Best Rated Internet Provider In My Area – From idle phone calls to movie nights, an internet plan is more important than ever. But with costs rising everywhere these days, is your Internet Service Provider (ISP) keeping up the low end?
For this year’s edition of the annual Internet Customer Satisfaction Survey, we spoke with Internet customers across America to see how they really feel about their ISPs. Read on to see which providers offer the best customer service.
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The top ISPs in 2023 for customer satisfaction are Google Fiber, Verizon Fios and AT&T. All three ISPs have great fiber internet plans, no annual price increases and great customer service.
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Among cable ISPs, Xfinity, Astound Broadband, Cox and Spectrum led the pack for customer satisfaction. In our survey, the four ISPs were generally behind fiber Internet providers, but most customers were satisfied with their service.
Traditionally, customers were stuck with large ISPs like Xfinity or Spectrum unless they were near a major city. But that conventional wisdom is changing, as 12% of respondents said they use a local and regional ISP or mobile data network for home Internet service. In last year’s survey, only 7% of respondents used alternative ISPs.
While the change is not dramatic, it is important to align it against industry-wide trends such as ISPs that accept no-contract or flat-rate pricing. Before, customers had to learn to live with an ISP because they were the only option in town. But with increased competition, some ISPs are starting to speed up the pot to attract customers.
On paper, 5G home internet could be a major threat to cable ISPs, as it is designed to be cheaper than cable internet and considerably faster for general internet use. But currently, fixed wireless access (FWA) services such as 5G home internet are still separate products.
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In our survey, only 2% of respondents said they are using 4G or 5G data networks for home internet, and this trend extends to 5G home internet providers. As of Q3 2022, T-Mobile has approximately 1.5 million FWA customers while Verizon has approximately 621,000 residential FWA customers. By comparison, Xfinity has approximately 30 million residential cable Internet customers.
That said, both T-Mobile and Verizon continue to invest heavily in their 5G home internet services, and we’ll see if they gain significant traction in the future. As of this writing, Verizon is offering a 10-year price guarantee for new 5G home internet customers, and T-Mobile is offering significant discounts on home internet for smartphone customers.
Across the board, rural Internet customers were less satisfied with their ISPs than urban and suburban customers.
Typically, rural Internet customers must settle for older DSL or satellite Internet networks with lower download speeds and reliability. Groups like the Federal Communications Commission have launched rural Internet investment programs like the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, but these initiatives still have a long way to go.
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Customer satisfaction means many things to customers and ISPs. Is your internet fast and reliable? Can your ISP solve your technical problems quickly when you have internet problems?
Our survey showed that ISPs like Verizon and AT&T know what they’re doing when it comes to the Internet. But regional providers like Google Fiber have also shown us that good service isn’t limited to the biggest ISPs.
The top ISPs for customer satisfaction are Google Fiber, Verizon Fios, and AT&T. Google Fiber narrowly beat out Verizon for our number one spot this year and knocked Xfinity out of the top three in the process.
Xfinity’s drop in the rankings isn’t necessarily Xfinity’s fault, as Xfinity actually saw a 7% increase in fully satisfied customers compared to last year’s survey. But regional ISPs like Metronet and Windstream have made great strides in customer satisfaction and joined our top tier of providers this year.
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Google Fiber and Verizon Fios retained their top rankings, but Midwest-based fiber ISP Metronet knocked AT&T out of the top three spots.
Based on size alone, Google Fiber and MetroNet should outperform the major ISPs with storefront networks and nationwide call centers. But good customer service ultimately comes down to strong customer communication and short turnaround times. Despite their smaller brands, Google Fiber and MetroNet deliver as well as Verizon Fios for customer service.
We have a very reliable internet service with Metronet. We have only had one break with them in two years. The outage spanned three states. The best thing Metronet does is communicate with its customers and let them know what’s going on. Very good upload and download speed.
As in previous years, our survey results were generally consistent with the type of internet provided by an ISP.
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Fiber ISPs landed at the top of our survey (with the notable exception of Pacific Northwest-based Zippy Fiber), cable ISPs covered the middle range, and satellite ISPs occupied the bottom tiers. Fiber internet offers the best internet performance, cable internet offers consistent internet speeds and satellite internet is best used for rural internet customers.
This trend highlights a simple fact for ISPs – when it comes to internet service, customers just want a fast plan that doesn’t crash. Customers of ISPs that can check both boxes are the happiest.
A more noticeable trend from this year’s survey is customers who have switched from major to regional ISPs—these customers are part of the other ISP category.
The large number of ISPs makes it difficult to track regional ISP trends, but in general, regional ISP customers like their service. 73% of regional ISP customers surveyed had their expectations fully or largely met, and only 9% were very disappointed. Regional ISPs outperformed lower-tier ISPs like Optimum and CenturyLink by a significant margin.
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When you have internet problems, can you talk to a real person quickly or will you wait all afternoon for a call? No one likes to troubleshoot Internet setup, but the best ISPs know how to minimize the hassle.
Google Fiber, Verizon Fios, and Metronet are the best ISPs for customer support. With all three ISPs, you’ll find 24/7 support options to help you resolve any troubleshooting issues.
As for last year’s winners, AT&T narrowly missed out on the top three. But increased competition from Astound Broadband and Cox dropped Spectrum from third to eighth among large providers.
The best ISPs for customer service offer strong support resources and multiple ways to get in touch. At ISPs like Xfinity, Spectrum, and Verizon, you can drop off the device at local retail stores and quickly chat with chat agents via social media or a support site.
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Of course, the retail store and chat options don’t guarantee you’ll get great customer service. Astound Broadband had the second highest percentage of dissatisfied respondents, falling in the bottom quarter of the top ISPs in our survey.
While regional ISPs like Metronet made up the top half of our survey, larger ISPs like Verizon Fios, AT&T, and Xfinity dominated the results. Major ISPs are far from perfect, but with resources such as on-call technicians, networks of retail stores, and extensive support websites, they can resolve support issues on a more consistent basis.
Viasat customer service is terrible. They overcharged us, made us sign a 2 year contract and have frequent connection issues. Their techs are polite and helpful, but the people we called and talked to were very disappointing.
The Internet is rarely free, and between ISP gimmicks like contracts and annual price increases, the price you sign up for may not be the price you get. But which ISPs offer the best deals on home Internet service?
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Given the quality of your ISP’s Internet service, how would you rate the price you pay for it?
As for the other ISPs, Verizon Fios barely made it out of the top three by a narrow margin of 1%. The trend between internet type and customer satisfaction repeats itself here, as fiber ISPs like Metronet and Verizon Fios led our survey results.
It’s a testament to Google Fiber’s quality that the ISP led our survey by a good margin, despite prices starting at $70. While not the cheapest fiber ISP, Google Fiber has excellent speeds, excellent reliability, and no fine print pricing gimmicks.
Customers like ISPs with simple pricing and really dislike ISPs with high prices or unclear pricing models. For example, one of the most common price moves by ISPs is a promotional price the first year followed by a large price increase the second year.
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Surprisingly, ISPs that use this pricing approach come in the bottom half of our survey results. With providers like Spectrum and Optimum, it’s possible to pay $100 a month for non-premium internet service. Between dealing with churn and unhappy customers, it’s no wonder why fiber ISPs and customers alike prefer flat-rate pricing.
I have had spectrum issues for years. I have internet, TV and phone service with them. . . The biggest complaint is that the prices of all spectrum services go up every year, but the services don’t get better! The spectrum will soon cost itself out of my budget!
Given your initial expectations, how would you rate the price you pay for your ISP’s Internet services?
Underpromising and overdelivering apply to major ISPs
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