Wireless customers looking to acquire a new phone should be braced for a potentially bad experience when they enter a retail store. According to new results from J.D. Power and Associates twice-yearly Wireless Retail Sale Satisfaction Study, overall customer satisfaction with the wireless retail experience has decreased significantly since 2006. The survey noted that undertrained sales staff at big-box retailers (examples: Best Buy and Circuit City) played a large role in the decline.
Overall, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile continued their string of industry-leading appearances on customer satisfaction surveys. AT&T Mobility, Alltel, and Sprint Nextel all came in below-average in the survey. Other factors cited in the decline included the proliferation of wireless products and services and the increased number of wireless retail sales channels (company stores, big-box retailers, mall kiosks, etc.). The average wireless retail sales transaction takes approximately 1 hour to complete.
Therefore, it is probably inadvisable to try and buy a new wireless phone at a retail outlet while trying to corral young children or when pressed for time. Additionally, due to the generally low grades retail sales staff received, it is doubly important for consumers to do research on their phone plans BEFORE they enter the retail environment. The Internet is the best resource for comparing phones and plans, but there are also many magazines, such as Consumer Reports that do regular cell phone comparison studies.
Source: Telecommunications Research and Action Center. http://www.trac.org