US pay-TV customer satisfaction jumps in 2015


Michelle Clancy

| 25 September 2015

Overall satisfaction with pay television service providers has increased notably since last year, according to the JD Power 2015 US Residential Television Service Provider Satisfaction Study.

The study measures satisfaction across network performance and reliability; cost of service; billing; communication; customer service; and programming.

Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale: TV satisfaction has increased by 12 points to 723 in 2015 from 711 in 2014, and a significant 24 points to 723 in 2015 from 699 in 2013. The main reason for the overall increase has been a 39 point rise in satisfaction in the network performance and reliability factor during the period.

Satisfaction with network performance and reliability has improved to 765 in 2015, an increase of 22 points from 2014. This follows a 17 point increase between 2014 and 2013; while 53% of highly satisfied residential television customers (overall satisfaction scores of 900 or higher) say they "definitely will not" switch providers in the next 12 months, compared with only 10% of dissatisfied customers (scores below 550) who say the same.

"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 and technology, media & telecom practice leader at JD Power. "The fact that households continue to choose to upgrade their wireline connection to digital service is a testament to its improved performance and benefits, such as higher quality video and faster Internet speeds."

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.

DIRECTV (771) ranks highest in TV customer satisfaction in the East region; AT&T U-verse and DIRECTV (750) rank highest (in a tie) in the North Central region; Verizon FiOS (777) ranks highest in the South region; and DISH Network (761) ranks highest in the West region. Notably, these are all satellite and IPTV providers; cable companies continue to struggle with customer satisfaction.