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?

Satisfaction ratings for CTV internet customer survey

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?

Swipe Left to See All →
ProviderExtremely 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?

Recommend ratings for CTV internet customer survey

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?

Swipe Left to See All →
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.

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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 ratings for CTV internet customer survey

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?

Swipe Left to See All →
ProviderExtremely or very satisfied
Xfinity69%
Verizon69%
Spectrum65%
AT&T64%
Cox61%
Sparklight58%
Windstream53%
Mediacom50%
CenturyLink49%
Suddenlink49%
Optimum47%
Frontier46%
RCN43%
Earthlink32%

How satisfied are you with your ISP’s rentable modem/hardware?

Many ISPs offer rentable modems or combo modem/wireless routers along with internet service. While we typically recommend buying your own equipment versus getting a rental, a rental can be convenient if you’d prefer to have your ISP deal with any hardware troubleshooting.

The best rentable wireless gateways offer value beyond simply being a router or modem. Cox’s Panoramic Wifi Gateway is a slick white box that’ll discreetly fit in on a bookshelf or counter, while the Xfinity xFi Gateway integrates with other Xfinity services and hardware.

Of course, free things never hurt either—Verizon bundles a free router and Wi-Fi extender if you upgrade to its Gigabit Connection plan.

How satisfied are you with your ISP’s installation and setup process?

In most cases, your internet setup process will just require you to plug in your router and modem. ISPs like Xfinity and Spectrum have in-depth tutorials and videos that’ll walk you through the entire process.

But in some situations, you might need to have a technician install hardware in your home or turn on your service. Our top ISPs make this process simple with easy appointment scheduling and support options. Verizon even waives its installation charge when you order Verizon Fios service online.

How satisfied are you with your ISP’s customer support?

Customer support ratings for CTV internet customer survey

This question was one of the few times Xfinity fell out of the top three ISPs. As with its middling results on our “would you recommend this ISP?” question, Xfinity’s slightly higher dissatisfaction mark reflects how much goes into good customer support.

Although Xfinity’s fourth-place finish came by a narrow 1%, it had the second-highest dissatisfied customer mark among our top ISPs.

Good customer service doesn’t just mean an ISP that quickly gets a truck to your house or solves a billing problem—the best ISPs can do that on a consistent basis.

(That said, Xfinity is doing fine compared to Suddenlink and its bottom-ranked 32% customer support dissatisfaction rating.)

Good customer support takes a lot of forms, whether it’s a support webpage that’s easy to navigate or phone agents who can quickly and professionally respond to your questions.

How satisfied are you with your ISP’s customer support?

Swipe Left to See All →
ProviderCompletely or very satisfiedHardly or not at all satisfied
Verizon65%12%
AT&T62%14%
Spectrum59%12%
Xfinity58%16%
Cox57%17%
Sparklight57%8%
Windstream51%15%
CenturyLink50%20%
Frontier46%21%
Mediacom46%20%
Optimum41%25%
RCN40%12%
Suddenlink38%32%
Earthlink24%17%

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Pricing and subscriptions

In this section, our results generally followed the same through line: how much am I paying for internet? Too much! How much should I be paying for internet? Way less!

But jokes aside, the best ISPs know what it takes to make you feel like you’re getting a deal on your monthly internet. For customers, no-nonsense moves like straightforward pricing and a bill that doesn’t require a law degree to understand go a long way.

Given your initial expectations, how would you rate the price that you pay for your service?

Although Verizon and AT&T maintained their position on the top of our rankings, CenturyLink narrowly snuck into our top three for the first time, albeit by tying with Spectrum and by eking out a 1% lead over Xfinity.

But it’s worth breaking down each provider’s fine print (or lack thereof) to understand these survey results.

CenturyLink streamlined its internet offerings: you’ll get one DSL plan or two fiber internet plans and won’t have to deal with data caps, annual price increase, or contracts. Although Spectrum’s internet plans typically have a second-year price increase (you’ll get a cheaper promotional price for your first year), it still offers most of the same benefits as CenturyLink.

