Consumers are more satisfied than ever with their cell phone service, according to survey being published Tuesday.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index for cell phone service was 72 on a 100-point scale in the first quarter this year. That rose three points from last year and is the highest grade since the survey started looking at wireless in 2004.
The financial reports of the major wireless carriers bear this out. Most of them say the number of subscribers canceling service every month has declined.
The only major carrier that demonstrated a big improvement from last year's survey was Sprint Nextel Corp. The company has seen subscribers flee for several years, but it has made big efforts to improve customer service. Those efforts appear to be bearing fruit, as its score rose from 63 to 70. It posted another seven-point increase the year before. Sprint's subscriber losses have slowed in the last six months.
Sprint's customer satisfaction score is now just above AT&T's 69. Both Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA are at 73. However, the differences between all four nationwide carriers are now within the margin of error for an individual company, at plus or minus three points.
The margin of error for the industrywide index is plus or minus one point.
The survey was developed by the University of Michigan but is now run by a private company, ACSI LLC. It surveyed about 11,000 households for the first-quarter report.
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