Now that the folks at the American Customer Satisfaction Index have finished all their industry-specific surveys for 2012, Business Insider has put together a roundup of the 15 companies with the lowest overall scores.
In a year filled with natural disasters followed by slow responses from utility companies, two power providers — Long Island Power Authority and Northeast Utilities — finished with the two lowest scores (58 and 59 points, respectively). As both companies left customers in the dark — literally and figuratively — their scores plummeted from the previous year, leaving them at the bottom of the rankings, far below the names of more nationally reviled businesses.
It looks like people simply hate their cable providers, as a full 1/3 of the bottom-15 spots were taken up by cable and Internet companies.
The worst in that group was Charter Communications, which ACSI describes as a “perennial industry laggard,” and which has only scored a 60 or above twice in the survey. This year was not one of those occasions; it only eked out a 59.
Comcast followed directly behind Charter, only managing a score of 61, to be the fourth-worst company on the list. Time Warner Cable is a few spots further up the list, but still only squeaked out a score of 63, thanks in part to its introduction of the modem rental fee last fall. Joining these providers on the list were Cox (63) and Century Link (66).
Airlines also fared poorly on the survey, with all four of the largest carriers sinking to the bottom of the pack. United may have jumped to the front of the class, in terms of size, by merging with Continental, but the union did no favors to customers, who only gave it a score of 62 — the worst of all airlines.
American Airlines did a bit better, with a score of 64. That might not be bad for a bankrupt airline with pilots who seem to always be calling in sick. US Airways and Delta each scored a not-impressive 65, though Delta’s score was a huge upswing following the nose-dive it took in the wake of its merger with Northwest.
In spite of all the anger directed toward the banking industry in recent years, the only financial institution to crack the ACSI bottom 15 was Bank of America, whose score of 66 made it the best of the worst of the bunch.
Rounding out the bottom 15 are websites and online services that some people wouldn’t necessarily think of when considering the issue of customer service. Twitter, for example, only scored a 64 — possibly because of concerns about data sharing. Similarly, LinkedIn’s attempts to monetize user content is blamed for its score of 63.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s constant tinkering with users’ profiles and advertising has resulted in customers giving it a score of 61, making it the fifth-worst entry on the list.
You can check out the entire list, from best to worst at the ACSI site here.