New survey reveals surprising winners, losers in wireless customer service


Are you happy with your wireless provider?

According to the latest J.D. Power tally, if you’re with T-Mobile or its prepaid brand MetroPCS, the answer is probably yes!

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Which wireless providers take the best care of customers?

Each year, J.D. Power does an annual survey of the cell phone industry to determine who’s king of the hill across a number of metrics from network quality to customer sentiment.

This year’s 2018 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Performance Study measures customer satisfaction when you have an issue with your carrier. The tally looked at the full-service contract, prepaid and discount non-contract segments.

T-Mobile was identified as the top performer in the full-service carrier segment with a score of 828 on a 1,000-point scale.

Verizon Wireless (822) followed closely behind and AT&T (811) came in third. The full-service segment average is 811.

In the prepaid sector, MetroPCS was tops (828), followed by Cricket (814) in second place.

Boost Mobile (804) was in third place with a score of 804, slightly below the segment average of 808. Coming in last in this segment was Virgin Mobile, with a sub-par score of 763.

J.D. Power also took a look at deep discount non-contract plans. In this space, Consumer Cellular won handily with an 880 — the highest score of any provider in the tally.


Competitors like Straight Talk Wireless and Net10 checked in at 770 and 760, respectively, in the budget segment.

Wireless customer insights

J.D. Power surveyed 15,668 customers from July through December 2017. Each respondent had to have contacted their wireless carrier’s customer service department with an issue within the past three months in order to qualify for the study.

In the course of collecting its data, J.D. Power noticed that a few insights emerged:

  • Social media is the best way to contact a carrier when you have an issue.
  • 92% of respondents who watched an online video to assist with a tech issue reported first-contact resolution to their issue.
  • Want the slowest possible resolution to your problem? Email your carrier! Average response time is around 32 hours, according to the survey.

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