J.D. PowerCable companies are outperforming telephone companies when it comes to customer satisfaction, according to the latest J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Residential Telephone Customer Satisfaction Study. This is an ongoing trend. Cox led all cable companies this year, ranking first in satisfaction for the East and West regions of the U.S. Bright House came in first for the South region and Wide Open West won the North Central Region.

These results echo similar findings for at least the past two years, with cable beating telco with telephone customer satisfaction. Of course the opposite is true for video services. The last J.D. Power ranking for customer satisfaction among video providers has telcos beating cable companies. They’re both beating each other at their own respective game.

Cincinnati Bell had the best showing among telcos, ranking just behind Wide Open West in the North Central region to place second. Cable companies routinely beat Verizon and AT&T in all regions. Among cable companies, Comcast was the low performer. “Competition in the industry is at an all-time high, as providers are offering a variety of technologies to vie for increasingly savvy customers,” J.D. Power and Associates’ director of telecommunications Frank Perazzini said in a news release.  “This has resulted in stronger product performance than in the recent past, which is supported by more efficient service—making customers the big winners.”

Among factors cited by the study’s findings, shorter hold times when calling  service providers contributed to a “notable increase in customer satisfaction” in 2009. Customers spent an average 8.8 minutes on hold waiting for their problems to be resolved this year as compared to 9.5 minutes in the year ago survey.

Despite generally higher customer satisfaction ratings, more customers are still switching service providers. Study findings report 10% of customers switched phone service providers, up from 9% in the 2008 Residential Telephone Customer Satisfaction Study.