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10/5/2005
09:45 AM
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Dissatisfaction With Wireless Purchases Grows: Survey

This represents a serious threat to cellular operators because 20% of the consumers who said they were dissatisfied also said they will switch carriers because of the experience.

A consumer survey released Wednesday shows increasing dissatisfaction with the service provided at retail stores selling cellular products.

The study by J.S. Power and Associates says that dissatisfaction with recent retail wireless purchases has increased 46 percent since last year. This represents a serious threat to cellular operators because one-fifth of those who said they were dissatisfied said they will switch carriers because of the experience. Almost two-thirds said the experience would make them less likely to recommend the carrier to others.

The problem is magnified by the fact that carriers in the U.S. have fewer new customers available to them and, instead, must focus their efforts to retain current customers, the market research firm said in a statement.

"With fewer new customers entering the market, the wireless industry is becoming fiercely competitive for retailers," Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates, said in a statement. "It's imperative that wireless service providers concentrate on retention strategies, as the ability to expand the customer base becomes more difficult."

The survey found that T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless ranked highest in terms of customer satisfaction with retail stores. The study was based on contacts with 6,144 wireless subscribers who participated in retail transaction in the last six months.

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