When selecting an ISP, customers consider different factors like cost, speed, reliability, and service.Should they choose a local company or a larger nationwide provider?
Nothing is worse as a consumer than calling up an ISP to fix a problem and getting horrible customer service. A bad experience can harm business and cause untold PR damage by a disgruntled customer posting evidence on the Internet of terrible behavior. With so many different ISPs to choose from, companies know people have options and have started to work harder at building a reputation of good customer service. Comcast, for example, as one of the nation's largest cable providers, decided to rebrand itself in 2010 under the new Xfinity name in order to battle poor customer reviews.
SEE ALSO: Local ISP Versus A Big National ISP
What To Look For
What kind of help and support does the ISP offer? The best ones are easy to contact, whether by phone, chat, or email, and quick to respond with quality information. How many times have you set up a scheduled appointment, only to have the serviceman show up late or have the wrong request? Did they do a good job on the installation?
Are you getting the same speeds and service as advertised? Have they surprised you with charges that werent clearly explained? Do they have information available on the company website to help you troubleshoot problems yourself? Do they have a link to a FAQ or other support information? Is it easy to find? How fast did they respond to your request? If there was a problem, what kind of attitude did they have about it? Did they apologize, or fight you over it?
Fortunately, places like J.D. Power and Associates, PC Magazine, and ISP-review.com are around to keep track of customer concerns. Many reviews break down ISPs by location, as there arent a lot of nationwide providers and service depends on location. J.D. Power and Associates most recent listings for ISPs with best customer service by region include:
- North Central: 1) WOW!, 2) CenturyLink, 3) Cincinnati Bell, 4) Insight, 5) Time Warner Cable
- South: 1) Bright House Networks, 2) CenturyLink, 3) Cox, 4) Suddenlink, 5) Windstream
- East: 1) Cox, 2) Frontier, 3) Time Warner Cable, 4) AT&T, 5) Optimum.
- West: 1) Cox, 2) Time Warner Cable, 3) AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon, & Xfinity (tied)
Cox, Time Warner Cable, Optimum, AT&T, and Verizon also receive top marks in customer service on ISP-Review.com. Verizon, WOW!, Cox, Insight, and Optimum round out the top five in overall satisfaction according to PC Magazine.
As you can see, there are a couple companies like Time Warner, Cox, and CenturyLink that show up multiple times.
If you plan on switching providers based on horrible customer service experience, do some research first before switching. You dont want to end up with something worse than what youve already got. Ask around and check forums for nightmare stories and incompetence before making a decision.