While T-Mobile and AT&T are trying to prove that their merger will be better for the industry, the two companies have let their customers down while rival Sprint has soared according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey. Once a leader in satisfaction with customers, the latest decline in satisfaction among customers may indicate that an acquisition by AT&T would not please customers.
The Associated Press reports that customer satisfaction may decline after a merger as different cultures and business practices are often merged. That may have been a cause behind Sprint’s low satisfaction rating in the past as the company had tried to combine disparate billing and sales system with Nextel.
An AT&T-T-Mobile merger also includes the element of culture as the two companies right now market to different demographics. AT&T is more enterprise-driven while T-Mobile’s low-cost culture is more consumer oriented. It’s unclear how AT&T would position the new company after the acquisition of T-Mobile and how it intends to retain T-Mobile’s customers, who may be more price sensitive than its own customers given that company’s history of low-cost, full-featured rate and data plans.
AT&T’s scores in this most recent ACSI survey is down from last year and is the worst score since 2006, a year before it began selling the iPhone.
With T-Mobile losing subscribers, the ACSI score may help to highlight dissatisfaction with customers. The carrier had cited competitive pressures due to the loss of subscribership at the time despite innovative and low-cost rate plan offerings.
Sprint ties Verizon in customer satisfaction for the top spot.