T-Mobile Brings Up The Rear In New JD Power Wireless Purchase Experience Survey

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I suppose on the one hand, when you’re in last place, there’s nowhere to go but up and that’s hopefully exactly what T-Mobile will do in the very near future. Still, even if T-Mobile makes a drastic turnaround in the future, it won’t erase the memory that T-Mobile is clearly in a customer service slump with a spate of last place finishes in recent JD Power surveys.

The newest JD Power survey ranks the “Wireless Full-Service Purchase Experience” during a a six month period lasting from July to December 2012. During that time more than 7,777 respondents evaluated the wireless purchase experience through phone calls with carrier representatives, visits to a retail store, and online. Customer satisfaction is determined using six factors, in order of importance: store sales representative; website; phone sales representative; store facility; offerings and promotions; and cost of service.

For the fourth consecutive period in a row, Sprint took the top spot finishing ahead of Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. The separation gap between Verizon and AT&T is surprisingly slim given Verizon’s generally well ranked company owned retail stores. T-Mobile clearly has their work cut out for them on the customer service front and we’re hopeful that a huge part of their move to the “uncarrier” is a massive revamp of the Magenta shopping experience.

Read the full JD Power study at the link below:

JD Power

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  • mantus

    I’m not really a big fan of JD Power reports, I prefer to go off my own experience and I have upgraded to a value plan and upgraded the phones 4 of my lines and have had nothing but a great experience. I tried to get through to customer service during the whole AT&T disaster and it was horrible, so T-Mobile is improving leaps and bounds compared to where they were a year ago.

    • GinaDee

      JD Powers still reflects what we’ve been saying for the past 2 years. How can you know your service is terrible and just leave it as is? Where is the leadership here?

      • test

        Leadership changed very recently. It takes a bit to move a ship with 40K employees.

        • The truth

          The problem with tmobile is that the higher ups only demand sales I work for tmobile and let me tell you if I spend to much time on a customer problem and I continue that tren all month I will lose my job . customer need to understand tmobile does not care about service Evan today in my market if we dont make our monthly goals your done fired .
          Tmobile doesn’t care. Most tmobile employees agree that the money is good but hate our acid work environment. I used to love my job. Now I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack if I don’t make my numbers.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nickontheweb Nick Johnson

        They need to bring back sue nokes. she turned things around last time and now the leadership just sucks… besides CS has been an issue since I left the company, they constantly changed metrics for they’re agents and no one knew what the company expected of them anymore.

    • Dakota

      That’s a mistake people make. You can’t base it on one person…good or bad.. There’s always exceptions to any rule. You need to look at the experience as a whole. And Tmobile track record shows their service had seriously declined over the years

    • galaxymaniac

      you upgraded to a Value Plan, of course they will be nice and courteous, the folks who helped had quotas met and commissions made. Six months from now, when you need a regular CSR interaction like a billing issue, see how the same folks treat you.

      • TBN27

        Every time I called customer care, and I always connected to a call center in the U.S. and always had courteous service received. I guess I was lucky.

        • galaxymaniac

          yeah, sign up with T-mobile and hope you’re lucky when customer support is needed. I’d rather not take that chance.

        • TBN27

          I have been with them 12 years and counting. Never had a problem. Also I rarely need to call them. So it is either luck or my competion evaluation and content.

        • galaxymaniac

          your last sentence makes no sense.

        • TBN27

          To clear it up, I rarely need to call customer service because I am not having issues with the service, the cost is less than the competition and where I live the coverage is excellent. Typing on these forums on a smartphone gets screwy often.

  • Noor Mahmoud

    This seems inaccurate according to my personal experience. All of my friends with sprint absolutely hate it and all of my friend with tmobile love it… I know it varies by area, but that is precisely the reason why this survey is worthless.

    • Dakota

      I’ve never even met a single person with Tmobile

      • OkCupid

        Although many couples do have T-Mobile, I’m pretty sure singles also have T-Mobile. I’m pretty sure it’s a result of the big success of T-Mobile’s Valentines Day sales.

