The quality of service that a wireless provider offers is still the most important factor for consumers in choosing a wireless service. However, the brand of handset is becoming increasingly important to many consumers, according to a new survey released last week by market research firm J.D. Power and Associates. The study found that 19% of consumers surveyed list the brand of cell phone a carrier offers as a key factor in the initial buying process, up from 11% in 2004. In contrast, the brand of wireless provider has decreased in significance to 40% versus 48% in 2004.
Wireless customer satisfaction surveys have shown a small, but steady upward trend in customer satisfaction with wireless service across the industry in recent years as carriers have put additional resources in to upgrading their networks and refocusing on retaining existing customers versus signing up new ones. The results of the survey highlight the need for consumers to try out handsets before they buy them, if possible. The choice of a handset should not be taken lightly. According to wireless market research firm Telephia, the average wireless user spends 761 minutes per month on their wireless phone.
Over the life of a two-year service contract, that translates to more than 300 hours, or 12 and a half days! If you were going to be spending almost 2 weeks on vacation, wouldn't you want to research how good the experience would be? The same care should be taken in choosing a wireless phone. Most major wireless providers have retail locations where handsets can be tried out prior to purchase. Try holding the phone to your ear for several minutes. Is it uncomfortable? Are the keys the right size for your fingers? Is the handset's display visible and legible? These and many other questions are ones that should be answered before settling on the latest handset, just because it's 'trendy.? Don't be afraid to read what other consumers have to say about a handset either. There are wireless phone reviews and customer reviews aplenty on sites like CNET.com, HowardChui.com, and Phonedog.com
Source: Telecommunications Research and Action Center. http://www.trac.org