INTERNET CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY 2022

In our annual customer satisfaction survey, we talked to over 5,000 internet users like you to find the best ISPs across the nation.

From gift cards to free subscriptions, internet service providers (ISPs) pull out all the stops to get you in the door when you’re signing up for a new plan. But which ISPs do the work to make you stick around?

For this year’s edition of CableTV.com’s annual internet customer satisfaction survey, we talked to internet subscribers across the nation to see how they really feel about their ISPs. Read on to see which providers offer the best customer service.

Overall customer satisfaction

Customer service ultimately boils down to one thing: do your customers like you or not?

Our polling showed that more often than not, name-brand ISPs like Verizon, AT&T, and Xfinity are name brands for a reason. With resources ranging from legions of call center employees to retail stores, these ISPs have the tools to solve your problem.

What is your overall satisfaction with your internet service?

CTV_Internet_Overall

Verizon held onto its spot as the best ISP in overall satisfaction for another year, while AT&T narrowly overtook Xfinity for our second-place spot.

For Verizon customers, the ISP’s excellent fiber network and no-contract service helped it maintain top billing against the competition.

It’s also why Verizon Fios earned the Editor’s Choice award in our fiber internet provider rankings.

What is your overall satisfaction with your internet service?

         

Provider                                                                                                                     Extremely or very satisfied
Verizon69%
AT&T64%
Xfinity62%
Spectrum57%
Cox55%
Sparklight55%
CenturyLink52%
Windstream51%
Frontier45%
Mediacom43%
RCN43%
Optimum42%
Suddenlink39%
Earthlink30%

How effective was your ISP at meeting your needs?

In this year’s customer satisfaction polling, we generally saw a split between national ISPs being strong performers and regional ISPs getting lackluster ratings. Big ISPs like Verizon, Xfinity, and AT&T can be far from perfect, but they’ll frequently have troubleshooting resources like 24/7 chat, retail stores, and technicians that you can turn to for help.

By comparison, smaller ISPs might be able to staff a call center only during regular business hours or have a limited help section on their website.

Hear from real Verizon customers

[Verizon provides] reliable service and I have not had any major issues. When we have had issues in the past, Verizon was quick to send someone to resolve the issue.

How enjoyable were your interactions with your ISP?

As these scores show, no one loves having to talk to their ISP if they don’t have to. Verizon took first place with a tepid 59% of polled customers, while AT&T and Xfinity followed by relatively narrow margins. But the best ISPs make it a relatively pain-free process.

Verizon lets you provide a callback number so you don’t have to wait on hold all day. AT&T has its phone numbers easily listed on its contact page. Xfinity’s customer service phone number isn’t publicly available on its site, but you can still get support through Xfinity’s chat, retail stores, and social media channels.

How easy was it to work with your ISP?

When you’re an ISP’s customer, more help resources are always better than fewer resources. For example, chat and phone bots are never fun to deal with, but they quickly send customers to the right department and keep you from hopscotching between customer support agents.

“There was a problem with my internet and I contacted the automated service telephone of AT&T,” wrote one customer. “Through that process it was determined the modem was faulty. A [technician] arrived the next day, even during the Covid lockdown and fixed the problem immediately. Very easy.”

How likely are you to recommend your ISP to a friend or colleague?

CTV_Internet_-Recommend_cleanup

These standings were largely the same as other poll questions although Verizon took first place over AT&T by a sizable 7% margin.

But one interesting point came from reversing the question: finding the customers who had such a bad experience with an ISP, they’d avoid recommending them to others.

Verizon’s sterling customer satisfaction scores continued here with only 12% of surveyed customers giving poor marks to the ISP, which was the second-best mark among our evaluated ISPs.

But more than 30% of Optimum and Suddenlink customers said they’d hardly recommend or would not recommend either ISP to others.

ISP employees certainly aren’t immune to the occasional bad day. But whether it’s through quick follow-up appointments or simply giving you enough apology monthly bill discounts, the best ISPs work to make things right before things go too far south.

By comparison, customers at our bottom-ranked ISPs were regularly left hanging. One common thread we saw among these respondents was how they were settling for an ISP due to a lack of local options.

Although single-ISP neighborhoods are generally rarer outside of rural areas, most places will have one or two cable ISPs and some older DSL providers. Ideally, you’ll have a decent fiber or cable ISP nearby that’ll service your address.

But if you’re stuck with a cable or DSL ISP with dismal customer service? Well, we’d understand the impulse to bad-mouth them online.

How likely are you to recommend your ISP to a friend or colleague?

 

ProviderCompletely or very likelyHardly or not at all
Verizon62%12%
AT&T55%17%
Xfinity52%20%
Sparklight47%15%
Spectrum47%22%
Cox46%24%
CenturyLink45%25%
Windstream43%19%
Frontier39%28%
RCN39%13%
Mediacom36%26%
Optimum34%30%
Suddenlink33%32%
Earthlink30%10%

How well did your ISP compare with the ideal?

Customers simply want a fast internet plan that works properly. Unsurprisingly, our best ISPs delivered when it comes to performance, cost, and consistency.

As with the ISP’s size, our survey results generally went hand-in-hand with the type of internet (fiber, cable, or DSL) that each ISP offers. Fiber internet offers the best performance for customers, while cable internet has wide availability and decent upload speeds. DSL internet is serviceable in a pinch, but it’ll be slower than cable or fiber internet.

Verizon and AT&T earned strong scores thanks to their stellar fiber internet plans, while cable ISPs Spectrum and Cox landed in fifth and sixth place. As primarily DSL providers, Frontier and Earthlink landed in the bottom third of our survey.

Features and functionality

Internet plans start with the price tag, but the top ISPs separate themselves from the pack by delivering on day-to-day requirements like fast download speeds and an internet connection that won’t drop out on you.

 

How satisfied are you with your internet speed?

Internet speed was one of the few subjects capable of shaking up our top standings. Xfinity and Verizon tied for first at 69%, while Spectrum managed to narrowly overtake AT&T for third place.

While AT&T’s fiber internet plans are great, much of its internet network is still DSL-based.

With DSL, your home’s maximum download speed depends on what the ISP supports locally and it’ll often be less than 100 Mbps. Frontier and CenturyLink are similar ISPs with growing fiber support and legacy DSL networks.

Cable and fiber ISPs don’t have the same speed ceiling as DSL plans, and most of our evaluated providers offer plans with download speeds of up to 940 Mbps.

But in practice, your internet can slow down if there’s a lot of network traffic in your neighborhood. Top ISPs like Xfinity, Verizon, and Spectrum manage their network traffic to ensure that your download speeds remain consistently high.

How satisfied are you with your internet speed?

 

ProviderExtremely or very satisfied
Verizon69%
AT&T64%
Xfinity62%
Spectrum57%
Cox55%
Sparklight55%
CenturyLink52%
Windstream51%
Frontier45%
Mediacom43%
RCN43%
Optimum42%
Suddenlink39%
Earthlink30%