Long Island Power Authority, Northeast Utilities, Time Warner, Charter Among Worst for Customer Service

Pummeled by Hurricane Irene, Long Island Power Authority and Northeast Utilities received the worst ratings for consumer service, according to the latest results from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index.

The Long Island utility scored 58 out of 100 points, down seven points from 2011, as it was rated the worst for consumer service.

Northeast Utilities, ranked the second worst in the study, suffered the biggest ratings drop by far after leaving customers fuming due to long storm power outages, Business Insider said in a report.

Utilities, airlines and cable companies dominated the list but also included social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Here’s a snapshot of some companies on the list, along with ratings and excerpted comments by ACSI:

#1 Long Island Power Authority, Long Island, N.Y.
Rated 58/100; down 7 points from 2011
“This New York utility was also hit particularly hard by Hurricane Irene, with outages lasting up to a week. A comparatively small customer base combined with a disaster and outages helps puts them at the very bottom. The company also came under criticism for its performance during Hurricane Sandy (although that time period was not included in ACSI's latest rating).”

#2. Northeast Utilities, Berlin, Conn.
Rated 59/100; down 16 points from 2011.
“Customers of Northeast Utilities in New England saw massive outages from Hurricane Irene in 2011 and a heavy snowstorm in October of that year. There were outages that lasted as long as two weeks, and delays eventually forced the ouster of the CEO of one of the company's subsidiaries, Connecticut Light and Power. “

#3. Charter Communications, Stamford, Conn.
Rated 59/100; the lowest-rated TV company.
“The ACSI refers to Charter as a ‘perennial industry laggard’ in the already exceptionally poorly-rated subscription TV and cable space.”

#4 Comcast (Television service), Philadelphia
Rated 61/100; the second-lowest-ranked cable service.
“Comcast's cable business significantly lags its telephone services (which is listed separately), though both score low. Comcast had lost 400,000 subscription television subscribers as of August.”

#7. Time Warner Cable, New York
Rated 63/100; up 4 points from 2011.
“Part of Time Warner Cable's improvement might be the simple fact that the company is losing residential TV subscribers — 129,000 of them as of August — which means a smaller pool of more loyal subscribers. They did gain broadband customers over the same period though.”

#9. Cox Communications (Television Service), Atlanta
Rated 63/100; down 4 points from 2011
“Cox's customers and ratings suffered this year from higher rates and increased fees. Reliability concerns and the high cost of TV services keep the industry poorly rated despite it offering more options than ever.”

#13. Delta, Atlanta
Rated 65/100; up 9 points from 2011.
“Last year's bad score for Delta came after its merger with Northwestern, but the score improved somewhat after ironing out merger details and bringing more flights in on time. You can see the gain in its stock price.”

#15. Bank of America, Charlotte, N.C.
Rated 66/100. Down two points from last year, for BOA's worst rating in over a decade. The worst-rated big bank.
ACSI finds that customers are moving from large banks to smaller ones, and enjoying more personalized service and fewer fees.
Bank of America in particular may have seen its reputation suffer from fees; it was forced to drop a proposed debit card fee after widespread customer backlash.
That didn't stop it from testing out other fees earlier this year. 

Read the original article here.

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