JD Power: HSD satisfaction falls due to cost, competition

If cable is hoping to use its broadband service to recover or at least retain subscribers who are slipping off to watch TV and other entertainment via the Internet, it better be sure its broadband prices are right and that it offers a reliable product. That's the gist of the latest customer survey conducted by marketing maven J.D. Power & Associates, which determined overall customer satisfaction went down this year due to "declines in satisfaction with cost of service and offerings and promotions."

Cable has been touting its broadband service as the glue that keeps the majority of its subs and their money in the fold. According to J.D. Power, though, subs are increasingly less satisfied with what they're getting. Overall satisfaction with residential HSD service scored 634 on a scale of 1,000-down five points from 2009. The biggest cause for dissatisfaction is cost, which dropped 12 points to 584.

"Although product performance is most important in retaining customers, the top reason they switch providers is cost-related," Frank Perazzini, J.D. Power's telecommunications director said in a news release. "With price being key to retaining customers, providers must establish that their pricing is competitive and their service is a good value."

Speaking of which, it also appears that competition is the best way to improve satisfaction. The happiest consumers (665) had five options from which to choose; the unhappiest (556) had one.

The regional breakdown mixed cable and telcos for satisfaction. In the East, Cablevision Systems' (NYSE: CVC) Optimum Online led with a 659 score, barely topping Verizon (NYSE: VZ). In the South it was Verizon (675) ahead of EarthLink (Nasdaq: ELNK) (672). In North Central, WOW! scored 722, well ahead of Cincinnati Bell (NYSE: CBB) at 674; and in the West, Cox Communications was on top at 659, followed by Cable One (646).

For more:
- see this news release

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