Facebook Ranks Below Airline Industry in Customer Satisfaction

Updated: Facebook may have close to half a billion users, but the company has a long way to go in terms of customer satisfaction, according to a new survey. The social network ranked lower than both the airline industry and the cable television business in a national customer satisfaction study from ForeSee Results, which based its research on results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index compiled by the University of Michigan. The survey looked at consumer responses to questions about what they liked and didn’t like about more than 200 companies across a range of industries. Facebook got the second-lowest score; the only company to score lower was MySpace (s nws).

Based on the ACSI results, the ForeSee report (which you can download here) said that Facebook was ranked 64 out of a possible 100 by consumers who completed the survey (which is based on responses from more than 70,000 American residents), while MySpace scored a 63. Of the more than 220 companies tracked by the survey, only 10 got a score of lower than 65, which ForeSee Results said puts the two social-networking sites “in the bottom 5 percent of all measured private-sector companies.” The airline sector and the cable TV sector were just above that, with a score of 66.

When asked what they didn’t like about Facebook, respondents said they were concerned about privacy and security of their information, as well as advertising and the recent unpredictable changes to the navigation and features on the site. As a whole, the social-media sector — which was ranked for the first time this year — came in with a score of 70, which put it a full 10 points below the property and casualty insurance industry on the survey. The site that scored the highest within the social-media group of companies was Wikipedia, with a 77; consumers said they liked the site for its ease of use as well as the “variety, depth and breadth of information available.”

Update: A Facebook spokesman emailed with the following response to the ACSI survey:

We haven’t reviewed the survey methodology in detail, but clearly we have room to improve. Building a simple, useful service is the best way to earn and sustain the trust people put in us. That’s why we spend so much of our time and energy focused on improving the products we offer and introducing new ones. We look forward to the next survey.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d): Why New Net Companies Must Shoulder More Responsibility