According to the latest J.D. Power and Associates report, AT&T’s U-verse ranked highest in customer satisfaction in three regions among video service providers, while Verizon’s FiOS service topped one region.
The J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Residential Television Service Satisfaction Study, released today, found that AT&T’s U-verse service ranked highest in the North Central, West and South regions, while Verizon’s FiOS had the highest score in the East region. This was the first year that AT&T and Verizon were included in the study.
AT&T and Verizon performed particularly well in the offerings and promotions factor, specifically with their bundled pricing options, according to the study. Both providers also performed well in the performance and reliability factor, especially regarding reception clarity.
"With the addition of AT&T and Verizon to the residential television service market, competition has intensified among providers that bundle voice, television and data services on a single bill," said Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and Associates. "Ultimately, the consumer is going to be the big winner in this battle as cable, satellite and IPTV providers strive to offer the highest-quality television experiences at competitive price points."
The study measured customer satisfaction with cable, satellite and Internet Protocol television (IPTV) providers in four regional segments: the North Central, East, West and South. Within each segment, five factors were measured to determine overall customer satisfaction: performance and reliability, customer service, cost of service, billing, and offerings and promotions.
Over-builder WideOpenWest (WOW) was second in the North Central region, while Cox and Cablevision were ranked fourth in the West and East regions, respectively.
Insight was ranked fourth in the North Central region, while Cox was fifth, Bright House Networks seventh, Time Warner Cable eighth and Comcast ninth. Mediacom and Charter followed Comcast in the rankings.
In the East region, Cox was ranked fifth, RCN sixth, Time Warner Cable seventh, Charter eighth and Comcast ninth.
West region rankings for cable operators included: Cable One, sixth; Time Warner Cable, seventh; Comcast, eighth; Charter, ninth; and Mediacom 10th.
In the South Region, Insight was ranked fifth, followed by, in order, Bright House Networks, Cox, Cable One, Suddenlink, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter and Mediacom.
The J.D. Power study comes on the heels of a report issued yesterday that said customer service was the cable industry’s Achilles heel (story here ).
The study also found that the number of households that reported viewing high-definition television (HDTV) programming nearly doubled from last year, reaching 55 percent of households in 2008.
"The sharp increase in HD programming across virtually all providers has helped drive HDTV set sales," Perazzini said. "The rise in the adoption of HDTV has also been a boon for the video-on-demand (VOD) market. Households that receive HD programming view nearly twice as many hours, on average, of VOD or pay-per-view programming per month as non-HD households."
The study also found the following trends:
- One-half of cable customers currently bundle their video and Internet service together, while 19 percent of customers subscribe to "triple-play" services (television, voice and Internet).
- Penetration of digital video recorders (DVRs) continues to increase, with 44 percent of customers stating they use a DVR, compared with 38 percent in 2007.
- Among customers who receive electronic bills, the overall satisfaction score averages 629, while among customers who receive only a paper bill, overall satisfaction averages 600.
The 2008 Residential Television Service Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 18,938 U.S. households that evaluated their cable, satellite or IPTV provider. The study was fielded in July.
More Broadband Direct: