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Americans Hate TV and Internet Providers More Than Other Industries 255

An anonymous reader writes "According to a new report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, subscription TV providers and ISPs were the industries Americans disliked the most over the past year. 'Over-the-top video services, like Netflix and Hulu, threaten subscription TV providers and also put pressure on ISP network infrastructure. Customers question the value proposition of both, as consumers pay for more than they need in terms of subscription TV and get less than they want in terms of Internet speeds and reliability.' Unsurprisingly, Time Warner Cable and Comcast are the companies with the most dissatisfied customers. The ACSI said, '[I]t's a concern whenever two poor-performing service providers combine operations. ACSI data consistently show that mergers in service industries usually result in lower customer satisfaction, at least in the short term. It's hard to see how combining two negatives will be a positive for consumers.'"
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Americans Hate TV and Internet Providers More Than Other Industries

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  • Not me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @05:21AM (#47054513)

    The industry I hate the most is the fossil fuels industry
    Not just because of global warming, but mostly because they control the politicians and stop anything being done about it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cornwallis ( 1188489 )

      I don't blame them for doing what a business is supposed to do as much as I blame the politicians.

      Read "Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets" -

      • Re:Not me (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cryptolemur ( 1247988 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @06:46AM (#47054793)
        If we started to assume that business is not supposed to behave the most sosiopathic and misantropist way possible, the world might become a better place.

        In other words, the bottom line is no excuse for anything. Not even in business. A creepy bastard is a creepy bastard, even if it's for profit.
        • Re:Not me (Score:5, Insightful)

          by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @08:09AM (#47055045)
          RE:" A creepy bastard is a creepy bastard"

          that is the truth, and especially when they do it for profit, no wonder the rest of the world hates the USA, the politicans and corpirates have raped and murdered across the globe for profits []
          • I'm pretty sure the rest of the world loves the USA because we have the most freedoms and hollywood. that's why everybody else tries to have bollywood etc and similar freedoms
        • Re:Not me (Score:5, Interesting)

          by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @08:46AM (#47055215)

          I don't blame them for doing what a business is supposed to do as much as I blame the politicians.

          In other words, the bottom line is no excuse for anything. Not even in business.

          I absolutely agree. But I also think the GP makes an important point -- businesses shouldn't behave like jerks, but politicians deserve even more of the blame. Why? Because they have the power effectively to set the legal standards for "right" and "wrong."

          A rapist can harm one person, but he can be punished according to law. A corporation can harm thousands of people, but it can be punished according to law. A politician can harm millions of people and write his own "get of out jail free card" into law, as well as enabling thousands of bad acts perpetrated by rapists or corporations or whatever evil buddies he has.

          Periodically, there's a debate around here about the death penalty and when (if ever) it should be applied. As far as I'm concerned, the debate shouldn't begin with murderers or rapists or cop-killers, because they have nothing compared to corrupt politicians in terms of the potential harm they can do to society. An inefficient or useless politician should be voted out of office. But one who deliberately lies to the public resulting in serious harm or acts against the public's interest in an egregious fashion deserves whatever the maximum penalty is that our justice system hands out.

          Otherwise, we're effectively handing them license to legally redefine "right" and "wrong" in their favor, and that often has the potential to inflict much greater harm than any single corporation on its own.

    • Remember, everyone screams bloody murder every time the price of gas goes up. They demand that their politicians do something about it. What do you expect would be the consequence?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jythie ( 914043 )
      It is interesting how much more people get worked up about interruption of entertainment and connivence then things that actually impact their life. I guess if nothing else this does indicate just how good Americans have it. If this is the industry people complain the most about, then that means other more critical things are doing pretty well.

      Though I suspect that the people in the US who actually do have to worry about things like power, water, roads, food, etc, are not generally covered by such survey
    • Re:Not me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by macpacheco ( 1764378 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @09:00AM (#47055309)

      As if the fossil fuels industry is the only power block with politicians in their backpockets.
      Don't forget about the military industrial complex, the auto industry.
      If the Comcrap and Time Warner didn't have a boatload of politicians in their back pockets they wouldn't dream about this deal.

    • Re:Not me (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Jawnn ( 445279 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @09:03AM (#47055331)

      The industry I hate the most is the fossil fuels industry Not just because of global warming, but mostly because they control the politicians and stop anything being done about it.

      The telecom industry spends, proportionately, far more on it's purchases of lawmakers than any other group. For that reason, I hate them the most.

  • Noncompetition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Travis Mansbridge ( 830557 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @05:22AM (#47054519)
    It's a joke when Comcast uses the claim that TWC covers separate parts of the country as justification for their merger when this should just make it obvious that they were never competing in the first place.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @05:33AM (#47054561)

    Hateful industries include lawyers, politicians, washing machine repairmen, insurance companies, heating engineers, telemarketers, car salesmen...

    Surely they come before ISPs and TV providers.

    • by flyneye ( 84093 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @07:14AM (#47054861) Homepage

      Music and Movie industries are up there at the top.
      Music industry is completely vampiric , with NO known benefits for anyone except themselves. If they died today, the music you hear would only get better, in spite of the scare stories to the contrary.
      Movie industry is continuously the same old shit, recycled from B&W all the way back to the silent era. You could say the special effects are better, but that would be the special effects industry, who also work for television. Nope, nothing new or interesting here, at best they will soak a storyline off some author and hope no one notices it to be a recycled premise from earlier authors. Hard to believe they want the price of a ticket or a rental for that crap.

      • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @08:56AM (#47055281) Homepage

        The reason I hate the cable providers more than the music/movie industries is that it is harder to boycott the cable providers. You can cut the cord and get rid of cable TV, but if you want Internet access, you might only have access through your local cable company. (Like I do.) So you are locked into paying whatever your cable provider says you will pay for whatever Internet access speed they decide to give you. Don't like it? Go without Internet (or go back to dial up if you still have a landline or use the much more expensive wireless). There are indie options for music and movies. There isn't an "indie Internet access."

        • by tepples ( 727027 )
          You could choose the phone company's fiber service (such as FiOS in Verizon and Frontier markets) instead.
          • Not when the phone company hasn't built their fiber network into your area. In the city I live in, Time Warner Cable is the only choice I have. Verizon stopped building FIOS at the edge of the city and has no plans on expanding it. So beyond TWC, I could choose wireless (extremely expensive for main home use), DSL (which the phone companies want to ditch ASAP), dial-up (way too slow for my needs), or satellite (slow AND expensive). In other words, no real options beyond TWC. This means that Time Warner

      • Music industry is completely vampiric , with NO known benefits for anyone except themselves. If they died today, the music you hear would only get better, in spite of the scare stories to the contrary.

        I listen to a lot of unsigned bands and my brother plays in an unsigned band that paid for studio time to record an EP that's in various online and streaming media services {amazon, itunes, google play, spotify}. When they play a gig they always have t-shirts, stickers, or any other merchandise they can get their hands on because that is how they make their money. {not much money enough to cover cost and record that next EP eventually}

        The internet and PC has really broken down the barrier to entry that once

    • washing machine repairmen

      Really? I find them invaluable. My machine is a 30-ish year old Kenmoore. Its had to be repaired twice in that span. $50 once - $75 the other time. Heck of a lot cheaper than buying a new unit that is likely of lesser quality and would break within 3-4 years.

      Kinda off-topic but I think I society needs to get back to higher quality items that are worth repairing rather than the concept of literally everything being disposable.

      • My machine is a 30-ish year old Kenmoore. Its had to be repaired twice in that span. $50 once - $75 the other time. Heck of a lot cheaper than buying a new unit that is likely of lesser quality and would break within 3-4 years.

        Just curious, did you buy that washer new? And did it cost less than $100 new?

        • No - actually my parents bought it new when they built their first house in 1987 - no clue what they paid for it. They gave it to me when I moved out in 1999. It broke shortly thereafter and I paid $50 to have it fixed. It broke again a number of years back (2008-ish IIRC, though I'm not positive) and I paid $75 to have it fixed again.

          Meanwhile my parents are on their THIRD new washing machine since they gave me their old one. The newer model ones don't seem to last nearly as long and are harder to repa

          • A $300 washer today is about $750 in mid-80's dollars.

            If you're buying $300 washers today, then unless your 80's washer cost $120 or so, it cost considerably more than a modern washer.

            Point is that the reason washers don't last so long is that they cost a lot less than they used to. If you want a modern washer that lasts just forever, start shopping with a price FLOOR of $700 for the washer, same for a dryer.

      • Your off topic comment is my weekly rant. I HATE having to toss stuff out because someone decided to make the thing from a brittle plastic and heat seal it shut.

        I've tried to buy higher quality. It just seems you cannot find it.

    • You forgot "clergymen"

    • My washing machine repairman is awesome, you insensitive clod.
  • by Katatsumuri ( 1137173 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @05:43AM (#47054587)

    I would put the telecom second and the media distribution mafia first.

