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MVNOs Top Customer Satisfaction Survey in Latest ACSI Report

The results of a recent study have shown that customers have a better opinion of prepaid MVNOs compared to traditional carriers. These results come from the latest "Wireless Service and Cellular Telephone Report", a study conducted by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

The study reflects results from surveys conducted throughout a 12-month duration, which ended last March 2019. According to the report, customer satisfaction has increased 1.4% compared to the last year. But in terms of customer satisfaction, traditional carriers like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have scored the lowest in the category.

Out of the four carriers, T-Mobile scored the highest with 76. Sprint, as expected, scored the lowest with only 65. Most of the complaints gathered by ACSI were on data speeds and insufficient wireless plan options.

On average, the four carriers had a score of 73, which is below average for what is referred to by ASCI as "full-service MVNOs", which earned a 77 score. This category includes the likes of Cricket Wireless, Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, and Metro by T-Mobile. Among the factors that earned top marks for these brands include their in-person customer service and straightforward billing.

When it comes to network quality, Verizon took the top spot with a score of 80. AT&T followed the brand with a 78 score. On third spot, T-Mobile was tied with U.S. Cellular with a 77 score. Sprint, again, came last with a score of 72.

It's important to note, however, that network quality is not a key differentiator between MVNOs and traditional carriers. In the end, the significant difference between both is customer satisfaction; which includes things like pricing, flexibility, and value propositions. As noted in the results of the study, MVNOs are performing better than MNOs. A huge reason for this is because MVNOs offer prepaid options that are more flexible compared to MNOs' contracts.

The data revealed that the leading names in customer satisfaction include MVNOs like Consumer Cellular, Straight Talk Wireless, and Tracfone Wireless. This group alone gained an 81 average score. The main advantage of this group was ease of billing.

Another data that the study discovered was that majority of wireless customers tend to spend $100 or less every month on mobile phone service. Those who spend more than $100 are less loyal and have lower customer satisfaction. The higher ARPU customers are estimated to be comprised of around 18% of the wireless customer base. Despite this, only 40% of revenue is accounted for due to annual churn loss.

The survey does not show performance by the wireless service offered by cable companies. But their existence plays a vital role in the traditional wireless market. The report shared that traditional carriers feel the pressure to improve service from new alternative competitors like Comcast's Xfinity Mobile and Charter's Spectrum Mobile.

ACSI managing director, David VanAmburg, believes data from cable MVNOs will be included in the future; especially since these are gaining subscribers.

You can read the full survey report here.

Source: Fierce Wireless 



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  1. Difficult to believe a report when Sprint has a score as high as it does.

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