    • JBLmobileG1

      I agree. It seems like it’s all backwards.

  • lynyrd65

    Uncarrier is a foolish attempt. As far as I can tell all it does is raise prices and allow hooligans to work there. The dust bowl comments are not only offensive for us who live in those states but an obvious sign that T-Mobile is clueless about where they need to go to succeed. LTE in areas that already have DC-HSPA is a very small upgrade in real world performance. T-Mobile needs to make a complete U-Turn, increase subsidies and work on bringing that high speed coverage to the dust bowl states, highways and other cities smaller than 1 million in population. We don’t all live in New York!

    Unlimited data is the only good that has come from “uncarrier”. It too has its own issues though as it further perpetuates the lie that is nationwide 4G coverage as it is advertised.

    T-Mobile intends to switch to contract post-paid plans with no subsidy which will significantly reduce the customer purchase experience. A customer goes into a T-Mobile store and sees a Galaxy Note that they like and ask how much it costs. They say $600, the customer winces then the salesman says, but its only $300 down. The customer asks as would I, “What?! Am I buying a car!?”, then they promptly leave and buy a phone with another carrier.

    When you run the numbers, its more expensive anyway, even long term!

    • Greyg00se

      Either way you will end up paying full cost for a phone no matter what carrier you go with. The money is made by inflating services and keeping the extra profit to cover the cost lost on the subsidized phone. Its all a numbers trick. To people who don’t understand numbers though, the shock of how much phones actually cost can be a bit much.

    • philyew

      Please show some numbers that demonstrate the total cost of ownership of a Galaxy Note over a two-year contract is cheaper with either AT&T or Verizon than using a comparable TM Value Plan with a full price device.

      • chrisl08@yahoo.com

        Well att n Verizon might not be cheaper but u do get better coverage on att n verizon than on tmobile I rather pay more for better nationwide coverage since I do travel a lot I tried tmobile and traveling for work it failed me a lot were as att n Verizon always came tru .

        • galaxymaniac

          for several existing customer of VzW and ATT, they have retention deals and other subsidies (sometime in the 30-35% range) that make it worth their while to continue, including better service whether it be network or customer care. Many of the VzW users I know have 30% subsidies because they work at certain companies, that brings down their bill by a significant amount. And like you mentioned, certain things beyond cost count too.

        • philyew

          The specific context of my comment was the statement: “When you run the numbers, its more expensive anyway, even long term!” I was simply asking for an illustration of the point.

          You may well be right that coverage is better with the other carriers. It will depend where you live, work and visit. I have no particular issues with TM, but I’m sure that isn’t the case for everyone. It may even be worth the extra $30-$50/month that it costs for equivalent service from AT&T or Verizon, if the coverage difference is that great. However, based on a simple cost comparison, TM certainly isn’t more expensive as the poster claimed. Nor are they more expensive than Sprint, when comparing like-for-like services.

      • lynyrd65

        I would never consider Verizon or AT&T so this is a moot question for me. I use both Sprint and T-Mobile. T-Mobile makes a lot of sense in prepaid but on these pseudo-postpaid crazy crackpot uncarrier value plans you just end up paying more for phones for nothing.

        Let’s see $70/month unlimited with a two year contract and no subsidy vs. $45 a month unlimited prepaid? Am I missing something here?

        As for a comparison to the other carrier I use

        Sprint

        $80/month, $200 Galaxy S 3

        VS

        Tmobile

        $70/month (service) + $20 a month (loan payback) = $90 a month, $200 down

        See my point, Sprint is $10 a month cheaper

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1719518229 Adam Oakes

          please show where you can get a true unlimited sprint plan for $80 where it includes unlimited 4g web pricing. i see 109.99 plus state tax and fees. source http://shop.sprint.com/mysprint/shop/plan/plan_wall.jsp?tabId=pt_individual_tab&INTNAV=ATG:HE:IndPlans

          Now T-mobile’s plan with Value individual truly unlimited plan, $45 talk + $5 text + $20 unlimited 4g web. = 70, yes you got that right at least.

