JD Power just released their 2018 wireless purchase experience study details, and there are two very interesting facts in these results that every buyer needs to know, yet no one is talking about. One is this. While there are winners, there are no losers this year. What I mean is, all the major carriers are now very good. In fact, they are so close it almost doesn’t matter which one you choose, based on this study.
However, there are differences you need to know. There are other factors you should be aware of to determine the best carrier for you. JD Power does a great job year after year of measuring different parts of the wireless experience in general. It keeps carriers on their toes. This is one of many factors to help users choose the best carriers for them.
This study measures the purchase experience. It’s not about reach, quality, speed or reliability of service. It’s about buying the phone and getting started with the service. Period. Reach, quality, speed and reliability are covered under different studies.
Surprising finding in JD Power purchase experience study
In general, the purchase experience results for full service providers, AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint all are within shouting distance of each other with scored of 819–855. This is a big improvement over the past where there was a giant gap between the best and the worst. Sure, there is still plenty of room for more improvement, but things are getting better year after year.
Historically, users I talk with think AT&T and Verizon have always been the best. In the past they thought both T-Mobile and Sprint left much to be desired. Today, T-Mobile and Sprint have shown significant improvement and I expect that to continue, so they are scoring higher than ever before.
Top non-contract providers, Cricket, Virgin Mobile, Metro PCS and Boost show the same close results. Their scores range the narrow gap between 833–858.
Top non-carrier, non-contract providers or MVNO’s, Consumer Cellular, Net10, Tracfone and StraightTalk score within their narrow gap between 826–866. Comcast Xfinity Mobile started within the last year, so I expect to hear about their results in the next study.
This JD Power wireless study helps keep carriers improving
I believe these JD Power studies are some of many important factors in the ever changing and growing wireless industry. It gives a regular update on various different points, so the consumer or business customer can make an intelligent buying decision. It also helps keep the pressure on every competitor to continually improve. And it really seems to be working as all major competitors are within shouting distance of each other.
What I take from this year’s results is this. While yesterday, there was a big different between the best and worst providers, today they are all very close to each other. This is great news for customers. Now they just have to determine which is the best carrier for them, where they make calls.
Real take-away from JD Power wireless study
So, congratulations to all wireless competitors for a great showing in this 2018 study. Keep up the great work. You are getting better, year after year. That’s what users want.
As for the customer, based on this study you can be comfortable choosing any of the major providers of service.
Just remember, your personal user experience can be different depending where you are when you do your wireless communicating. You still need strong signal for both the talk and data sides of the wireless network.
Every wireless carrier has different strengths and weaknesses in every city. So, your satisfaction depends on where you are in the city and what kind of signal strength you get. You must determine the best carrier for you.
It also depends on what kind of building you are in. A strong signal outside if often muted inside of many of them. Every strong network has different strong and weak spots. So, find the best one for you.
Your best bet, as always, is to find the carrier that is best for you and where you make your calls or use your wireless data. This may be different than your spouse or children. The answer to the real question you are interested in, is which carrier is best for you? Unfortunately, no general study can tell you that. As always, that answer is still up to you to determine.
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