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Americans Abandon Landlines For Wireless, Verizon Leads

J.D. Power and Associates found nearly 30% of younger users disconnected landline phones, compared with just 9% of subscribers over 65.
Americans are increasingly dropping their wireline telephone service in favor of cell phone service, according to J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Wireless Regional Customer Satisfaction Index Study.

The market research firm said that more than a quarter of the nation's wireless phone users "never pick up a traditional wired phone any more."

Power also released its latest rankings on wireless customer satisfaction. "One company stands out in customer rankings," according to the Power study. "Verizon Wireless ranks highest in five regions -- Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, North Central and West -- and performs particularly well with regard to call quality and brand image across each region."

Responding to the study Thursday, Verizon Wireless noted that it spends $5.5 billion annually on its system, totaling more than $45 billion over the years.

The major nationwide trend, however, has been the accelerating move to wireless, particularly among consumers between 18 and 24 years old, the Power survey found. Nearly 30% of younger users disconnected landline phones, compared with just 9% of subscribers over 65.

The respondents also listed the most important wireless factors in the study, with call quality ranking the highest in impact with a 32% score. Other key factors in order of importance were: brand image, 17%; cost of service, 14%; service plan options, 14%; billing, 12%; and customer service, 11%.

Breaking Verizon's hold on the rankings, T-Mobile held the top spot in the Southwest region.

Verizon Wireless led the rankings in previous Power studies.