Winning Streak: AT&T Beats Verizon, Sprint in Wireless Purchase Experience Survey

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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Just two weeks after AT&T claimed the crown among full-service operators in customer care, J.D. Power is back with more survey results that show the Dallas-based carrier is tops in what it calls the "wireless purchase experience."

Twice each year, the global marketing information services firm evaluates the experience customers have making wireless-related purchases via phone calls with sales reps, visits to retail stores, and online. This latest study shows that consumers perceive improved value in what they're getting for the price they're paying. That's led to a significant increase in the average score that J.D. Power gives wireless operators in this category.

On a 1,000-point scale, the average customer-service score among full-service operators rose from 764 in February to 795 in this new survey. Among the non-contract customers, the number rose 34 points, to 789.

J.D. Power said AT&T ranks highest in overall customer purchase experience satisfaction among Tier 1 full-service wireless carriers, scoring 798 points – the only of the "Big Four" operators to come in above the average. Verizon Wireless was close behind with 794 points. Sprint garnered 793 points, and T-Mobile was last, with 784 points. AT&T performed particularly well in the store sales representative and store facility categories, J.D. Power said. This is the first time AT&T has claimed the top spot since the study's inception 10 years ago.

More and more customers are becoming satisfied with their online transactions.

"There's a direct correlation between an efficient sales transaction process and improving satisfaction with the overall purchase experience," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of the telecom services practice at J.D. Power. "The increased levels of satisfaction with website are partially due to the efficiency and immediacy of the experience driven by increasingly innovative online chat functions. Additionally, carriers have invested heavily in promoting and marketing the latest 4G devices to keep current customers loyal and encourage spending on more advanced services."

Boost Mobile was tops among non-contract service carriers for the second time in a row, posting a score of 804. MetroPCS (803) and Tracfone (800) were close behind.

The J.D. Power study is based on responses from nearly 8,700 wireless customers.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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