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Comcast, Time Warner Cable 'bottom dwellers' in new Consumer Reports ratings

Technically Incorrect: Comcast, Time Warner and Charter make a poor showing for cable TV service. And as for Internet Service Providers, oh, don't ask.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Time Warner Cable isn't given great scores. Xbox

You might say you already know.

But when what you already know is put to the music of figures, there's an extra dimension to the way you feel your knowledge.

Here, then, are the latest Consumer Reports ratings for cable companies. They're a delight in consistency. As Consumer Reports itself says: "Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Charter are among the bottom dwellers in overall customer satisfaction for TV service."

There's something you feel deeply when people think you're not very good. But to be described as a bottom-dweller carries with it a certain level of insult.

Twenty of 24 TV-service providers achieved the lowest score possible. Which is something of a collective success.

The Consumer Reports National Research Center separates human feelings about TV, Internet and cable services into separate scores. It even examines bundles as a single entity.

You will be stunned into a three-week online fast when I tell you that only one of 39 providers of Internet service managed to achieve a middling score. Time Warner Cable almost managed to come last for both TV service and bundled packages.

I contacted both Time Warner and Comcast to ask for their reactions. A Time Warner Cable spokesman told me: "Today more than 90 percent of all our appointments are one-hour windows or specific time of day. We're bringing dramatically faster Internet speeds and more than 20,000 on-demand choices to customers in markets throughout the country, and we've also introduced a new six-tuner, 1-terabyte DVR to meet viewer demand. And we're going to keep working every day to make TWC the most reliable, highest-value choice in the areas we serve."

This survey suggests there's still quite a way to go.

For its part, Comcast is at least trying to do something to improve its customer service. Comcast has promised to place determined focus on its customer service, saying it will hire 5,500 more customer service staff.

Those suggesting this will increase the number of their customer service staff to 5,512 are not telling the truth.

Comcast has even hired more Twitterers to soothe kvethers in real time.

Time Warner Cable, meanwhile, is busy merging with Charter.

Another stimulating item that emerged from this latest Consumer Reports survey is that 42 percent of respondents said they'd tried to negotiate a better deal. Of these, 45 percent said that the provider had lowered their bundle price by up to $50 a month.

The only thing left when you're not happy with something is to complain. And complain. And complain.

After all, one strategy used by Comcast when you try to leave is to complain about it, complain about it and complain about it, until you can take no more.

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