As difficult as it may be to get nearly half the country to agree on any single issue, Time Warner Cable has achieved the seemingly impossible, uniting Americans in frustration with their cable and Internet services. According to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index, Time Warner ranked dead last not only among cable companies, but of all companies providing any service in the entire survey.
With a disastrous rating of 51 out of 100 (meaning that only 51 out of every 100 people said they were satisfied with their TWC service), the company led the ongoing race to the bottom in America’s most hated industry.
Receiving its lowest rating in seven years, the cable and paid television industry is officially the country’s least favorite sector, falling behind even the oft-complained about U.S. Postal Service, which garnered a score of 69, cell phone carriers, with a score of 70, and airlines, with which 71 out of every 100 people said they were satisfied.
While Internet providers have historically been extremely unpopular with consumers, this year’s scores are particularly atrocious, reflecting either worsening service provision, or a rise in consumer standards (or perhaps a combination of both).
The problem with the low ranking for pay-TV services is compounded by the growing presence and popularity of streaming services like Netflix that are already making cable companies seem antiquated and somewhat obsolete. Claes Fornell, ACSI’s chairman and founder, said in a press release, “Consumer abandonment of pay TV is shaking up the industry, and lower satisfaction could mean even more cord-cutting by subscribers ahead.”
Of course, Internet providers don’t run quite the same danger, as there has yet to be a viable alternative in that space. But with Time Warner receiving such dismal ratings from the ACSI, it certainly seems like a prime opportunity for competitors to unlock the relative monopoly the company has maintained on many regions of the country for several years.
Hopefully, with such resoundingly negative feedback, TWC and others will begin to make long-needed improvements.