Time Warner at the bottom of customer satisfaction list

Time Warner Cable holds the bottom two spots on the latest list of companies in the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Time Warner Cable-Internet Service Provider is the lowest-rated in the index, which regularly tracks customer satisfaction for 229 companies in a range of industries, from banking to food to energy. Time Warner Cable-TV holds the next-to-last spot.

Tine Warner Cable, which earlier this year announced a proposed $45 billion merger with Comcast, has come under scrutiny for cable price increases. Next year it is raising prices and adding a $2.75-per-month fee for sports programming.

Time Warner spokesman Scott Pryzwansky said in an email that the company is investing heavily in customer satisfaction, from adding new channels and mobile apps to expanding weekend and evening service appointments.

Industries that rank poorly on the index typically fall short on customer service issues, said ACSI Managing Director David VanAmburg.

“Pricing is not hugely different from one company to the next,” VanAmburg said. “It’s usually a long history of customer service problems.”

Sales of gold coins plunged in 2014, but silver set record

Gold’s lackluster performance is turning off coin buyers, with sales at the U.S. Mint heading for the biggest annual drop in eight years.

Purchases of American Eagle gold coins reached 524,500 ounces in 2014, down 39 percent from 856,500 ounces in 2013. In December, sales fell almost 70 percent from a year earlier.

Gold prices are little changed this year, trailing advances for equities, the dollar and Treasuries.

“People wanted to be in assets that were winning,” said George Gero, a New York-based precious metals strategist who helps manage $500 million at RBC Capital Markets. “We have seen interest in gold decline through the year.”

While gold-coin sales fell, purchases of silver coins rose to a record 44 million ounces this year, mint data show.

Burger master White Castle introduces its Veggie Slider

White Castle, the beloved purveyor of meat, grease and onions, has decided to let veggie lovers in on the action.

The Ohio-based fast-food chain is now offering a Veggie Slider. It’s being rolled out in 400 restaurants around the country, although the company is calling it a “limited” engagement for now.

The new tiny sandwich, which sells for 99 cents, is “chock full of vegetables like carrots, zucchini, peas, spinach, broccoli and more,” the company said.

The sliders range between 150 and 270 calories, with customers able to choose from three sauces — honey mustard, ranch and sweet Thai. Regular beef sliders range between 140 and 220 calories, depending on the topping, according to White Castle’s website.

The sandwich apparently did well during a pilot run in New York and New Jersey.

— From news service reports