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3/31/2006
05:56 PM
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Loyalty To Wireless Carriers Is Hard To Come By

Mobile phone users are a mobile bunch, and that includes moving around among mobile wireless carriers.

Two-thirds of U.S. adult mobile phone users comparison shop for wireless carriers, with more than two out of five doing so within the two months before their contracts expire, a market research firm said Friday.

While promotional offers do some good -- with nearly 30 percent of mobile phone users responding to at least one offer over the last two years -- they do not stop most consumers from comparison shopping and have little impact on customer satisfaction, a survey by Harris Interactive showed.

In an online study of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, with 865 mobile phone users, Harris found 66 percent of the phone subscribers compared the different plans of carriers, with 43 percent beginning the process within the two months left on their current contracts.

"Promotional offers may be more persuasive if they were received within the 60 day ‘shopping clock’ before a contract expires, which appears to be the time where the largest proportion of subscribers are out seeking a better deal," Joe Porus, chief architect for technology research at Harris, said in a statement.

Fully 98 percent of mobile phone users said promotional offers from their carriers did not stop them from comparison shopping, and 85 percent said the offers didn't make them feel any better or worse about their carriers.

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