According to the results of a survey recently conducted by Jefferies Equity Research Americas, 18 percent of subscribers of postpaid phone plans in the United States have considered changing wireless carriers within the next year. The main factors influencing their decision? That would be pricing and quality of network coverage (more on this later).
That Jefferies did was conduct a poll among a thousand postpaid mobile users based in America, and the results show that for the most part, US consumers are actually generally loyal to their existing wireless service provider. Over 78 percent of those surveyed claim that they have stuck with their current carrier for a period of over three years now, while three thirds of the respondents state that they have not switched networks in the last half decade.
As elucidated by Mike McCormack, an analyst from Jefferies, the survey also served to shed some light on the customer turnover rates of the Big Four (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint). Customer turnover (also known as churn) is one way to measure how loyal customers are to their mobile operator. Jefferies’ poll shows that among the segment who claim they were loyal to their carrier, the inclination to switch to another network within the next year appears to be lowest for AT&T. Not far behind are Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile.
In terms of potential churn, Sprint is not looking good in the next twelve months, at least according to Jefferies’ industry watchers. A year ago, the fourth biggest wireless carrier in the US had a promotional deal that promised to give a 50 percent discount on the monthly bill of any customer willing to switch from a rival network to Sprint. Back in April earlier this year, however, Sprint had decided to end that special offer. It is quite possible that the customers who availed of that deal will be switching to another mobile operator when their smartphones are paid off or once their contracts are done.
On the topic of the quality of network coverage, this remains an important factor for mobile users when choosing a wireless carrier. Number 3 carrier T-Mobile has vastly improved its coverage in the last few years, but according to the respondents of Jefferies’ survey, they still Verizon Wireless and AT&T have the more reliable coverage. It is no surprise then that for customers of the top two carriers in the country, their complaints generally revolve more around pricing rather than network performance.
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