Special Report

Customer Service Hall of Shame

4. Dish Network
>Pct. ratings “poor”:

Since 2010, Dish Network only missed making the Hall of Shame once, in 2011. The company fared particularly poorly this year. As many as 46.1% of respondents had a negative experience with Dish’s customer service, the fourth worst of any company considered.

Nearly across the board, cable and satellite service providers received abysmal ratings for their customer satisfaction, and Dish network is no different. Perhaps one reason for the company’s poor customer service is employee dissatisfaction. According to Glassdoor.com, current and former Dish employees rated the company 2.6 out of 5, one of the worst ratings of any major company.

Dish has reportedly been considering a merger with T-Mobile. Given that the wireless service provider is also a regular on the Customer Service Hall of Shame, it seems dubious that Dish will make it off this list any time soon.

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3. Bank of America
>Pct. ratings “poor”:
21.4% (credit card, banking)

Bank of America has paid in more ways than one for its role in the financial crisis. And while the economy has largely recovered, the same likely cannot be said for Bank of America’s reputation. Ranked third on the Hall of Shame list, 21.4% of survey respondents rated their experience with the company as poor.

In the same survey, 38.9% of respondents, the largest share by a wide margin, said that fees were their biggest problem with the bank, either because the fees were too high, or occurred to frequently. Bank of America is no different. The bank’s website lists five fees for checking accounts and another five for savings accounts. Thirteen other service fees include a $2.50 charge for using another bank’s ATM and a $35 overdraft penalty.

Disapproval of the bank’s customer service dropped nearly 3.5 percentage points from last year. Additionally, 2015 is the first year in the last five that Bank of America has not topped off the Hall of Shame list.

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2. DirectTV
>Pct. ratings “poor”:

No stranger to the Hall of Shame list, DirectTV’s reputation took a further hit in 2015. With 21.5% of respondents reporting a poor experience with the company, dissatisfaction has grown by more than a full percentage point from the previous year.

Nearly 44% of survey respondents cited high rates as a reason for their disapproval of cable TV providers. Critics argue that cable companies can get away with charging high rates due to a lack of competition. Without alternative companies to choose from, consumers are forced to pay more for premium channels and service that does not improve year to year.

As if the company did not already have a reputation problem, AT&T is poised to acquire the cable TV provider for $48.5 billion this year. The deal would effectively combine two of the five companies with the lowest customer satisfaction.

1. Comcast
>Pct. ratings “poor”:

Comcast had the worst customer service reviews of any company this year by a wide margin. At 28.3%, more respondents ranked their experience with the company as poor than any other company. Furthermore, 54.4% of those surveyed claimed that their overall customer experience was negative, nearly 10 percentage points higher than the next worst rated company. This is Comcast’s seventh consecutive year on the Hall of Shame, and its first year at the top.

Lack of regional competition for many cable TV providers is likely a primary reason for their low customer service ratings across the industry. Without alternatives to choose from, customers are forced to pay high rates for service that does not improve. This problem was nearly exacerbated earlier this year when Comcast attempted to merge with the nation’s next biggest cable TV provider, Time Warner Cable. However, the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission effectively killed the merger on antitrust concerns.

In the face of its poor customer service reputation, Comcast may be attempting to turn things around. Catering to consumer trends, Comcast announced earlier this month the launch of its own cable streaming service called Stream. Stream will compete with companies such as Netflix and Hulu and allow Comcast customers to stream television shows on their TVs and mobile devices.

Click here to see the Customer Service Hall of Fame

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