Welcome!

News Feed Item

Consumer Reports' Survey Finds Telecom Providers Get Sub-Par Ratings For Value

Verizon-FiOS is tops among nationally-distributed triple-play service providers;92 percent of those who tried to negotiate a better bundled package got a deal

YONKERS, N.Y., March 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Despite spending an average of $1,848 annually on in-home telecom services, consumers aren't convinced it's money well spent.  The latest subscriber survey on telecom providers from the Consumer Reports National Research Center found almost universally low ratings for value across services – especially for TV and Internet.

Those who bundled the services for a discount still seemed unimpressed with what they were getting for the money. Even top-rated regional provider WOW and nationally-distributed Verizon FiOS, which both got high marks for service satisfaction, rated middling or lower for value.

"Our latest report on telecom services revealed that very few consumers think they're getting a great deal, in part because of soaring prices and confusing bills," said Glenn Derene, Electronics Editor for Consumer Reports. "But the last thing consumers should do is be passive. Even though some companies are cracking down on serial negotiators, there's really no downside to haggling."

The full report on in-home telecom services can be found in the May issue of Consumer Reports and online at ConsumerReports.org.   Based on the experiences of 81,848 Consumer Reports readers, it features tips and advice to help consumers save money on their telecom services and select the best providers.

Verizon FiOS was the top national provider in overall customer satisfaction among bundled (Internet, TV, phone) telecom service providers, according to the survey.  But while Verizon stood out for service satisfaction and received the highest ratings for reliability across all three services, its subscribers had more billing complaints than average.

WOW, a regional cable company, was the overall top-scoring bundled telecom provider. It also received high marks for all services. SuddenLink and Bright House Networks were other regional companies that received higher-than-most satisfaction scores for bundles.

A positive finding from the survey was that consumers of telecommunications services are becoming more savvy negotiators.  Ninety-two percent of respondents who attempted to negotiate a better bundle package got some sort of deal. Among the hagglers, 46 percent said their provider dropped their price by as much as $50 per month, 44 percent got a new or extended promotional rate, 33 percent received additional channels, and 16 percent got discounted or free equipment.

Companies have been talking tough about cracking down on serial negotiators, but there's no good reason not to haggle. Here are Consumer Reports' tips on how to do it right:

  • Ask for a better deal. It might sound obvious, but the first step is to call customer service and say your bill is too high.
  • Fight price hikes. Even if your promotion has expired, ask whether you qualify for a new one. Forty-three percent of Consumer Reports subscribers in that situation negotiated a new discount.
  • Check out the competition. If your requests fall on deaf ears, see what other local providers are offering new customers, then ask your current provider to match it.
  • Threaten to disconnect. Still no luck? Call to say you're planning to cancel your service because it costs too much.
  • Be ready to walk. At some point, you may have to switch if you can't get what you want.

The Consumer Reports telecom services report features Ratings of bundles from 14 providers, along with individual phone, TV, and Internet services from several more providers. The full report can be found in the May issue of Consumer Reports, and online at ConsumerReports.org.

About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications.   Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

MARCH 2014
The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves.  We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®, ConsumerReports.org® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.

SOURCE Consumer Reports

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
There are 66 million network cameras capturing terabytes of data. How did factories in Japan improve physical security at the facilities and improve employee productivity? Edge Computing reduces possible kilobytes of data collected per second to only a few kilobytes of data transmitted to the public cloud every day. Data is aggregated and analyzed close to sensors so only intelligent results need to be transmitted to the cloud. Non-essential data is recycled to optimize storage.
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
After more than five years of DevOps, definitions are evolving, boundaries are expanding, ‘unicorns’ are no longer rare, enterprises are on board, and pundits are moving on. Can we now look at an evolution of DevOps? Should we? Is the foundation of DevOps ‘done’, or is there still too much left to do? What is mature, and what is still missing? What does the next 5 years of DevOps look like? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by DevOps Summit Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists l...
In their Live Hack” presentation at 17th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty and Paul Fletcher, Chief Security Evangelists at Alert Logic, provided the audience with a chance to see a live demonstration of the common tools cyber attackers use to attack cloud and traditional IT systems. This “Live Hack” used open source attack tools that are free and available for download by anybody. Attendees learned where to find and how to operate these tools for the purpose of testing their own IT infrastructure. The...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
The modern software development landscape consists of best practices and tools that allow teams to deliver software in a near-continuous manner. By adopting a culture of automation, measurement and sharing, the time to ship code has been greatly reduced, allowing for shorter release cycles and quicker feedback from customers and users. Still, with all of these tools and methods, how can teams stay on top of what is taking place across their infrastructure and codebase? Hopping between services a...
Virtualization over the past years has become a key strategy for IT to acquire multi-tenancy, increase utilization, develop elasticity and improve security. And virtual machines (VMs) are quickly becoming a main vehicle for developing and deploying applications. The introduction of containers seems to be bringing another and perhaps overlapped solution for achieving the same above-mentioned benefits. Are a container and a virtual machine fundamentally the same or different? And how? Is one techn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,
Interoute has announced the integration of its Global Cloud Infrastructure platform with Rancher Labs’ container management platform, Rancher. This approach enables enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation and infrastructure investments. Matthew Finnie, Interoute CTO commented “Enterprises developing and building apps in the cloud and those on a path to Digital Transformation need Digital ICT Infrastructure that allows them to build, test and deploy faster than ever before. The int...