High Costs and Poor Customer Service Are Top Cable Complaints, Survey Shows

Cable TVRecently, Consumer Reports shared the results of a survey they conducted among their members, giving insight into those individuals’ opinions on pay TV services. Cost, including unexpected fees and post-promotional pricing increases, along with poor customer service were two areas that respondents named as causes for dissatisfaction.

While those surveyed showed frustration with pay TV services, 77% said that they still subscribe to a traditional pay TV service. Among those, 20% said they were very or extremely likely to drop that service within the next year. And 62% cited rising rates as their reason for considering cutting the cord.

“With the proliferation of add-on fees, it’s nearly impossible for consumers to find out the full cost of a cable package before they get locked into a contract—and cable companies count on this,” says Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumer Reports. “These confusing, often misleadingly named charges continue to drive up consumer bills, even if you lock in a promotional rate.”

The survey also asked about streaming services, and again, cost was a motivating factor in either keeping or dropping services. Of the respondents who are currently subscribed to a live TV streaming service (with Sling TV and AT&T TV NOW named specifically), 15% said they were highly likely to cancel their subscription within the next year.

Of members who responded, 22% said they use an antenna to get free OTA channels on at least one TV in their home, which is in-line with responses focusing on saving money through cord cutting.

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