The bad news is that once again cable companies rank as one of the industries consumers give relatively low marks to for customer service. On the bright side, cable’s score improved slightly over last year and there are industries that scored far worse.
 
The 37% of Harris Poll respondents who said cable is doing a bad job looks pretty good next to the 63% who said the same of tobacco companies. 60% gave bad scores to oil companies, followed by health insurance (58%) and managed care (54%). Also receiving low ratings: investment and brokerage firms (46%), car makers (45%), pharmaceuticals (45%) and banks (38%). Not surprisingly, car manufacturers saw their rating plummet 31 points in the past 12 months, banks dropped 24 points and investment firms shed 27 points. Other industries that have slipped include ISPs (-7 points).
 
Cable’s actually gained 3 points in the survey vs last year, with 54% saying it does a good job and 8% declining to answer (numbers don’t add up due to rounding). 67% of respondents said telephone companies are doing a good job. However, the telcos are slipping. While the industry is down just 2 points for ’09 vs ’08, it’s dropped 26 points since Harris’ first poll in 1997.
 
So which of the 20 industries surveyed are doing a good job? 92% gave high marks to supermarkets, hospitals (78%) and online search engines (76%). Packaged food and computer hardware/software companies scored 72%. Airlines showed the biggest improvement this year— up 16 points with 63% saying it does a good job.
 
Harris surveyed 1010 US adults by phone July 8-13, but only about 500 were asked about each industry.

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