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One in five want self-driving cars

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Twenty percent of us want cars that drive themselvesA new study from J.D. Power and Associates has revealed U.S. drivers are interested in adding one of the newest and most expensive technologies to their next vehicle — autonomous driving. The feature allows the vehicle to take control of acceleration, braking, and steering without any human interaction. While the technology is still being developed and tested, 20% of all car owners in the U.S. said they “definitely would” or “probably would” include the technology in their next vehicle, even after learning the estimated market price of $3,000. Prior to learning the price, however, a whopping 37% of people were interested in the feature. “Consumers are still learning about how autonomous driving technology could be used in their vehicles,” said Mike VanNieuwkuyk, executive director of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates. “Many owners are skeptical about releasing control of their vehicle and would like to see the technology proved out before they adopt it.”Males were more interested in the feature than female, especially males between the ages of 18 and 37 and those living in urban areas. Interest in autonomous driving mode also differed greatly among premium and non-premium vehicle owners. After learning the price, interest in the feature among non-premium owners sat at 18%, while 31% of premium owners were interested in the technology.The 2012 “U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study” was conducted in March 2012 and based on responses from more than 17,400 vehicle owners.Read

 

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iPhone again takes top spot in J.D. Power satisfaction survey

Friday, March 16th, 2012

For the seventh consecutive time, Apple has ranked highest among smartphone manufacturers in customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Associates. The Cupertino-based company achieved a rating of 839 out of 1,000 possible points; the iPhone’s ease of use, features, physical design and battery life propelled the handset to the top spot. HTC, again, followed Apple with a score of 798, with Samsung (769) and Motorola (758) falling in the No.3 and No.4 spots, respectively. According to the survey, smartphone users who were more satisfied with the battery performance of their device were more likely to repurchase the same brand compared to owners who were less satisfied. “Both carriers and manufacturers recognize the fact that battery life needs to be improved,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, the study uncovers the need for a greater sense of urgency–short battery life can result in perceived phone problems, higher rates of merchandise returns and customer defections.” Read on for J.D. Power and Associates’ press release.

J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Smartphone Battery Life has Become a Significant Drain on Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

Apple Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Smartphone Manufacturers,
While LG and Sanyo Rank Highest in a Tie among Traditional Mobile Phone Manufacturers

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 15 March 2012 — As smartphone users place increasingly complex demands on the functionality of their devices, satisfaction with battery performance is becoming a critical factor in overall satisfaction as well as brand loyalty, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction StudySM–Volume 1 and the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction StudySM–Volume 1, both released today.

Satisfaction with smartphones is greatly impacted by battery performance, particularly the length of battery life before recharging is required. In addition, the study finds that satisfaction with battery performance is by far the least satisfying aspect of smartphones, and satisfaction in this area is one of only a few attributes that have declined significantly, compared with Volume 2 of the 2011 study (6.7 in 2012, compared with 6.9 in September 2011).

Satisfaction levels with battery performance differ widely between owners of 3G- and 4G-enabled smartphones. Among owners of 4G-enabled smartphones, battery performance ratings average 6.1 on a 10-point scale–considerably lower than satisfaction among owners of 3G smartphones (6.7). Part of this difference stems from the fact that new 4G smartphones use substantial battery life searching for next-generation network signals, which tend to be scarcer than 3G signals. In addition, owners of 4G-enabled smartphones use their device more extensively–they talk, text, email, and surf the Web more often than do customers with 3G smartphones or traditional handsets–which puts a significantly higher demand on the battery.

“Both carriers and manufacturers recognize the fact that battery life needs to be improved,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, the study uncovers the need for a greater sense of urgency–short battery life can result in perceived phone problems, higher rates of merchandise returns and customer defections.”

According to Parsons, smartphone owners who are highly satisfied with their device’s battery life are more likely to repurchase the same brand of smartphone, compared with owners who are less satisfied. Approximately 25 percent of 4G-enabled smartphone owners are highly satisfied with their battery (ratings of 10 on a 10-point scale) and say they “definitely will” repurchase a device from the same manufacturer. In comparison, among owners who are less satisfied with their battery (ratings of 7-9 on a 10-point scale), only 13 percent say the same.

The two studies measure customer satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets and smartphones among owners who have used their current mobile device for less than one year. Satisfaction is measured in several key factors. In order of importance, the key factors of overall satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets are: performance (31%); ease of operation (24%); physical design (24%); and features (20%). For smartphones, the key factors are: performance (35%); ease of operation (24%); features (21%); and physical design (20%).

