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Wireless Carriers Losing Device Sales to Amazon as Website and In-Store Purchase Experiences Waver, J.D. Power Finds

T-Mobile, Cricket and Consumer Cellular Rank Highest for Purchase Experience in Respective Segments

Wireless carriers are confronting increased competition for device sales from third-party ecommerce sites, according to the J.D. Power 2019 US Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Performance Study—Volume 2 and the J.D. Power 2019 US Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Performance Study—Volume 2.

Specifically, the percentage of device purchases made via carriers’ websites and overall level of customer satisfaction with those purchases has declined since the Volume 1 study, released in January 2019. Meanwhile, the total percentage of wireless purchases made via Amazon.com has increased by 3 percentage points during the same period, and customers who purchase via amazon.com are much more satisfied with their purchase experience than with their carrier website (884 vs. 851, on a 1,000-point scale).

“Wireless carriers have made meaningful investments in their digital channels, and while those investments are positively influencing customer care, there is still room for improvement when it comes to optimizing purchase experience,” said Ian Greenblatt, Managing Director at J.D. Power. “Carriers need to be positioned to satisfy their customers’ shopping preferences as the industry gets closer to 5G and the introduction of new phone models.”

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Study Results

For full-service carriers, T-Mobile ranks highest with a score of 864. Verizon Wireless (837) ranks second and AT&T (836) ranks third.

For non-contract full-service carriers, Cricket ranks highest with a score of 862. Metro by T-Mobile (851) ranks second and Boost Mobile (850) ranks third.

For non-contract value carriers, Consumer Cellular ranks highest with a score of 876. TracFone (834) ranks second and Straight Talk(832) ranks third.

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Now in the 16th year of publication, the US Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Performance Study and US Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Performance Study evaluate the wireless purchase experience of customers who use any one of three purchase channels: phone calls with sales representatives; visits to a retail wireless store; or online/website. Overall purchase experience satisfaction with both full-service and non-contract carriers is measured in six factors (in order of importance): store sales representative; website; phone sales representative; offerings and promotions; store facility; and cost of service. The studies were fielded from January through June 2019.

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