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A new report says Canadians pay on average $164 a month for cable, Internet and phone packages. (Noraznen Azit/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
A new report says Canadians pay on average $164 a month for cable, Internet and phone packages. (Noraznen Azit/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Happy with your cable company? New report takes consumers’ temperature Add to ...

Canadians pay an average of $165 a month for bundled packages that offer Internet, television and phone services according to a study by J.D. Powers Canada.

The research company released two reports today, which gauge customer satisfaction for both television and Internet subscribers in the country. It found almost 83 per cent of television subscribers get their Internet from the same company that delivers their television.

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That’s an important number for Canadian cable and satellite companies, who are beginning to see users opt out of traditional packages in favour of less expensive online alternatives. But those using the online services such as Netflix must download a great deal of data, which helps the companies make up for television losses with the Internet offerings.

“We believe that broadband video consumption will continue to grow,” said David Purdy, Rogers Communication Inc.’s senior vice-president of content, in a recent interview. “It’s good news for Rogers shareholders because that means there’s greater demand for high-speed Internet, and we’re comfortable with that.”

The study found that among customers who bundle their services in order to receive a discount, 59 per cent subscribe to a telephone package as well. Those who opt for all three services report the highest level of satisfaction with their providers, at 690 on a 1,000 point ranking system (it drops to 678 for those with just television and Internet, and 658 to TV-only subscribers).

The most loyal television customers subscribe to premium services, with only 16 per cent saying they are likely to switch providers in the next year, compared with 22 per cent for basic subscribers. The study didn’t ask if they planned to cut their service entirely, but did say the 42 per cent of viewers who also watch on mobile devices tend to be less satisfied with their phones and tablets than a traditional television.

“Satisfaction for mobile users suffers because they tend to experience more problems with picture and download speed,” said J.D. Powers’ Adrian Chung. “They expect their mobile device to have the same speed and quality as their home TV, and in many cases their expectations are not met.”

Speed is key for those subscribing to Internet services, although fibre, cable and DSL connections all received similar satisfaction ratings. The study said 25 per cent of fibre customers experienced a problem with their connection, compared to 29 per cent for DSL and 31 per cent for cable.

Vidéotron Ltée was the top-rated television service in Eastern Canada with a rating of 747, followed by Shaw Communications Inc. (703), Bell (646) and Rogers (638). Sasktel was top in the west at 730, followed by MTS (687), Telus (684), and Shaw (660).

Vidéotron also fared best in Internet in the east at 755, followed by Cogeco (685), Bell Aliant (675), Bell (637), and Rogers (631). Sasktel led in the west at 705, followed by Telus (672), MTS (655) and Shaw (649).

The 2013 Canadian Television Provider Customer Satisfaction Study and the 2013 Canadian Internet Service Provider Customer Satisfaction Study are based on responses from more than 10,500 telecommunications customers – 4,500 customers in the west and 6,000 customers in the east. J.D. Powers undertakes the studies independently.

Editor's note: An earlier online version of this story, based on data from J.D. Powers, incorrectly stated that Canadians pay an average of $164 a month for bundled packages, that almost 75 per cent of television subscribers get their Internet from the same company that delivers their television, and that among customers who bundle their services in order to receive a discount, 55 per cent subscribe to a telephone package as well. The number of responses to the study was also incorrect in the original version. This online version has been corrected.

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