Survey reveals only 15% of Tmo subscribers want to switch to another carrier

T-Mobile-Churn-Dropping

If you’ve been listening or reading any of T-Mobile’s announcements recently, one frequently mentioned topic is churn. Or, in other words, the number of customers canceling contracts and switching to another network. Cowen and Company has just released results of a survey done in the final quarter of last year, and it’s showing T-Mobile in a very positive light.

1,876 customers from all 4 major network operators with contracts expiring within the next 6 months were asked if they were planning on ditching their carrier in favor of another. Only 15.4% of T-Mobile subscribers stated that they would be looking to move on. Not only does it place the carrier in 2nd place (behind AT&T), it’s also a massive drop from the 42.9% who were looking to switch just a few months before. Tmo wasn’t the only carrier to improve. AT&T dropped from 31.6% to just 11.1% and Sprint dropped from 41.7% to 31%. Verizon – on the other hand – saw its result rise from 15.7% to 17%.

Of course, this is one survey done by an independent company, and it’s important not to read too much in to it. I can’t for the life of my imagine that 40-odd percent of T-Mobile customers who said they’d switch in Q3 are going to or have actually switched. That’s just a ridiculous metric. Actual reported figures are a much better indication. The fact that less than 2,000 people responded doesn’t really give an overall view of every mobile subscriber.

It’s also important to note that this survey was conducted before the most recent announcement from T-Mobile regarding paying off customers’ early termination fees. Not only would it make other carriers’ customers more likely to want to switch, it’d also make Tmo’s customers less likely to leave. Another consideration: 11% of AT&T customers is a much larger number of consumers than T-Mobile’s 15.4%.

What is worth noting is the responses given when asked why each person was considering a switch. Of the VZW users looking to move, 75% were doing so to get a better price. People aren’t leaving to get a specific device like they used to. It’s more about service, coverage and value. For two of those, Tmo is leading. On the coverage side, it’s improving exponentially.

Thankfully, it’s not long until we get the official earnings report from T-Mobile. The conference call is set to take place on February 25th.

Via: WirelessWeek

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  • David Tyler

    I would love to switch to T-Mobile because of their low prices. I had them before but the reception in my house was poor. After 4 years of leaving them, I tested them by using a prepaid phone and it continued to be the same problem. The only way I would go back to T-mobile is if I move to another house. I am still rooting for them because they are leading the way in changing the industry. I have no other option but to stay with greedy Verizon to keep my grandfathered unlimited data.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Prepaid doesn’t get priority network like postpaid though. And a microcell would help with low service in your home

      • Stefan Naumowicz

        True, but that affects network performance, not signal strength which the OP complained about.

    • donnybee

      One day, you’ll be able to come back! Things are getting better for coverage

    • nd

      i hear ya…free wifi calling is pretty sweet though if your house is the only problem.

    • Paul

      My parents have issues with signal in the house. We all have Android phones so we connect to the Wi-Fi (WiFi CAlling) and don’t have to worry about it. IT helps when I visit so I can make plans with friends.

    • superg05

      when the 700mhz band rolls out around the end of the year ask a friend with a new compatible phone to test it for you

  • Warden

    Sprint is so bad, what happened? I used to have the o.g. EVO (wimax) and I loved it. I only switched to T-mobile 2 years ago for the lower price, but then I got 42hspa+ and thought it was just as fast as wimax for less money. Now most of the people I know that have sprint want to leave a.s.a.p. even where there is LTE available.

    • Chimphappyhour

      What happened?!? What do you mean what happened? I left Sprint over 10 years ago and the network sucked then…. and I live in their home city! Of course, there are those who hang on and continue to use Sprint around here because it’s the home team…. and those people still complain about the same things as 10 years ago.

    • ⓜ@®!ⓞ G@®CI@ ™

      Too many dropped calls, to many Data issues being to slow their LTE is slower than T-Mobiles HSPA+ 42 their 3G is slower than T-Mobiles 2G their customer service sucks messaging is terrible as well ! plain and simple their network is shit! How are they still around? Keep away from T-Mobile! Sprint/Soft bank I’m leaving asap if they purchase our uncarrier.

