Cable Rapped in Satisfaction Survey

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Cable and satellite providers were among the worst performers in a new edition of the American Customer Satisfaction Index, produced by the University of Michigan with the American Society for Quality and the CFI Group.

As a group, the video providers scored 61 points on a 100-point scale. Tied as highest-ranked provider were DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp., both of which earned a 71.

But the numbers show DirecTV’s performance is a 1.4% decrease from first-quarter 2003. EchoStar’s performance evaluation is the same as last year.

The top-ranked cable company was Cox Communications Inc., newly included in the survey, with a score of 63. Other ranked cable companies include Time Warner Cable, which scored 60, a 1.6 % decrease from 2003.

Both Charter Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp. scored a 56, a 1.8% improvement for both since last year.

The video companies were scored in the transportation/utilities/communications portion of the satisfaction index. Overnight package-delivery service FedEx Corp. earned the best ranking in that sector — a satisfaction score of 83.

Other industries which outranked cable’s satisfaction numbers included hotel chains, major airlines, cellular phone companies and long-distance carriers.

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