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J.D. Power: Metered Wireless Data Users Less Satisfied
Verizon Wireless Again Tops Customer Care Rankings
by Karl Bode 10:46AM Wednesday Aug 01 2012
According to the latest customer care survey by JD Power and Associates, customers who sign up for metered wireless data plans (offering varying degrees of data allotments) are "considerably" less satisfied than unlimited customers. That's not too surprising, given that it's hard to charge by the byte when your audience has no idea what a gigabyte even is. "Part of the problem is a result of the complexity of tiered plans, especially as it relates specifically to incorrect billing charges, or what customers believe are not correct charges for their usage," notes the firm. As for the study itself, Verizon Wireless again was tops in customer care for contract customers, while Virgin Mobile came out on top among prepaid carriers.

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pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Shocking

I'm surprised that J.D. Power would stray from the "official" line that "metered billing is better for our sex lives, physical health, mental well-being, and (everything else)."
--
Romney 2012 - Put an adult in charge.
covfam

join:2012-03-05
Black River Falls, WI

1 recommendation

Re: Shocking

you forgot the others like , metered billing is good for the environment,metered billing will thwart the rise of communism,and last but not least metered billing will prevent a global appocolypse :P

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 recommendation

Re: Shocking

And yet Verizon keeps winning despite the costs, bad billing, & so-so cust svc. And that is because coverage is king. Voice & data works nearly everywhere and that is the metric most people care about.
--
»www.mittromney.com/s/repeal-and-···bamacare
»www.mittromney.com/issues/health-care

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

Re: Shocking

At&t is Verizon without the coverage. As the gap between lte grows, and with the lte iphone 5, people will begin to see.

mmay149q
Premium
join:2009-03-05
Dallas, TX
kudos:48

Re: Shocking

said by Metatron2008:

At&t is Verizon without the coverage. As the gap between lte grows, and with the lte iphone 5, people will begin to see.

Lol I doubt that AT&T will even be ready for the LTE iPhone, just like they weren't ready for the original iPhone, they'll complain about too many people using data and blah blah blah.

Matt
--
I am no longer an AT&T Employee. Check out my kudos! »/profile/1626573
Have U-verse questions? Please email uversecare@att.com and they will assist you!!
covfam

join:2012-03-05
Black River Falls, WI
its unfortunate, ive been a US cellular customer for years, but where i live and most of the 100 mile radius i spend most of my time coverage has gone to crap. where i used to consistantly get 3g data and good voice most everywhere in that radius, now we spend most of our time in the area completly without any data connection at all and our constant 85-90DBM signal strength is now -101-104 and we drop connections consantly, Tmobile and AT&T only covers a single small city an hour away otherwise most most of western wisconsin is not covered the moment you get off the interstate, sprint only covered the interstate running through our town. on the otherhand verizon covers most of wisconsin not just milwaukee,madison,& greenbay wich most the other carriers cover. IF sprint had decent coverage in western wisconsin id be with them in a heartbeat i dont need LTE 3g is fine for dloading/running apps like slacker

amarryat
Verizon FiOS

join:2005-05-02
Marshfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Shocking

said by covfam:

and our constant 85-90DBM signal strength is now -101-104 and we drop connections consantly,

That sounds to me like something changed with the towers. If my signal strength was that low, I wouldn't be able to do anything either. I currently have "2 bars" on my HTC Incredible 2, and -85dbm. -104 is terrible.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
Did you change phones? Maybe the radio is fritzing out.

HD_Ride
Premium
join:2000-10-18
Jerseyastan
said by FFH:

And yet Verizon keeps winning despite the costs, bad billing, & so-so cust svc. And that is because coverage is king. Voice & data works nearly everywhere and that is the metric most people care about.

