AT&T wireless got poor consumer satisfaction ratings from Consumer Reports and was not allowed to buy T-Mobile as Government regulators and the public were skeptical. Well the good news is that AT&T dropped call rates have improved by 25%. This is a massive improvement – and yet the customer perception ratings have gotten to only"neutral. " But that's a positive direction!
In fact, many folks who had iPhones with AT&T moved to Verizon – firmly perceived as the carrier with the best reception. Apparently, the Verizon network has been having outages because of perhaps the demand for bandwidth that all those iPhones,iPads and Verizon Wireless services require. But people were more upset with the $2 bill payment fee which Verizon finally withdrew. What's interesting is that most people would tell you that Verizon has "much" better service than AT&T and that is a great marketing success by Verizon. Remember: Can you hear me now?
AT&T on the other hand did a brilliant thing by tying up exclusively with iPhone and Apple. The several years experience and struggles with smart phones and mobile technology has re-oriented AT&T 's thinking towards improving bandwidth. As Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson explains in an interview with Fortune that AT&T aims to focus on the infrastructure piece of getting the physical fibre into locations that allow wiress transmission. Next they want to buy the "air" or bandwidth and on that the company spent $20Billion last year. So the 25% improvement has not come cheap and keep in mind that AT&T offers unlimited wireless data to its old customers to stop them from moving to other carriers who have usage limits on their data plans.
AT&T is clear that they want to move into an entirely wireless and mobile type of technology offering and for this they would need to develop the backend infrastructure and make spectrum available.
Given that the AT&T and Apple iPhone organizations seem to work well together shows that the customer service end is improving with years of working together. For example, a few years ago they would bounce the customer from AT&T call center to the AT&T store to the Apple store but there is a market improvement at that end.
The question is when will the AT&T wireless "neutral" ratings improve to "positive" ? Could AT&T service be ever perceived better than Verizon? Perhaps- if the AT&T spectrum availability stays ahead of the zooming wireless bandwidth demand.