By Paul Carton
Andy Golub co-wrote this article.
A recent ChangeWave survey of 2,830 respondents finds that price is now the key issue when consumers decide to switch TV service providers.
Nearly one-in-two respondents (48%) who plan to switch their cable, satellite or fiber-optic TV provider in the next six months say price is the number one reason for their planned move.
That’s a big jump from last August, when only 37% of respondents cited price as their chief reason for switching.
Regardless of price, one segment of the industry continues to lead in terms of customer satisfaction by a country mile.
When respondents were asked how satisfied they are with their current TV service provider, 17% said Very Satisfied while 50% said they were Somewhat Satisfied. But when we broke it down by type of provider, the survey results showed fiber-optic TV services to be in a class by themselves.
Not only did fiber-optic customers give the highest marks to their TV service provider – with an industry leading 42% saying they were Very Satisfied – but that’s up 7-pts since a previous survey in August.
Satellite TV service providers garnered a 25% Very Satisfied rating from their customers, down 5-pts from previously. At the bottom of the spectrum were Cable service providers with a 12% Very Satisfied mark, unchanged from August.
Verizon's (NYSE:VZ) FiOS service tops the list in terms of having the highest percentage of customers who say they are Very or Somewhat Satisfied with their provider (92%). AT&T's (NYSE:T) U-Verse service comes in second (87%).
So who are the industry's big winners and losers when it comes to customer switching?
Certainly it's not the cable service providers – only 15% of customers who plan to switch services cited a cable provider as their next choice. The big industry winners, in a split decision, are the Fiber-optic (43%) and Satellite (41%) service providers.
At the company level, DIRECTV (26%) tops the list of providers that switchers plan to move to in the next 6 months.
Just behind, in a dead heat, are Verizon's FiOS (21%) and AT&T's U-Verse (21%) services.