A new study by J.D. Power and Associates has found that overall customer satisfaction is higher among contract-based customers than prepaid or non-contract ones.
"Now in its ninth year, their semiannual study provides a detailed report card on how well wireless carriers provide service to their customers via three contract methods: telephone calls with customer service representatives (CSR) and/or automated response systems (ARS); visits to a retail wireless store; and on the web," wrote Ian Mansfield of Cellular-news.com (July 28).
"Within each contract method, the study measures satisfaction and processing issues, such as problem-resolution efficiency and hold-time duration."
J.D. Power and Associates found that contract customers averaged a satisfaction level of 761 on a 1,000-point scale -- 23 points higher than the satisfaction level of non-contract customers.
Factors contributing to this disparity:
- Non-contract customers report longer average hold times than contract customers when waiting to speak to a service representative: 5.5 min vs. 4.4 minutes, respectively.
- Non-contract customers report poorer quality of service than do contract customers.
- Non-contract customers are less satisfied in areas of knowledge about plans, personal concern for customers, and apathy toward customers.
Not surprisingly, J.D. Power and Associates also found that non-contract customers are 2.5 times more likely to switch carriers.
Among full-service providers, Verizon Wireless ranked highest in customer care performance, followed by T-Mobile USA in second place.
Boost Mobile ranked highest in overall customer care satisfaction among non-contract service providers.