Cable Companies Get Lowest Marks for Customer Service, Says New Survey

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A new survey conducted for finds that cable-television companies are the worst businesses to call for service, and that long periods on hold and poor communication skills are among the most annoying customer-service problems consumers face today.

When it comes to infuriating customer service, one figure ranks above all others for provoking dread in consumers: It’s the cable guy.

Cable-television companies ranked as the worst type of business to call for service in a new survey conducted for by Op4G. Twenty-five percent of the survey’s respondents said they dread calling their cable company above all other businesses. Credit card issuers were the next worst for provoking dread in their customers, ranking worst for 15 percent of respondents.

Insurance companies received 14 percent of the vote for the worst business to call, and telephone companies ranked worst for 12 percent of respondents. Banks rounded out the list of the five worst, taking 9 percent of the votes.

Richard Barrington, CFA, senior financial analyst for, says that the apparent poor customer service among cable providers may be a vestige of a bygone era.

“The poor customer service record of cable companies may be a hangover from a time when they generally held monopolies in their areas,” says Barrington. “Now, with competition from Internet providers, satellite services and phone companies, cable companies may have to raise their customer service standards or lose out.”

The survey also examined what customer-service issues consumers find most irritating when trying to reach a representative. Long hold times ranked No. 1, receiving votes from 42 percent of the survey’s respondents. Once connected with a representative, respondents said that poor language or communication skills were the most frustrating issue, with 47 percent choosing this option.

Barrington says that many of today’s poor customer-service experiences are likely not an accident. Many businesses try to save money by cutting corners on customer service today, Barrington says, but that approach may actually lose companies money in the end.

“It’s easy to look at a sales force as a source of revenue, and a customer-service operation as a cost center,” Barrington says. “In fact, since it’s typically cheaper to hold onto a customer than acquire a new one, and since satisfied customers can be sold on additional products, more companies would do well to look at customer service as an opportunity rather than an expense.”

For more details, please see the full article, “Cable companies rank worst for customer service.”

The study surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults in December 2013.

About has been a leading source of information on bank rates, personal finance, savings accounts and investing since 1999. The site seeks to provide the highest rates on CDs, money market accounts and high-yield savings accounts. is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to find, research and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs. The company is a leader in visitor-friendly marketing practices. For more information, please visit

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