By comparison, Xfinity’s standard plans come with data caps, price increases, and contracts. When customers have the choice, they’ll always prefer an internet plan—as with AT&T and Verizon— that has fast speeds and a price that stays the same.

Given the quality of your service(s), how would you rate the price that you pay for them?

Pay less ratings for CTV internet customer survey

CenturyLink, Cox, and Xfinity all tied for fourth place in our survey, while Spectrum barely took third place over the three competitors by a narrow 1%.

Given how overwhelmingly meh most of our respondents felt, one of our key takeaways was that customer satisfaction generally aligned with their type of internet service.

A typical customer prefers paying $50 for a 300 Mbps fiber internet connection that rarely fails versus a 50 Mbps DSL connection that regularly goes out.

Given the quality of your service(s), how would you rate the price that you pay for them?

Swipe Left to See All →
ProviderExcellent or good given the qualityPoor or terrible given the quality
Verizon56%11%
AT&T54%16%
Spectrum47%21%
CenturyLink46%20%
Cox46%24%
Xfinity46%21%
Sparklight42%16%
Frontier39%26%
Windstream39%17%
RCN38%13%
Mediacom32%31%
Optimum32%29%
Suddenlink32%32%
Earthlink26%12%

Given competitors’ prices, how would you rate the price that you pay for your service(s)?

With the number of national and regional ISPs on the market today, we’ve thankfully seen internet prices become a bit more consistent. Generally, you should pay between $20 and $40 for a basic 50–200 Mbps internet plan, $40 and $60 for a 200–600 Mbps mid-tier plan, and more than $60 for a 600–940 Mbps high-end plan.

Our polling results largely aligned with these price brackets. Verizon and AT&T maintained their leading positions thanks to competitive pricing and no scheduled price increases. Providers like Spectrum and Cox were accordingly dinged for internet prices that were higher than the competition.

Hear from real Spectrum customers

I think Spectrum is a reliable internet/cable company, but I think [the] price is a little steep, and it continues to increase. I completely understand supply and demand, but it is hard to pay. I also think they do a phenomenal job at trying to fix internet or cable problems over the phone with the consumer, and the instructions are great.

How likely are you to continue to subscribe to your service(s)?

Good ISPs know what it takes to keep customers around while bad ISPs will regularly churn through customers.

For an ISP like Verizon, which faces competition from providers including Spectrum and Optimum, its strong polling here is a testament to its customer loyalty (and/or how much customers dislike the competition).

How likely are you to increase the amount you purchase from your service(s)?

Pity the ISP employees tasked with selling plan upgrades.

AT&T led our polling with a meager 39% of respondents who said they would likely upgrade their internet plan, while nearly half of polled Xfinity and Cox customers ruled out an upgrade or called it unlikely. Both ISPs regularly use contracts, which likely incentivizes customers to lock down their order from the start.

Surprisingly, this trend isn’t coming from cord-cutters who need to support more home 4K streams. 45% of respondents bundled internet and TV, while 25% of respondents had separate internet and cable TV providers.

But thanks to the number of streaming, satellite, and cable TV options available today—along with landline phones going the way of the dodo—customers aren’t locked to their existing provider whenever they want to upgrade their service plan.

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Final take

The best ISPs know that customers simply want internet plans that they don’t have to worry about. From excellent customer service to straightforward no-contract pricing, top ISPs like Verizon, AT&T, and Xfinity consistently delivered high-quality internet service to customers this year.

Past customer satisfaction surveys

Methodology

We surveyed more than 5,000 folks about their internet. Our sample reflected broader US demographics (i.e., gender, race, etc.) and was analyzed using prevailing industry standards. If you have follow-up questions or would like to see the full results, please feel free to email us with your request at pr@cabletv.com.

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