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FiOS, U-Verse Tops In Customer Satisfaction: J.D. Power Survey

Verizon Communications Inc.'s FiOS and AT&T Inc.'s U-verse video services have jumped to the top of the regional customer satisfaction rankings, according to a J.D. Power survey, supplanting direct-broadcast satellite services as the traditional leaders and pushing incumbent cable providers further down the list.

According to findings of J.D. Power's "2008 Residential Television Service Satisfaction Study," AT&T came in on top in three regions: north central, west and south. In the east, Verizon was the top scoring provider. 

This survey result comes in a week when another research firm, CFI Group, released a satisfaction poll stating that the two telcos had too few subscribers to rank. But J.D. Power utilized a much bigger sample (18,938 v.1,318 in the CFI polling group).

Only WideOpenWest LLC, Insight Communications and Cox Communications Inc. came in higher than a telco or DBS provider. WOW was ranked second behind U-verse in the north central region, while Cox and Insight outranked Dish Network in that same region.Cox also came in fourth in the west region, behind U-verse, FiOS and DirecTV Inc. but ahead of Dish.

J.D. Power ranks providers on a 1,000-point scale based on consumer perceptions of overall customer satisfaction, performance and reliability, customer service, cost of service, billing,and offerings and promotions. 

This was the first year AT&T and Verizon have been included in the study. The report said both telcos score particularly well in the offerings and promotions category, especially with their bundled pricing options. They also graded well on performance and reliability, especially regarding picture clarity.

Overall, half of video customers buy their services in a bundle, with 19 of those triple-play buyers.DVR penetration als continues to rise, with 44% of those polled stating they use a DVR, an increase of the 38% reported in 2007.