Watching TV

Customer satisfaction with their internet service provider remained steady, according to a new ISP customer satisfaction report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The research was part of the ACSI Telecommunications Study 2020-2021, which also found an increase in satisfaction with subscription TV.

ACSI found that video streaming remained the most popular telecom sector, though its lead shrank to nine points over subscription TV. Subscription TV and landline phones were the only two categories to have year-over-year gains. The subscription TV category enjoyed its second consecutive year of increased satisfaction.

Customer satisfaction with subscription TV climbed 1.6% to an ACSI score of 65 (out of 100), after increasing 3.2% last year.

Fiber providers, non-traditional video providers, saw the biggest gains. AT&T’s U-verse TV rose 6% and led the group at 74. It was followed by Verizon Fios, which rose 1% to 71. On the satellite side, DIRECTV and DISH Network rose 3% and 2%, respectively. They shared third place with Comcast Xfinity – which rose 5% — with 66 points.

Companies finishing below the 65 average included Charter Communications’ Spectrum (up 5% to 64) and Frontier Communications (up 9% to 63). The group of smaller subscription TV providers and Cox finished unchanged at 62. Altice’s Optimum fell 5% to 60. Mediacom lost 2% to finish at 59 and Altice’s Suddenlink remained unchanged at 56.

ISP Customer Satisfaction Report

Overall customer satisfaction with their ISP remained unchanged at 65. Verizon Fios fell 3% to 71 and is tied with AT&T Internet, which rose 4%. Comcast’s Xfinity was second at 67 after rising 2%. Cox – up 3% — and Charter Communication’s Spectrum (unchanged) tied at 63.

The group of smaller ISPs were down 3% and Lumen Technologies’ CenturyLink was down 2% to finish at 62. Windstream remained unchanged at 61, while Mediacom rose 2% and Optimum sank 8% to both finish at 60. Frontier Communications increased 4% to 57, while Suddenlink dropped 4% to 55.

“With folks resigned to stay at home for the better part of a year and a half, the heavy strain on telecommunications was inevitable,” ACSI Managing Director David VanAmburg said in a press release. “The large consumption of bandwidth for internet services and countless hours spent streaming videos and movies were sure to impact satisfaction. And it turns out that streaming has taken the biggest hit of all.”

ACSI reports are based on interviews with about 500,000 customers annually.

It’s worth noting that although ISP customer satisfaction remained steady, it’s relatively low in comparison with some other industries. Last year’s ACSI research found that the category had the second lowest satisfaction of 46 industries studied.

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