For a seventh consecutive time, Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of smartphones in customer satisfaction. Apple achieves a score of 839 on a 1,000-point scale and performs well in all factors, particularly in ease of operation and features. HTC (798) follows Apple in the smartphone rankings.

LG and Sanyo rank highest in overall customer satisfaction with traditional handsets, in a tie (716 each). LG performs well in all four factors, while Sanyo performs particularly well in ease of operation. Sony Ericsson (712) and Samsung (703) follow in the traditional handset rankings.

The studies also find the following key wireless handset usage patterns:

The price of a traditional wireless mobile phone continues to decline and averaged $66 between July and December 2011, compared with an average of $81 during the same time period in 2010. The decline is primarily due to discounts provided by handset providers and wireless service carriers to incentivize sales. Currently, 44 percent of owners report having received a free mobile phone when subscribing to a wireless service.

Mobile applications continue to enhance the smartphone user experience. Seventy percent of smartphone owners say they have accessed social networking sites using their device. Nearly three in four (72%) say they have the ability to download and/or view video and movies, while 59 percent indicate having voice recognition and/or command dialing applications. This indicates that smartphone owners are continuing to integrate their device usage into both their business and personal lives.

Two in 10 current smartphone owners report experiencing a software or device malfunction (21%). These problems have an impact on overall satisfaction, as there is a satisfaction gap of 77 points between customers who experience software malfunctions and those who do not. Satisfaction among customers who indicate their device’s software crashes at least once a week averages only 691.

The 2012 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study–Volume 1 and the 2012 U.S. Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction Study–Volume 1 are based on experiences reported by 7,080 smartphone owners and 8,335 traditional mobile phone owners. Both studies were fielded between July and December 2011.

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BBB: AT&T has lowest complaint rate among major carriers, T-Mobile highest

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Among the top-four nationwide carriers in the United States, AT&T has managed the lowest ratio of Better Business Bureau complaints to customers over the past three years. Earlier this month, the BBB published data collected between August 2008 and July 2011 for the eight biggest wireless carriers in the U.S. The firm then measured total complaints for each carrier against its approximate total subscriber count according to the CTIA as of July to determine each carrier’s “complaint ratio.” Read on for more.

Between August 2008 and this past July, MetroPCS had the lowest number of complaints filed with the BBB with just 997. The regional carrier’s 9 million subscribers gives it a minuscule complaint ratio of 0.011%, the best among all carriers covered in the report. AT&T found itself in second place overall with a complaint ratio of 0.016%. Just 15,178 complaints were filed against the carrier over the three-year period in question, and AT&T’s complaint ratio was the best among the four major U.S. carriers.

Verizon Wireless was the No. 2 major carrier and fourth overall according to the BBB with a complaint ratio of 0.020% (20,876 complaints), and Sprint followed in the sixth spot with 0.044% (22,300 complaints). T-Mobile racked up 26,387 complaints over the three-year span and found itself in dead last with a complaint ratio of 0.078%.

Interestingly, carriers’ BBB complaint ratios don’t appear to correlate closely with the perceived quality of customer service they provide. According to a recent poll by J.D. Power and Associates, Verizon Wireless has the best customer service in the country, having scored 770 out of a possible 1,000 points. T-Mobile was second with a score of 766, Sprint was third with 752 and AT&T was scored the worst among major U.S. carriers with 751 points.

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Apple takes top spot in sixth consecutive J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

J.D. Power and Associates released its 2011 U.S. Wireless Handset Customer Satisfaction Study, Volume 2 on Thursday, and Apple took the top spot among smartphone manufacturers for the sixth consecutive time. The iPhone maker had a score of 838 on a 1,000-point scale and was trailed by HTC, which had a score of 801. Samsung was ranked highest in the traditional handset category with a score of 718 and was followed closely by LG (717), Sanyo (716), and Sony Ericsson (709). The survey also found that customers with 4G-capable devices were more satisfied than those with 3G phones. Satisfaction among 4G phone users averaged out at a score of 819 versus 786 for 3G device users. Read on for more.

“It’s not unexpected that satisfaction is higher for devices that have new technological advances or features,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. “Having the right combination of physical dimensions and operating functions and features for both smartphones and traditionally equipped devices is key to creating an exceptional ownership experience with each type of wireless device.” J.D. Power and Associates surveyed 6,898 smartphone owners and 8,775 mobile phone users between January and June of this year. The full press release follows below.

