Investors are feeling better about the quality of service they're getting from U.S. fund shops according to the latest shareholder survey by the National Investment Company Service Association (NICSA). But with just over half of all respondents saying they are pleased with the service they are getting, there's still plenty of room for improvement .

The annual Shareholder Service Satisfaction Survey, which made its debut in 1987, is designed to gauge customer satisfaction and establish certain benchmarks to track underlying trends in the fund industry. NICSA, headquartered in Wellesley Hills, Mass., reported that only 55% of its respondents said their fund family provided "excellent" or "very good" customer service in 2002, a 2% increase from 2001 That compares with a 59% approval rating in 2000 and 61% in 1999, a time when technology stocks were flying high and investors were eager to read their account statements.

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