Customer satisfaction drops at both AT&T and T-Mobile

Customer satisfaction drops at both AT&T and T-Mobile
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse must be smiling. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey, both AT&T and T-Mobile have dropped in their satisfaction ratings. That leaves Sprint, which was in last place among the Big 4, tied for first with Verizon Wireless.

T-Mobile scored a 70 out of 100, down from 73 last year. And AT&T scored a 66, down from 69 last year. Sixty-six is AT&T's lowest score since 2006. And the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger may be to blame. Claes Fornell, a business professor at the University of Michigan, explains that customer satisfaction often drops after news of a merger.

Sprint experienced a similar drop in customer satisfaction following their merger with Nextel in 2005. The difficulty of combining large customer support and billing infrastructures lends to customer aggravation, and Sprint has spent years redeeming themselves. Even three years ago, they had a dismal ACSI score of 56. But today, after significant effort to improve their customer service, they are tied with Verizon at 72.

But AT&T's and T-Mobile's dips in customer satisfaction come before the merger has even been approved. So what does that tell us? Perhaps customers are just nervous about what the merger will entail. And we might see an even more precipitous drop in customer satisfaction when the merger is approved, and the real behemoth balancing act begins.

source: Yahoo! News

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