By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Companies often team up with famous musicians to promote their services, but some cellular carriers might think twice about signing up Mick Jagger, whose song "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" describes some consumers' view of their cellular service.
Carriers AT&T Wireless, Sprint PCS and T-Mobile suffered the highest subscriber dissatisfaction rates among the nation's six largest carriers in a survey conducted by In-Stat/MDR in February. Not surprisingly, the trio's subscribers were also the most likely to churn, said In-Stat, which is owned by TWICE's parent company Reed Business Information.
Overall, wireless subscribers surveyed in February were more likely to churn than they were in mid-2003, In-Stat said. A total of 17.9 percent of those surveyed said they were definitely or likely to churn providers in the next 12 months, compared to 14.5 percent who said so in the July 2003 survey. The uptick reflects "a fiercely competitive market, as well as a greater degree of freedom that consumers have to switch carriers now that they can take their wireless telephone number with them," In-Stat said in its March Carrier Scorecard report.
Some carriers are suffering more than others are in the wireless local number portability (WLNP) environment. Only Verizon, for example, posted a decline in the percentage of subscribers likely to churn, In-Stat said. Verizon's rate fell to 10.4 percent from 12 percent. T-Mobile, on the other hand, suffered the biggest increase in the percentage of subscribers likely to churn. The percentage swelled to 25 percent from July 2003's 16.9 percent.
Sprint posted the second highest percentage of likely-to-churn customers: 21.9 percent, up from the previous year's 20.8 percent. Sprint was followed by AT&T Wireless at 21.2 percent, up from 18.2 percent, and by Cingular Wireless at 17.9 percent, up from 13.2 percent.
Verizon subscribers were the second least likely to churn, and Nextel enjoyed the lowest rate of churn propensity: 8.8 percent, up from 5.8 percent. The average for all six carriers in February was 17.9 percent.
As for quality of service, subscribers of the AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile networks had the lowest regard for their carriers' service. Nextel and Verizon subscribers had the highest and second highest opinions, respectively, of their service.
On average, 70.3 percent of surveyed subscribers had a good or excellent option of the cellular service. Above-average opinions came from Nextel subscribers (82.4 percent), Verizon subscribers (81.3 percent), and Cingular subscribers (73 percent). Below-average percentages were posted by T-Mobile at 68.5 percent, followed by Sprint (63.5 percent) and AT&T (61.7 percent).
For its report, In-Stat compiled responses from 902 of 1,009 wireless users questioned via a web-based survey form. Because only 34 responses were from Nextel subscribers, In-Stat advised caution in interpreting Nextel's results.Subscribers' Likelihood To Churn
|Source: In-Stat/MDR surveys of more than 1,000 wireless subscribers|
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