          109.99 vs 70 = 40 monthly cost difference! 40 * 24 months is 960 savings, this is not including the obvious tax deduction you would save as well. how is sprint cheaper again? since GS3 retails for $600 plus state tax overly est. @ $650. 960 – 650; there would be a savings of $310 / now divide for 24 months. T mobile would be 13 – 15 dollars per month (including the difference of taxes) cheaper including the cost of the Samsung S3. If you choice EIP to pay the $600 equipment, its convenience to place a small $200 down payment. that’s not how i’d do it though. there are smarter strategies where Value plans allows you to get the phone anywhere and benefit from the service plan savings.

        • TBN27

          Yes you are missing the point. The unlimited prepaid is neutered compared to post paid. There are line services that are offered on post paid that you cannot get on prepaid. So compared to the other “nationwide” carriers, 70 bucks for unlimited everything is worth it. Especially when paying full price for a “phone.

        • lynyrd65

          What is neutered pray tell?

          My sister used the $45 a month Straight Talk T-Mobile plan and could use 10 gigs of data with no throttle. She could talk and text as much as she wanted. So where is the neuter?

          Edit: you use unspecified “line services” you never identify as a justification for paying $25 extra a month then say its a good deal. Seems fishy to me.

        • TBN27

          The ability to add line services which I find useful compared to the other post paid carrier plans. For example, I have international talk and text, which I use instead of google voice because it is cheaper for me. The option to have caller I.D., the option to use an installment plan to pay off your phone if you don’t a classic plan or a nexus, etc. these are the examples of how prepaid service is neutered because Last time I checked, those services aren’t offered on prepaid plans. I use those services myself as we’ll my friends and family and my bill is still cost less than a similar AT&T or Verizon plan without those add ins

        • http://profiles.google.com/mrice.hill Mr. Hill

          You forget that once the device is paid off on T-Mobile the bill is only $70 per month period. With Sprint you keep paying for a “subsidized” device that you have already paid for.

          Also according to their site, it’s $110 per month for truly unlimited with Sprint.

        • lynyrd65

          True unlimited is retarded for minutes you already get unlimited mobile to mobile and unlimited night and weekend minutes. I rarely pass 100 counted minutes but I talk 1200.

          Also, your point is still moot. Why pay $70 when you can move to $45 prepaid?

  • AndroidProfit

    SHOCKING!

  • Mr G

    well with the announcement of no contracts at all coming soon(instead of 2 year commitments on Value Plans, it’ll be like Even More Plus plans with no contract at all, the only benefit is the option of putting a phone on EIP), I’m sure this will help because nobody really likes contracts anymore, especially if you have to pay full price for the phone.

    • 21stNow

      Where can I find more information about this? I’ve seen people post about a coming no-contract scenario on other sites, but I thought that they were confused. Please tell me if I’m the one that’s wrong. I’d never be so happy to be wrong in my life.

      • asmidnightfalls

        The guy is incorrect. Tmo will still have contracts, just that the only difference between prepaid and contract is the family plans are cheaper on contract, discounts on the plan on where you work on contracts, prioritized data speeds when congested on contract, and also using eip on contract. And on prepaid you basically just get the service and that’s it. No discounts or rip on the phones, so yes. He’s probably just talking out of his ass…

  • GinaDee

    They know their CS sucks but they continue to invest more in offshore help than onshore. With the Metro merger this will get even worse.

    I’m a business customer with 850 lines. When I ask T-Mobile to upgrade my USB modem to a smartphone I’m told no. When I ask them to put me on a higher rate plan they tell me I have to extend my contract for 2 years. When I request to do a port in I always have to follow up with them because they never submit it right or update their system with the new number. I get my calls sent to India or the Philippines when I call business care anytime after 2pm PST and they cannot do anything that isn’t already scripted for them. T-Mobile cannot provide me with a real time online portal to easily manage my lines or request provisioning for others.

