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AT&T edges T-Mobile, trounces Verizon and Sprint in purchase experience

AT&T edges T-Mobile, trounces Verizon and Sprint in purchase experience

By Dan Meyer

Latest J.D. Power survey found AT&T just ahead of T-Mobile among postpaid, Consumer Cellular tops among prepaid providers

AT&T Mobility just edged out rival T-Mobile US among “full-service” mobile operators in “wireless purchasing experience performance,” according to the latest survey from J.D. Power.

The survey of 7,481 postpaid customers through the first half of this year found AT&T Mobility with the highest score in terms of the overall purchasing experience. The carrier’s score of 845 came in slightly higher than the 839 score for T-Mobile US in the survey. J.D. Power noted AT&T Mobility scored well in four of the six purchasing experiences, with exceptional performance in the store representative and offerings, and promotions factors.

Verizon Wireless was No. 3 among the survey’s four nationwide operators in the survey, posting a below segment average score of 824, while Sprint came in last with a score of 804. The rankings were similar to the previous test conducted through the second half of last year.

Among prepaid-focused brands, mobile virtual network operator Consumer Cellular led the survey with a score of 899, which came in well ahead of segment runner-up Cricket Wireless with a score of 819. Consumer Cellular was cited for strong performance across all six purchase experience factors surveyed, “especially in offerings and promotions, and cost of service.”

Falling below the segment average were the remaining prepaid operators, including Boost Mobile and MetroPCS, both with scores of 806; Virgin Mobile with a score of 803; and TracFone Wireless’ Net10, branded offer and Straight Talk service. The TracFone branded service had previously scored the top spot in the segment.

Both AT&T Mobility and Consumer Cellular came out on top in J.D. Power’s recent customer care performance survey. The AT&T Mobility results saw the carrier jump over previous top performer T-Mobile US, while Consumer Cellular, which uses Verizon Wireless’ network for service, was the top scorer the first time it was included in the survey.

Breaking out trends in the latest wireless purchasing experience survey, J.D. Power noted satisfaction among full-service carriers surged 31 points from the previous survey, while non-contract services scored a 16 point increase; more than one-third of postpaid customers said they expect to own their device for at least one year, with 13% stating they expect to keep their device for at least three years; and 78% of those postpaid customers surveyed purchased their device in a retail store, compared to 62% for prepaid customers.

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