      • Trevnerdio

        I hear their LTE is actually vastly improving. However, their rollout strategy still makes 0 sense.

    • Trevnerdio

      HSPA+ 42 is worlds faster than WiMax…

  • nd5

    Hey John Legere & Co… if you have seen this, and no doubt you have, then hopefully it’s a big bright sign that’s screaming “DO NOT MERGE WITH SPRINT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM”!!!!! Why would we want to get tied up with a carrier where nearly a third of it’s customers want out? Please, please, please… JUST SAY NO TO SPRINT

    • Stefan Naumowicz

      That has nothing to with Legere, its up to DT. DT just wants to get its money for TmoUS, frankly they don’t care if that money comes from Sprint who will ruin the company or someone else who will continue on the path of success; whatever happens after the sale does not concern them as they will have exited the market for good.

      • S. Ali

        Selling T-Mobile won’t get them out of the U.S market, can we stop posting this non-sense. DT would not get cash for the sale, they would get cash + stock. Given T-Mobile’s size, that would entitle them to a percent-ownership of combined company (maybe a minority stake 20-30%). Softbank doesn’t have the money for a cash buyout since they are already financing their Sprint purchase. This would keep DT in the U.S market no matter what deal they offer. In the long-term if T-Mobile keeps their current growth (even half that) they would make substantially more money. DTs only benefit is that they would be able to unload some debt, but it would not be some cash boom for them.

        This doesn’t even begin to consider the significant costs of merging customers from two different networks or the FCC investigation that would take at least 1-year (at least beyond the 600mhz auction). There is no financial benefit to a merger of this size (for customers or investors). The money would have been spend on network upgrades (both companies have weak LTE coverage outside of large markets). The combined debt of the two companies would be greater than the purchase price. Merger talks are unsubstantiated rumors that probably came from some chatter in an elevator (i.e speculators who should not to be taken seriously)

        • KP

          Bingo and right on the mark. By merging these two companies you would create a weight (debt) around their necks. Servicing that weight would take money out of increasing footprint and in effect cause greater churn.

        • Stefan Naumowicz

          Ultimately, DT wants out. Reducing ownership from 76% to 20% is a logical first step.

        • Adrayven

          OK, first, DT wanted out because they were not making money. Guess what, T-mo stock is up up up, and they are raking in money now.

          Their overhead is gone, they don’t have the same motivations to ‘get out’ like they used it. They ‘technically’ got out when they unload T-mobile and made it a stand alone company on the US Stock market.

          That got T-mobile off their books so they could focus on their business back home. Now, as long as t-mo does well, they have no strong motivations to sell. It would have to be one hell of a deal strongly in DT’s favor because T-mo is shaking things up.

          It’s in DT’s favor at the moment. Buyout will not be cheep.

  • Stefan Naumowicz

    Can someone explain to me what people dislike about Sprint so much? In my area (Upstate NY) their service is better than TMO; more 4G LTE coverage, good speeds (according to root metrics), and good signal indoors; I work in a mall, TMO gets nothing but edge while the other 3 have strong LTE.

    • TBN27

      For the same reasons in other markets where sprint just underperforms with its LTE and because of other factors with customer service and pricing and what not. I understand what you mean about upstate. When passing through I get EDGE until I get to one or two small towns or Albany, Syracuse, ETC. But downstate, sprint is pretty much the worst of the 4. Their LTE is slow and their 3G is slower. Over all it still works though

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Sprint 3G sucks in major markets. They launch LTE when 50% of the market is done which is retarded. 4G is slow in a lot of areas and some people just can’t deal with that.

    • Adrayven

      Your experience is an exception, not a rule, with Sprint right now. Most areas are not fully covered and their backbone is horribly overloaded in many cites. Here in Kalamazoo, MI, it’s horrific.

      Also, if LTE isn’t fully covered, you go from marginal speeds to EDGE like speeds, even when on 3G. It’s not uncommon for LTE to only get 2-3Mbps here because their backhaul sucks.