    I’ve been giving them my business for years but this October I’m finally pulling the plug. Their real focus is on low end prepaid markets while trying to be seen with a nationwide 4G network to investors and refusing to upgrade their large GPRS/EDGE networks to anything other than 2G.

    • asmidnightfalls

      Why don’t you go to a store. We usually try to help most people.

      • galaxymaniac

        ha, what a joke .. in between watching movies on their tablet and listening to music on the phone, where will most t-mobile reps in store get time to “help”, especially when there is no sale or commission to be made. The issues the OP mentions are all “regular” CS activities which most in-store reps would ask to call the CSR number. Now if the OP was going to sign up and activate a business plan with 850 line, then they will roll out the red carpet, after all bait and switch requires to bait first

        • Jose Hernandez

          This might be what your experience is. But it is not the same for everyone. There is nothing wrong with someone telling the OP to go to a store and see is he can get some help. Do you thing the OP was told to go to the same store(s) where you have had this horrible CS experiences? T-Mobile has some real issues when it comes to CS, all the carriers have some issues when it comes to CS. The issues are “regular” things that CS over the phone would need to handle? Probably, that does not open the door for you to start with the smart comments about how horrible the store reps are. I have not had a single problem going to a T-Mobile branded store and get something taken care of. Too bad, it seems that this is the case with you every time you need go.

        • galaxymaniac

          if you seriously think the folks in a store can help with a business account of 850 lines, you have to be smoking some really good stuff. You’d be lucky if they can even access business accounts and make any changes, my guess is they need to get connected to a different department. The OP was not told to go to any particular store, but chances are more than even that visit will be useless. And you might have had no problems with in store reps, but trust me you are in the miniscule minority.

    • Stars44

      +1

      I’m switching too in September, because of really bad service and coverage. Even when the map says there should be 4G, Im getting sometimes Edge! I was with them for 9 years but they can’t reach the leaders unfortunately.

  • AndroidProfit

    And people wonder why consumers are willing to spend more each month for the other carriers.

    • CanUhereMeNow

      I don’t wonder. People just like to waste their money stupidly with the false perception they are somehow getting more for the +$35 more they are giving away per month. If you are on Sprint or Verizon its even more of a farce and AT&T is not too far off. I deal with all, except Sprint – they are just that bad I severed all ties with that POS company.

      • M42

        I know what I would get for the extra money – 4G coverage, in fact all around better coverage and stronger signals. Plus I would get competent customer service. To me, that’s worth the little extra I would have to pay.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kirk.stiele Kirk Stiele

    The problem is the quality of TMO’s Retail Sales People and their Management. I despise going into a TMO Store because of their arrogant attitude. They generally act like a bunch of smart assed GEEKS who only care about you if you are going to sign a NEW, CLASSIC Contract and get the Smartphone with the LARGEST down payment. Screw em!

    • Verizonthunder

      That is funny but sadly true I was thinking of going to T-Mobile but one store was offensive blasting urban music and the worker’s sounded like the won a award at a Urban TV Award Show but that store was near the city , other’s were better

    • galaxymaniac

      VERY true, except the geek part… in a typical t-mobile store, only 1-2 of the reps are actually anywhere near geek level.

    • T2K

      You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. First of all retail reps haven’t been commissioned in the cost of devices since 2007 so strike 1, next they don’t hire knowledgeable geeks as they rather have mindless monkeys all do the same routine and use right fit guides, don’t much care for high caliber reps with knowledge strike 2, the company has been 100% Value focused for the longest time and anti Classic for the longest time the reps commission reflects that as they have Value spiffs,thanks for talking out your ass tho. Sorry you couldn’t get your free online special at a store and get raped on your monthly price happy to see you go experience it at another carrier come back when you feel that sharp pain in your rear.