Put it this way, if you purchased VZ at $36 a share and if you still have while it is trading at $45 would you really care about poor customer service? I think not, they are doing something right

amarryat
Verizon FiOS

join:2005-05-02
Marshfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Shocking

said by HD_Ride:

said by FFH:

And yet Verizon keeps winning despite the costs, bad billing, & so-so cust svc. And that is because coverage is king. Voice & data works nearly everywhere and that is the metric most people care about.

Put it this way, if you purchased VZ at $36 a share and if you still have while it is trading at $45 would you really care about poor customer service? I think not, they are doing something right

I did exactly that, and I'm thinking of dumping it soon. Notice that recently Sprint has gone up 50% or so. I'm thinking that in a quarter or so, Verizon's churn rate will jump because of the ridiculous increases. And many of those customers will be moving to Sprint.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
My cost basis is less than $31.75 (much less if you factor in my distributions) and I care about customer service because I am a customer. Having said that, I've only needed to call customer service twice in 7+ years of being a VZW.

HD_Ride
Premium
join:2000-10-18
Jerseyastan

Re: Shocking

said by openbox9:

My cost basis is less than $31.75 (much less if you factor in my distributions) and I care about customer service because I am a customer. Having said that, I've only needed to call customer service twice in 7+ years of being a VZW.

Over the years I’ve found the technology and services have been great but customer service & billing has always sucked. Aside from that the point is Love 'Em or Hate 'Em, VZ is a Blue Chip company. We have been VZ customers since it changed from NJ Bell to VZ so we have you by a few years. Our experience has been if you don’t have any problems or never need to make changes things are great but if you have problems and have to deal with customer service or billing it could make for a long day, or days....
Expand your moderator at work

amarryat
Verizon FiOS

join:2005-05-02
Marshfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

The looming threat

We're still unlimited on Verizon, but the simple realization that will end soon has left me less satisfied.

I've been a VZW customer since it was NYNEX Mobile. Unless this new plan undergoes major changes before our contracts are up, we're out. Most likely to Sprint. If not, then to an MVNO.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: The looming threat

said by amarryat:

the simple realization that will end soon has left me less satisfied.

It only ends if you want the device subsidy. Pay full price for a phone or buy one off eBay. Oftentimes you can get very lightly used phones off eBay for about what you'd pay for a subsidized upgrade from Verizon. There are other ways around it too. Some have reported success buying phones through resellers and keeping unlimited. I'm told I can keep mine by swapping upgrades from my fiancee's tiered line to my unlimited and vice versa

If you can keep it the Verizon unlimited plan still has value; Sprint and Verizon are the only carriers that don't throttle to the best of my knowledge. Verizon does give priority to tiered/light-unlimited users during times of congestion but I've personally not encountered any ill effects from this. The worst I've seen is my speeds drop to 50kbit/s for periods lasting from seconds to a few minutes. That's only on the 3G network too, not the 4G one.

amarryat
Verizon FiOS

join:2005-05-02
Marshfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: The looming threat

said by Crookshanks:

It only ends if you want the device subsidy. Pay full price for a phone or buy one off eBay.

If I pay full price for a phone, I'm going to an MVNO. Letting the carrier off the hook for device subsidy should result in a lower bill (since they're no longer paying off the phone), but it doesn't unless you go MVNO. No way I'm paying full price for both the phone and the service.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: The looming threat

said by amarryat:

Letting the carrier off the hook for device subsidy should result in a lower bill

In principle I agree but it's not as though you aren't getting anything for paying full price. You retain the freedom to leave whenever you want and keep a grandfathered pricing plan.

Device subsidies need to go away anyhow and I'd hazard a guess that the industry is moving in that direction. Verizon imposed their upgrade fee to help offset the cost of their subsidies on smartphones, in particular the iPhone. They charge more a month for unlimited texting/calling for a smartphone than a dumb phone. With LTE being the first truly global standard I'd wager that we see the end of device subsidies by the end of the decade. We'll have a European model: bring your own phone and buy a SIM card/service plan from the carrier of your choice.

said by amarryat:

No way I'm paying full price for both the phone and the service

Well, I do understand your reasoning and tip my hat to anyone who is willing to vote with their wallet. MVNO's aren't really an option for me, I need the coverage of Verizon's network and virtually every MVNO I have access to around these parts uses Sprint.

amarryat
Verizon FiOS

join:2005-05-02
Marshfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: The looming threat

said by Crookshanks:

You retain the freedom to leave whenever you want and keep a grandfathered pricing plan.

