Verizon Wireless Tops Customer Care Rankings, AT&T Last

If youre a wireless customer with a contract, youre probably happier with your carrier than if you subscribe to a prepaid or non-contract service plan. Thats the finding of J.D. Power and Associates latest studies on wireless customer care.

The studies look at carriers customer-service performance based on: telephone calls with customer service representatives and/or auto-response computers; retail store vists; and on the Web. They measure satisfaction and processing issues, such as problem-resolution efficiency and hold-time duration.

Overall customer-care performance on the J.D. Power scale is 761 out of 1,000 for customers who sign wireless contracts; its 23 points less for those who dont have a contract. One of the main reasons for the disparity is hold-times. Non-contract customers generally wait longer to speak to a customer-service agent than do customers who are on contract a full minute longer, on average.

It is not unexpected that hold times are shorter for contract customers, since full-service providers generally have access to existing account information that helps identify the customer immediately once contact is made,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. There is also a disparity between the contract and non-contract segments in terms of the quality of the experience with the service representative. In particular, non-contract customers are considerably less satisfied than are contract customers in the areas of knowledge about plans; personal concern for customers; and apathy towards customers.”  

J.D. Power gives Verizon Wireless the nod as top dog in customer care, earning a score of 770. T-Mobile, which ranked No. 1 in the same survey a few months ago, was second, with 766 points. AT&T was last among the major carriers, garnering just 751 points. Verizon got particular kudos calls handled by customer-service reps.

Among non-contract providers, Boost Mobile ranked highest in overall customer-care satisfaction.

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