Of the four major U.S. wireless service providers, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) once again scored the highest in Consumer Reports’ annual satisfaction survey of 66,000 subscribers. The nation’s largest carrier was followed by Sprint (NYSE:S), Deutsche Telekom’s (DTEGY.PK) T-Mobile, and AT&T (NYSE:T) in the rankings.
Yet, none of these carriers received a score greater than 72 percent, an indication of poor quality customer service across the board.
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According to Consumer Reports, cellphone companies are among the lowest-rated service providers it evaluates. J.D. Power and Associates’ senior director of wireless services Kirk Parson told NBC that that the reason for the industry’s poor customer satisfaction ratings was a result of how consumers view smartphones. “They expect their smartphone to do whatever it’s supposed to do every time,” he said. Many people see cellphone advertisements and assume that carriers will deliver the promised service wherever and whenever.
It is for this reason that customers’ satisfaction varied widely from region to region, as service quality and speed depended on what market respondents lived in. For example, the survey found that AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile subscribers with access to 4G networks were more satisfied than customers with 3G service, and Sprint was tied with Verizon for customer satisfaction in the St. Louis market.
However, in general, Verizon was determined to be the best major carrier because its service “stands out from the pack if you are a heavy-duty data user,” Consumer Reports senior electronics editor Mike Gikas said to NBC. “They’re the Cadillac network. They’re pricey in some respects, but in terms of overall quality of service and availability of service, they are the overall leader.”
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