Device subsidies need to go away anyhow and I'd hazard a guess that the industry is moving in that direction.

Yes but the only reason you can leave whenever you want is because they're not subsidizing the phone! The bill should be lower for anyone who brings their own device, or is no longer on contract.

In addition, if you bring your own device or are no longer on contract, DATA should not be a requirement. Again you could look at the data requirement as part of the subsidy since smartphones are far more expensive than dumbphones.

Device subsidies going away won't disappoint me, however like I said above, if we're buying our own phones, we should also be able to select the services we want. Once voice is on data, that part won't matter anyway, neither would the text messaging surcharge.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: The looming threat

said by amarryat:

In addition, if you bring your own device or are no longer on contract, DATA should not be a requirement.

Again, in principle I agree with you. Personally I wouldn't want a smartphone without a data plan -- I'd just buy a wi-fi only tablet -- but to each their own. The end of device subsidies will fix this problem, it'll only be a matter of time before someone releases a "smartphone" that comes wi-fi only and doesn't include the cellular data functionality.

said by amarryat:

we should also be able to select the services we want. Once voice is on data, that part won't matter anyway, neither would the text messaging surcharge.

I wouldn't count on voice being billed exclusively as data anytime soon. We are talking about the phone company here. One could argue that voice has effectively been data ever since AMPS went away but it has always been billed as a separate service. Hell, it has effectively been data on the wireline network for decades, any call that leaves your local CO is digitized and carried alongside other calls and data.

Don't despair entirely though, I'd bet it's only a matter of time before you see a "Skype phone" or similar device that's effectively a computer shaped like a phone with a SIM slot in it. You'll be able to buy a data only plan and bypass the carrier's voice network entirely. Heck, you can do this now with Google Voice, it's just not as seamless as it needs to be to go mainstream.

SMS is the biggest rip off of all but I can't find much sympathy for the people who have paid for it. It's hardly a necessary service and the money the carriers raked in from SMS has funded network expansion and enabled them to charge less for voice service over the years.

amarryat
Verizon FiOS

join:2005-05-02
Marshfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: The looming threat

said by Crookshanks:

I wouldn't count on voice being billed exclusively as data anytime soon. We are talking about the phone company here.

SMS is the biggest rip off of all but I can't find much sympathy for the people who have paid for it. It's hardly a necessary service and the money the carriers raked in from SMS has funded network expansion and enabled them to charge less for voice service over the years.

I think that's the motivation for Voice over LTE. There will be no difference between that data or any other data. Isn't there a problem with latency using data, but not with the VoTLE standard? I realize that as a digital signal, voice is technically data, but it is handled differently I think - maybe on a different channel or frequency. At least in Verizon's case, there are two radios at the current time in a 4G phone.

Agreed about SMS - we have it though - the kids use it to send a lot of texts. And Google Voice works just fine for that, but you can't do picture messages with it. Plus it's another number. Once everything is data, that shouldn't be billed separately either as there would be no distinguishing it between SMS, MMS, or an email.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: The looming threat

said by amarryat:

I think that's the motivation for Voice over LTE.

The long term motivation from the carrier's point of view is to shut down their 2G/3G voice networks and refarm the spectrum to LTE. Most of them aren't in a hurry to do this though. Verizon at least has committed to running their CDMA voice network for many years to come.

said by amarryat:

I realize that as a digital signal, voice is technically data, but it is handled differently I think - maybe on a different channel or frequency. At least in Verizon's case, there are two radios at the current time in a 4G phone.

