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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.