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Satellite Outpaces Cable in Consumer Satisfaction Study

Aug 18, 2004  •  Post A Comment

As cable and satellite operators continue to duke it out over subscribers, it appears the top two satellite providers are winning the customer-service battle.

According to a J.D. Power & Associates study released Wednesday that examines consumer satisfaction with cable and satellite operators, EchoStar Communications and DirecTV Group scored sharply higher than the major multiple system operators in terms of overall satisfaction, with the big factor for many subscribers being a provider’s customer service.

The study showed that EchoStar’s DISH Network service garnered 725 points out of 1,000, while DirecTV scored a 721.

Among big-name MSOs, Cox Communications ranked the highest, scoring 698 points, followed by Time Warner Cable at 656, Comcast at 633 and Charter, Adelphia and Cablevision each racking up 617 points. Overall, cable operators scored an average rating of 659.

Where EchoStar scored highest was in the areas of billing, cost of service and offerings and promotions. The company also scored well in the areas of customer service, image and performance and reliability.

The survey also revealed that customer service takes on greater importance to consumers, accounting for 26 percent of the overall customer satisfaction rating, up from a 10 percent weighting over the past three years.

In news certain to be welcomed by cable operators, the study shows that 44 percent of cable subscribers want to combine their cable service with another telecommunications service, such as high-speed data or telephony.

The study also found that satellite customers are paying an average of $49.08 a month for their service, while cable subscribers pay an average of $50.98.

J.D. Power’s study is based on responses from 8,668 households with either cable or satellite service from one of 13 providers in the United States.