What is the worst?
Not the historical worst (Nazis and the like) or the personal worst, like your ex. What is the worst in your everyday life? Of all the mundane horrors — traffic, humidity, Windows 8 — that plague our otherwise relatively charmed existences, what is at the very, very bottom of the list?
You don’t need to think too hard about this. The answer is all around you, right in front of you, inside you all along: the cable company.
According to a new survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, satisfaction, a condition you likely have never associated with your cable company, with cable and internet providers is at an all-time low. And the all-time-lowest of these lowly corporations is Time Warner Cable, with score of 51 out of 100. (Comcast earned a score of 54 out of 100.)
How bad is a 51 out of 100? Well, it is not just the lowest score for a cable company. It is the lowest score any of the 300 companies ranked by the ACSI survey, which was taken by 70,000 people.
What do we hate about Time Warner Cable? Complaints reportedly include: HD picture quality that is neither high in definition nor quality; on-screen program guides that are probably designed to ensure you get in a fight with whoever is holding the remote; call centers that bounce you from one useless recording (“for billing from four months ago, press six”) to another to another until a human takes down half your information and then puts you on hold again.
Cable companies fared horribly across the board: of all the industries included in the ACSI survey, cable and internet service providers (lol, “service”) have the lowest scores. This is the lowest cable and internet companies have been ranked by the ACSI in seven years, due to “poor customer service combined with higher prices.”
The lack of choice is so bad it borders on illegal: FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has said that 80 percent of Americans have no broadband competition at 25Mbps, the minimum download speed the FCC considers to define broadband: “Three-quarters of American homes have no competitive choice for the essential infrastructure for 21st century economics and democracy. Included in that is almost 20 percent who have no service at all!”
Internet providers are hated with nearly the same vehement passion as cable providers, the ACSI reports, because 61 percent of households in the U.S. have only one or zero high-speed internet providers servicing their region. “Lack of customer choice contributes to weak customer satisfaction.”
Industries, in no particular order, that earned higher scores than Time Warner Cable: Bing, a search engine used exclusively by characters on The CW (73), never-not-irritating LinkedIn (67), and fine dining establishments such as Subway (78), Chili’s (74), and Burger King (76),
Enough about hate on this cruel day. What do we love? Cell phones: Apple and Samsung scored 80, leading the industry, but not by much. Motorola Mobility boasts a score of 79, Nokia scored 75, and, surprisingly, Blackberry scored 78. Which leads us to what one hopes will be the ACSI’s next investigation: finding out who still uses a Blackberry.