AT&T Smokes Sprint in Customer Service, But T-Mobile Makes Gains

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AT&T, which just last year passed Verizon in J.D. Power’s customer-service rankings for the first time in years, better watch its back.

In its latest U.S. Wireless Customer Care Full-Service study results, released this week, the market-research company gave AT&T a score of 793 points out of 1,000. Verizon Wireless was second among the “big four” with 788 points. The average score among these “full service” companies was 782.

T-Mobile still has some work to do, but the Bellevue, Wash.-based carrier made noticeable gains, leapfrogging way ahead of Sprint for third place, with 778 points. The company has seen steady improvements in subscriber gains since doing away with postpaid contracts for new customers several months ago. No doubt that’s a factor in its customer-care score improvements as well. Sprint is way behind its rivals, tallying just 757 points on J.D. Power’s scale.

J.D. Power also ranked those providers which only offer prepaid plans. MetroPCS, owned by T-Mobile USA, was once again top dog, followed by Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile, in second and third place, respectively.

Beyond the rankings, J.D. Power found that the carriers better resolve a customer’s issues on their first contact. The average customer-satisfaction score is pretty good (846) if the company can help the consumer on their first call, but it plummets to just 662 if it takes more than one attempt to fix the problem. Only 17 percent of those surveyed said their issue was taken care of in the first five minutes of the call.

The survey was conducted from July to December of last year.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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