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News Update
DIRECTV Magically 'Wins' Customer Satisfaction Survey
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (May 22, 2013) - Below is an update on our story yesterday on the American Customer Satisfaction Index's ratings for TV providers:

DIRECTV yesterday issued a press release to announce the results of the American Customer Satisfaction Index ratings. The release's headline stated:

DIRECTV : Tops DISH and AT&T U-Verse, Continues 13-Year Winning Streak Over Cable in 2013 American Customer Satisfaction Index"

Here's the first paragraph of the DIRECTV release:

For the 13th straight year, DIRECTV continued to outpace all cable competitors in customer satisfaction, according to the most recent survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). In addition, DIRECTV surpassed both DISH Network and AT&T U-Verse in this year's survey, ranking #1 in seven individual survey measures."

Based on the headline and lede, you would think that DIRECTV finished first in the ACSI survey, wouldn't you? Well, if you didn't yet, let this quote from DIRECTV CEO Mike White help you out:

"Every DIRECTV employee is focused on providing our more than 20 million customers with the best experience at every touch point of our relationship with them, and I'm proud to see our ACSI score reflects that effort," said Mike White, chairman, president and CEO of DIRECTV.

The best experience, huh?

Problem is, DIRECTV's release fails to mention that Verizon's FiOS TV service actually was rated as delivering the "best experience" by customers in the ASCI survey. Verizon had a score of 73 out of a possible 100, compared to DIRECTV's 72. (The DIRECTV release doesn't even mention Verizon.)

Yes, DIRECTV did finish second -- and it did beat Dish and AT&T and cable. But it did not finish first or was rated as delivering the best experience of all TV providers.

But why let that stop a good opportunity to issue a press release, right?

Below is our original story on the ACSI survey:

Washington, D.C. (May 21, 2013) - Verizon led all TV providers in the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index for the fourth year in a row.

The ACSI, which was originally developed at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, measures customer satisfaction in 47 industries, including pay TV providers. The research group interviewed 70,000 customers during the course of the year.

Multichannel News reports that Verizon received a 73 rating in the survey, which was actually a one percent decline from 2012 but still good enough to top the results. DIRECTV finished second with a 72 rating while AT&T's U-Verse service received a 71. The highest possible score was 100.

Dish was fourth with a 70 score.

Once again, the telcos and satellite services fared better than their cable counterparts. However, Charter Communications' rating rose 8 percent in the past year, reaching a score of 64. Charter finished second to Cox in the cable category; Cox had a score of 65.

Comcast was next with a 63 while Time Warner Cable dropped from 63 in 2012 to 60 this year.

Multichannel News writes that the ACSI noted that the pay TV industry averaged a rating of 68, which was a three percent increase over the previous year. The research group credits the  improvement to greater satisfaction with the telcos and the satellite services.

The ACSI said pay TV subscribers issued strong ratings for HD picture quality, but had issues with customer service call centers.

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