  • Dakota

    Is anyone surprised? Its why I left.. Its only apologists on this blogs n Tmobile management who continue in denial

    • TBN27

      No apologists here. Everyone has different experience from you. And a lot of us still have good ones.

      • galaxymaniac

        everyone has had different experiences, the lowering on-contract subscriber count really is the indicator of customer experience across the company. Lower costs need not always be reason enough for people to “stick together”

  • achusaysblessyou

    I don’t know… the scores aren’t that far apart… with last place (T-mobile) and first place (Sprint) separated by only 25 points on a 1000 point scale… which means they only differ by 2.5%… which isn’t very much at all…

    • galaxymaniac

      Psst, this is John Legere. Your check and a baseball cap are in the mail. If it bounces, I’ll pay you in the huge pile of Blackerries we have left in our warehouse.

  • galaxydude

    I never had any issues with
    Customers services

    • galaxymaniac

      of course you never would have had issues with “Customers services”, THEY would have had them not you.

  • Nice

    After my last few experiences I can see why they are pulling up the rear. I’ve been with them over ten years with no real plan to leave but it’s been frustrating talking to customer service and tech support the last few times. My favorite part is when they tell me thanks for being with them for over ten years right after they tell me there’s nothing do can do for me.

    They sent me to the store to return the broken refurbished phone they sent me. I thought that made no sense and confirmed the instructions with the rep several times. I went to two stores because the first one just closed when I got there. After wasting time, gas and freezing the store told me there was nothing they could do. I have to send it back UPS. I called back customer service and was told it makes no sense that someone would tell me go to the store to return it.

    Get your ish together. A monthly service is starting to sound so much better. I expect less than stellar service from them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/todd.mulch Todd Mulch

    Wait when iPhone 6 arrive in July. (Hope so!) Maybe will be different. T-Mobile will go up.

    • 21stNow

      The iPhone 6 won’t come out until 2014. Did you mean the iPhone 5S?

  • CJ

    I have a problem with the pricing structure on phones once that gets fixed I will be happy. As a current customer it costs me $149.99 to get the Nokia 810 but if I was a new customer its free. Give me a break!

  • TMoFan

    As a long customer of 10+ years there is a noticeable difference between the customer service, both in the store and on the phone, from a few years ago to today. T-Mobile dominated customer service so it shouldn’t be a mystery on what to do to fix this.

  • BigMixxx

    ‘offerings and promotions’ The T mobile offering has slipped quite a bit, Imagine if the T hadda signed on the ONE X or ONE X+ vs. the ONE S or an exclusive on the NOTE II. But now they are in the same bucket as everyone else.

    The bigger picture is that there is no where to go but up. T is now selling a service vs. phones. THAT’s the major focus.

  • Paul

    I didn’t have an issue with my in-store service! I was quite happy with it, even with the 15 minute wait because there was just 2 people to help out. Meh, it happens and I know what it’s like to work customer service.

    I bet supplies, phone, and services are hurting them. The new plan structure is different and could freak people out.

    • TBN27

      True on the price structure. My friends are adamantly against paying a full price for a phone, until I showed them the math.

  • MatthewMurawski

    Once you get past the customer service, T-Mobile is way better than Sprint. You get way faster speeds for way less.

  • TMO CS REP

    The problem with T-Mobile is that a FEW YEARS AGO, T-Mobile trained customer service representatives to HELP customers. Now they train us to UPSELL features/plans. This started just around 2 years ago, exactly when T-Mobile customer service started to decline.
    They are basically screwing up themselves.
    I can’t believe they are acting like idiots and like they don’t know why this is happening, it’s all their fault.

    • me

      Problem was all that “helping” was hurting the bottom line. I was a call center manager during that time and while it was great being able to help someone out, numbers were showing that the company was literally paying a significant amount of people to have our service. There needs to be a better balance as it sounds like now its all about the add ons, but the old way was the reason at&t nearly bought them out.

