The Association of U S West Retirees



Customer service survey frowns on Comcast, Qwest, Dish
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Thursday, May 29, 2008

Colorado has the notorious distinction of being a hub of sorts for companies perceived as doling out poor customer service.

At least that’s according to this year’s edition of Zogby-MSN’s Customer Service Hall of Shame.

Comcast, the state’s leading cable TV provider, placed No. 2 in the Hall of Shame.  Denver-based Qwest ranked fifth.  And Douglas County-based Dish Network came in 14th.

Zogby polled more than 7,000 consumers nationwide, asking them to rate their experiences as “excellent,” “good,” “fair” or “poor” with 140 major companies in 14 industries ranging from telecommunications to retail.  The survey was conducted online.

Some 42 percent of respondents rated Comcast’s service as poor and only 5 percent as excellent.  Only AOL fared worse.

“We are clearly disappointed in the survey results,” said Cindy Parsons, Comcast Colorado spokeswoman.  “Earlier this year, we redoubled our efforts to improve the customer experience and have begun fundamentally changing the way we do business to improve customer satisfaction.”

Thirty-four percent of the respondents familiar with Qwest rated the telco’s service as poor and only 9 percent as excellent.

Qwest referred to a statement it gave an MSN Money reporter:  “Qwest is committed to the Spirit of Service, and always strives to put the customer experience first.  Over the past few years, Qwest has made significant improvements in this competitive service business as evidenced by its top ranking in national customer service surveys and reports.”

Dish, which has openly acknowledged its customer-service issues in recent months, was rated poor by 27 percent and excellent by 15 percent.  Said Dish spokeswoman Francie Bauer, “We realize we are not at the standard that we set for ourselves, and we are making major investments to improve.”

One of Qwest’s shareholders chimed in about the company’s customer service last week at the telco’s annual meeting in Denver.

Joe Halpern, president of the Colorado-Wyoming chapter of the Association of U S West Retirees, told Qwest CEO Ed Mueller that he had experienced an increase in his bill and called the company’s customer service folks to find out why.  He said Qwest bills are impossible to decipher.

While the customer service people were “very cordial,” Halpern said, “they aren’t very knowledgeable.”