America’s favorite wireless operators: Verizon and T-Mobile

A recent Consumer Mobility Study (CMS) by In-Stat/MDR has revealed that Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA are virtually tied for the top spot in Customer Satisfaction. The high-tech market research finds that, although the US wireless industry’s overall Customer Satisfaction ratings remained steady during the first half of 2004, some carriers’ relative positions shifted significantly. Notably, T-Mobile posted a solid improvement, and Nextel slipped from the top spot into the second tier of providers, in terms of Customer Satisfaction.

Consumers’ willingness to switch providers has increased dramatically in the past year, with 19.8% of survey respondents stating that they “definitely will” or “probably will” switch in the next 12 months, versus only 14.5% in July 2003. Sprint subscribers have the longest average tenure and T-Mobile subscribers have the shortest. Verizon Wireless subscribers were the most impressed with their provider’s Quality of Service. In terms of Quality of Service, the most frequently cited carrier strength was good coverage around town. For carriers as a whole, the most frequently mentioned weaknesses were poor in-home coverage and too many dropped calls. Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile received the highest marks from their subscribers in Customer Service. The most frequently mentioned strengths for Customer Service were bills that are easy to read and understand, as well as courteous and helpful customer service representatives. Many CMS respondents were not able to name specific weaknesses in this area, or stated that their carrier does not have specific Customer Service weaknesses. Among the specific attributes mentioned, however, the greatest perceived weakness was low-quality support at retail stores.