Wireless customers seeking good service should go to a store, not online

Having a positive experience with a wireless provider usually involves visiting a store - Photo by Clay Banks on UnSplash

Wireless companies are more likely to get a 5-Star review if the customer has visited a store

Perhaps no one would be willing to give up their cellphone but very few consumers appear to like their wireless service provider very much. The big three providers – Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile – come in for most of the criticism.

When we looked at the verified reviews of these companies on ConsumerAffairs, we found that 93% of Verizon reviews only gave the company 1-Star and only 3% gave Verizon 5-Stars.  

AT&T was a little better, getting a 1-Star rating from 85% of reviewers and a 5-Star rating from 6%. T-Mobile is between its two competitors, getting a 1-Star rating from 89% of reviewers with 6% awarding T-Mobile a 5-Star rating.

It made us wonder – what could make such a difference between the two extremes? An analysis of the three companies’ 5-Star reviews showed that in more than half the cases, the reviewer had a positive experience with an employee at a physical location. 

Frustrated with online service

In some cases, the reviewer said they were frustrated trying to resolve their issue online but found satisfaction when they went to the store, often praising the employee by name.

“I worked with Matt at the Sidney, Ohio Verizon store,” Tami wrote in her Verizon 5-Star review. “I had been having connectivity issues for months with my phone. I spent two days with customer online service. They were no help. I walked into Verizon in Sidney, Ohio and Matt helped me. Had my phone working in five minutes when online couldn’t help me for two days!”

“I recently went to T-Mobile in Lisbon, Conn,” Abigail, of Hartford, Conn., told us. “I needed a new screen protector for my iPhone. I wanted them to take off my old one, clean my screen, and put a new one on. They found one for my XR and did exactly that. They even cleaned my case some when I asked. They also gave good advice on fixing my cracked back screen or getting a new phone.”

Typical 1-Star review

Knox, of Antioch, Tenn., gave AT&T a 1-Star review after dealing with customer service over the phone.

“First day my daughter’s phone didn’t work,” Knox wrote in his review. “ “Called them and basically got ‘don't know what to tell you.’"

Wireless companies, of course, prefer that you interact with them online. For the companies, it’s much more economical.

But the lesson for consumers is – if you want satisfaction and good service, you’re best move may be to visit a store.

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