A recent report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index reveals that internet and subscription TV providers are America's most-hated industries. Comcast and Time Warner—companies with looming plans to merge—appear to anger everyone the most.
Of the 43 industries that the ACSI covered in the report, which includes airlines, health insurance, and the US Postal Service, ISPs (internet service providers) and subscription TV providers rank the lowest of the low.
Out of a possible 100, ISPs scored a 63 and subscription TV companies earned a 65. Evidently, paying for more than what you want (TV) and getting less than what you need (internet speed/reliability) doesn't earn you a gold star or a high five.
Satellite TV service ranked higher than fiber optic and cable TV providers, with cable scoring the lowest of them all. Perhaps this is why consumers seem displeased at the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner. The ACSI evidently supports that skepticism:
"Comcast and Time Warner assert their proposed merger will not reduce competition because there is little overlap in their service territories [...] Still, it's a concern whenever two poor-performing service providers combine operations. ACSI data consistently shows that mergers in service industries usually result in lower customer satisfaction, at least in the short term. It's hard to see how combining two negatives will be a positive for consumers."
Meanwhile, internet providers racked up the lion's share of dissatisfied customers. Costly packages, slow performance speeds, and spotty service are evidently some of the contributing factors. Interestingly, Comcast scores even lower for its internet services than for its TV services, same as Time Warner—making these companies the lowest rated in not one, but two industries.
In order to fight the forces of Netflix, Google, Hulu, internet pirating, and everything else, a merger probably seems imperative to bigwigs at Comcast and Time Warner—but consumers are the hand that feeds, and right now they seem quite angry.