The numbers are in! And by numbers, we’re referring to the 2017 Cell-Phone Service Survey conducted by Consumer Reports.
In this annual survey, Consumer Reports aims to rate both big and small carriers on a number of things like service reliability, customer support, and overall customer satisfaction. With the results shown in the survey, the publication is able to determine which cell phone provider proved to be groundbreaking for the year and which ones that disappointed its users.
Just as it did last year, three out of four big names in the industry landed near the bottom: AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. This proves that just because they are bigger brands, doesn’t necessarily translate to them being the top providers in the market. And again, the results from smaller companies last year mirror the new rankings as these brands have taken the top spots.
One realization from the survey is that subscribers have started to take a high regard on things like customer service and the value they get from their providers. Judging by the results of the survey from the two consecutive years, subscribers are able to find these things from the smaller names.
2017 Cell-Phone Service Survey Results
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Consumer Reports collected information from a total of 119,772 subscribers who used either traditional or prepaid cellular service. The data obtained produced the same results as last year’s top spot earners– Consumer Cellular, Project Fi, and Ting. When it comes to customer support, these companies were the only ones who received the highest rating. More remarkably, Project Fi was the only one who got a good score for its data service on things like cost, speed, and reliability. But it was no match with Consumer Cellular as far as voice quality is concerned.
The results also show that Sprint and AT&T received the lowest overall ratings just like they did last year. Out of the two, Sprint received the lowest rating when it came to voice and web. As for value, the carriers that received the lowest rating were Verizon and AT&T. Judging from the results of the survey, it goes to show that consumers are now highly critical of getting their money’s worth.
And although T-Mobile is nowhere near the bottom, it also didn’t make it to the top of the survey. But it’s important to note that the carrier did a significantly better job than the three other big carriers; particularly in its score for value.
What does the survey results tell us?
As a whole, the companies that obtained a higher score for value included prepaid services wherein customers got to pay for voice minutes, text messages and data in advance. It’s worth noting that Project Fi, Ting, and Republic Wireless are companies that manage to keep their costs low since they heavily rely on WiFi networks for sending text messages and making calls. Because of this, they are able to charge their customers for data they would end up using instead of a monthly stipend with data they might not even need at all.
Despite the huge clamor on how valuable prepaid plans are, they still lack popularity over traditional carriers. As a matter of fact, only 13 percent of Consumer Reports’ survey respondents said they use a prepaid device.
So why are prepaid services so undervalued even though its consumers attest to the value they get out of their carrier? One good reason for this could be because these providers have a limited array of phones available. For most of these brands, the latest iPhone or Samsung devices don’t even work.
When it comes to brand loyalty, the survey shows a pretty astounding number. 86 percent of the respondents answered that they had been with their carrier for over two years. A reason why they have decided to stay with their carrier is because of how reliable their provider’s service is. Meanwhile, there are some who answered that they considered leaving but still could not find a better alternative.
As for those who switch carriers in the past two years, the main reason for their decision was because of cost. One-third of these respondents also switched because they were looking for better reception and a more reliable network that their previous carrier was unable to provide.
With these results, it goes to show that people are very careful about what they are paying their cell phone service providers nowadays. And particularly for families that have a lot of connected devices, the bill can get pretty big. It’s only important that you get your money’s worth for the monthly bill you are paying.
Source: Consumer Reports