      It’s a bad version of Shock and Awe! lol

    • dontsh00tmesanta

      Thats because the country is alot bigger than your area. While sprint may be tops there it is not in many other locations. Like mine, where tmobile is

    • Paul

      My friends in Houston, Dallas, and Austin hate Sprint. The network isn’t as fast. In some areas Magenta has more coverage than Sprint. If I go into the desert, where no one gets a signal, and the only place to go into has Wi-Fi…well I have Wi-Fi calling and can call/text. That’s my trade off I’m willing to make.

      If you are happy with Sprint then I say stick with’em.

    • Warden

      Funny you would say that, I rarely go upstate but the few times I did when I had sprint i used to get a message telling me that i was roaming and couldn’t use the net or phone, only 911 calls. I was in a area that on the sprint map was “100″ covered. i was on a 3 line family plan (evo, gs2 with keyboard, and a lg flip phone) only my evo coudn’t be used but the others had at least voice. I remember calling sprint and telling them and they said that i was lying….

  • mreveryphone

    In other news, did anyone get a update on their LG G2 today?

    • ogopogo

      nope…..still waiting for 4.4 to hit the G2.

      • superg05

        is there no keis like way to do it?

    • Morton H

      I received my update i woke up @ 5am and the update was there

  • spartanjet

    I want to switch from tmo so I can get myself the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 2520

    • superg05

      lame reason to switch unless you must be a big windows phone fan in that case i say ebay

      • BlackJu

        not lame. people invest in ecosystems and expect (or at least hope for) a steady stream of new hardware. The 925 released this past summer and JUMP customers are getting ready to upgrade. Yes, if you buy unlocked from ebay, it’s almost certainly an international version that supports 1900 MHz only. I bought a 720 and brought it on a trip to Long Island because I saw coverage was reported there. Turn out, it was only one tower all the way up by the interstate. I was on the water, SOL. ATT unlocked used to be possible by paying a few bucks, but trust me, they’ve gotten wise.

  • Jay J. Blanco

    The line is thinning for T-Mobile to jump Sprint and become #3. All T-Mobile need is a little anti sprint marketing.

    • Jon

      There is no need to waste cash on telling the public how awful sprints service is. It is a well known fact lol. All jokes a side though let’s see how things play out though Sprints new master has done some crazy things he didn’t get where he is today by failing to accomplish what he set out to do.

      • superg05

        i’ve seen sprint improving in Dallas especially in in-building penetration i had to manually switch to the 1700 band so i would not be embarrassed in certain situations

        • Jay Holm

          I wasn’t aware that Sprint has 1700 spectrum.

        • superg05

          no my friend has sprint we where in the break room together his phone signal has been getting stronger and now has an lte signal i used to bug him about his speed abit. now he’s catching up an has a better signal and faster loading internet so i went into service mode and set my phone band to the lowest one it had the 1700 band so i can get a better signal and compete lol

        • Fabian Cortez

          Band IV (AWS/”1700″) is actually higher than band II (PCS/”1900″).

          AWS is called “1700″ due to its upload since its download frequency (“2100″) is the same as band I’s (“2100″).

          So I’m not too sure if your switching has anything to with the frequency but more to do with the power output.

        • superg05

          Well either way I got a more reliable signal with better throughput

      • Jay J. Blanco

        IKR its well known Sprint 3G sucks !

      • Trevnerdio

        Wait…you were joking?

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    The only thing stopping me from switching to VZ is lack of unlimited data

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      That’s it? I have a list of reasons for why I wouldn’t switch to Verizon…

  • Jon

    The numbers will drop when the spectrum purchased from Verizon is put to use. Things can only get better now that Tmobile is under great leadership.

    • dontsh00tmesanta

      I cant wait for that but in my area we have channel 51 so it will be a while.

      • SprintHater

        It depends. If you have the virtual channel 51, then you are good.

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          KNSO (“Telemundo Fresno”) is a television station in the Fresno, California area, and a station of the Telemundo network. The station is owned by NBCUniversal and operated by ZGS Communications. The station operates on digital VHF channel 11.1 (virtual channel 51.1) From wikipedia lol

          Bring it on!

        • SprintHater

          You can go to FCC or wiki to search the station. If the PSIP is 51 and the VHF or UHF is not, then you are safe. If the VHF or UHF is 51, then there is a problem.

