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The 19 most hated U.S. companies include several telecoms


ACSI LogoThe Atlantic compiled and released the 19 most hated companies in America, gleaning information from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which rates companies based on thousands of surveys. The latest index showed that the unfavorable amongst American firms include large banks, airlines, power concerns and you guessed it, telecom companies.

The list in order of most despised first includes Pepco Holdings Inc. (POM), Delta Airlines (DAL), Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC), Comcast Corp. (CMCSK), Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR), US Airways Group Inc. (LLC), United Airlines (UAL), American Airlines Corp. (AMR), MySpace, Facebook, UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH), Long Island Power Authority, L.A. Department of Water and Power, AT&T Mobility (T), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. (PCG), Cox Communications Inc., Dish Network Corp. (DISH), and Bank of America Corp (BAC).

Time Warner Cable (TWC) landed third, due to problems including usage caps, increasing fees, fraudulent business acts and poor services. In June 2011, a suit was filed against the company for refusing to make closed captioning available for CNN’s online videos after being notified by angry customers. Time Warner also mistakenly aired pornography on children’s channels in a disastrous public relations incident.

Comcast (CMCSK) was fourth, with grievances of upgrade and billing changes, lost channels for customers who didn’t upgrade to digital services, long waiting time for technicians and overall price hikes.

The company said that a new dispatch system will cut wait-time for repairs and installations in half by 2012. One of the largest cable companies in terms of revenue, it remains one of the lowest in terms of customer satisfaction.

Charter Communications (CHTR) was fifth due to complaints of improper billing practices, which led to a class action settlement in 2004. Poor customer service followed the closing of domestic call centers in 2006 and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) issued a warning to Charter in 2007 following several complaints. In 2009, the company filed for bankruptcy and was forced to restructure. Charter’s subscribers will increase by 16,000 in Missouri with the recent acquisition of Texas-based U.S. Cable.

Angry Phone CustomerAT&T Mobility (T) hit No. 14, with several complaints about dropped calls, especially in New York City and other major metropolitan areas. The company is hoping that tiered data plans will alleviate some pressure and allow its network to catch up after losing exclusivity of Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPhone.

Cox Communications landed at No. 17, with extra fees including up to $480 to cancel service listed as common grievances. Cox has maintained its satisfaction rating since the previous year, making it less despised than many of its telecom peers.

Dish Network’s (DISH) billing and customer service gave it a spot at No. 18. In 2009, Dish Network paid almost $6 million to settle allegations that the company misled consumers and lacked full disclosure of costs and fees. The agreement was made between Dish Network and attorneys general from 46 states.

Looking at the companies on the list, it’s fairly easy to see that they all have something in common.

“These are not terribly competitive industries, as the switching barriers for most of them are quite high,” said David VanAmburg of the American Customer Satisfaction Index in an interview with The Atlantic. “In other industries, like the food or clothing sector, the competition is huge. They bend over backwards to make customers happy, because they have to.”

Are there any companies on this list that you hate? Tell your story in the comments section…

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9 Responses to “The 19 most hated U.S. companies include several telecoms”

  1. W says:

    Comcast is the worst on the list that I’m familiar with, I see no way the new customer service program they claim to be putting place will improve their service. It’s not the systems its the people, everyone I’ve ever spoken to at Comcast is an idiot.

  2. AnnDroid says:

    Bring customer service back to the US. That will help a lot.

    I’ve been dealing with Dish lately. Everytime you call, you will need to call back and they never have notes from the last time you called. I just had an undisclosed fee of $200 on my bill. My husband and I are seriously looking into the Early Termination Fee to get out from this company.

  3. Dave says:

    Wheres hughesnet, i dont know 1 person who likes hughesnet.

  4. Dan says:

    Comcast tops my list, too. When we moved into our home, it lacked a great deal in the way of connectivity (3 phone jacks when we needed quite a few more; 2 cable outlets when we needed 5). Comcast’s installer came to the door. I showed him the first outlet. He looked at me and said, “I’m not doin’ that one.” I’ve spent enough time with obstinate installers to know that it was pointless arguing with him. So I let it pass. He then proceeded to the other outlets, choosing to use incredibly long “extensions” rather than fish the cable in the wall the right way. He did “graciously” agree to run one new outlet, provided that he could run the cable exposed in a closet. Obviously this wasn’t a cosmetically pleasing solution, but since it was inside a closet where no one, including us, would look very often, in the interest of getting service and getting this guy out of the house, I agreed.

    An hour after he left, I went into a bedroom at the other end of the house, where I saw plaster dust on the bedspread. I looked up at the ceiling. You guessed it, there were two holes in the ceiling. The installer had apparently lost his bearings in the attic and drilled into the wrong ceiling at the opposite end of the house.

    I complained to Comcast. To their credit I got a callback from the local V. P. / General Manager, who asked if he could send a Supervisor to assess the damage and any possible reimbursement and / or repairs.

    3 days later, the “Supervisor” showed up. I ushered him upstairs and showed him the holes. He looked up, looked at me and said, “My guy didn’t do that!” and walked out of the house. Needless to say, there was no repair, no reimbursement. I agree with the assessment from the survey. My only surprise is that Comcast didn’t top the list.

  5. Richard says:

    Oceanic Time Warner cable here in Hawaii Sucks. they have out dated equipment and false advertise all the time. the only reason they still have coustomers is because it’s the only cable provider here. the lack of competition is a big eye opener of what capitalism really is. we need compitition here so that big companys don’t take advantage of us and money. it also healthy and beneficial for us because competition helps us strive to be and do better. Time Warner and all big corperations need a wake up call and we need to stop taking it as they give it and demand what we really deserve…..

  6. Justin says:

    Anyone who has ever flown with United Airlines knows their ranking should be closer to number 1. They have the worst customer service I have ever dealt with and the company policy seems to be to make passengers’ lives miserable.
    I had a terrible experience back in March flying SYD-PHX and due to mechanical problems and poor intra-company communication I was delayed almost 5 hours. It only got worse as I was lied to and had to deal with very rude ticketing agents in LAX. I formally complained to the company and they gave me a voucher but the restrictions on use are so severe that its not really worth my time to fly with them again.

  7. S says:

    I see why United/Continental Airlines made the list and they should be on the list. We have traveled to the moon, we are now in the 21st century, and these people attend aeons of diversity classes yet the pilots and flight attendants still cannot manage to control and still continue being rude and r. (you finish this word or use your imagination) to certain of their passengers. They do not say hello to certain of their pasengers, they do not say thanks for flying with us to certain of their passengers or good-bye to certain of their passengers when boarding or disembarking. I voted F for their customer relations and I was not speaking about the TSA agents. I was speaking about the pilots and the flight attendants. F F F F F on their customer relations. If the areas I amt traveling were not so far away or I had more than a week or a few days at a time off, believe me I would drive and I do opt to drive when I am only traveling a short distance. I would rather drive than to subject myself to these rude r’s.

  8. larry says:

    Time Warner is great here.

  9. RP says:

    I am SHOCKED that COMCAST is NOT #1. Their fees are so high, yet they provide some of the worst technology. Why is there a “One moment please” msg when trying to use On Demand? Shouldnt this “high tech” Xfinity cable company have the fastest return of this info than anyone else?

    And now that they use the name Xfinity to hide from the Comcast bad reputation, the only thing that happened was worse service — cant go back to see programs earlier in the day or week and cant go back easily when catching up on On Demand/ Showtime Weeds Episodes. I cant wait for FiOS to come to my neighborhood.


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