Advanced Television

AT&T scores well for customer satisfaction

June 7, 2023

When it comes to connectivity, there is no contest: Fibre Internet beats non-fibre service hands down, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Telecommunications Study 2022-2023. The former outpaces the latter by 9 points — 75 to 66 — for customer satisfaction (on a scale of 0 to 100.

“Across the entire customer experience, fibre service shows a strong advantage — from data transfer speed and service reliability to touchpoints like call centres and websites,” says Forrest Morgeson, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Michigan State University and Director of Research Emeritus at the ACSI. “That said, with well over half of US households lacking access to fibre internet, availability remains a sticking point. As such, non-fibre ISP services remain an attractive option for many customers and should not be overlooked by providers.”

Along with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) — fibre and non-fibre — ACSI covers two telecommunications industries in this study: subscription TV service and video streaming service (streaming apps and live TV apps).

Overall customer satisfaction with ISPs climbs 6 per cent to an ACSI score of 68. The ongoing infusion of fibre into the market plays a key role in this robust upswing.

AT&T Fiber tops fibre ISPs — and the entire industry — with a score of 80. CenturyLink Fiber is next at 78, followed by Google Fiber (76). The smaller group of fibre ISPs and Verizon Fios both score 75. Frontier Fiber and Xfinity Fiber round out the fibre ISPs at 74 and 73, respectively.

Among non-fibre ISPs, T-Mobile takes the top spot with a score of 73. AT&T Internet finishes second at 72, while ACSI newcomer Sparklight sits in third place at 71. Kinetic by Windstream is next at 70, just outperforming Xfinity (68).

Despite an impressive showing among fibre ISPs, CenturyLink sits near the bottom in the non-fibre group with a score of 62. Frontier Communications and Optimum round out the non-fibre ISPs at 61 and 58, respectively.

ACSI also measures key aspects of the in-home Wi-Fi experience for both customers who use equipment from their ISP and those who use third-party equipment that they have purchased.

Fibre ISPs (79) outperform both non-fibre ISPs (73) and third-party equipment providers (70) for overall Wi-Fi quality. The former far exceeds the other two in every customer experience benchmark, including strong marks for the security of its Wi-Fi connection (81) and reliability in terms of avoiding loss of service (80).

The video streaming industry, which includes both streaming apps (77) and live TV apps (76), improves 4 per cent to an ACSI score of 77. The smaller group of streaming and live TV apps overall dips 4 per cent to 75.

Among streaming apps, Amazon Prime Video sits in the pole position after surging 8 per cent to an ACSI score of 80. Amazon’s decision to increase spending on video content in 2022 looks to be paying off, as it sees huge gains in viewer perceptions of its original content.

Peacock moves into second place following a 10 per cent increase to 79. Although much smaller than Netflix and other industry giants, the streamer is in growth mode, expanding its content and hitting it big with some of the most-viewed TV titles in 2022. ACSI data show viewers are responding, giving serious love to Peacock’s TV and new film offerings.

Four streaming apps score 78: Hulu (up 4 per cent), Netflix (up 5 per cent), Paramount+ (up 1 per cent), and ACSI newcomer YouTube Premium.

HBO Max, now relaunched as Max, scores 77 (up 5 per cent), followed by Apple TV+ (up 10 per cent) and Disney+ (down 3 per cent), both at 76. ESPN+ sits near the bottom of the industry after slipping 1 per cent to 72, but Crackle finishes last despite improving 1 per cent to 70.

Meanwhile, Hulu + Live TV debuts atop the live TV apps with an ACSI score of 80. Sling TV (up 6 per cent) and YouTube TV (down 1 per cent) both score 76, while DirecTV STREAM stumbles 5 per cent to a score of 72.

No longer the most hated industry in the Index overall, subscription TV service extends its positive ACSI trend for a fourth straight year, surging 5 per cent to an all-time high score of 69.

“Nevertheless, traditional cable and satellite providers continue to lose customers to streaming alternatives, often over price concerns,” adds Morgeson. “Those that do remain tend to be more satisfied and loyal, which boosts customer satisfaction for the subscription TV industry overall.”

U-verse TV, available to existing subscribers only, expands its lead following a 7 per cent jump to 78. Verizon Fios remains second, up 4 per cent to 74, while Frontier Communications flies up the leader board after improving 18 per cent to 72.

At the bottom of the industry, the group of small subscription TV providers and Spectrum each increase 3 per cent to 65, while Optimum, despite a 5 per cent bump, finishes last with an ACSI score of 60.



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