J.D. Power and Associates Reports: The Right Blend of Design and Technology is Critical to Creating an Exceptional User Experience with Smartphones and Traditional Mobile Devices

Apple Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Smartphone Manufacturers, While Samsung Ranks Highest among Traditional Mobile Phone Manufacturers

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 8 September 2011 — Overall satisfaction with smartphones and traditional mobile phones is considerably higher for devices that are a specific size and weight and are equipped with the latest technological advancements, such as high-quality display screens, faster processing speeds, longer battery life and touch screen capabilities, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction StudySM—Volume 2 and the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction StudySM—Volume 2, both released today.

Satisfaction with both smartphones and traditional or “feature” phones is greatly impacted by the physical design and dimensions of the device. For example, satisfaction ratings are highest (8.1 on a 10-point scale) when the weight of the smartphone device does not exceed 5 ounces. In comparison, satisfaction averages 7.6 for smartphone devices that are 5 ounces or heavier. The same scenario holds true for feature phones, for which satisfaction with the weight of the device peaks between 3 and 3.5 ounces, and drops considerably when the feature phone weighs 4 ounces or more.

The width and thickness of the smartphone device are also critical in maximizing the ownership experience, and echo the old adage that “thinner is better” holds true. Overall physical design satisfaction is highest (852 on a 1,000-point scale) for smartphones that are less than 0.45 inches wide. In comparison, satisfaction averages 783 for smartphones that are 0.65 inches wide or wider.

Technology advancements also impact the experience of mobile devices in a number of areas. For example, touch screen-only smartphones generate considerably higher satisfaction with ease of operation (817 points) than either QWERTY-only based devices or those that have both a touch screen and QWERTY functions (785 and 782 points, respectively).

In addition, faster processing speeds, higher computer chip bit rates and the most advanced display screens (such as Super AMOLED vs. older LCD-based screens) all add significantly to user satisfaction. Even the number of megapixels found in camera-enabled mobile devices influences the ownership experience. In general, the higher the number of megapixels, the higher the satisfaction with camera picture and video quality. However, devices with at least 5 megapixels achieve nearly as high a satisfaction score as those smartphones with 8 megapixels or more.

“It’s not unexpected that satisfaction is higher for devices that have new technological advances or features,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. “Having the right combination of physical dimensions and operating functions and features for both smartphones and traditionally equipped devices is key to creating an exceptional ownership experience with each type of wireless device.”

These two studies have been updated to measure customer satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets and smartphones among owners who have used their current mobile phone for less than one year by examining several key factors. In order of importance, the key factors of overall satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets are: performance (31%); ease of operation (24%); physical design (24%); and features (20%). For smartphones, the key factors are: performance (35%); ease of operation (24%); features (21%); and physical design (20%).

For a sixth consecutive time, Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of smartphones in customer satisfaction. Apple achieves a score of 838 and performs well in all factors, particularly in ease of operation and features. HTC (801) follows Apple in the smartphone rankings.

Samsung ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction with traditional handsets with a score of 718. Samsung performs well in three factors: performance, ease of operation and features. LG (717), Sanyo (716) and Sony Ericsson (709) follow Samsung in the traditional handset rankings.

The studies also find the following key wireless handset usage patterns:

  • The price of a traditional wireless mobile phone continues to decline and averages $71 in 2011, compared with an average of $81 at the beginning of 2009. The decline is primarily due to discounts provided by handset providers and wireless service carriers to incentivize sales. Currently, 42 percent of owners report having received a free mobile phone when subscribing to a wireless service.
  • Mobile applications continue to enhance the smartphone user experience. More than two-thirds of owners say they have downloaded games and social networking applications to their device. More than one-half (54%) say they have downloaded entertainment-oriented applications, while 52 percent indicate having downloaded travel software, such as maps and weather applications. This indicates that smartphone owners are continuing to integrate their device usage into both their business and personal lives.
  • Customers are highly satisfied with 4G-capable devices. Satisfaction among customers using 4G-capable phones averages 819, compared with 786 among customers using phones with 3G capability. Owners of 4G devices are also more active in terms of calling, texting and browsing the Internet.

The 2011 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study—Volume 2 and the 2011 U.S. Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction Study—Volume 2 are based on experiences reported by 6,898 smartphone owners and 8,775 traditional mobile phone owners. Both studies were fielded between January and June 2011.

