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AOL and Comcast Top the MSN Money 2009 Customer Service Hall of Shame


USAA, Trader Joe’s and Netflix receive top customer service marks; financial institution rankings drop as discounters’ and supermarkets’ rankings rise during year of economic crisis.

REDMOND, Wash. - MSN Money today released its third annual Customer Service Hall of Shame and Hall of Fame survey results, finding that as the economy worsened this past year, so did Americans’ satisfaction with customer service from some of the nation’s top companies. The Customer Service Hall of Shame and Fame is a collaboration of MSN Money and polling firm Zogby International, which ranked 145 companies based on consumers’ customer service experiences. The survey was taken in late April 2009.

For the second year, AOL retained its crown as consumer’s top pick for worst customer service. The Internet service provider received “poor” marks on its customer service experience from nearly 45 percent of respondents. Cable provider Comcast was a close second with 41 percent of consumers rating their experience as “poor.”

“The annual MSN Money Hall of Shame and Hall of Fame survey gives people the opportunity to rant and rave about their retail and service experiences,” said Lisa Gurry, director, MSN Division of Microsoft. “Interestingly, in this economic climate, people praised companies that deliver great value, whether it’s low-cost entertainment or bulk food, while panning financial institutions.”

Banks and credit card issuers fared noticeably worse this year when it came to pleasing customers. Bank of America, Capital One and HSBC all made repeat appearances on the Customer Service Hall of Shame list. They were joined by the only new company on 2009’s list, Citibank, which replaced Cox Communications, the only company to drop off the list.

In addition to banks, telecommunication companies continued to be seen as poor customer service providers by consumers, with Sprint, Time Warner Cable and Qwest joining AOL and Comcast in the top 10. Abercrombie & Fitch was the only retailer on the list.

Customer Service Hall of Shame

No. 1 AOL

No. 2 Comcast

No. 3 Sprint

No. 4 Capital One

No. 5 Time Warner Cable

No. 6 HSBC

No. 7 Qwest

No. 8 Abercrombie & Fitch

No. 9 Bank of America

No. 10 Citigroup

Doing Things Right

On the flip side of the coin, discount retailers and supermarkets continued to satisfy the public with their customer service as six retailers were recognized in the Hall of Fame. Grocers, in particular, stood out — with Trader Joe’s, Publix, Whole Foods and Costco all being ranked among the nation’s best companies for customer service.

Customer Service Hall of Fame

No. 1 USAA

No. 2 Trader Joe’s

No. 3 Netflix

No. 4 Amazon

No. 5 Nordstrom

No. 6 Publix

No. 7 Whole Foods

No. 8 Apple Computer

No. 9 Costco

No. 10 Southwest Airlines

The MSN Money-Zogby International survey listed companies in 15 industries, which also included airlines, hotels, mail delivery outfits and online service providers. Survey respondents were asked if they had experience with each company’s customer service and, if so, to rate it “excellent,” “good,” “fair” or “poor.” Companies were ranked based on the percentage of opinion responses that were “poor.”

Each year, companies in the Hall of Shame are given the opportunity to respond to the survey. Consumers can find full rankings and a detailed breakdown of survey results at

About MSN and Windows Live

Overall, MSN, Windows Live and attract more than 550 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. MSN partnered with Control Room to stream Live Earth, one of the largest online entertainment events in history, with over 62 million streams worldwide. Most recently, Microsoft and BermanBraun Interactive partnered to create “Wonderwall,” a new innovative entertainment and celebrity content destination from MSN.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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