While most people need only two bad experiences to label their service provider as poor at customer care, the figure drops to only one for consumers aged between 24 and 29.
These are the findings of a survey undertaken among 260 cable customers by analyst firm Frost & Sullivan on behalf of CRM and billing software provider CSG Systems International.
The study also found that the things that upset consumers most was being kept on hold for extended periods of time (68%), rude or impolite customer service staff (66%) and being told that an issue was resolved when it was not (63%).
A huge 77% of respondents said that friendly employees consistently ranked highest as a measure of good customer service, followed by a fast, polite and courteous interaction.
If they received negative treatment for more than 50% of the time that they interacted with their cable operators, however, most respondents said that they would simply switch to another- regardless of their age or gender.
Rob Kunzler, CSG's vice president of marketing, said: "Customers have reported that the quality of care during just one interaction can make or break their opinion of their cable operator so it's important to not only deliver the right customer interactions but also to deliver those interactions via the channel the consumer prefers."
Just under two thirds indicated that mail was their preferred way to learn about new product and service offerings, while 46% liked email best. Telephone (41%), web sites (37%) and mail (37%) were the most popular means of purchasing new products and services, however, while email was the most effective communications vehicle (58%) for taking up coupons and other promotional offers.
But only 10% of those questioned said that they would report a good experience on a social networking site, although the figure doubled if the experience was a bad one.