J.D. Power study: T-Mobile leads carriers in customer care; and Ties Verizon in Network Quality in the Northeast

J.D. Power, which provides consumer insights, advisory services, data and analytics, recently shared the results of its 2019 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance Study—Volume 1. The organization also revealed results from the J.D. Power 2019 Wireless Customer Care Non-Contract Performance Study—Volume 1.

The studies, which were fielded from July through December 2018, found that if wireless carriers focused more on resources on improving their respective websites, they’d see their customer satisfaction number increase.
“We found that nearly one-third of full-service wireless carrier customers who sought help via their carrier website experienced an issue and nearly half of customers had to use another channel to solve their issue,” J.D. Power managing director Ian Greenblatt said in a statement. “Simplifying and refining websites to make it easier for wireless customers to get quicker answers to their questions is one of the fastest ways to improve customer satisfaction.”
T-Mobile ranked the highest among full-service carriers with a score of 833. Verizon Wireless (812) and AT&T (799) ranked second and third, respectively. The full-service segment average was 803. Meanwhile, Cricket ranked highest among non-contract full-service carriers with a score of 815. Metro by T-Mobile (811) ranked second and Boost Mobile finished third with an 808 score. The segment average for non-contract full-service carriers was 809.
For the non-contract value carrier part of the study, Consumer Cellular secured the highest score of 868. Straight Talk Wireless (788) and TracFone (750) finished second and third, respectively. The segment average was 788.
Both studies, Full-Service Performance and Non-Contract Performance were based on responses from 13,109 customers who contacted their carrier’s customer care department within the past three months. These studies evaluated customer care experiences across 12 different customer care channels including phone customer service reps; in-store contact; online chat; email; social media post; carrier app question post; automated telephone systems; website search; social media search; user forum; video from carrier; and carrier app search.
J.D. Power also recently shared results from its 2019 U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study—Volume 1. The study was based on responses from 32,159 wireless customers and in addition to evaluating the network quality mobile phone customers experienced, the study measured tablet and mobile broadband devices’ performance. The study was fielded from July through December 2018.
The study revealed that there are less wireless network problems in suburban areas, while rural and urban areas experience the most. Verizon ranked the highest in all six regions covered in the study: Mid-Atlantic, North Central, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and West, achieving the lowest network quality problems per 100 connection in call quality, messaging quality and data quality. T-Mobile tied Verizon in data quality in the Northeast region.
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“As consumers anxiously await the availability of 5G outside of urban areas, providers that have invested in current 4G LTE infrastructure to improve network quality in the rural areas they serve have seen the fewest amount of network problems,” Greenblatt said.  “It is no secret that the ROI on investing in rural areas is quite low, but as more rural customers shift to unlimited data plans, the notable incremental demand on the system necessitates investment to maintain the reliable network quality those customers have come to expect and enjoy.”

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