Mobile Phone

The in-store customer experience is the lowest rated way to buy a cell phone, according new J.D. Power wireless research. The study compared it with phone calls, carrier store visits and digital channels (including carrier website and mobile app).

J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Wireless Retail Experience Study—Volume 2 found that the folks visiting stores were less likely to get an update on the latest network technology, an explanation of bills, product literature and a review of offers and promotions.

Researchers looked at individual carrier ratings in three categories.

In the overall satisfaction category, T-Mobile was first with a rating of 842 (out of 1,000 points). It was the twelfth consecutive top finish for the carrier. It was followed by AT&T at 824 and Verizon Wireless at 821. The segment average was 828.

Cricket was tops in the full service mobile virtual network operator category with a score of 856. It was followed by Metro by T-Mobile (853), Xfinity Mobile (850), Spectrum Mobile (837) and Boost Mobile (826). The segment average was 847.

Consumer Cellular scored the highest in the value mobile virtual network operator list with a score of 894. It was followed by Mint Mobile (877), Google Fi Wireless (865), Straight Talk Wireless (837) and TracFone (813). The segment average was 843.

“The in-store wireless purchase experience provides the customer with the hands-on experience they are looking for before purchasing their devices or other products,” said J.D. Power managing director Ian Greenblatt in a press release. “Wireless retailers that focus on the holistic approach and prioritize this experience—therefore adding value—will have an advantage over their competition.”

The study, which was based on responses from 12,478 customers, formerly was known as the Wireless Purchase Experience Study.

In February, J.D. Power said that wireless carrier scores were improving. The firm found that overall satisfaction had increased from 794 to 808. The improvements were due to heavy investments in technology and overcoming staff challenges.

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