    It is pathetic, true, how the telecom providers have been selling a commodity service on mass scale for 20+ years, yet the pricing and service quality are on "novelty" levels or worse. Your cable bill has no good reason to be higher than that (local) phone bill 30 years ago. One of the reasons for the pathetic prices are the unreasonably high media licensing fees and unbreakable channel bundles. The cable companies then cut costs on everything else, which gives you multiple week waiting times to connect, half-hour wait times on support lines, and clueless staff.

    And the media mafia also criminalizes everyone for downloading a few songs on P2P and threatens with lawsuits.

    • by Shoten ( 260439 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @08:46AM (#47055209)

      Well, heads up there...because TV/cable providers are major media producers AND distributors. NBC? Universal Studios? Comcast owns them...they're Comcast. Time Warner Cable? Just take off the "Cable" and you'll have a clue. And when you're talking about the MPAA, you're talking about an association production houses (like Universal and Time Warner). Granted, they aren't in the music industry, but I don't blame them...the music industry is still trying to figure out which end is up from the combination of iTunes/Amazon's upending of their distribution channel and the after effects of them deciding to sue their own customers like a bunch of idiots.

      Since 1948, there's been a ruling by the Supreme Court in the case of United States v. Paramount Pictures [] that concerned whether or not Paramount's vertical integration (movie production, movie distribution, movie theaters...with exclusive rights down the pipe) constituted a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Indeed, it turned out that it was, and as a result there has been a long-standing prohibition on that degree of integration from that day forward. Now, it's easy to just point and say, "Hey! If Comcast makes movies and shows movies on their own channels, that's a violation!" It isn't, the way the ruling exists, because Comcast also shows movies from other sources as well. But the needle has been moving in that direction, obviously. But in a way, this isn't a new problem either, and there's hope that it can be addressed.

      • by lemur3 ( 997863 )

        Time Warner Cable is no longer affiliated with the Time Warner which makes content.

        Originally controlled by Time Warner (the film and television production company and cable channel operator), that company spun out the cable operations in March 2009 as part of a larger restructuring. Since then, Time Warner Cable has been an entirely independent company, merely continuing to use the Time Warner brand under license from its former parent

        source: []

        as much as i hate them.......

  • We have so much bullshit in our gentrified business community, how could any of us pick just one area we think is the worst?

    • No lie. I'd put all of these on equal footing:

      * Privatized Prisons (I find it most personally offensive, so I will list it first)
      * The MIC
      * Big Media
      * Big Pharma
      * Big Oil/Coal
      * Mandatory Insurance Programs (I was offended by the auto insurance scam before Obamacare)

      They're all part of one self-reinforcing system built over time.

  • by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @06:42AM (#47054773)
    I can't open my own ISP. If I do (let's say I want to run a fiber-based ISP), I will face many legal hurdles simply because that's the nature of the business; one may need to rent space on towers or get right-of-way permits from the town and the whole mess will be overseen by the public utilities commissioner of the state I'm in.

    That's all normal ISP business stuff, but the giants have so much power that they are guaranteed to put me out of business through lawsuits. They shroud anything that they don't like in a giant neon sheet of "UNFAIR COMPETITION" and bury the little guy in legal red tape and paperwork. Little guys cannot win the battles of attrition in our legal system against gigantic corporations as it is, but these bastards have managed to lobby so hard that the law is heavily on their side as well. If I get financial assistance from a local government to build my ISP, I'll get shut down because of "unfair competition" since there are laws in many states now making municipal broadband de facto illegal to run and the funding could be construed as attempting to skirt those laws.

    There is no competition in broadband services today because the largest companies have slanted the laws so hard in their favor that all competition is legally shut out.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Some cities it's worse... the "agreement" in my local town is that you negotiate a franchise license with the city and you can have your cable TV/Internet company.
      If you dont sign up to pay kickbacks to the local government, then you can not start doing business as you will be breaking the law. Yes, it is ILLEGAL to start a cableTV or ISP business in my city unless you negotiate to pay tribute to city hall in regular installments in the form of a kickback.

  • When I read of mergers like this, I imagine two large garbage trucks colliding at speed -- the result is inevitably twisted smoking debris strewn wide, and oh God, the smell.

    I find, as a metaphor for large mergers, I have yet to find a more accurate one.

    • We're receiving a faint transmission in an ancient Earth encoding...