  • pezman726

    Well, I’m planing on making the switch from AT&T to t-moblie sometime in the near future! I do have a question, that I’m hoping someone on this site can answer..
    Is there any way to tell what areas of the country have been ‘refarmed’ so my AT&T Lumia 920 will get 3G data?

    • Danny Lewis

      Here is a user contributed map of refarmed sightings in the US: http://www.airportal.de/

      I hope that helps.

      • pezman726

        thanks all for that website!

        T-Mo will give me $40 for my Lumia 920…so I’m trading in the smartphones I replaced with the Lumia 920, buying some Lumia 521s (1 to use, 1 to keep as a backup) and i’ll be using my 920 on the network.

        It looks like (according to that site) there are some spots around where I live…So I wonder if that means that most of the towers in my area have been converted?

        • GuyBorg

          If you are a lumia 920 user, why wouldnt you get tmobiles lumia 925? You are obviously going to get the best network connection with a phone made to run on tmobile, thus potenially being more satisfied for what you are paying for…

        • pezman726

          As I said…I’ll have that (one of the L521s) as a backup, and for the 3rd line on my plan, which right now is a flip phone.
          I’d LOVE to get the 925, and I looked into it. BUT:
          Right now I am paying approx $113/month for my at&t bill. I know it’s basically compairing apples/oranges, but I don’t care…All i care about is how much I am spending now, vs how much I will spend on t-mobile.
          If I get the 925s (i’d need 2 of them, and I’d also need a 3rd phone for the last line…a 521). With my corp discount and taxes, my bill comes out to right around $92/month. L925 would add $20 to my bill each, so $92 + 45 = $137 > $113
          Now, if I add the Lumia 521s, and keep my L920s, i’m at $92 + $10 = $102 < $113
          So…There is my reason. I can't justify switching IF i am unable to use my 920's on t-mobile's network!

        • Eddjz

          Don’t get any Lumia 521′s! Those are what we called boomerangs! We sell them and they come right back!! To many issues with them. Your better off with the 925

        • S. Ali

          Not if you want WiFi calling.

        • Eddjz

          Wifi calling is just in case you don’t have coverage. I am talking about the phone harcore freezing, overheating, random reboots. 7/10 customers come back to return or exchange it thinking they got a faulty one

    • Alex Zapata

      Good place to start would be to check airportal(dot)de

    • Tom

      Not sure if Nokia has the same app but on iOS there’s an app called “coverage?” By two steps beyond. I think it provides an accurate representation of the coverage of all carriers. With the app you can even see the coverage of just LTE for the carriers. However the maps haven’t been updated for like 3 months.

      • Trevnerdio

        @pezman726:disqus and Tom, Sensorly is the app you want to use for that. Don’t know if it’s on WP or not…

    • Rod

      Airportal.de
      Most areas with LTE have 1900mHz 3G

    • superg05

      if you are having your contract etf paid off you trade in your phone and get a new one but hanging on to it might be a cheaper path for some why don’t you do the easy thing in just simply call and ask or ask a store

    • Paul

      You can get the ETF covered if you turn in the phone, but you’ll have to get one for T-Mobile. However, you wouldn’t have to worry about frequency.

  • Roberto Jaimes

    I’m kinda pissed with T-Mobile. Back in July I got my phone and also signed up for the jump upgrade. Since my sister is on the value plan I had to pay more on the down payment, but was told when my upgrade is available I’ll pay the suggested price. Today I went into a T-Mobile store so confirm and they told me I’d have to pay $300. I’m not very happy.

    • superg05

      why don’t you get off contract then? or you can get your own account and not use your sisters and pay zero down right now plus taxes of course

      • krym73

        You must have qualifying credit

      • Roberto Jaimes

        Due to the fact that I can’t get my own line yet. Duh

        • Red5

          Welcome to the real world man. If you’ve got crappy or no credit you pay more… On a positive note, once you’ve hit 3+ years of tenure you qualify for the best down payment.

        • Stone Cold

          Worked for me

    • Paul

      Did they explain WHY you have to pay $300? Being “not very happy” sucks, but it makes a difference if you know why they said what they said.

