Cable and satellite customer service falls to last place

call center toyIn a recent poll of customers and their satisfaction with customer service cable and satellite providers have been ranked the lowest, dropping 3% since the first survey was performed last year. This drop in satisfaction with customer service is even more pronounced for cable companies who many customers are out of touch with their needs. The survey performed by the CFI group found that cable and satellite companies failed to help 20% of customers calling them for assistance, something which may be attributed to the growing complexity with cable and satellite company offerings.

The survey additionally showed that the percent of people who looked elsewhere for help including online, fell by half to just 17%. With more people going straight to the company for help it's no surprise that customer service representatives, under a deluge of support calls, are found to be unable to effectively handle an issue or seem uncaring. Still it's sad that these companies have a disorder, I refer to as the cable company complex, in which they believe customer's will stay no matter what, because the competition doesn't exist. Direct TV has been cashing in on this dissatisfaction with its recent "You deserve better than Cable" advertising campaign, which sadly sums up my experience with cable customer service.

Late last year during a service call to figure out why my HD reception was better described as LD or Low Def, a "glitch" caused my cable box to become de-authorized, which prompted the first of many calls. Time Warner was able to quickly turn my box back on and to their credit they had improved the HD picture quality, however several months later a large bill showed up including an additional cable box and a PPV movie purchase.

After an hour long roundabout with customer service they found that someone had added an additional box and services to my account along with a 3 month promo so I didn't see any of the changes in my bill until Christmastime. It took numerous additional calls including one where a customer service rep was planning to send a technician out to search our apartment for the absent cable box before any refunds were made.

It's really sad to see an industry rank so poorly in customer satisfaction when the bar is obviously already extremely low. Computer support companies for example moved up in the customer service rankings simply by moving from, "really, really bad to just bad." Honestly is it that hard to train and empower your call center staff?

Feel free to share your customer service ranking thoughts in the comments.


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