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    Service Provider Wins Big With Customers

    By Tim Alan | Yahoo Small Business

    T-Mobile has been making serious strides over the past year to earn more subscribers, including a campaign to untether customers from long-term cell phone contracts with competitors. Their efforts have clearly paid off, as they have gained millions of new customers and recently ranked third in J.D. Power’s survey on customer care from cell phone service providers. 

    Ranked right below the average score of the survey, T-Mobile saw the most improvement out of any company and beat out Sprint for its previously held third spot. AT&T and Verizon ranked first and second, respectively. The results of the survey were released earlier this month.

    The survey is based on the responses of 7,000 cell phone subscribers who were asked about their satisfaction with the customer service of their provider. J.D. Power noted that 30 percent of customers who spend more than 15 minutes on a service call will switch carriers, and speculated it’s probable that customers on long calls are having complex issues and may ditch their current service provider.

    More Good News

    T-Mobile subsidiary MetroPCS ranked first in the J.D. Power survey among prepaid cell phone service providers, ahead of Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile.

    John Legere, T-Mobile CEO, took to Twitter on February 6 to congratulate his teams, tweeting, “Proud of my teams! @TMobile is most improved and MetroPCS is top for customer care in the no-contract market”.

     Innovation Pays Off

    As one of the largest cell phone service providers, T-Mobile was also recently named one of the most innovative companies by FastCompany.com. It joined brands like Google, Apple, Nike and Twitter for a spot on the Top 20 list. FastCompany favorably noted T-Mobile’s efforts to be “the un-carrier” and recognized its groundbreaking efforts for reform within the cell phone service industry.

    “T-Mobile has won over customers by offering free international roaming, no contracts, 200 MB of free data on tablets, and faster times between phone upgrades — that is, by trying to be customer friendly,” FastCompany said.

    Another campaign that has been helpful in swaying new subscribers is T-Mobile’s JUMP! program, which allows customers to upgrade their phones as many as two times per year, instead of waiting the traditional two year-cycle for the newest iteration of their phone. JUMP! is available for an extra $10 per month, and phones like the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy are eligible.

    Legere’s Mission

    The outspoken Legere has not been shy about his mission to go after current customers of AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. He recently announced a new enticing incentive: If an AT&T, Sprint or Verizon customer breaks their contract early to switch to T-Mobile and is hit with an early termination fee, T-Mobile will pay for it. This applies to both individual and family plans, and has the potential to cost up to $650 per line.

    Rumors have started swirling about a potential T-Mobile and Sprint merger, which Legere nonchalantly addressed but did not rule out. A merger would be ironic, as T-Mobile recently ran a trio of television ads featuring NFL players switching over to T-Mobile from Sprint. It will be interesting to see if and how reported negotiations play out over the next year or so.

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