    • Somebody

      It’s all based off your credit and tenure. If you paid a deposit then you have to wait a little bit longer before you qualify for the best prices.

      • Jay Holm

        Hmm…I have a Class B credit rating on T-Mobile, is that good?

        • sushimane

          well u just recently class credit doesnt really make anything different with the simple choice but back when there was a classic & value plan credit class made a difference.

        • krym73

          It still does

        • Eddjz

          Makes a different on your down-payment. $0 down or about $300 down for an s4 as an EXAMPLE . class A and B get $0 down on phones class C is like 1/4 of the full price of a phone. Anything below class C always pays the higher down payment

        • krym73

          Yupp for up to 10 lines

      • Roberto Jaimes

        But I was told it wouldn’t matter how my credit was once I upgrade it. So I find it shitty that I have to pay more again.

    • sushimane

      with the value plan credit class made a difference if you had no or little credit they would you to down more then the good credit people i should know im still with the value plan.

    • AndroidProfit

      Welcome to life dude. No one cares.

      • Eddjz

        Lol not nice

      • KlausWillSeeYouNow

        Sounds just like AT&T Customer Support… Lmao

    • Stone Cold

      I am glad I no longer have that worry. I have excellent credit in T-Mobile’s eyes so seeing as my family was maxed out on the amount of lines we can I was able to get a tablet for Zero down back in November on my own account. An my last phone is just about paid off so I can jump at anytime.

  • kev2684

    lol sprint. how did AT&T top this survey? if anything i think VZW have the least subscribers considering switching to anybody else. they have a strong branding as the most reliable 4G LTE wireless company in the US. the “you get what you pay for” thing.

    • Daniel

      No, AT&T does. Their LTE network is faster and more reliable than Verizon’s, according to Rootmetrics, Consumer Reports, and just about every other objective report out there. AT&T had a bad reputation when the iPhone was their exclusive back in 2007, and all the activations and iPhone data use nearly caused their network to meltdown, but those days are long gone. AT&T may not be GREAT, but it’s far from the horror story that so many people falsely make it out to be. The only place where Verizon still leads is in amount of coverage, but even there, AT&T is rapidly catching up and is “good enough” for most of their extremely happy subscribers.

      As for customer service: Again, AT&T seems to be regarded as good here. I suspect most CS complaints tend to be about coverage, and thus CS reputation tends to go hand in hand with coverage, cause let’s face it: If the coverage isn’t there, then realistically, how much can CS really do? Answer: Probably not much!

    • Jay Holm

      Marketing is just that, marketing. I was with Verizon for 3yrs, their LTE drops down to useless EVDO quite a bit!!! At least 8 months ago it did. I switched to T-Mobile 4/29/13.

    • JBrowne1012

      Lol the only thing people don’t wanna leave Verizon for is coverage as a company as a whole people couldn’t give a care about them if not for coverage

    • FluX

      True, but in some time, VZW will have to upgrade to GSM to be able to keep up with fast speeds. I think you are in a low density area; I am in a mid sized city and my friends get like 0.5MB download due to congestion. On T-Mobile I usually get 9 MBPS outside of the metro area of my city where there is only HSPA (not plus, only false 4G). On HSPA+ and LTE I get around 35 MBPS.

      • Trevnerdio

        9 is HSPA+…may be 21mbps, but still HSPA+. No way to get 35mbps on HSPA+ 42.

        • cubanito151

          Well theoretically if there is LTE coverage the hspa+ network is free of congestion therefore giving chance for higher speeds. I’m in an hspa area no + and when it first when up speed were good for 3g (1-3mbps) but now its been a couple years and we’re only still on hspa, but its really slow. It can barely hit past 1 if it even hits one. Edge is damn near close to those speeds now that everyone is on hspa and edge is free from congestion.

        • Trevnerdio

          That’s rough…haven’t been to a 3G-only place in a couple years. My home town I think entirely skipped UMTS because it was so far behind and just went straight to HSPA

          Edit: but it’s LTE now…

        • cubanito151

          Yeah it is. My Nexus 5 says I’m connected to hspa+ but that’s definitely not right lol. But yeah ever since we got upgrade to 3g like 4 years ago we’ve been stuck there and speed quality just went down hill over time. Now it just sucks. I hope we get hspa+ soon I’d love to get anything above 3mbps.

