AT&T and T-Mobile have received the worst ratings for customer service in a new survey. It appears a rising number of dropped calls have harmed AT&T’s reputation.
The figures come from a survey of 4,040 people carried out by ChangeWave, which has conducted similar research across the past couple of years. The headline statistic is the proportion of each network’s customers who say they are very satisfied with their service: 49 percent for Verizon, 35 percent for Sprint and 23 percent for T-Mobile and AT&T.
That may well be explained by a follow-up question asking users to estimate the percentage of their calls which have been dropped in the past three months: worst-placed AT&T’s figure of 4.5 percent is three times that of best-placed Verizon at 1.5 percent. Previous figures suggest the AT&T’s dropped calls problem has steadily increased over the past year.
Despite the problems, only 8 percent of AT&T customers plan to switch in the next three months. Given that Verizon is at 7 percent, Sprint at 10 percent and T-Mobile at 14 percent, and taking into account that of those considering a switch, Verizon and AT&T are the most likely beneficiaries, it’s probably a safe conclusion that exclusive carrier deals for desirable handsets can often outweigh service quality.
Another key finding is that the market for the iPhone may be far bigger than previously realized. On average, 49 percent of non-AT&T customers say they’d be very or somewhat likely to buy an iPhone if it came on to their network, with the figure at 53 percent for Verizon.
Extrapolated across all customers of the three networks, the survey results would be equivalent to 104 million people being “likely” to buy an iPhone, around double the existing global sales. That’s a clear sign — as if one were really needed — that once any GSM/CDMA issues are resolved, Apple needs to get the iPhone on to Verizon as soon as contractually possible.