Consider the cable company, their phone product is VoIP. It transmits data packets on the same DOCSIS network used for your internet connection. Why do they get away with selling it as a separate service? Two reasons:

1) Because they can.
2) Because it's (theoretically) prioritized with QoS so web browsing/downloading doesn't kill it.

Arguably there's no reason at all to use the cable company's VoIP product. It's no where near as reliable as a POTS line, doesn't come with the mobility of a cell phone, and costs more than competing VoIP products like Vonage. Somehow they keep signing people up though.

said by amarryat:

Once everything is data, that shouldn't be billed separately either as there would be no distinguishing it between SMS, MMS, or an email.

SMS will eventually cease to exist in its current form. Arguably there's no reason to use it on a smartphone other than to communicate with non-smartphone users. If everyone you know has a smartphone you can use any one of a number of free IM clients to communicate with them.

amarryat
Verizon FiOS

join:2005-05-02
Marshfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: The looming threat

said by Crookshanks:

Consider the cable company, their phone product is VoIP. It transmits data packets on the same DOCSIS network used for your internet connection. Why do they get away with selling it as a separate service? Two reasons:

1) Because they can.
2) Because it's (theoretically) prioritized with QoS so web browsing/downloading doesn't kill it.

Arguably there's no reason at all to use the cable company's VoIP product. It's no where near as reliable as a POTS line, doesn't come with the mobility of a cell phone, and costs more than competing VoIP products like Vonage. Somehow they keep signing people up though.

SMS will eventually cease to exist in its current form. Arguably there's no reason to use it on a smartphone other than to communicate with non-smartphone users. If everyone you know has a smartphone you can use any one of a number of free IM clients to communicate with them.

But SMS is easier - same number as to call them. No need to know what kind of phone your friend has. No need to use one app to text some people, and another to text others. That being said, I do use Google Voice to send texts sometimes - one reason is that I can do it from my desk.

As for the cable company VOIP - supposedly it runs on a different channel as well? And it isn't on the public internet, just internal? Anyway, we have the FIOS digital voice product which works just fine. But in my office, I have the Ooma for that line - and it works just as well, especially on the FIOS internet connection. Before I got the Ooma a few years ago, I had a VOIP provider and it worked very well, with TONS of features that the telco don't provide. But that service became jittery sometimes when I was on Comcast, due to their unstable internet service.

But back to the original article, I don't like the idea of metered billing for data, the skyrocketing price of data (which has become cheaper to provide), and the double-dipping where you're paying twice when you bring your own device. I do like the SIM card options you have in Europe - when I was in England a few months ago, there were a bunch of providers and options.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: The looming threat

said by amarryat:

As for the cable company VOIP - supposedly it runs on a different channel as well? And it isn't on the public internet, just internal?

Nope, same channel. The only difference is that it's subject to a higher QoS priority. Internal vs. external network shouldn't make a difference at all, data is data as you've repeatedly said.

said by amarryat:

But back to the original article, I don't like the idea of metered billing for data, the skyrocketing price of data (which has become cheaper to provide)

For better or worse I think metered data is a necessity for wireless service. Particularly for 3G, an EvDO Rev. A channel has a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 3mbit/s. That's shared with every user on the channel and in reality the available bandwidth is a lot less because 3mbit/s can only be achieved under perfect RF conditions.

One could argue that unlimited data would never have been offered at all if the carriers had predicted the smartphone revolution. When they rolled out unlimited data the primary use of a smartphone was push e-mail and light web browsing, both things that could easily be accomplished on a dial up connection. Nobody streamed audio. Nobody streamed video. People weren't downloading huge apps and surfing websites at desktop quality. Nor did you have a large number of people competing for the same resource -- smartphones were in the minority back in those days and dumbphones phones only used data for MMS.

