Are you a glass that is half empty or half full kind of person? Personally, I’m the sort who looks at how clean the glass is before I consider whether it’s half of either. Perhaps this is why I also think a bit differently about my mobile service.
However, about half of those who took part in Consumer Reports‘ most recent annual mobile phone service survey were completely or very satisfied with their service. According to the survey’s findings, a number of factors including smarter phones, more flexible plans and even faster networks, weren’t enough to raise the over all ratings of services that the magazine evaluates. Basically, it seems that you can’t satisfy all the people all the time. In fact, if you’re a mobile carrier you probably can’t satisfy a lot of people even part of the time. The survey found that almost two-thirds of respondents had at least one major complaint, with high prices being the top complaint for about one in five readers.
Here is how the carriers stacked up in the survey:
- Verizon was (to quote Cole Porter) “the top.” Verizon scored points with customer service, voice connectivity and data service. But cost remained among the highest complaints.
- T-Mobile was cited as offering a good value, but scored lower marks for voice, messaging, Web and e-mail.
- Sprint, which ranked worst a year ago, came up in the bottom with AT&T. For Sprint it was bad customer service, while AT&T had weak spot for voice.
And this gives some insight on why I’m looking at the glass first, and the contents after. I know my mobile bill is going to be big, but I also know I’m paying for data for my BlackBerry, and I know when I come back from a trip abroad that those calls are going to cost me. I’m trying to survive the recession like everyone else, and I can be stingy too, but I am willing to pay for reliable mobile service.
More importantly, I also try to keep a perspective on the service. While my mobile bill has gone up, I’m getting a lot more today. Just a few years ago I had to worry about finding a cyber caf? to check e-mail. Now I have the Web in my pocket. Meanwhile, I’ve seen my electric bill go up nearly five times from what I paid in 2000. My cable bill has tripled in the last decade; I’m fortunate that my current co-op maintenance hasn’t increased – with my last apartment the monthly maintenance increased nearly 10 percent or more each and every year I owned that apartment. Hence I think I have a clean glass, and the beverage is pretty tasty. And I do wish I got more for my money, but if I don’t like it I should look for a different beverage in a different glass.
FCC to Overhaul Federal Phone-Subsidy
As the cost is also a major factor of concern for consumers there is news this week, but not necessarily good. This week The Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski suggested that the government overhaul a $7 billion (that’s billion with a B) federal phone-subsidy program. This would reallocate more airwaves to wireless carriers and have the potential to improve the U.S. broadband Internet.