Drama Over Banking: Netflix Liked More Than BofA, Chase

Debt collectionThe online video stalwart may have an advantage in the public opinion arena. It didn’t have to take a government bailout and its executives aren’t associated with Wall Street’s elite.
Nonetheless, customers feel much better about their Netflix than their big banks: particularly Bank of America and Chase, according to the latest report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).
Overall, ACSI reported that its index is largely unchanged, dipping a mere 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter to 75.9, compared to the previous quarter, on a 100-point scale. The index remains “much higher” than before the recession, but only slightly higher than one year ago.
The country’s largest banks scored on the low end: BofA with 67; Chase a 68.  To the high end is e-commerce and its top favorite Netflix with a score of 87.
Consumer spending is vital to the economic recovery and high levels of customer satisfaction generally fuels increases in spending, ACSI asserts in its study of various economic sectors. 
“As long as unemployment remains high and credit tight, it is difficult to see how we can get to a sustainable pace of consumer spending growth,” said Professor Claes Fornell, head of the ACSI and author of “The Satisfied Customer: Winners and Losers in the Battle for Buyer Preference. ”
Overall, banks held steady on the customer satisfaction index with a score of 75, although the two largest banks — Bank of America and Chase — “face a challenging customer environment with significant drops in satisfaction,” ACSI said.
Customer satisfaction with Bank of America fell 8 percent in the fourth quarter to its industry low of 67, with Chase falling 7 percent to its 68 score.
Smaller banks fared better, with their aggregate score unchanged for a third year at 80. One year after acquiring Wachovia, Wells Fargo improved 1 percent to 73 — best among the large banks.
In the sector of e-commerce, well-known names scored much better. The ACSI score for overall e-commerce went up 1.8 percent to 81.4 in the fourth quarter, nearly matching its all-time high. The Internet retail portion of e-commerce improved 1.2 percent to 83.
The online video leader Netflix led in the retail category, climbing 2 percent to its 87 score.  Netflix “has seen sizeable increases in its subscriber base, revenues and stock price over the past year,” ACSI reported. Amazon (unchanged) and Newegg (down 2 percent) are also strong performers with high scores of 86.
“Overall, online shopping continues to grow and provide higher levels of customer satisfaction,” Fornell said.

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