’s been a week of terrible news for the cable TV industry. It appears people’s displeasure with their cable TV service is increasing. This comes in the wake of new internet TV services, like Sling TV and HBO Now on Apple TV, that provide consumers with new ways to watch TV.

The latest Consumer Reports survey of TV and Internet service providers indicates the giants of the cable TV industry are missing the mark when it comes to keeping customers happy.

Namely, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and Charter are among the very bottom for TV service satisfaction with customers. When it comes to value, Consumer Reports states:

“Only one of 39 Internet providers received a middling score for value, with the remainder failing to reach even that level of mediocrity. TV-service providers also took a beating, with 20 of the 24 companies earning our lowest scores for value; the rest managed to do just a little bit better. Bundles also weren’t deemed especially good deals, since only one of 20 bundled services got an average mark for value—the others all did worse.”

It’s one thing if you have poor customer service and a great product or vice versa. However, if you are scoring low in both categories it’s a wonder how you stay in business, let alone make a profit. It’s as if people are forced to buy their product . . .

“About three-fourths of American households have zero or one choice for high-speed, wired broadband to their homes” – F.C.C. Chairman Tom Wheeler

Well, I guess that explains their profits. It’s not as if this report is an isolated incident. A June 2nd survey from the University of Michigan’s Customer Satisfaction index shows that TV Services and Internet service providers scores 63 out of 100. That’s the worst score of all industries surveyed.

To put this in context, TV services and ISPs were 6 points behind the U.S. Postal Service, and 7 points behind Health Insurance Companies. How can a company whose business is supplying people with a means to watch TV score lower in customer satisfaction than a company that makes you lick glue before standing in line for 30 minutes to mail a letter?

Comcast and Time Warner contributed the largest drag on customer satisfaction for the TV Services industry with their score falling 10% and 9% respectively. You can read the whole report at: www.theacsi.org

With the number of ways to watch TV without cable increasing, a customer service issue is the last thing cable TV needs. With premium content like HBO now available to cord cutters, sports was the one thing that kept people paying the cable bill. But now you can even watch ESPN without cable.

Between cost, poor customer satisfaction, and increasing online options, the current course of the cable TV industry is untenable.

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