Match Made in Hell: Comcast and Time Warner Cable Earn Industry’s Worst Consumer Satisfaction Ratings

Thursday, May 22, 2014
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

The nation’s two largest cable companies want to merge, creating not just a colossus in terms of industry dominance but also a gigantic mess of customer dissatisfaction.

Comcast (No. 1) and Time Warner Cable (No. 2) have said their merger will be a blessing for cable subscribers, with the combined company bringing out new products and experiencing economies of scale. But a new consumer survey reveals that Time Warner ranks dead last in customer satisfaction, with Comcast right behind it.


“Comcast and Time Warner assert their proposed merger will not reduce competition because there is little overlap in their service territories,” David VanAmburg, director of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), said in a prepared statement.


“Still, it’s a concern whenever two poor-performing service providers combine operations. ACSI data consistently show that mergers in service industries usually result in lower customer satisfaction, at least in the short term. It’s hard to see how combining two negatives will be a positive for consumers.”


ACSI’s scoring gave Time Warner at 56—out of 100 possible—while Comcast received a 60.


The two Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were representative of their industry, which overall ranked near the bottom of the ACSI with a score of 63. Subscription TV wasn’t much better, receiving a 65.


 “The Internet has been a disruptor for many industries, and subscription TV and ISPs are no exception,” Claes Fornell, ACSI chairman and founder, said. “Over-the-top video services, like Netflix and Hulu, threaten subscription TV providers and also put pressure on ISP network infrastructure. Customers question the value proposition of both, as consumers pay for more than they need in terms of subscription TV and get less than they want in terms of Internet speeds and reliability.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

ACSI: Subscription TV and ISPs Plummet, Cell Phone Satisfaction Climbs (American Customer Satisfaction Index)

Time Warner, Comcast Top The Heap Of Most Hated US Companies (by Peter Suciu,

Here’s Why the Justice Dept. Should Block the Comcast & Time Warner Cable Merger (by Kate Cox, Consumerist)

Netflix-Comcast Deal May Mark the End of Net Neutrality (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

America’s Most Hated Companies: Mid-Year Report Card (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Ken Broder, AllGov)


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