      • fsured

        According to what I’ve been told by tech support, speeds over 3mb is the HSPA+/LTE networks running normal and getting 4g. Only when speeds are bellow 3mb would they consider an issue with the network or the handset and require tower checks with troubleshooting the handset.

      • Spanky

        I live in NYC and 0.5 Mbps is the typical downstream speed in my supposedly 4G-covered neighborhood. I’ve contacted T-Mobile several times and was assured each time that a ticket has already been created for the issue. A year passed with no improvements. The last time I contacted T-Mobile, I was informed that there are no known issues in my area and that it has the best possible 4G coverage. That’s when I realized that it was time for me to take my business elsewhere.

      • KingCobra

        Yeah you’re not getting 35mbps on HSPA+. That’s pretty much impossible.

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          Eh… No sir. I would disagree. I have had speeds well over 28 on HSPA+.

        • FluX

          I wonder why it’s called HSPA42…

          And that was at an intersection that goes by close to the tower.

      • danielhep

        VZW will never be launching GSM. That would be a waste of time and money. They will be shutting down their CDMA network in a few years and they’ll be running on exclusively LTE.

  • BlackJu

    As you mentioned, it’s best not to read too much into it. iPhone obsessed people are not 5 months from contract end because they just upgraded again. Iphone customers are heavily concentrated on ATT. That definitely skews the numbers in ATT’s favor.

  • Jay Holm

    I’m relatively new, only been with Tmo since 4/29/13, came over from Vzn. I’m happy.

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      Glad you’re here, Jay! :-D

      • Stone Cold

        Klaus do I know you?

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          I guess it depends on what you mean by that… I don’t believe we know each other outside of this forum, no. Did you mean in real life, or here? Because I don’t think I’ve ever met you in real life.

        • Stone Cold

          Ok wasn’t sure.

  • charlieboy808

    Maybe T-Mobile should buy Sprint and do them the favor. :-P

    • UMA_Fan

      Well when john legere says the Tmobile brand and attitude will prevail in any acquisition scenario then I don’t know how else we’re supposed to perceive that.

      • taron19119

        That if Sprint/Softbank. buy t-mobile that Sprint will be folded into tmobile because Sprint is not buying t-mobile for spectrum but for it’s uncarrier philosophy and customers

      • charlieboy808

        I think it’s more along the lines of, “I have no idea what our owners want to do, but we’ll keep that T-Mobile spirit alive.”

        • UMA_Fan

          I doubt that. These are smart guys who know that the government will itch to sue over Sprint knocking out a smaller competitor that’s materially changing the industry. The proof of that case couldn’t be more in your face

        • charlieboy808

          Hahaha true true

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      Maybe they shouldn’t do any favors? :-P

      T-Mobile needs Sprint like Superman needs kryptonite. No thanks.

  • Dark enV

    Switched to T-Mobile from Sprint about 5 months ago, never looked back. I can definitely understand why Sprint has the largest amount of people who want to switch lol

  • TeeRod

    We’ve been with TMobile for 10 years. I remember when we signed up, we were paying 49.99. It was the price that appealed to us then and it still is. Although, TMobile keeps sweetening the deal (Prices + JUMP). I remember when everyone jumped ship for the yPhone and we hung in there! I am glad we did. I’ll JUMP to a Note 3 tomorrow. I went into the AT&T store yesterday just for the heck of it. Their prices are $60+ more expensive than my current TMobile plan. Keep doing innovative things TMobile. Kudos to you for turning things around! I would still be with you even if you didn’t!!

    • Eddjz

      Glad you stayed with tmo :)

    • KingCobra

      Haha yeah I was one of those who left for the iPhone. I was happy to come back in 2013 when they finally got it though.

      • donnybee

        I’m in the same boat. Much better here on T-Mobile now!

  • TMO_love

    I wonder how these numbers have been impacted by CES announcements?

  • Chris Atlanta

    After 7 years with tmobile I will still leave on a dime if it is sold to Sprint and everything that is $#!tty about Sprint.