J.D. Power Study Finds AT&T Delivers Top Mobile Purchase Experience

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J.D. Power Study Finds AT&T Delivers Top Mobile Purchase Experience

In the wireless world, there is a clear distinction between carriers and the customer experiences they offer. But the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience study suggests there’s also a clear distinction in customer opinions about their mobile service providers based on the way they’re treated. The study, which includes responses from thousands of wireless customers, broadly analyzes the customer experience offered by the U.S. wireless industry’s most prominent carriers. It also looks at how simple things, such as being greeted in the store or getting demonstrations from sales staff, change customer opinions about their service providers.  Check out J.D. Power’s findings on the customer experience in the U.S. wireless market.

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A Solid Overall Industry Customer Experience

Generally speaking, wireless customers are quite pleased with the purchasing experience they get from the industry. According to J.D. Power, the average full-service carrier, which includes AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, scores 816 out of a possible 1,000 for overall customer purchase experience.

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AT&T Leads the Charge

AT&T is the only major carrier to beat the industry average in wireless customer purchase experience. According to J.D. Power, AT&T took the top spot with a score of 823 out of a possible 1,000 in the study. It earned five out of five in J.D. Power’s “Power Circle Ratings.”

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Verizon, T-Mobile Fall Just Under the Industry Average

Verizon and T-Mobile took the second and third spots, respectively in the study. Verizon scored 814 out of 1,000 in the study, just topping T-Mobile’s score of 813. While those figures were ahead of Sprint, they were just below the broader industry average.

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Sprint Scores Poorly in Purchasing Study

Sprint’s stood out for its poor performance in the J.D. Power study. The carrier could only muster a score of 785 in the customer purchasing experience study, putting it far behind its closest competitors. It was even lower than the worst-performing non-contract full-service carrier Boost Mobile.

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Non-Contract Carriers Trail the Majors

The study found that customer's purchasing experience with non-contract carriers isn’t stellar. In fact, non-contract full-service carriers, which include MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile, Cricket, and Boost Mobile, could only muster a score of 802 out of a possible 1,000 in the J.D. Power study.

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MetroPCS, Cricket Lead the Way

MetroPCS sits at the top of the non-contract wireless purchase experience with a score of 810, according to J.D. Power. It edged out Cricket, which was able to score 808 in the study. Both earned top billing in J.D. Power’s Power Circle Ratings. They were followed by Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile, which scored 802 and 786 in the study, respectively.

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Price Consistency Is Important to Buyers

Price consistency was one of the major contributing factors to carrier success in the study, J.D. Power reported. The company found that when companies advertise prices that are “very consistent” with actual prices, the industry scores 872 out of 1,000. However, when pricing is inconsistent the rating drops to 709.

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But Customers Say Pricing Is Often Inconsistent

However, in too many cases carriers aren’t holding up their end of the price consistency bargain. In fact, J.D. Power found that just 62 percent of customers say advertised prices are “very consistent” with the actual prices they’re quoted when it’s time to make a purchase.

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Incentives Help Boost Perception of Price Consistency

Customers who were offered incentives to buy services through a carrier were more likely to say they received consistent pricing. According to J.D. Power, 64 percent of customers who received an incentive thought advertised pricing was “very consistent,” compared to just 51 percent of those who didn’t receive any incentives.

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In-Store Sales Representatives Are Popular

When customers are met by a store greeter at a carrier retail outlet, their satisfaction jumps to 842 compared to 749 when they’re not met by a greeter. When in-store sales representatives offer to explain how a product works, the customer satisfaction score tops 853, which is much higher than the 762 score among those who weren’t offered a demo.

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