  • M42

    Ding dong, another alarm has gone off. How many of these kinds of surveys is going to take for the fat cats at T-Horrible to get the message? People aren’t fooled by their false ads claiming coast to coast 4G service. T-Mobile’s 4G is as mythical as a Leprechaun with a pot of gold. Consumers don’t care about your value or no contract plans, which also are a joke. I have a contract and I’m still having to pay full price for my phone. Customers want coverage. Period.

    And they’ve yet to do anything about their horrible customer service, which has ranked at the bottom of every survey for years. When we call customer service we want to speak to somebody to at least speaks English and understands the problem. And no, it doesn’t help to go into the store because the bulk of reps working there are liars and rude. You can go into the same store two days in a row and speak to two different people and you’ll two completely different answers. It’s obvious they offer their employees no training.

    Like others have posted I’m gone as soon as my contract is up. I’m tired of driving to our branch offices and being on EDGE the entire time. I can’t get emails or do anything that requires data. T-Mobile is the ONLY cell phone provider that doesn’t offer 4G where I travel. Even the small regional carrier, US Cellular has 4G here. Thank goodness I’ll have a lot of choices once I leave them.

    The thing is, I researched carefully before signing up and was shown false maps by sales reps that showed the entire region I travel in was blanked with their 4G. It’s not. You lie to your customers and entice them to sign up with you based on false representations and then wonder why these very same customers rate you at the bottom? Get a clue T-Mobile!

  • http://profiles.google.com/mrice.hill Mr. Hill

    This has to be due to their offshore customer service. I hear nothing but complaints from customers about how hard it is to speak to someone who speaks English as their first language when calling in to customer service. Guess the savings from offshore CS outweigh the benefits of customer satisfaction for T-Mobile.

    Also in the retail stores reps are trained and encouraged to upsell rather than actually sell customers the plans that they need. Old lady that barely uses the internet on her phone? Sell her the Value Unlimited Data Plan.

    On the note of Sprint being on top, I’m assuming that actual cell service didn’t play that large of a role in this. Their network is probably the worst of the big 4. Very sparse 4G coverage and ridiculously slow 3G that rivals T-Mobile Edge data. They must have very helpful CS reps though.

    • me

      Problem is the numbers show that those offshore reps do just as good a job, and often times better as someone in the US making a significant amount more. Those offshore reps stick to policy, give out information according to policy instead of what they think the customer wants to hear, and their efficiency is off the charts. Sure the language barrier is a problem for some folks, but T-Mobile is getting the biggest bang for their buck with those offshore call centers. Not that I agree with it, but for a long time I was on the other side of the business and saw it from the company’s perspective.

  • http://Www.facebook.com/thatnolankid thatnolankid

    In my experience, T-Mobile has been nothing but a pleasure to be with for 8 years. One time I considered switching to at&t back when I was interested in a corporate discount i could receive from my job and the rep insulted me even I told him I wasn’t interested in the iPhone. With T-Mobile I’ve gotten preferred customer rates, locked in grandfathered plans, a comparable discount, and in my opinion the best CS experiences I have ever had. Sorry for the people who got a bad experience. I can understand too, its different case by case.

  • Matt

    I got a new cell phone with a MIR from Tmobile on november 19th of 2012. It’s now almost all the way through February and I still have yet to receive my MIR card. I’ve contact Tmobile at least 15 times now, and every time I’m told that I did qualify, that the card was in the process of shipping, and that it should take 4-6 weeks from the original date they received it. It has now been almost 3 times that window, and they still have yet to ship my card. None of the reps in the Rebate department have any idea why I haven’t had it by now. Yet they can’t seem to do anything about it. So basically I’m just stuck waiting for months. Of course the CS sucks. I enjoy my service but I don’t like being duped, and that is how I feel at the moment. I paid upfront and mailed the rebate, I did my end of the bargain. They haven’t.

