Cable/Satellite Combined Drop In Customer Service Survey

DirecTV lead with a score of 71, up 4.4%; Cox was the top cable operator at a 66, up 4.8%

Overall, the cable and satellite industry dropped two percentage points to a 63 in the latest University of Michigan American Customer Satisfaction Index, but there were a number of bright spots.

DirecTV continued to lead the pack with a score of 71, up 4.4% over last year. Cox was the top cable operator for the sixth year in a row at a 66, up 4.8%. Dish was next at a 64, but that was down 1.5% from last year.

DirecTV extended its lead over Dish. The two were tied two years ago, the survey points out. But while DirecTV continued to grow, Dish dropped for the third year in a row.

But there may be a connection between their scores and the telecom companies they must partner with to offer bundled services. DIrecTV's partner, Verizon, is tops in its category in customer service satisfaction, while Dish's partner, Sprint Nextel, is at the bottom.

Comcast was fifth with a 59 (number two in the satellite and cable space, but that was up 9.3% over the year before, the biggest percentage jump in customer satisfaction in the category.)

"Comcast's recent efforts are paying off as the company is able to identify disgruntled customers and address customer dissatisfaction on a one-to-one basis," said the survey, pointing out that the company was using blogs and Twitter to identify disrgruntled customers. "They're really working at it," said a quality control executive for a competing operator.

Financially troubled Charter was at the bottom of the chart at a 51, a record low for any company in the history of the index (which is in its 15th year).

The index is an economic indicator based on customer evaluations of products and services, updated quarterly by the Michigan’s Ross School of Business in partnership with the American Society for Quality and CFI Group.