Consumer Reports Survey: Time Warner and Charter Get Low Scores for Customer Satisfaction

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Fiber, Smaller Companies, and Municipal Broadband Score Highest in CR’s Latest Telecom Ratings

The latest Consumer Reports telecomm provider Ratings revealed that Time Warner and Charter, which recently merged, are among the worst performers in overall customer satisfaction among pay TV services. Of the 30 providers that were rated, only Mediacom and MetroCast were rated lower than Time Warner.

The telecom ratings were based on a recent survey of more than 172,000 Consumer Reports subscribers reporting on their experience with home Internet, pay TV, and telephone service.

Customers were generally less-than-thrilled with their TV providers. Only about one-third of the subscribers surveyed by Consumer Reports said they’re very or completely satisfied with their service. The only two companies not to receive the lowest possible score for value were municipal broadband company EPB Fiber Optics-Chattanooga and Google Fiber—each earned higher than average scores from the survey respondents. EPB actually ranked highest for overall satisfaction, edging out Google Fiber and Armstrong.

Bundled packages fared even worse. All 30 bundles in CR’s survey received the lowest possible score for value, and fewer than one in three subscribers said they were very or completely satisfied. Time Warner again scored particularly poorly, as did Mediacom, Comcast, and Cox Communications’ hybrid service. The best bundled services came from Wave, SuddenLink Communications, and RCN.

“Our subscribers continue to tell us that they’re remarkably unsatisfied with their telecom service providers,” said Jim Willcox, senior editor at Consumer Reports. “The most dismal scores seem to be for value, which means by and large, customers just don’t feel they’re getting adequate service for their dollars.”

EPB Chattanooga again received the highest overall score among Internet service providers, earning high marks for value, reliability, and speed. Other top ISPs included Sonic, Google Fiber, and Armstrong. HughesNet was at the bottom of the Ratings, along with Mediacom, FairPoint Communications, and Dish Network. Of the three largest ISPs in the survey, Verizon scored considerably higher than Comcast and Time Warner in overall satisfaction.

More information on Consumer Reports’ latest telecom service provider Ratings can be found online at ConsumerReports.org.

About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest and most trusted nonprofit, consumer organization working to improve the lives of consumers by driving marketplace change. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has achieved substantial gains for consumers on health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other issues. The organization has advanced important policies to cut hospital-acquired infections, prohibit predatory lending practices and combat dangerous toxins in food. Consumer Reports tests and rates thousands of products and services in its 50-plus labs, state-of-the-art auto test center and consumer research center. Consumers Union, a division of Consumer Reports, works for pro-consumer laws and regulations in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace. With more than eight million subscribers to its flagship magazine, website and other publications, Consumer Reports accepts no advertising, payment or other support from the companies whose products it evaluates.

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JUNE 2016
© 2016 Consumer Reports. The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®, ConsumerReports.org® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.

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James McQueen
Consumer Reports
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