1. cenloe's Avatar
    AT&T is last (no surprise). Consumer Reports is a paid to view website but here is the story from the Wall Street Journal (Digital Daily).

    Consumer Reports: AT&T Cellphone Service Last in Customer Satisfaction | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD

    AT&T states that the best indicator of customer satisfaction is churn rate, which is crap. If customers were free to come and go without an ETF, churn rate would then be a good indicator.
    12-01-09 12:45 PM
  2. jahoobob's Avatar
    Can't wait for the ATT fans to find this post. Looking forward to all the excuses.
    Also, looking forward to the Sprinters challenging the costs that CR shows for non-data plans.
    12-01-09 02:58 PM
  3. AaronWasHere's Avatar
    The real question is... Was there a map that dissatisfaction?
    12-01-09 03:40 PM
  4. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    AT&T is last (no surprise). Consumer Reports is a paid to view website but here is the story from the Wall Street Journal (Digital Daily).

    Consumer Reports: AT&T Cellphone Service Last in Customer Satisfaction | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD

    AT&T states that the best indicator of customer satisfaction is churn rate, which is crap. If customers were free to come and go without an ETF, churn rate would then be a good indicator.
    A couple of observations - while I can't argue AT&T's finish, I think the numbers may be a bit overstated. I read that entire article & AT&T doesn't look quite as bad as what Digital Daily claims.

    Churn is not a good indicator, as some have stated, but it is the only one that matters. ETF or no, if someone is that unhappy, they change at contract time - easy stuff, really - and the same can be said about VZW or Sprint or whomever. It isn't like AT&T is the only one with ETFs. What needs to be explored more is that unhappy customers tend to be more vocal & usually are more likely to voice opinions. Another thing to look at is there are more enthusiasts on AT&T/Sprint/T-Mobile - they complain more & again, are more vocal. VZW customers tend to be of the Buick persuasion - a nice, comfortable ride is what they want - few want that tightly strung exotic.

    Something else to look at - over the past 4 quarters, AT&T's churn has been falling, while VZW's is rising. You could say it is the iPhone - but why over the past year & why is it accelerating? It appears the latest will show VZW's churn will be worse than AT&T's for this quarter & it may be enough to show AT&T with less churn for the year, than VZW.

    Here is what you look at - many people who have no complaints about their service are never heard from. Those with the most complaints are often either the dummies who are difficult to support or the enthusiasts who are difficult to please.

    There are also signs things will be turning around - ever seen a micro-tower? Coupled with fiber-optics & low power needs, these things are replacing street lamps AND large towers & no one is noticing them. AT&T is putting these things in all over the place for cheap - they sign a contract with a city or electric utility, whichever maintains the street lights, to maintain the light & pay the power for the lamp & the radio. They don't have land acquisition costs, the fiber lines are running along major thoroughfares already and HSPA signals will be seamless in many cities very soon. In buildings, outside, in trees - you name it, signal will be there. They can install 200 of these things for less money than one standard tower, but three of these replace two standard towers. And, so far, no LTE micro-towers.

    So, it all could change. And, I also recall a bunch of dummies here slamming me for quoting Consumer Reports - they said it was slanted... they are slanted... to the left & to the anti-business side. But they tend to call things fairly, if you're not an enthusiast.

    And, CU has issued warnings about Google & Android... so are they right, wrong or what?
    12-01-09 09:10 PM
  5. ericsmcdonald's Avatar
    What needs to be explored more is that unhappy customers tend to be more vocal & usually are more likely to voice opinions. Another thing to look at is there are more enthusiasts on AT&T/Sprint/T-Mobile - they complain more & again, are more vocal.

    Here is what you look at - many people who have no complaints about their service are never heard from. Those with the most complaints are often either the dummies who are difficult to support or the enthusiasts who are difficult to please.
    Twins, what you are saying is that people who are unhappy are more vocal. Doesn't that mean, then, that the most unhappy customers are with AT&T? Doesn't matter if you're more vocal if you're unhappy, if there are more unhappy people, that's what leads to them being vocal. I mean, what am I missing here? OK maybe it isn't AS BAD as it's being reported, but more vocal or not, what you are saying is that more people are unhappy with AT&T, and that can't be a good thing for them.

    Also, wasn't there a report about the non-"big 4" carriers, aka the "non-contract" carriers? Overall, didn't they rate better than the "big 4" did?
    12-04-09 08:18 AM
  6. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    Twins, what you are saying is that people who are unhappy are more vocal. Doesn't that mean, then, that the most unhappy customers are with AT&T? Doesn't matter if you're more vocal if you're unhappy, if there are more unhappy people, that's what leads to them being vocal. I mean, what am I missing here? OK maybe it isn't AS BAD as it's being reported, but more vocal or not, what you are saying is that more people are unhappy with AT&T, and that can't be a good thing for them.

    Also, wasn't there a report about the non-"big 4" carriers, aka the "non-contract" carriers? Overall, didn't they rate better than the "big 4" did?
    Look further into what I wrote - the more tech-oriented you are, the closer you are to a true "enthusiast," the more likely you are to be on AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile.

    Note: I said "more likely" and not "definitely."

    Enthusiasts tend to be more particular than non-enthusiasts & will complain more.

    Bic lighter or Zippo?

    Italian food processor or Oster blender?

    For my usual car analogy, think Toyota Corolla & VW Jetta. Both capable, but the enthusiast will lean toward VW - then complain about it more.

    I hate them both - I don't do front-wheel-drive. It is the layout for weenies.

    An odd phenomenon I've noticed from people. Dropped calls or other issues, iPhone & Bold users tend to blame AT&T. VZW users tend to blame cellular technology. Sprint users tend to blame roaming on VZW.

