Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, DirecTV, and Dish are at the bottom of the Harris Poll barrel.
Harris Interactive has published its 15th annual Harris Poll RQ (Reputation Quotient) Summary, and the results...well, I doubt many of you will actually be shocked.
The report includes information taken from 27,000 Americans, with the goal of ranking 100 of the most visible, high-profile companies in the U.S. Companies were graded via six categories: Social Responsibility, Emotional Appeal, Products & Services, Workplace Environment, Financial Performance, and Vision & Leadership. Those ranked at or near the top of the list are generally viewed as "good" by those polled by Harris, while companies at the bottom are not.
At the top? Grocery store chain Wegmans, which has been steadily expanding outside of its home region of Western New York (including my own state, Massachusetts). Wegmans was the only company of the 100 included that hit the top five in all six categories, which helped it bump Amazon out of the top spot. Amazon was still in the top ten at #2, as are Samsung (#3), Apple (#9), and Google (#10).
But what about the bottom of the list? Goldman Sachs was dead last at #100, but broadband ISPs and cable/TV providers were all over the bottom quarter of the list. Included are Comcast (#93), Dish Network (#98), Charter (#92), Time Warner (#85), and AT&T (#76). The question here: Is the "Time Warner" listed by Harris Time Warner Cable? Or is it Time Warner, the now-separated company that doesn't sell TV and Internet access, but does own properties like Cartoon Network, and Warner Bros.? Given the service-focused nature of the poll, I think it very well could be the former. (And Time Warner is often used to describe Time Warner Cable, which would explain its place on the list.)
Verizon is one of the few telecom companies outside the bottom 25, ranking at #66.
This is not the first time an independent poll has painted the cable/telecom industries in a negative light. The ASCI has shown that customer satisfaction is at an all-time low, so this latest public perception poll is adding fuel to an already-blazing fire. And such perception could end up playing a key role in how the fight over net neutrality rages on in the eyes of the public, the political machine, and the court system.