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Spectrum Satisfaction Ratings Dive on “Take It Or Leave It Pricing” Post Time Warner Cable

Phillip Dampier April 23, 2018 Charter Spectrum, Competition, Consumer News 5 Comments

Charter Communications’ takeover of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks has not proved popular, according to a new survey from Temkin Group.

The cable operator received rock bottom scores among customers frustrated about how Charter handles its acquired customers, especially those facing a transition to Spectrum plans and pricing. Customers have filled the company’s own forums with complaints about rate increases for newly required equipment or cable television plan changes that force customers to upgrade to win back channels deleted from their long-standing Time Warner Cable or Bright House lineups.

Customer dissatisfaction about the changes was picked up in Temkin Group’s 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings, U.S., published in March.

Just 35% of Charter/Spectrum customers were emotionally satisfied after interacting with Spectrum, the third worst performing company among the 318 surveyed across 20 different industries. Spectrum saw a ratings drop of 8.2% from 2017-2018, the worst performance decline among all TV and internet service providers,  according to Temkin’s survey.

Spectrum also scored just 57% on the “effort” metric, which measures how difficult it was to interact with the company to resolve a problem. Only 51% reported satisfaction with the ability of Spectrum to resolve their concern or problem, putting Spectrum on Temkin’s “Bottom 50 Organizations” — 312th best performer out of 318 companies. (Comcast, Cox, and Altice-Optimum actually performed slightly worse.)

Temken explains the root cause for perennially poor ratings of cable and phone companies: they often have a monopoly.

“There are some industries that have habitually poor customer experience,” Temken explains. “In many of the cases, these problem stems from some form of monopolistic power. TV service providers and internet service providers have carved out regions and have limited competition.”

This marks the eighth year Temkin has published its Temkin Experience Ratings, generated from compiling the results of a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers about their recent interactions with 318 significant U.S. companies. Temkin measures three dimensions of a customer’s experience:

  • Success: To what degree were customers able to accomplish what they wanted to do after a recent interaction with a company.
  • Effort: How easy was it to interact with the company.
  • Emotion: How did the customer feel about those interactions.

The TV/internet service category has stood out in recent years for consistently delivering rock bottom ratings — the worst of Temkin’s surveyed industries. Only health insurance companies come close to the dismal ratings phone and cable companies deliver year after year.

Much of the decline in Spectrum’s rating is attributed to an increase in the negative emotions customers experienced after interacting with the company. In the last year, the company has adopted a much firmer position on pricing and packages that customers criticize as “take it or leave it pricing.” Spectrum also recently scaled up digital television conversion in many legacy Time Warner Cable markets, with many customers paying for new set-top boxes to continue receiving cable television service on all televisions in the home. The company has also frustrated early and enthusiastic adopters of broadband speed upgrades with compulsory upgrade fees as high as $199.

Based on Temkin’s four customer experience core competencies, it seems like Charter is mired at the first stage of what Temkin calls ‘Customer Experience Maturity’:

Stage One — Ignore: Organization does not focus on customer experience management and does not view customer experience as a core part of its value proposition.

The best performers in Temken’s annual study were supermarkets, which took five of the top 11 spots. The top-rated company in the 2018 study was Wegmans, a privately held supermarket chain operating in the northeastern U.S. Other top scorers included H-E-B, Publix, Aldi, Wawa, Citizens Bank, USAA, Subway, and Ace Hardware.

Currently there are 5 comments on this Article:

  1. FredH says:

    ….and you know what? The worst part is they could give two sh*ts. “Don’t like it? Go to our competitor. Oh yeah, there isn’t one. Hahahahahaha”

  2. John B. says:

    What “competitor”? In my area AT&T is currently the only other ISP and they can only provide a blazing top speed 5Mbps down at my address.

    And if you want to talk about lame, back in 2009 when AT&T was still using their original DSL (ADSL) technology they could at least provide 6Mbps. So the maximum speed they could offer me actually decreased when they rolled out U-Verse.

    And of course their U-Verse deployment (as you may or may not know) required AT&T to place those incredibly ugly (& originally subject to catching fire due to faulty internal back-up batteries) VRAD units on any given street corner, so at least Spectrum doesn’t come with that topological eyesore nor fire risk.

    I’ll agree that Spectrum (formerly TWC in my case) is not great, but AT&T is so incredibly pathetic that they should be at very bottom of ANY customer service experience list. It really speaks volumes about what people in this country will tolerate that a company like AT&T is still in business.

    • Victor T says:

      I so agree! AT&T is hands-down the worst company I’ve ever dealt with. The one thing they always had going is they at least pretend to care. But Spectrum’s prices are really HIGH (and going up 7% again soon, I hear), yet they don’t pretend to care about it or me whatsoever. It makes it hard to choose which one I despise more. They are starting to remind me of the AT&T monopoly back in the 80’s before MCI and Sprint came along, and AT&T were charging 30 cents per minute long distance.

  3. harry deland says:

    I dropped everything but internet. In the last 9 months my internet has gone up 3 times. Under TWC it was $29.95/Mo. Under Spectrum it is now up to $84.50/Mo. With the next increase I will need to drop the internet as well. They are losing 100,000 customers a month so the ones left have to pay the CEO’s $192 Million/Yr salary.

  4. David says:

    Well, I dropped them for earthlink DSL which is slower and buggier but I don’t regret it since I don’t accept getting pushed around.
    If earthlink keeps their prices stable I will stay with them.

    Other people should do the same and spectrum will start understanding who is boss when it comes to your own pocketbook.







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