    Okay - so the last one I made up - but the others are true. Either way, the issue could be carrier and/or technology-related. Yet customers of the two carriers often lay blame differently.

    That VW I mentioned? One of the highest loyalty models out there - also with a high defect rate. Consumer Reports pans VW models, but the typical owner of a VW wouldn't be caught dead in a Toyota. VW has Toyota beat in character, feel & soul, but not reliability.

    You cannot always look at the surface - you must look deeper. From a purely objective viewpoint, I don't find AT&T as bad as what some are trying to claim here & I also don't find VZW to be as good. I am the old guy with the 409 big block telling the SoCal tuners their Civics aren't all that. Or the guy with the rude & obnoxious Lotus Exige laughing at the 350Z driver.

    All I was trying to illustrate is that the hackers, the tuners, the custom folks are more likely on other carriers, while the VZW customers tend to take comfort in the Toyota/Buick/Oster blender side of life. One finds more to complain about, while the other waits a few seconds & tries the call again.

    And - in many cases, the non-contract carriers may always rate better. These surveys usually look for the opinions of current customers. If you don't like your prepaid carrier, you switch. If you don't like AT&T, you stay with them, because you're hitched to a large contract & you just can't live without your iPhone.

    They should add a qualifier to these types of surveys - "regardless of your opinions of your current carrier, will you switch both phone and carrier?" Sorry - but the iPhone guys won't.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-04-09 04:54 PM
  7. lockerc18's Avatar
    Yes, I think VZW is the best carrier, too. At least in my area. I have a BB on Sprint, and Sprint stinks, and I've had many BBs and phones on VZW, and it's a lot better.

    But the CR report was interesting in another way. Did you see the ratings for the phones themselves? Not one single phone had voice quality rated at better than "good". Most were "fair". Many were "poor".

    I want a cell phone that has EXCELLENT voice quality. All the things like email and music and camera and other features are nice, especially email. But, heck, the first thing these devices are supposed to be is a PHONE, and I have yet to find one with even an acceptable quality of voice, much less excellent. Voice quality just plain stinks on cell phones. Always has.

    I had, and returned, 2 Tours because of this. I'm hesitant to get another pricey smartphone because I know the voice quality will most likely stink. If the technology doesn't get a heck of a lot better, then I may never get another BB. I'm holding out hope that the Droid phones are better in this regard, but I don't know if that's true.
    12-05-09 03:00 PM
  8. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    But the CR report was interesting in another way. Did you see the ratings for the phones themselves? Not one single phone had voice quality rated at better than "good". Most were "fair". Many were "poor".

    I want a cell phone that has EXCELLENT voice quality. All the things like email and music and camera and other features are nice, especially email. But, heck, the first thing these devices are supposed to be is a PHONE, and I have yet to find one with even an acceptable quality of voice, much less excellent. Voice quality just plain stinks on cell phones. Always has.

    I had, and returned, 2 Tours because of this. I'm hesitant to get another pricey smartphone because I know the voice quality will most likely stink. If the technology doesn't get a heck of a lot better, then I may never get another BB. I'm holding out hope that the Droid phones are better in this regard, but I don't know if that's true.
    A very good observation & one I've brought up here - and been dissed for. The newer phones are awful in voice quality & BlackBerry is at the bottom of that heap. There are some smartphone gems, but none from RIM.

    Phones are being built to a cheaper & cheaper price-point. 30 years ago, we'd not have put up with VoIP, mobile or phone-caused voice quality.
    Still, by far, best quality comes from my copper-wired Western Electric sets, connected to a real copper circuit.
    12-05-09 05:22 PM
  9. TheScionicMan's Avatar
    As someone who has to deal with support from VzW and ATT, I can attest to VZW being hugely more efficient and helpful. Average call to VZW probably takes 10-15 minutes. Similar tasks with ATT take 30 minutes minimum, sometimes close to an hour.

    Almost all my users who stayed on ATT are in LA. Here in the Bay Area, most of them are very pleased with the VZW service over the ATT they had before. The only real complaint has been the lesser battery life on the 8330s compared to the 8310s.
    12-05-09 06:17 PM
  10. jlsparks's Avatar
    Interesting thread. The only part of AT&T's bottom ranking that surprises me is the fact of their exclusive on the iPhone. If they didn't have the iPhone to lock in the 12-25 year old demographic they would be in serious (eg: Sprint) trouble in terms of sequential subscriber loss. If, in fact, AT&T's churn is on the decline it will be very interesting to see how they do/what they do when their US exclusive expires and Apple phones are available on other major carriers.

    Rather than generalizing who uses which carriers based on an enthusiast/non-enthusiast premise, I wonder if (in the event generalizations are even appropriate), one might generalize instead along the lines of "comfort level and experience" v. "something different." For me (and those whom I supported in a past life) we were able to experience service first on VZW, then Sprint, then back to VZW. In the Foothills of Denver, and much of Denver itself, Sprint just couldn't hold a voice call for a damn when compared to VZW. I loved the pricing model, but couldn't accept the poor service quality. I've stuck with VZW ever since, although I could easily give Sprint another shot and try to save some coinage, but that's not a risk I/we are going to be taking. Apparently 800K other Sprint subscribers have felt the same recently, as they've either canceled cell service entirely or moved to a different carrier.

    I think that there are a number of metrics that can be used to gauge a carrier, but at the end of the day the only one that matters is they're continuation and renewal of a service contract. That's where the bread and butter is, and the carriers will all do what it takes to keep the customers they have.
    Last edited by jlsparks; 12-05-09 at 06:56 PM.
    12-05-09 06:51 PM
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