      When I read of mergers like this, ... large garbage trucks colliding at speed ... inevitably twisted smoking debris strewn wide, and oh God, the smell.

      ... a metaphor for large mergers, I have yet to find a more accurate one.

      Intriguing, the message indicates it's from a time before CVS.

  • Number one for me is the insurance industry. Health insurance, especially; although auto and life insurance aren't much better. They are all giant legalized Ponzi schemes, IMHO. In 2010 the health insurance industry demonstrated how much power they have over the federal government when they managed to make us all obligate customers as an alleged mechanism of "reform". I could go on about how an insurance company that I had about a decade ago tried to drive me bankrupt with practices that are far beyond immoral.

    Number two for me (literally and figuratively) are private impound lots. There are some cities (I happen to work in one) where auto theft is essentially legal if you happen to be a private impound lot. The amount of power those animals have over regular people is disgusting, they basically have an unlimited income stream that they can open and close at will.

    I don't care for my cable company, but I love them in comparison to either of those.
  • Great timing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @07:37AM (#47054925)
    I have Time Warner and about an hour ago I woke up to an outage. Needless to say it has been cleared up, but outages are routine and expected with their "service". I learned a long time ago that calling their customer service\tech support is futile. Also, I barely break five-megabits down. Unfortunately there has been no alternative and I have been stuck with them for fifteen-years. I guess you can suck that bad and not care if you are a monopoly. Two-days ago I received an email from Google letting me know that Google Fiber will be available to me pretty soon. Yesterday large spools of fiber optic cables showed up on my street. There is one right next to my house. Despite my misgivings about letting Google provide me with internet access, I am absolutely going with them. Time Warner has been flipping out since the roll out started in my city last year, yet no aspect of their service has improved. I am convinced that they have been a monopoly for so long that they literally don't know how to compete. Good riddance to them.
  • by RackinFrackin ( 152232 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @07:45AM (#47054947)

    My only experience is with charter. Their service itself is usually pretty good, but I hate their website. You can't find straightforward information on what individual services cost, and even finding a channel listing is difficult. On more than one occasion I've searched for services available at my house--where they make me enter my exact address--and their website tells me that they do not service my area.

    It really frustrates me that the companies that run the internet don't care enough or aren't required to make basic information about their services available.

    • by Ksevio ( 865461 )
      A lot of ISPs seem to do that because they want to charge you a different price than the guy a street over without letting him know.

      Verizon makes you enter information down to the apartment number before listing prices, and even then it's all the bundles.
      Comcast shows subscribers a different homepage that doesn't have all the new deals just to make it a little more difficult.
  • I hate my local cable provider, and comes in a close second, god damn amazon prime made it unpissable to opt out of amazon prime, i went through the motions and jumped through the hoops and they still charged my credit card 70 bucks, i wrote a nasty email and they replaced my 70 bucks, one of these days i will cancel my cable TV/internet provider with joy, i will call them up and tell them i am NOT paying them for services anymore and canceling so they can pull the plug any time they w
  • First, oppose laws and homeowners associations and landlords and zoning that don't provide the ability to put up a TV antenna, and I mean a big one so's you can get TV signals from different cities. Then, put one up. No monthly charges ever again, and you can fix anything that goes wrong with it all by yourself. Get your movies over the innernetz and by mail via Netflix, and no, you don't NEED to watch Game of Thrones live as soon as it is aired. You can get the internet via a new satellite company c

    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      and how do you plan to get your free movies over the "innernetz" without doing business with the same monopolies? Who cares about cable TV. Its cable internet that doesn't have an alternative in most places. TV's easy to replace, the internet is getting close (not the same, but slowly creeping up) to being as important as electricity.

    • You can get the internet via a new satellite company called Excede, the only drawback to that being that it isn't responsive enough to do gaming over the internet. But you can download a whale of a lot of info.

      Not without running up against your monthly cap. Satellite caps are just slightly less oppressive than cellular caps.

  • by Gonoff ( 88518 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @08:38AM (#47055173)

    I have observed that you also are very enthusiastic about your hatred of your phone companies.
    If half the stories I hear are true, it is totally horrendous!

  • by AnontheDestroyer ( 3500983 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @09:10AM (#47055381)

    It's sad that the state of affairs in this country has us discussing the MERGER of two hated monopolies, rather than busting them up into overlapping pieces like they should.

    • They don't want to be broken up, but I may have located a compromise just Beyond Thunderdome:

      Two corps enter, One corp leaves.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun