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Utilities, Airlines and Social Media Fare Badly in Customer Service Ranking
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Utilities, Airlines and Social Media Fare Badly in Customer Service Ranking

January 08, 2013
By Tracey E. Schelmetic
TMCnet Contributor

It’s that time of year again, when we start handing out awards to the best and raspberries to the worst. No, it’s not the Oscars (though no doubt those nominations will be out any day), it’s the best and worst customer service of the year awards. First comes the worst.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), and independent national benchmark of customer satisfaction in the U.S., has once again released its annual ranking of companies that provide the worst customer service to their customers. (Given how many there are to choose from, it must have been a tricky prospect to find the very worst.)

The ACSI’s national customer satisfaction benchmark—or national ACSI score—is an aggregation of results for all sectors and industries, and companies are rated on a number of factors, arriving at a score on a scale of 100 (a perfect score).

So here they are, ladies and gentlemen: the companies you hate the most when it comes to customer service.

#1. Long Island Power Authority. This New York area electric utility company scored a dismal 58 out of 100 on the ACSI ranking. The company’s bottom ranking likely has a lot to do with the way it handled the widespread power outages following Hurricane Sandy’s devastation of the New York area.

#2. Northeast Utilities. This Connecticut utility company also came under heavy fire after Hurricane Sandy, which put millions of Connecticut customers in the dark for extended periods after the storm. This event followed long outages (and dismal restoration performance) in 2011 courtesy of Tropical Storm Irene and the freak late October blizzard that struck the area last year. The company scored 59 out of 100.

#3. Charter Communications (News - Alert). Scoring 59 out of 100, this puts Charter at the very bottom of the already low-rated cable television customer service pile.

#4 Comcast (News - Alert). Scoring just 61 out of 100, this cable company is now only two points ahead of its dismally ranked competitor, Charter.

#5. Facebook (News - Alert). You think you could rely on the tech-savvy social networks to get customer approval right, but Facebook fell down last year (and dropped five points to a score of 61 out of 100) following its unpopular switch to the “Timeline” graphic. The company’s dismal IPO likely didn’t help matters.

#6. United Airlines. At the bottom of the heap of all U.S. airlines when it comes to customer service, United scored just 62 out of 100.

#7. Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable. Not to be outdone in the cable company race to the bottom when it comes to customer service, Time Warner did little better than its giant competitors Charter and Comcast. The company scored 63 out of 100.

#8. LinkedIn (News - Alert). Here’s another social network that ought to know better. ACSI found that "Monetizing schemes appear to be at the core of user dissatisfaction with both sites." The company scored 63 out of 100.

#9. Cox Communication. Rounding out the final major U.S. cable company, Cox joins its competitors near the bottom, scoring just 63 out of 100.

#10. American Airlines. The financially troubled airline managed to pull itself up a few places from last year, but still remains the second-worst U.S. airline for customer service. Final score was 64 out 100.

We’ll bring you the results of the best companies for customer service courtesy of the ACSI when those figures become available.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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