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Verizon Wireless wins J.D. Power customer care award

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

J.D. Power and Associates announced on Thursday that Verizon Wireless ranked highest in the company’s 2011 Wireless Customer Care Performance Study, Volume 2. The carrier’s overall score was 770/1000, which was above the average 761 score in the ‘full service’ category. T-Mobile came in second place with a score of 766, followed by Sprint (752) and AT&T (751). J.D. Power and Associates also noted that non-contract customers have shorter wait times than customers with contracts (5.5 minutes versus 4.4 minutes). “There is also a disparity between the contract and non-contract segments in terms of the quality of the experience with the service representative,” J.D. Power and Associates senior director of wireless services Kirk Parsons said. “In particular, non-contract customers are considerably less satisfied than are contract customers in the areas of knowledge about plans; personal concern for customers; and apathy towards customers.” Boost Mobile ranked the best among non-contract carriers with a score of 763. Read on for the full press release.

LATEST J.D. POWER AND ASSOCIATES STUDY RANKS VERIZON WIRELESS HIGHEST IN CUSTOMER CARE

Survey Places Company First Among Major National Providers In U.S. Wireless Industry

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Verizon Wireless, provider of the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G network and the fastest, most advanced 4G LTE network in the world, has been ranked highest in customer care among the major national wireless phone service providers in J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Wireless Customer Care Performance StudySM – Volume 2, released today.

Verizon Wireless received a score of 770, which led the segment and was above the industry average.  The study was based on feedback gathered from wireless customers of the four major U.S. providers by J.D. Power and Associates in the first six months of 2011.

“Our goal at Verizon Wireless has consistently been to offer an outstanding customer experience, and our standing in this latest survey is yet one more signal that our customers vote us the best wireless company in the U.S.,” said John Stratton, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Verizon Wireless.  “We will continue to work hard to ensure that our customers can count on the best network; the best service, and the best lineup of smartphones, tablets and other innovative and reliable wireless devices from the best wireless company: Verizon Wireless.”

Verizon Wireless offers customers many reasons to choose and stay with the company. Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest and most reliable wireless voice and 3G data network and the fastest, most advanced 4G LTE network in the world, and offers quality products and services backed by its award-winning customer service.  For more information about Verizon Wireless, visit www.verizonwireless.com.

The company’s “most reliable network” claim is based on network studies performed by test men and test women who conduct more than 3.5 million voice call attempts and more than 19 million data tests annually on Verizon Wireless’ and other national wireless carriers’ networks while traveling more than 1 million miles in specially equipped, company-owned quality test vehicles.  For more information about Verizon Wireless testing, go to: http://aboutus.vzw.com/bestnetwork/reliability.html.

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J.D. Power: Verizon has best call quality nationwide, T-Mobile consistently below average

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

J.D. Power, that well known arbiter of human opinion in the United States, has just released its latest study on customer satisfaction with wireless carriers. It addresses such things as (the lack of) dropped calls, failures to connect, voice distortion, echoes, static, and late-arriving text messages, and ultimately churns out a rating out of five stars relative to the regional average and other carriers. In testing done between July and December last year, Verizon had the best or tied for the best satisfaction ratings in five of the six studied areas, while AT&T and Sprint traded blows for second and T-Mobile had to admit defeat as the laggard of the top four. US Cellular managed to score highest in the North Central region, but J.D. Power’s overall assessment isn’t very rosy for any of the carriers — the stats collector says growing smartphone usage, heavy texting and more indoor calls are collectively causing call quality to stagnate, and even warns that “increased adoption of smartphones and wireless tablets may continue to compromise the quality of network service.”

Continue reading J.D. Power: Verizon has best call quality nationwide, T-Mobile consistently below average

J.D. Power: Verizon has best call quality nationwide, T-Mobile consistently below average originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 06 Mar 2011 11:42:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple tops J.D. Power’s smartphone satisfaction survey, Nokia bringing up the rear

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

According to a recent J.D. Power and Associates survey of smartphone users, Apple, for the fourth consecutive time, ranks highest in customer satisfaction. The smartphone survey uses the following weighted categories to calculate a winner: operation (26%), operating system (24%), physical design (23%), features (19%), and battery function (8%). Apple ended up with a score of 800 out of a possible 1,000. Following hot on the heels of the iPhone maker was Motorola (791) and HTC (781). J.D. Power reports that the average score for a smartphone was 764; unsurprisingly, Nokia was ranked last in U.S. smartphone satisfaction with a score of 711. Other smartphone notables include, Research In Motion (737), Samsung (735), and Palm (726). In Samsung’s defense, the study was conducted from January of 2010 to June of 2010, before the company had the Galaxy S a serious smartphone in the market. Hit the read link for the full report.

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