J.D. Power: T-Mobile highest in satisfaction among postpaid carriers

The front of T-Mobile's corporate headquarters in Connecticut.
The front of T-Mobile’s corporate headquarters in Connecticut. (Image courtesy T-Mobile US/Deutsche Telekom, Graphic by The Desk)

T-Mobile has the highest customer satisfaction ranking among the three biggest postpaid wireless service providers in the United States, according to a new survey published by consumer research firm J.D. Power this week.

Based on a possible score of 1,000 points, the survey ranked T-Mobile first with a customer satisfaction rating of 816 points, followed by Verizon Wireless with 784 points and AT&T with 782 points. The industry average was 790 points.

Among mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), AT&T subsidiary Cricket had the highest satisfaction ranking with 824 points — slightly higher than that of postpaid provider T-Mobile — while T-Mobile’s prepaid MVNO Metro (formerly MetroPCS) scored second on the list at 819 points, J.D. Power reported.

The survey also broke out so-called value MVNOs — companies that piggyback off the big wireless networks but sell talk, text and data service for a low price — with Consumer Cellular (which uses AT&T’s network) ranking the highest with 849 points. Straight Talk and TracFone followed with 794 and 766 points respectively; Straight Talk and TracFone are both subsidiaries of Verizon Wireless, though each uses a mixture of Verizon and T-Mobile’s network.

The survey was based on responses from nearly 16,000 wireless customers who had at least one interaction with their wireless carrier’s customer service department within a three-month period, with participants asked about their experiences between January and June 2022.

J.D. Power ranked customer satisfaction among six factors, including in-store service, customer service over the phone, website service, app-based customer service, social media interactions and customer care over text messages.

J.D. Power said the carriers faced declining ratings compared to a similar survey conducted one year ago as customers have had to face longer wait times to reach a representative and as some companies have laid off workers in recent months.

“Wireless carriers are continuing to [hire and train] award-winning customer care representatives in the aftermath of the pandemic,” Ian Greenblatt, the managing director of J.D. Power, said in a statement. “However, the process does take time—both to find the right people and to prepare them with training, knowledge and empathy.”

Greenblatt said in-store, phone and website care declined year over year, which weighed on the results.

“We’re seeing this in satisfaction scores for assisted wireless customer care, which is lower among store, phone and website channels in this volume of the study versus the most recent,” he said.

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