Unexpected Fees Create Significant Drag on Wireless Purchase Experience, J.D. Power Finds

Press Release from J. D. Power & Associates

COSTA MESA, Calif., Aug. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Price consistency—or the alignment between advertised price and the price that actually shows up on a customer's bill—is a critical driver of customer satisfaction with the wireless purchase experience, according to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Performance StudySM–Volume 2 and the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Performance StudySM–Volume 2, both released today.

J.D. Power corporate logo. (PRNewsFoto/J.D. Power)

"Increased customer awareness of taxes and hidden fees on their wireless bills is clearly starting to have an effect on the overall purchase experience," said Peter Cunningham, technology, media & telecommunications practice lead at J.D. Power. "The good news for wireless companies is that there is a huge opportunity to win the hearts and minds of customers by simply delivering better consistency between advertised and actual pricing. Those who recognize this issue and effectively address it will go a long way toward shedding the 'used car dealer' stigma that is growing among consumers regarding wireless carriers."

Following are key findings from the studies:

  • Price consistency builds customer satisfaction:Overall satisfaction with the wireless purchase experience is notably higher (872 on a 1,000-point scale) among customers who say the advertised prices for services and/or products received from their carrier are "very consistent" with the actual prices vs. among those who say their pricing is either "very inconsistent" or "somewhat inconsistent" (709).
  • Unexpected costs are commonplace:Only 62% of customers say the advertised prices for services and/or products received from their carrier are "very consistent" with the actual prices.
  • In-store sales reps play critical role:Overall satisfaction is 93 points higher among customers who are met by a store greeter (842) vs. among those who are not (749), and 91 points higher among customers who say their store sales representative offered to explain or demonstrate device operations (853) vs. among those who did not (762). Additionally, when store representatives explain components of a customer's bill, those customers are far more likely to report that advertised prices were "very consistent" with actual prices.
  • Incentives improve perception of price consistency:Customers who say they received an incentive for purchasing services from their carrier are more likely than those who did not receive an incentive to say that advertised prices were "very consistent" with actual prices: 64% vs. 51%, respectively.

Study Rankings

AT&T ranks highest among wireless full-service carriers, with an overall score of 823. MetroPCS ranks highest among non-contract full-service carriers with a score of 810, and Consumer Cellular ranks highest among non-contract value carriers with a score of 863.

About the Studies

Now in their 14th year, the U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Performance Study and U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Performance Study evaluate the wireless purchase experience of customers who use any one of three purchase channels: phone calls with sales representatives; visits to a retail wireless store; or online/website. Overall purchase experience satisfaction with both full-service and non-contract carriers is measured in six factors (in order of importance): store sales representative; website; offerings and promotions; phone sales representative; store facility; and cost of service.

The 2017 U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Performance Study–Volume 2 is based on responses from 6,703 full-service customers. The 2017 U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Performance Study–Volume 2 is based on responses from 3,011 non-contract customers. Both studies are based on the experiences of current wireless service customers who made a sales transaction with their current carrier within the previous three months. The studies were fielded from January through June 2017.

For more information about the J.D. Power U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Performance Study and the U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Performance Study, visit http://www.jdpower.com/resource/us-wireless-purchase-experience-satisfaction-study.

See the online press release at http://www.jdpower.com/pr-id/2017123.

J.D. Poweris a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer.

Study Rankings


Overall Purchase Experience Rankings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)


Full-Service Carriers


JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings



For Consumers


AT&T

823

5

Full-Service Average

816

3

Verizon Wireless

814

3

T-Mobile

813

3

Sprint

785

2



Non-Contract Full-Service Carriers

MetroPCS

810

5

Cricket

808

5

Virgin Mobile

802

3

Non-Contract Full-Service Average

802

3

Boost Mobile

786

2


Non-Contract Value Carriers



Consumer Cellular

863

5

Net10

810

3

Non-Contract Value Average

806

3

TracFone

805

3

Straight Talk

774

2


Power Circle Ratings Legend

5 – Among the best

4 – Better than most

3 – About average

2 – The rest


Award-Eligible Full-Service Carriers Included in the Study

Company

Key Executive

Company Location

AT&T

Glenn Lurie

Atlanta, Ga.

Sprint

Marcelo Claure

Overland Park, Kan.

T-Mobile

John Legere

Bellevue, Wash.

Verizon Wireless

John Stratton

New York, N.Y.


Award-Eligible Non-Contract Carriers Included in the Study

Company

Key Executive

Company Location

Boost Mobile

Marcelo Claure

Overland Park, Kan.

Consumer Cellular

John Marick

Portland, Ore.

Cricket

John Dwyer

San Diego, Calif.

MetroPCS

John Legere

Bellevue, Wash.

Net10

Gustavo Blanco

Miami, Fla.

Straight Talk

Gustavo Blanco

Miami, Fla.

TracFone

Gustavo Blanco

Miami, Fla.

Virgin Mobile

Marcelo Claure

Overland Park, Kan.

Media Relations Contacts
Geno Effler; Costa Mesa, Calif.; 714-621-6224; media.relations@jdpa.com
John Roderick; St. James, N.Y.; 631-584-2200; john@jroderick.com

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Ruleswww.jdpower.com/about-us/press-release-info

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