Airlines And Cable TV Score Lower Than The IRS In Customer Satisfaction

We’ve already written about this quarter’s ACSI, but when we saw this headline, we just couldn’t resist: Both the airline and the cable/satellite TV industries have actually managed to score lower than the IRS in customer satisfaction, according to USAToday.

Of the 19 industries the ACSI asked consumers about, only the cable and satellite TV industry, at 62, fared worse. In comparison, the IRS scored 65.

“If a company has a score close to the IRS’ score, something is awfully wrong,” says Claes Fornell, the study director.

That’s either the funniest thing we’ve ever heard or it isn’t. —MEGHANN MARCO

Airlines score lower than IRS in customer satisfaction [USAToday]


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  1. axiomatic says:

    I would agree. Flying is the worst possible experience in any travel situation, and cable is one of the most frustrating “services” you can punish yourself with.

    Compared to the airline/cable assault, a IRS audit sounds peachy.

  2. mantari says:

    I’m looking at the Cable & Satellite TV ratings, and I’m a little surprised at the rating for my own cable company, Cox Cable. SCORE HISTORY: 63 63 63 63

    The product/service that they deliver has been on the upswing over the past few years. The support/customer service, I tend to think has gotten a bit better. They have the right attitude now, but they just don’t always deliver satisfaction. I’m wondering if this is a ranking for the company as a whole, or just for their television services.

    I’d also be curious if teething problems with their newer services (HD DVR, VoIP, Internet, CableCard, etc) are keeping their score down. Or are they having big troubles in certain regions that blunt their overall score?

    Drilling down into the ACSI numbers would be very interesting.

  3. rmz says:

    I’m honestly surprised that cell phone companies aren’t rated lower than the IRS as well. We’ve had more frustration with false billing, “missing” payments, extra fees, etc. from various cell phone companies than we’ve ever had with cable companies.

  4. kerry says:

    I haven’t had to deal much with the IRS in my life, but last fall our Condo had to make some changes to our bank accounts and, as the treasurer, it was my job to fill out the tax forms. I had no idea what I was doing, so I called the IRS (at about 10pm on a Saturday, IIRC) and after dealing with a sort of annoying voice-activated phone system that would register small noises as responses and kick me off to the wrong department, I got to a very nice woman who talked me through everything. I didn’t need to send anything notarized or in triplicate, and it didn’t feel like I was dealing with a bureaucracy. Probably one of the better phone support experiences I’ve had, ever, regardless of the business I was calling.

  5. foghat81 says:

    I gotta agree here. In my experience with all 3 services, the IRS was good (not just “the least bad”).

    It still burns my toast that I our area only has one cable provider. What happened to letting the consumer choose?!?!

  6. Blackneto says:

    The IRS is probably the easist to work with goverment organization that i’ve ever dealt with, and I’ve worked for a lot of them.

    Like kerry posted, the phone support is phenomenal.
    Also they have led the way in making online information and services easy to use.

    then again, i’m one of those strange people that likes doing my takes every year.

  7. mathew says:

    Yeah, the IRS have an unfair reputation. I’ve always found them to be polite and helpful.

    Now, if you want to experience a government department that’s outright hostile and unhelpful, try the INS, now renamed Homeland Security BCIS.

  8. Canadian Impostor says:

    @foghat81: Very few areas have multiple cable providers servicing the same households.

    Cable doesn’t compete against itself, despite the appearance of it being lots of seperate companies. Don’t you think it’s weird that Comcast, Cablevision, and Time Warner all offer cable/internet/voip as the “Triple Play”, yet none of them have their panties in a bunch about the others using their clever term?

  9. SOhp101 says:

    It sucks if you get audited by the IRS, but chances are it was your own fault and the IRS is very helpful otherwise.

    Cable companies/Airlines are a nightmare to deal with, even with day to day business.

  10. alicetheowl says:

    What, you think it’s coincidence that I don’t have TV?

    I have a television set, but I don’t have it connected to satellite or cable, or even an antenna. I haven’t had cable in three years, and I don’t miss it. If there’s a show that’s really worth an investment of time, it’ll be available to rent on DVD within a few months, or it’ll be available to watch on the network’s website.

    I’ve noticed that I stopped buying so much when I wasn’t subjecting myself to commercials for several hours a day, too.

  11. QuirkyRachel says:

    Ouch. And yet, when you think about it, it’s true. I’ve never been more aggravated to be a consumer than when trying to deal with cable companies and airlines.