The latest 2007 Residential Regional Telephone Customer Satisfaction study, which was released today, does not bode well for telecom carriers. For the first time in history, cable companies lead customer satisfaction rankings for telephone service in all six U.S. regions. is the clear winner, ranking highest in phone service customer satisfaction in the Northeast, Southwest, and West regions. A newcomer to the rankings, ranked highest in the North Central region.

The study reveals that cable is performing better with bundles as well. Eighty-six percent of cable-based voice subscribers also subscribe to data services from the same provider, while the same holds true for only 36% of telecom based voice subscribers. The study reveals the growing importance of bundling, with “…36% of those who currently bundle reporting they would add even more products or services from their current provider, making the next several years crucial for both telephone and cable companies,” said Steve Kirkeby, executive director of telecommunications and technology research at J.D. Power and Associates.

The study confirms the widely known trend that cable is performing quite well with their bundling strategies. The real news here is the gains cable is making in phone customer satisfaction. Past studies reveal decent inroads by cable on telephony satisfaction, but this most recent study suggests that cable is now leading the pack. Quite an impressive feat in such a short amount of time, especially for an industry with significant poor customer service ‘baggage.’ While it’s too early to declare long term winners, cable clearly has the momentum. The telecom industry will have to get creative, and soon. I suspect that including wireless with bundles will help close the bundling gap, but telecom players have some work to do to regain customer satisfaction rankings for their core service.

Read this J.D. Power press release for more details on the study.

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