In the past years the cable industry has witnessed two super mergers that made the major players redefine their game. The competition bars have been raised in terms of what the cable companies had to offer as Internet speeds and channel lineups.
Spectrum and Comcast Xfinity are the results of mega mergers that took place within the last five years. Charter used to be a small regional cable provider with limited access to high speed infrastructure. Now that is a thing of the past since
It had been acquired by Time Warner Cable and fused with Bright House Network.
Spectrum and Cox have seen a considerable growth throughout the past few years. Cox seems to have improved and committed to providing broadband speeds and better customer service experiences., while Charter has gained a larger national footprint.
Spectrum (Charter), Xfinity (Comcast) and Cox are all major cable providers offering similar packages and features with some small differences. How does one decide which one is the best?
When shopping for cable service provider you should check their customizable packages, the technological features supported, and obviously what’s written in fine print. Another important thing is to decide whether or not you are going to buy your own router for Comcast, Time Warner or Cox. You can save a lot of money in a long run with a small upfront investment rather than paying a rental fee to your ISP.
Nowadays most of those who try to choose a cable service provider are more concerned about the Internet speeds offered rather than the channel packages or lineups. The Internet has become a necessity, therefore it has priority over the rest of the services provided.
In order to help you have a better idea of their offerings, we made a comparison based on the internet services offered by these three cable service providers.
Comcast is certainly a winner when it comes to Internet speeds. Xfinity offers a speed range of 10 Mbps up to 300Mbps (download) and 2.0 Mbps up to 25 Mbps (upload).
Spectrum and Cox were known as the slowest top-tier providers in the nation. They lost a lot of customers to their competitors because of their lack of commitment to consistent speeds upgrades. Nowadays Spectrum’s services and TV packages are more accessible. Also the lack of broadband download cap is a big plus.
Currently Spectrum’s Internet service offers speeds of either 60 Mbps or 100 Mbps, which are great for streaming videos online, providing enough to support all the devices you have connected in your household. Though it doesn't reach Xfinity’s unmatched speeds.
As for Cox, it seems that he has improved his speed performance. In addition to a highly affordable 5 Mbps "Starter" tier, the company offers speed tiers of 15 Mbps, 50 Mbps, 100 Mbps, and 100 Mbps. These tiers are cheaper than Spectrum’s offering, largely due to the greater number of speed tiers overall. Cox speed range is from up to 15Mbps (Cox Internet Essential) to up to 300 Mbps (Cox Internet Ultimate)
It’s a challenging task to say who is the best cable provider. Comcast has the faster speeds, but they are more expensive than the rest of the competitors.. Cox has more affordable packages, but competes well with the low- and mid-range offered by Comcast. The only real winner is the customer who gets to benefit from having higher speeds at lower prices.
Channels and Packages
There is not a huge difference between the cable companies in terms of channel lineups and packages. They all offer a virtual list of channels, with Spectrum having the highest number of digital channels offered. Each one of the three companies has a basic cable plan, where only broadcast networks are offered to customers in exchange for a minimal monthly fee.
Spectrum is definitely a winner! It offers only three packages including far more channels, inclusions and a lower price than its competitors. In addition, the base tier includes all of the most popular broadcast and cable networks, while the base package offered by Comcast’s Xfinity includes only a bundle of channels. Spectrum’s mid-tier package includes HBO and Showtime.
As for Cox TV, their packages are pricier than what Spectrum has to offer.
Before signing up with any cable company, shop around, check online what is available in area, and decide what suits you best. Spectrum and Cox are more affordable than Comcast Xfinity, which might seem highly-priced. Cox and Spectrum offer great value packages and better prices, but keep in mind everything is local. It is normal that in competitive markets, prices are stable and accessible, while in a non-competitive market, the subscribers need to pay more and get less.
Here is the price range for:
● Comcast Xfinity - from $29.99 (Performance Starter) up to $59.99 (Blast! Pro) and $299.95 (Gigabit Pro)
● Spectrum - from $39.99( Charter Spectrum Internet) to $89.97 (Triple Play - includes TV, internet and Phone services)
● Cox - from $ 39.99 (Cox Internet Essential) to $89.99 (Cox Internet Ultimate)
As strange as it may sound, it appears that when it comes to customer support, none of cable companies is doing well. According to the recent rankings, it looks more like a “race to the bottom”. They are competing on who’s offering the worse service.
The company's’ policy of keeping the cost of customer support low, is detrimental to the business and also to the customers. Also the lack of longer customer support hours, employing outsourced customer agents, the language barrier are only a few of the problems that Spectrum and Xfinity customers complain about.
Unfortunately all of three cable companies (Comcast, Spectrum and Cox) offer a terrible customer service. Major customer satisfaction surveys shown that they need to improve their service. Though it will be fair to mention that in past years we noted that Cox and Spectrum ranked a few steps higher. That may be due to the domestic phone support offered by Cox, a complete installation experience, and in-home troubleshooting via its set top boxes and Cox approved modems that can address many issues.
It’s a good thing that most of the subscribers don’t base their choice on the company’s customer service reputation.
Spectrum is the only one who decided to focus more on the customer service experience. Spectrum has improved the installation process, troubleshooting and has come up with new package changes.
Xfinity struggles as well to improve its reputation from a customer service standpoint. Its new policies during the installation process are somehow better, but the customers are also left to deal with the language barrier and the unanticipated costs. Needless to say that this approach does not help changing company’s bad customer support experience.