These Two Charts Show the Severity of Comcast’s Customer Service Conundrum

It's as bad as you think.

Most of what we know about Comcast’s seemingly legendary customer service woes is anecdote-driven. Every other week, it seems, we get a new story about a guy losing his house or his job or even his good name because of the company. Now we have some data to back up what all those anecdotes are telling us: Comcast is really unpopular.

Here are two new charts, created by SurveyMonkey and reported by CNET, that show the depths of the company’s problem:

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There’s not much good news here, so let’s note the obvious: Among cable and telecommunications providers, ain’t nobody keeping the customers happy: The benchmark net “customer loyalty” rating among the five companies rated? Negative 17 points! (That means, on net, more people want to get away from their cable companies than stick with them.) That’s awful, but it’s not different than what we already knew: People hate their cable companies.

But they hate Comcast the most: The company has a customer loyalty rating of negative 50 points — tied only by Time Warner Cable. Which, incidentally, is the company that Comcast is trying to merge with right now.

The customer loyalty rating is a bit nebulous, though, a clearer picture of Comcast’s standing is probably found in the second chart. No company had as many as 50 percent of its customers express satisfaction, but Comcast was far and away the laggard — with just a 26 percent customer satisfaction rate; even Time Warner had a 37 percent customer satisfaction rating.

Why does this matter? After all, Comcast has always had these problems and yet still grown to new heights of profitability. So what? But that growth is the point: The company is now big enough that any move it makes will attract ever-increasing levels of scrutiny from state and federal officials; the scrutiny is generally softer if your company is at least a little bit popular.

CNET notes: “These numbers were generated in the fourth quarter of 2014. They represent more than 5,000 adults in SurveyMonkey’s so-called Audience, which was polled to offer its views on certain brands.”