ANN ARBOR, Mich.—For the fifth year running, Louisville, Ky.-based Papa John's claimed the top spot in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), an annual survey produced by the University of Michigan, American Society for Quality and the CFI Group.

According to a news release, Papa John's 2003 score of 76 equaled its 2002 mark and topped its nearest competitor, Domino's Pizza by one. Little Caesars also posted a 75 (up 1.4 percent) as did Pizza Hut, whose 75 was an impressive 7.1 percent increase over 2002.

The nearest quick-service competitor was Wendy's, which posted a 74. McDonald's finished with a 64, a 4.9 percent improvement over the previous year.

Overall, the fast food category improved from 71 to 74, making it the biggest gainer in the new report.

Of the multiple businesses whose customer service was measured, Amazon.com's score was a chart-topping 88, equaling its 2002 score.

The ACSI is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the United States. It is updated quarterly with new measures for different sectors of the economy replacing data from the prior year. The overall ACSI score for a given quarter factors in scores from about 200 companies in 39 industries and from government agencies over the previous four quarters.

At the firm level, a one-point change is within the margin of error. Any change at the national, sector, and industry level is meaningful.

To see how other firms scored, go to www.theacsi.org/fourth_quarter.htm.

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