Now I would like to see some changes to the current pricing model. Sooner or later one of the carriers will offer "nights and weekends" for data as they did for voice back in the day. The network is obviously less heavily loaded at 4AM and there's no reason why application updates and the like couldn't be scheduled to happen during off-peak hours.

said by amarryat:

and the double-dipping where you're paying twice when you bring your own device.

I don't like it either but for better or worse there's no law mandating a different pricing structure. T-Mobile at least does offer you a break if you BYOD. I'd jump onto them in a heartbeat if they had a rural network that was worth a damn. Alas they are utterly useless outside of urban/suburban areas.
bman212121

join:2005-06-09

1 recommendation

Take a look at Page Plus Cellular. »www.pagepluscellular.com/
I believe they use VZW's network for their prepaid service. (Probably not the 4g, but the 3g and 1x.)

mtrdanxiety

@cox.net
I have two phones, one from work with VZ and my personal phone with Virgin Mobile. Although the network on the VZ is better, I don't use it much and wouldn't pay the price VZ asks per month.

Although it may sound silly,I hate having a data cap above my head, and it gives me anxiety to use my VZ phone, cause Im always wondering if I am going over...

Majestik
World Traveler
Premium
join:2001-05-11
Tulsa, OK

AT&T grandfathered unlimited

No problems here. Even with the throttling I haven't noticed anything different. Can still stream TuneIn Radio,podcast,Slingplayer,etc. with no issues well beyond 3gig limit.
I'm very satisfied.
--
The adventure continues...Sanctuary....
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: AT&T grandfathered unlimited

Verizon's approach is superior I think. All they do is use a mathematical formula that assigns fewer forward-link time-slots to heavy unlimited users. If nobody else needs them you can consume every single forward-link time-slot on the cell-site/channel that you're connected to.

I've noticed occasional slowdowns to dial up speeds (30-50kbit/s) lasting anywhere from 15 seconds to two minutes. I can only presume this is a consequence of other users downloading large files/loading webpages. It hasn't impacted my service because the slowdowns are so brief and most of my data usage comes from Pandora. Pandora helpfully buffers the whole song ahead of time and rarely has problems with temporary network slowdowns. My usual 3G speeds are in the 800kbit/s to 1.5mbit/s range, so I'm quite happy with my service.

My data usage is in the 10/mo to 12GB/mo range right now.

Majestik
World Traveler
Premium
join:2001-05-11
Tulsa, OK

1 edit

Re: AT&T grandfathered unlimited

I was prepared to leave them and go to a more cheaper basic phone with another service. But got busy and forgot. Didnt read my text messages. Realized I was 2 months into throttling and didn't know it because nothing changed.
Once I paid more attention I noticed that it takes around 20 seconds longer for slingplayer to begin streaming.

I use somewhere between 4 and 5gig per month. Less lately because I've been listening to audiobooks.
It's good to not worry about being cut off,charged extra fees,or non usable.
--
The adventure continues...Sanctuary....

Redawg81
T3h N3wb

join:2001-08-04
Jacksonville, FL
kudos:2

1 edit

LOL

What makes this funny is that people who are "meter'ed" pay more attention then those who are not. If a bill by bill comparison to those who are meter'ed and who are not was done, you find a fuking funny result.

Just sayin. Take my word w/ a grain of salt

W/ that said Verizion doesn't offer unlimited 4g or so I hear just 3g ( Id if one of those customers would rather a throttled connection then none at all again just sayin)

R3d
--
Why can't I decide why my feelings I hide? Always screwing with my mind, a thorn in my spine. Oh sure, it feels fine, wasting all our time. In the back of my mind, a thorn in my spine.

We are the Children Of the KoRn.

John

@bhn.net

If people only knew

I'd be surprised if most data users use more than 1gb a month with power users hitting at 2-3. The people with the grandfathered unlimited plans are paying more for the potential value of having unlimited month after month. Often paying hundreds more than someone who pays for what they actually use. On a side note, I live in a nice big city with blazing fast at&t lte, I can understand the whining if you live in a crappy coverage area though.