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AT&T tops competitors for customer loyalty in San Francisco

AT&T has earned the top spot on a new research poll ranking customer loyalty to wireless providers in San Francisco.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor on

For a Monday morning, this news is rather shocking: AT&T has earned the top spot on a new research poll ranking customer loyalty to wireless providers in San Francisco.

According to a new study conducted by Brand Keys, a firm that specializes in brand equity and loyalty research, "AT&T customers in San Francisco will demonstrate the highest levels of brand loyalty and engagement over the next 12 to 18 months."

It should also be pointed out that AT&T commissioned Brand Keys for the purpose of learning "more about AT&T's position on a local level." Thus this more of a prediction, at least based on customers' past experiences regarding the following points:

  • Loyalty and engagement drivers
  • Brand reputation and product design
  • Competitive, easy-to-understand calling plans
  • Connectivity and performance
  • Customer service

As a long-time subscriber to AT&T in San Francisco with many friends and family who are also tied to AT&T, the "connectivity and performance" factor is rather laughable. Connecting to a 3G network in most neighborhoods can take what feels like forever, or at least double than it does in most other metropolitan areas.

However, as I pointed out that both myself and many people I know who live in San Francisco still subscribe to AT&T, maybe it's not so surprising.

There are a few reasons that I can think of that could be attributed to why AT&T has done so well in San Francisco:

  • There has been so much turnover amongst AT&T and past telephone providers (i.e. Cingular, SBC, Pacific Bell, etc.) that many customers probably just ended up with AT&T at the very end
  • The customer service (at least in stores) is actually not bad
  • More free Wi-Fi hotspots in select large public areas and Starbucks locations
  • AT&T had the iPhone exclusively for four years, and you should see how many people walk around with iPhones in SF

There's also the fact that AT&T locks its customers down with two-year service agreements, so the customer base is forced to stick around longer than they might with other carriers. Although, that point could be applied anywhere AT&T is available.

Again, none of that is scientific, but rather common observations based on living and working here.

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