AT&T has the worst customer service among wireless carriers, according to J.D. Power, while Sprint and T-Mobile topped the list.
J.D. Power, which asked 11,000 customers who had recently bought cell phones to rate their purchasing experiences on a 1,000-point scale, found that AT&T ranked at 744 points, while Sprint and T-Mobile came in at 755 points each.
In Sprint’s case, J.D. Powers determined its online sales and variety of offerings won it points, while T-Mobile offered the best service for consumers’ dollars.
The company’s findings are in keeping with an earlier poll by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which in May rated AT&T the worst carrier in terms of consumer satisfaction. Interestingly, T-Mobile’s score was the second-lowest in that survey, possibly because its customers are increasingly apprehensive about the pending AT&T merger.
In further bad news for AT&T, an April survey by ChangeWave indicated customers blamed the network for dropping calls twice as often as Verizon. This data, plus J.D. Power’s ranking and the ACSI’s results, suggests AT&T has plenty of room for improvement when it comes to its customers.
Still, compared to all of the four major U.S. carriers, the non-contract company Boost Mobile beat out the competition at 766 points. J.D. Power said of the prepaid company, “Boost Mobile performs particularly well in phone sales representative, offerings and promotions, and cost of service.”
Besides discovering consumer preferences among networks, the research group found, “satisfaction is lowest among customers who most recently conducted a Web sales transaction compared with retail and telephone channels.”
In other words, people preferred personalized attention to navigating automated phone menus or surfing impersonal websites, even though retail stores often charge more for their products. Perhaps as a result, over 60 percent of those surveyed purchased their phones at a wireless retail store.
The results suggest carriers may gain ground with new customers by boosting their retail presences, giving sales associates up-to-date training and making sure demo models of all phones are available for perusal by customers.