The world’s two largest Internet service providers, AOL Time Warner, and Microsoft Corp.’s MSN, bottomed out in a customer satisfaction survey.
Released late last week, the survey of 1,640 dial-up modem users gave high marks to AT&T WorldNet, BellSouth Corp. and EarthLink (in which Apple has an investment) for overall satisfaction, according to an LA Times
article. Consumer Reports magazine conducted the survey.
MSN got the survey’s lowest overall rating because of dissatisfaction with e-mail, technical support and reliability of its dial-up connections, David Heim, Consumer Reports managing editor, said. Sixty percent of AOL users answering the survey reported an interruption in their connection during the previous month, the worst rating among all ISPs examined, Heim told the LA Times. Users of AOL-owned CompuServe rated it next worst for dropped connections.
However, just 33 percent of users of AT&T WorldNet and EarthLink services reported similar disconnections, he said. AT&T WorldNet was the top choice for connection speed and reliability and offered the best array of low-cost plans. Users also gave AT&T’s e-mail service the highest ratings, the Times added. Technical support assessments also favored the higher-rated providers.
The users in the survey reported choosing AOL — the world’s largest Internet service provider — primarily to communicate with friends and access its user-friendly Web browser, according to the LA Times. AOL also was also chosen for strong parental controls, added Consumer Reports. The magazine’s September issue will carry a full report of the survey.