  • Gwanatu

    I’ve been on T-Mobile for about 8 years now, and honestly I have zero reason to switch. Every time I’ve EVER called customer service they’ve fixed whatever issue I have. If there’s a deadzone on my drive, I call them up and they have it fixed within days. If I’ve ever had a problem with something on my plan, needed to change something, etc. they always help me. I can’t say I’ve ever been even close to disatistifed with their customer service, and it’s a shame that I’m the only one that seems to have this experience.

  • Ghoulash

    I never confused TmoNews as being a source of objective journalism. Still, it does get wearying on occasion reading the moderator/shill tossing in such limp noodle rah-rah moments such as his desire that T-Mobile will “hopefully” rise from the JD Power trash bin. The reasons T-Mobile is 4th are many — the company is populated by the singular lack of talent and drive to help it reach its previous heights. Look no further than Bellevue. The hubris in those hallways is so thick, you would think the company directive was to create a Seattle fog inside the buildings. Too bad the fog has clogged Legere’s brain in particular.

    • http://tmonews.com David

      Well, of course I want to pump some hands in the air because the company has been in first place, so they know what it takes to get there. They’ve CLEARLY lost their way and nobody is faster to take a shot at them when they do wrong than I am. I am and have never been afraid to call them out for their faults, but in this case I am hopeful because they have been in the top spot before. It’s not unlike hoping the Bulls win another championship in the near future, different talent but they know what it takes to win.

  • Chaudcek

    When I worked At T-mobile we were winning JD Power like no one’s business. I will tell you why sprint is now the winner. If You ever call sprint they actually sound like as if you called T-mobile 4 years ago. Sad to say but T-mobile if they want to become a contender again needs to go back to how they were years ago. The rate they’re going now I don’t see them doing very well in the market.

  • http://twitter.com/Banstaman Banney Ley

    I do wonder what happened with T-Mobile’s customer service, just a few years ago, they were capturing JD Power awards left and right, has management and/or leadership become so complacent?

  • gg555

    This is the biggest non-story. And I’m sorry David, but I feel you really could have done a little bit more critical reporting on this.

    If you look at the JD Power point ranking system, which is supposed to represent relative levels of customer satisfication, out of 1000 possible points “worst” rated T-Mobile gets a 753 point score, whereas “best” rated Sprint gets a 778 point score. In other words, in terms of overall customer satisfaction with the purchase experience the “best” and “worst” companies differ by 2.5%.

    That constitutes a meaningless and trivial difference. For all intents and purposes, all of the companies had the same level of customer satisfaction.

    But JD Power exaggerates the differences by assigning “circle ratings” to each company. T-Mobile getting two circles, while Sprint gets five. Wow five circles! for me? really? I love circles!! People are bound to look at these like stars ratings and think Sprint is a “five star” company, whereas T-Mobile is only a “two star” company.

    But all the circles represent, if you read the legend, is that T-Mobile is below average and Sprint is above average. Yeah, an average wherein the biggest difference between worst and best is 2.5%. Being below, or above, average here is almost meaningless, because everyone is extremely close to the average. (Probably within whatever the margin of error would be, if JD Power bothered to publish that information–and the lack of which demonstrates the completely non-scientific nature of their “rating” study.)

    At the end of the day, this should not come as a surprise. JD Power is well known for not really being a serious analyst of these sorts of things. They are a shill for industry, having all kinds of conflicts of interest, and basically are a market research company for industry (not a consumer advocacy organization).

    Remember, JD Power produces these ratings for the companies they are rating. In other words the wireless industry pays JD Power for this stuff. So JD Power gives them the answers they want. It looks like Sprint has been paying them lately. More specifically, whoever gets good ratings in these surveys then pays JD Power to mention those ratings in their advertising. So JD Power produces the ratings that companies who plan to pay them want. The word for this is payola.