PRESCOTT, Ariz., Dec. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T, Disney and Southwest Airlines have won top honors in the 2018 Elliott Readers' Choice Customer Service Awards, an annual recognition of companies that offer outstanding customer support and service.
The award, now in its 13th year, is widely recognized as one of the premier customer service honors in America. For 2018, readers of Elliott.org (http://www.elliott.org), a leading consumer advocacy site, nominated and voted for their favorite companies in 17 categories ranging from airlines to wireless service providers.
Here are the winners:
- Domestic airline - Southwest Airlines
- International airline - Virgin Atlantic
- Domestic car manufacturer - Ford
- International car manufacturer - Toyota
- Car rental company - Hertz
- Cruise line - Royal Caribbean
- Ground transportation - Uber
- Hotel chain - Marriott
- Theme park - Epcot (Disney World)
- Travel insurance - Allianz Global Assistance
- Online travel agency - TripAdvisor
- Subscription TV - DirecTV
- Vacation rental - Airbnb.com
- Wireless company - Verizon Wireless
"The Readers' Choice Awards serve as an authoritative buyer's guide for consumers next year," says Christopher Elliott, editor of Elliott.org. "They highlight the companies that offer the best products and customer service."
One of the most noteworthy trends for this year was the closeness of the vote. In many categories, only one or two votes separated the winner from second place and in many categories, there were two- or three-way ties.
"That's good news for consumers because it suggests that when it comes to customer service, there's a lot of competition," says Elliott.
For 2018, there are also three new award categories:
The Above and Beyond Award, sponsored by Insuremyrentalcar.com and curated by good-news columnist Andrew Der. A recognition of companies that have gone "above and beyond" to help their customers. Southwest Airlines is 2018 winner for diverting a passenger so she could be with her ailing son. Read the full story here: http://www.elliott.org/the-good-news-guy/southwest-still-taking-passenger-under-wing
The 140 Award, sponsored by Generali Global Assistance (formerly CSA Travel Protection) and nominated by readers. The "140s," named after Twitter's traditional 140 character limit, recognize excellence in social media responsiveness and customer service. Alaska Airlines won for its innovative approach to social media and lightning-fast response times.
The Service Recovery Award, which celebrates the recovery process from customer service mishaps. Readers choose the companies that have made the best recovery in 2017. This year, the winner is United Airlines for efforts to recover from the David Dao dragging incident.
Here's the full list of year's winners by industry:
1. Southwest Airlines
2. Delta Air Lines
3. Alaska Airlines
4. United Airlines/JetBlue Airways (tie)
5. American Airlines
1. Virgin Atlantic
3. British Airways/Singapore (tie)
4. Air France/KLM (tie)
5. Cathay Pacific
Domestic car manufacturer
4. Buick/Chevrolet/Jeep (tie)
International car manufacturer
4. Acura/Lexus (tie)
Car rental company
3. Avis/National (tie)
4. Alamo/Budget (tie)
1. Royal Caribbean
3. Holland America
5. Viking/Carnival (tie)
4. Wyndham Hotel Group
5. Best Western
1. Epcot (Disney World)
3. Magic Kingdom (Disney World)
4. Universal Studios (Orlando)
5. Animal Kingdom (Disney World)
1. Allianz Global Assistance
2. Travel Guard
3. Generali Global Assistance (formerly CSA Travel Protection)
4. Amex Assurance/Travelex/Trip Mate (tie)
5. Seven Corners
Online travel agency
2. Comcast/Verizon Fios (tie)
3. AT&T U-verse
4. DISH Network
5. Time Warner
1. Verizon Wireless
4. Consumer Cellular
This year's awards were sponsored by Allianz Travel Insurance, Boingo, Enterprise, Generali Global Assistance (formerly CSA Travel Protection), Insuremyrentalcar.com and Southwest Airlines.
Balloting for the 2018 Elliott Readers' Choice Customer Service Awards was conducted from Nov. 1 to 30, 2017. You can review a list of previous winners and cast their vote online at http://www.elliott.org/elliott-awards/
Elliott.org, founded in 1997, is a leading consumer advocacy site published by author and columnist Christopher Elliott. The site's goal is to empower consumers to solve their problems and to help those who can't. Elliott writes the syndicated Travel Troubleshooter and Problem Solved features for King Features Syndicate and is a columnist for USA Today and the Washington Post. He's the author of several books, including How To Be The World's Smartest Traveler (National Geographic.) The site is based in Prescott, Ariz.
SOURCE Allianz Global Assistance USA