And the Most Disliked Companies in America are…

…Internet Service Providers (ISPs). According to a recently released study by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, ISPs are even more disliked than airlines. ISPs get a score of 62 with airlines coming in at 73. And in case you’re wondering, Breweries top the list with a score of 85.

So why are ISPs so disliked? Everyone knows they are pseudo-monopolies and horrendous ISP service is legendary, but why has service gone so far down hill? I think the real problem is that most ISPs have morphed from delivering a single-product (Internet bandwidth) into providers of phones, television broadcasting, security services, email, and a host of other services. And now with the Internet-of-Things becoming a reality, we’re not far from a typical home having literally hundreds of devices becoming inoperable if the ISP isn’t doing their job.

Quite frankly, many ISPs aren’t even close in keeping up with the substantial support needs that accompany all these applications.

And some ISPs argue that it isn’t their responsibility anyway. For example, some ISPs believe that just because you purchased phone service from them doesn’t mean they are responsible for phone hardware or software. This hair-splitting philosophy may technically make some sense but it drives end-users crazy.

But there’s relief coming and it’s called 5G. This new wireless technology is currently being built-out by wireless network providers like AT&T, Verizon, and the soon-to-be-merged T-Mobile and Sprint. It’s about 100 times faster than 4G wireless networks so will be able about five times faster than the average ISP speed of 60 Mbps. This means real competition for traditional ISPs and they will need to step up their service and adjust their pricing.