The results of Consumer Reports‘ annual Telecoms Survey are here, and the results are not remotely shocking. Once again, big cable companies achieve low scores in nearly every category. People hate the companies, hate the customer service, don’t think it’s particularly worthwhile, and find it’s unreliable.
Mysteriously, small, non-traditional cable companies like municipal broadband providers or Google Fiber score much better when providing the same kinds of service. A more cynical man would probably draw the conclusion that cable companies are abusing regional monopolies to shameless rip consumers off, but that could never happen in competition-paradise America, right?
In a blog post on the emergence of cord-cutting, Consumer Reports notes that “When it comes to TV service, EPB and Google Fiber topped the list as the only two companies to earn high marks for both value and reliability.” On the other hand, “You might imagine that bundled services—TV, internet, and phone in one neat little package—would make people feel they were getting a good deal, but think again. Every single bundle in our survey received our lowest score for value.”
The results make for bleak reading for big cable companies. For internet and TV, small municipal-run ISPs and Google Fiber score much better than the big, established players. Interestingly, separate data have showed that rates go down and customer satisfaction goes up for traditional cable companies when they face competition from a new player in a region — almost as though as soon as there’s competition, they actually have to try and keep customers happy!
The sole bright shining spark for TWC and Comcast is that they’re not last. That particular honor falls to Frontier and Mediacom, two smaller cable companies that still offer slower DSL service.