If you had to identify the companies that deliver the worst service, you might single out your cable company or your ISP or wireless carrier. You’d hardly be alone. A survey of 10,000 consumers across 19 industries placed companies in those three categories at the very bottom of the customer-service rankings.
The worst of the 235 companies rated by the Temkin Group’s survey was cable provider Charter Communications, which was followed closely by two other cable companies: Time Warner and Cox Communications.
On the wireless front, T-Mobile had the most egg on its face, with an approval rating of just 36 percent. The carrier that rated the highest in the category, Virgin Mobile, scored just 46 percent. In comparison, USAA, the most popular bank, (who knew such a thing existed?) got a rating of 75 percent. In its role as an insurance provider USAA got the highest score in the survey: 76 percent.
Here’s how the survey worked: “During January 2013, Temkin Group asked 10,000 U.S. consumers to identify the companies that they had interacted with on their websites during the previous 60 days. These consumers were asked the following question: Thinking back to your most recent customer service interaction with these companies, how satisfied were you with the experience? A rating of 1 equaled very dissatisfied; while 7 meant very satisfied.”
Qwest, Verizon and Charter Communications are the survey’s lowest rated ISPs, and all are on the list of 14 companies that scored the worst in the full survey.
AOL is the top-rated ISP based on customer service, with a rating of 47 percent. Really? People still use AOL? In any case, a top rating of 46 percent shows just how much we all hate love our ISPs.
As for computer makers, Apple, not surprisingly came out on top. eMachine was on the bottom.
The Temkin Group conducts these surveys periodically and I plan to keep an eye on the company’s future surveys, with the hope (probably in vain) that some of these bozos spotlighted will be shamed into offering better service.
San Francisco journalist Bill Snyder writes frequently about business and technology. His work appears regularly in CIO.com and the publications of Stanford's Graduate School of Business and the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. He welcomes your comments and suggestions.