Best Internet, TV, Phone Service Providers

Lots of companies are pushing deals for their bundled internet, tv and phone plans, but which are best? Consumer Reports surveyed its readers and here’s how they ranked the service providers:

Overall rating / Company / Rating for Internet / TV / Phone
250 Verizon FiOS 84, 84, 82
222 Bright House 75, 69, 78
222 Cox 74, 69, 79
221 Verizon/DirecTV 73, 74, 74
221 Qwest/DirecTV 72, 74, 75
221 AT&T/Dish Network 72, 70, 74
214 Cablevision 72, 65, 77
208 Time Warner 71, 63, 74
199 Comcast 66 ,62, 71
188 Charter 61, 59, 68

Despite occasionally setting a house on fire, Verizon FiOS is clearly tops, while Comcast and Charter are scraping the bottom.

Internet, TV, phone [Consumer Reports]


Edit Your Comment

  1. greenpepper says:

    Comcast and Charter aren’t necessarily scraping the bottom. Didn’t see RCN listed, does that mean that they are below scraping the bottom?

  2. Ecoaster says:

    I think satisfaction with Comcast (and probably some of the others, too) varies regionally. I’ve had Comcast with cable, phone, and internet for about 2 years now in the northeast, and service has been excellent. Outages and problems are rare, and when something does happen I find their response to be quick and easy. Their package pricing (even past the initial first year of service) is also quite good.

  3. FLConsumer says:

    I think the reason all of these companies were rated so highly is not because they’re good, just the opposite — they all suck that bad that any little difference appears good.

  4. SkittleKicks says:

    I just switched from Comcast to Bright House – the difference was amazing. It really is the little differences (willing to come out on Saturday to fix an issue, working through issues over the phone, not losing my promotional rate) that make working with them sunshine and lollipops in comparison.

  5. sleze69 says:

    As a whole, Comcast has been pretty good to me (I was lucky enough to live in the area that was first to receive broadband back in 1996). The only time comcast really sucked was about 6 or 7 years ago when they bought adelphia and the connection problems were HORRENDOUS.

    Since then, several residences later, Comcast comes in fast and clear. While there are always the service issues where you have to stay on top of the installation technician to do what you want, it’s ok.

    Another great thing about my Comcast is Fios. I can threaten to leave for Verizon whenever I want my rates to decrease.

  6. miburo says:

    Um How did Charter even make this list. I would say they are one of the worst companies i’ve ever purchased something from

  7. Wow – I had forgotten all about how terrible Charter was during my time living in MI.

  8. soulman901 says:

    Sorry, I would put Cox at the top of the list. Verizon FIOS can take a hike.

  9. Gaambit says:

    Apparantly the only company I can get in my area is Charter. All of my friends began giving me sob stories about how crap they were with outages and all. Aside from a minor communication mix-up getting everything hooked up (which I blame on my wife, BTW) everything has been cool. When there have been some outages due to maintenance, internet or otherwise, we usually got an automated call to warn us.

    Of course, I’m on the very bottom tier of possible combo packages (I think I get maybe 20 channels) so when I’m looking to upgrade come the summer, maybe things will change.

  10. VeeKaChu says:

    Hmmm… that list would seem to imply that there are broadband and cable TV providers in the world that are not called “Comcast”. Is that possible? Could there someday be a world where a consumer has a CHOICE between competing companies?

  11. yg17 says:

    Charter is absolute shit. I don’t even know how they made that list.

  12. bohemian says:

    Ah, Charter the only “always on” DSL connection that you had to log on to activate the connection like some sort of dial up. Biggest load of crap ever.

  13. BillyMumphry says:

    it’s regional and limited to apartment dwellers but Ygnition is the absolute worst cable experience I have ever had. It is basically Dish Network piped into each apartment and if you are not facing south (north here) it’s your only option. My bill averages $130/mo with NO internet…1 TV HD/DVR and HBO…that’s it. Comparatively I had TWC in my old apartment and all that with net ran about $90. Absurd.

  14. Denada says:

    I must live in one of those bizarro Comcast regions where they’re actually pretty good. I’ve never had a problem with them and have always had quick, helpful service. Heck, when our cable was being installed the technician even called to ask if he could come by and set it up early.

  15. Ayo says:

    I used to live in New Orleans and had Cox, i must say it was great. The service, the customer support, the technology. But ever since i moved to Houston for work, I have Comcast… Not bad, but head to head Cox wins.

    Aanyone have any info about this naked dsl stuff? I cant find the post about the att naked. Thanks.

  16. The_Truth says:

    funny, I was thinking about how I’ve never seen any stories about Cox on the Consumerist. Now I know why.

    Not that their any good, there just not quite as bad as the others.

  17. internal says:

    Bright House came in 2nd?!?!

    They have good customer serivce, but they only have have 21 HD channels. And I have to pay $75/mo to get them!

    I cannot wait for UVerse to get into my neighborhood so I can drop their crap!

  18. JayDeEm says:

    Cox has always had very solid service for me both in CA and AZ. Outages are extremely rare and their customer service is always friendly. The only complaint I have is the general crappiness of their HD DVR.

  19. BlondeGrlz says:

    I have the ATT/Dish Network combo and I have to say, I like them. Besides the first installation from Dish (nightmare) their customer service has been excellent. I upgraded to HD last week and their technician went above and beyond, even coming back later in the afternoon when I had a question. The ATT internet works great, no issues. My only beef is yesterday I got an envelope from ATT with “Change is Good!” on the outside…and a notice inside telling me the basic phone package I have is going up in price, so I should just upgrade.

