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View Full Version : FCC Reports 28% Drop in Wireless Complaints

Mike Temporale
02-22-2006, 05:30 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.ctia.org/news_media/press/body.cfm?record_id=1582' target='_blank'>http://www.ctia.org/news_media/press/body.cfm?record_id=1582</a><br /><br /></div><i>"The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported late yesterday that consumer complaints about wireless service had tumbled by 28%. The FCC report revealed that wireless complaints fell from 6,873 in third quarter 2005, to 4,956 in the fourth quarter. "Increasing customer satisfaction is the top priority of the wireless industry," said CTIA – The Wireless Association® President and CEO Steve Largent. "In just the two plus years that I have been at CTIA, carriers have invested more than $40 billion into the wireless network. "This investment has not only brought consumers newer and more innovative wireless services, but it also made the network more robust and the overall wireless experience even more enjoyable than before. This is just one of the many consumer benefits that flow from free and open competition. Competition continues to show that it is the consumers’ most loyal ally."</i><br /><br />I don't know that I agree with the <i>"free and open competition"</i> comment. After all, who hasn't been locked into a couple year contract and also been given a locked and/or crippled handset. That's not very free and open if you ask me. Anyway, it looks like number portability seems to have helped a great number of dissatisfied people find a more loving and caring carrier. What do you think? ;)

02-22-2006, 05:45 PM
Personally I think we've just given up. If I actually complained everytime something happened I'd go nutz dealing with the no nothing CSRs of each oranisation.

So, I just don't call. I don't have the time.

02-22-2006, 05:52 PM
it looks like number portability seems to have helped a great number of dissatisfied people find a more loving and caring carrier. ;)

I don't know if portability has much to do with it or not. It was certainly nice to not have to change my number, but I was so angry with Verizon's lousy coverage and what they call customer service that I was willing to pay the early termination fee...and I would have given up the number too to be rid of them.

My guess is that the carriers investment in their networks is leading to fewer dead zones and dropped calls and that is what it driving complaints down. I doubt if they've improved their customer service much.

By the way, is the CTIA President the same Steve Largent as the former Seattle Seahawk?

02-22-2006, 05:54 PM
I also disagree with the free and open statement with respect to contracts. In my case, the carrier I use also dangles a "rewards" program in front of its customers to offer phone upgrades. However, their product line is so narrow I wouldn't ever use one of their phones anyways. When I first started using that same carrier in the 90's they also provided free text messaging. Then that was taken away. (Although I think that was probably the case with other providers as well.)

It seems customer service has taken a backseat while rates go up and extra services are outrageously priced. Don't even get me started on the data plans that are offered. :x

02-22-2006, 06:12 PM
Yep, same Steve Largent, the receiver - also the Oklahoma Congressman.

Note, I beleive that this is complaints made to the FCC, not complaints made to the industry directly. Mr Largent spins it well. I wonder what the carriers internal statistics show. That aside:

The "24 in a million" is the number that is surprising and way lower than I ever thought. I would have thought at least 1% (10,000) would be complaining. I think those first 24 are right here on SPT. Number portability doesn't hurt, but have the companies changed early termination at all? Have they upped their call center staff? The article really doesn't say what caused the downswing.

I agree also that some of it is apathy and complacency, 20 years of the same thing breeds apathy (just ask Cleveland Brown fans! Hey, there's always next year...).

But then, with the merger of ATT/Cingular and, Verizon and TMobile's fast growth you are seeing a more level field, more coverage and less fringe players like SunCom. Fringe players may have awesome service right in the middle of their service area, but usually provide poor roaming, large fees and spotty customer service when outside their home field.

I was trying to find the 2005 complete year percent vs this last quarter number, if anyone finds it - post it.


The complete US FCC fourth Quarter report is at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-263829A1.pdf

Historical archives of the reports is at: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/quarter/