Wireless carrier loyalty fleeting at best

Wireless carrier loyalty fleeting at best

Summary: WDS, a Xerox unit, stress tested whether customers would stick with carriers if prices were increased or cut and whether there was a data breach.


Thirty six percent of U.S. wireless carrier customers are considering jumping ship in the next year and only 13 percent of customers say they are loyal to their provider, according to a survey.

WDS, a Xerox unit that sells customer experience management software to wireless carriers, conducted an audit of carrier loyalty. The audit stress tested whether customers would stick with carriers if prices were increased or cut and whether there was a data breach.

The data adds credence to worries that wireless carriers are merely commodity pipes to apps and content. WDS maintained that churn may be underestimated by carriers and customer loyalty metrics such as Net Promoter Scores (NPS) are flawed.



It's worth pondering the results should unlocked smartphones become the norm in the U.S. Typically, devices are sold with two-year voice and data plans and provide some measure of lock-in. Among the key stats:

  • 23 percent of customers highly satisfied with their wireless carriers are at risk for switching.
  • 19 percent of switch risks were NPS Promoters.
  • 27 percent said they wouldn't switch carriers because it was too inconvenient.
  • 35 percent of at risk customers thought they got poor value for the money they pay carriers.
  • 40 percent of customers who were switch risks said they felt they weren't valued.

Other variables worth noting:

  • 69 percent of customers who didn't plan on switching would if a carrier raised prices 10 percent.
  • 15 percent of customers would switch immediately with a 10 percent price increase.
  • 70 percent of highly satisfied customers would consider a switch if prices were raised 10 percent.
  • If a carrier cut prices by 10 percent, only 31 percent of customers unlikely to switch would.

Topics: Mobility, Enterprise Software, Bring Your Own Device

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  • who on earth

    would not switch if prices were increased and service was not improved? your wireless carrier is someone you are doing a business transaction with, not your friend. everyone should always be on the lookout for a better place to do their business.
    • and I say that

      as someone who is quite satisfied with my wireless service and think I get a very good deal. I only pay $30/month, but if someone offered as good or better service for even $5 less I'd switch in a heartbeat.
      • It isn't price alone...

        It seems that all of the carriers are in the same price range. I would switch my family to another carrier if it was worth while. I do not want to go on Verizon's family share plan, that is a huge rip off compared to what we have now.

        The other thing people need to consider is coverage. My work used to us AT&T for wireless, and I literally had one spot in the house I had to stand in order to get decent reception. So I think some people might be hesitant to switch based on the unknown, as long as the devil they do know is not too painful.
        • those are all definitely things to consider

          hence why I said offered as good or better service. I think most people are hesitant to switch mainly out of a fear that service won't be as good as what they have- not based on experience. all the carriers offer a 14 day refund policy- people should be more willing to try different carriers.
          • Nice to know

            I was not aware of that trial period. Now I wonder how much of a pain it would be to revert back.
  • I can tell you

    I can tell you that Net10 offered us Unlimited Data for a flat fee and that it would use AT&Ts network... 3 weeks in, they throttled my access and sent me a text telling me I was being capped at 1.5 Gigs a month...

    I told them what they could do to themselves and canceled the renewing of our services.