When Mick Jagger sang, “I can’t get no satisfaction,” he could have been talking about his car, but he was probably talking about his dishwasher. At least that’s the implication from the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index, in which we learn that consumers are more likely to be charmed by an appliance than by a new car.
Among the 43 industries the ACSI measures, cars ranked ninth in satisfaction, tying with computer software and shipping companies such as UPS. The score, 81 out of 100, is extrapolated from just three questions that ask respondents, on a one-to-10 scale, how well they’re “satisfied.”
Cable-TV and internet service providers are last, at 64. Health insurance, at 72, is only slightly more aggravating than social media and the U.S. Postal Service, both of which rate a 73. Soft drinks and breweries took the second and third spots, at 84 and 83. But who the hell likes beer less than TVs and video players, which top the list with a commanding score of 87?
When we asked the ACSI what all this meant, research director Forrest Morgeson III said that while the company cautions against making such comparisons, the data is designed to be compared in this way. Since Kia and LG are both Korean companies, you could compare the ACSI’s ratings of an Optima with that of a front-load washing machine.
The ACSI surveyed 3934 people who bought a new car within the past three years. Roughly 30 questions in total cover 10 broad topics, including style, comfort, gas mileage, and the manufacturer’s website. While some questions address topics like breakdown occurrences, the ACSI survey, as Morgeson describes it, is a mix of subjective and objective answers.