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Survey: T-Mobile tops in customer satisfaction

T-Mobile outscores Verizon Wireless for customer satisfaction in a J.D. Power survey that also found AT&T at the bottom of the list.

Users of T-Mobile are the most satisfied customers among the top four wireless carriers in the U.S., according to new data out today from J.D. Power and Associates.

Grabbing a score of 758 out of 1,000 for customer satisfaction, T-Mobile managed to outshine Verizon Wireless, which scored 743. That left Sprint-Nextel in third place with 731 and AT&T in last with 729. T-Mobile took top honors from J.D. Power for the second time in a row, with its live customer support reps earning praise. Verizon Wireless also received kudos for the performance of its support staff.

J.D. Power & Associates

The semiannual study, now in its ninth year, issues scores based on how well customers receive support through phone conversations with live reps, help from automated response systems, visits to a retail store, and over the Web.

Drilling down to the reasons why people call for support, J.D. Power discovered that 36 percent of customers contact their carriers over service and equipment-related issues, 32 percent over general billing issues, 28 percent over inaccurate charges, 23 percent over the quality of their mobile calls, and 21 percent over pricing issues.

People who say they've had positive experiences with customer care are likely to be more loyal and not jump ship to a different carrier. J.D. Power found that the average customer care scores given by those who said they definitely would not switch were almost 250 points higher from those who said they definitely will switch.

The survey also found that mobile users in need of support uniformly prefer speaking to a live human being rather than an automated response system. That news is hardly surprising to people who've had to wrestle with such systems, but it serves as a wake-up call to carriers and other companies that rely too much on automation to deal with their customers.

J.D. Power & Associates

J.D. Power's study was based on a survey conducted from last July through December of 9,755 wireless users who contacted their carrier's customer service department over the prior six months.