  20. JustaConsumer says:

    Comcast has random outages that they do not like to address. Their answer is always to reboot your modem, when it is clear that they are not providing any service. They seem to have no real internet support.

  21. MYarms says:

    How did Brighthouse score so high? Their internet service is just ok and their customer service is horrendous. I demand a recount!

  22. m4ximusprim3 says:

    Is U-Verse too new to be on the list, or is it rolled into the ATT/Dish category? The fiber vans are advancing on my neighborhood, and I’m getting all hot and bothered.

  23. There’s a cable company in my area called WOW! that I was interested in. Anybody have any experience with them? I don’t live in a city where its available, but may be moving one town over where it is available, and am looking forward to an alternative to Comcast.

  24. pestie says:

    I have Bright House Networks for my cable internet service, and I have to say, I love them. Their service is solid, they never bitch about my high usage or Bittorrent downloads, and their 24/7 tech support is actually competent and doesn’t keep you on hold forever.

  25. forever_knight says:

    editors: how about doing an article on VOIP providers and service? would also give readers a primer on what it is and how they can save.

  26. Okaasan says:

    Wow! My cable provider, Mediacom, didn’t even make the list. That doesn’t bode well, does it? (Cue evil laughter)

  27. Outtacontext says:

    FIOS has been pretty good (remember, we’re rating all these companies against each other, not against our ideal -g).

    As a veteran of bad tech/customer service from these companies (don’t get me started on Verizon’s DSL tech support), their FIOS tech support has been great. They’re always nice and have answers (go figure!). If my mother-in-law can call them and actually get the help she needs to solve her problem, that’s saying something.

    Of course, one of the nice things about FIOS is that their phone, net, and TV sections are all in the same division. So, if need be, they will actually get all of them on the line together to solve your problem. That could not possibly happen if you have Verizon DSL. Their DSL and phone divisions are not even in the same company (by their definition, not mine).

  28. Erwos says:

    Comcast totally blew our cable installation. I had to hook up the modem to our router myself. On the plus side, we’re getting standard channels for basic lineup prices.

  29. RottNDude says:

    Cox is in fact awesome. Super reliable, quick and on-time appointments when you need them, and good customer service and support. They also charge $5 less if you have your own modem, unlike Time Warner.

    Unfortunately, I moved to the boonies and am now stuck with crappy AT&T DSL.

  30. theblackdog says:

    They’re laying fiber for FIOS in my Maryland neighborhood, I wish it would just get here faster so I can get Verizon to drop the price on my DSL, or offer me an even better deal to go to FIOS.

  31. Ann-Marie says:

    I don’t hate any company as much as I hate Comcast. They have such little belief in their own company that their latest ad campaign is a bunch of attack ads against their competitors. Strikes me as odd in any biz other than politics.

    I’m with ya VEEKACHU — it would be nice to at least have the choice to pick a company OTHER THAN Comcast. In fact, if there was another company in my area offering somewhat comparable service, I’d switch out of pure principle… even if the new service was lousy.

  32. HOP says:

    we have verizoln dsl and so far it’s been great…the csr in india seem to know their stuff and got us up and running ok…..

  33. scoosdad says:

    Woke up on the couch at 1 AM this morning, and sometime while I was asleep, Charter had managed to reboot the cable boxes in my house and set them both to an on-demand movie ordering screen. Cable box display said “01”… there is no channel 01 on my Charter system. {cue Twilight Zone music}.. I’m surprised they even made the top ten. Could be that there’s nothing much below number 10 anyway?

  34. obviously CR has never tried to deal with Earthlink’s customer anti-service dept. in Bangalore or Chittagong or wherever. I ordered 3Mbit Verizon DSL to replace EL’s slower and more expensive service in this house I’m caring for and had a very good experience, so far. no FIOS in the area yet but she said sometime this year.

  35. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    for whatever reason, i was under the impression that Bright House and TimeWarner were somehow linked… can anyone verify this?

  36. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    @gstein: Bright House Networks is a cable television company owned by Advance/Newhouse.

    These systems were all owned by the Time Warner Entertainment – Advance/Newhouse Partnership but, under a deal struck in 2003, Advance/Newhouse took direct management and operational responsibility for portion of the partnership cable systems roughly equal to their equity. Time Warner still owns a stake in Bright House Networks even though Advance/Newhouse runs the day to day operation of the company. [via [] ]

  37. chrisbacke says:

    Does anybody have the link to this (if the full story is available)? I’m curious to see how Insight did. I’ve had them for years and have never had a serious problem with their cable or internet…

  38. dguralnick says:


    WOW (formerly known as Wide Open West) is great. I use them for internet and cable. I like their DVR a lot (although to be honest I’ve never used anyone else’s to compare). Very few outages over the years, and customer service is pretty quick to answer the phone. I would definately recommend them.

  39. calvinneal says:

    Wow which was Ameritech before being dumped by SBC is the highest rated cable provider in the Great Lakes. In parts of Southeast Michigan they compete head to head with Comcrap and have very high market penetration. Give them a try.

  40. ekasbury says:

    Please, please, please pretty please Verizon, bring FiOS to Miami. I beg of you. I’ll do almost anything to ditch Comcrap.

  41. brandyfelix says:

    I have been very happy with Cox. I know people who have Comcast, it.