Network upgrades improve ISP, TV performance and reliability

The number of performance quality, reliability and connection speed problems has declined from last year as TV and Internet service providers (ISP) continue to upgrade their networks to newer technology and faster connection speeds, according to the three US wireline studies released today: the J.D. Power 2014 US Residential Television Service Provider Satisfaction Study; the J.D. Power 2014 US Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study and the J.D. Power 2014 US Residential Telephone Service Provider Satisfaction Study.

The annual wireline studies evaluate residential customers’ experiences with TV, Internet and phone services in four regions: East, South, North Central and West. The studies measure customer satisfaction based on five factors: performance and reliability; cost of service; programming (TV only); billing; communication; and customer service. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

“The ability to provide a high-quality experience with all wireline services is paramount as performance and reliability is the most critical driver of overall satisfaction,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications at J.D. Power. “While customers may be leveraging the same network or connection across multiple services, their experience can be different given the equipment type, connection to the home, service plans used and the different activities performed on each.”
According to Parsons, as expectations regarding usage, performance quality and reliability continue to evolve, companies that understand these dynamics will be better positioned to provide a more satisfying customer experience, which can lead to higher levels of overall satisfaction and higher rates of retention, advocacy, and return on investment.

Among the key findings from the three studies:
Residential Television Service Provider Satisfaction Study

* DirecTV and Verizon FiOS (738) rank highest (in a tie) in TV customer satisfaction in the East region; AT&T U-verse (750) ranks highest in the North Central region; Verizon FiOS (751) ranks highest in the South region; and DISH Network (739) ranks highest in the West region.
* Satisfaction with performance and reliability has improved to 743 in 2014, an increase of 17 points from 726 in 2013.
* Customers experience fewer television service quality problems in 2014. For example, 31 per cent of customers have experienced picture freezing in the past 3 months, down from 38 per cent in 2013. Moreover, just 46 per cent of customers have experienced a temporary loss of signal, a decrease from 51 per cent year over year.
* Slightly fewer customers have experienced a television outage in 2014, compared with 2013 (28 per cent vs. 30 per cent, respectively). That 2 per cent improvement positively impacts overall satisfaction by 89 points among customers who do not experience an outage, compared with those who do experience one.

Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study

* Verizon ranks highest in ISP customer satisfaction in the East (712) and South (725) regions; WOW! (Wide Open West) scores 728 ranking highest in the North Central region; and AT&T (704) ranks highest in the West region.
* Satisfaction with performance and reliability has improved to 700 in 2014, an increase of 37 points from 663 in 2011.
* ISPs have reduced the average number of website connection errors experienced by customers in the past 3 months to 2.9 from 4.4 in 2013, a 35 per cent improvement. Providers have also reduced general service outages by 31 per cent year over year (1.1 vs. 1.6, respectively).
* Customers have experienced fewer Internet speed problems, with just 2.1 instances of excessively slow loading during the past 3 months, compared with 3.0 in 2013.

Residential Telephone Service Provider Satisfaction Study

* AT&T (740) ranks highest in telephone customer satisfaction in the East region; WOW! (Wide Open West) scores 767 ranking highest in the North Central region; Bright House Networks (751) ranks highest in the South region; and Cox Communications (739) ranks highest in the West region.
* Overall satisfaction with performance and reliability is 754, up from 749 in 2013.
* The incidence of general outages with phone service has declined, affecting 17 per cent of households in 2014, compared with 21 per cent in 2013.

The 2014 US wireline studies are based on responses from 30,358 customers nationwide who evaluated their cable/satellite TV, high-speed Internet and telephone service providers. The studies were fielded in four waves: December 2013, February 2014, May 2014 and July 2014.

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