These numbers come from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, a national survey of, well, how satisfied American consumers are with the companies they patronize. The ACSI is a handy tool because for the last 14 years, it has tracked individual companies’ scores as well as scores across entire industries, taking a snapshot of how happy consumers are with the companies they encounter, and how that perception changes over time and over an entire industry.
How are the scores generated? For subscription TV, ACSI asks consumers about picture quality, high definition picture quality, ease of use of remote controls, cable boxes, and onscreen menus, interactions with the call center, and other things that fill people with rage against their cable providers. ISP scoring is similar, but asks customers to rate video streaming quality, peak hour performance, reliability, and online security.
Let’s be fair to Cox: customers did rate them slightly above average in the Internet service provider sector, but “average” is a score of 63 out of 100. That is not a passing grade. The average score for subscription television companies was 65, but the big names are all at the bottom of the rankings, with Charter and Comcast tied at 60, and Time Warner Cable coming in last with a 56.
Whenever a new survey portrays Comcast badly, they point to their improving performance in J.D. Power’s rankings, conveniently not pointing out that they come in last in those rankings. Who comes in second to last? Time Warner Cable, of course.