Why Consumers Take Risks on Sub-standard Data Networks

According to a recent Pew Research Survey, 60% of consumers use their phones to access the Internet; 67% of cell owners check their phone for messages, alerts, or calls despite no alert from the device; and 44% of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed to avoid missing connections at night.

When it comes to choosing their smartphones, many shoppers seek out more detailed specifications about smart devices on the market than they would an automobile. Perhaps this is because according to business expert Seth Godin, we have moved from an industrial economy that values compliance to a connection economy that prizes achievement. And we cannot achieve without strong connections—it’s why four of the top five most highly valued worldwide brands are technology companies.

Why, then, are some mobile consumers willing to gamble when it comes to the wireless data connection needed by their highly coveted devices? It’s like buying a nice new car and choosing horrible roads on which to drive—the experience is lost.

According to Gallop, up to 70% of purchasing decisions are emotional and 30% are rational, so it stands to reason that smart people might attach a very valuable smart device to a carrier who has slashed rates in an effort to entice customers to a sub-standard network.

Unfortunately, as many have learned, this decision leads to long term frustration for unsuspecting consumers who may believe one wireless network is much the same as the next. We are hearing firsthand from customers who returned to Verizon after leaving for Sprint. A few offered to share their recent experiences.

Denise from Wilmington, OH said: “[Sprint’s] subpar network was just unacceptable. I couldn’t even use the phone in my doctor’s office.”

Another Ohioan, Rachel, came back to Verizon after just six days with Sprint where she experienced “horrible customer service and continuous dropped calls.”

Samantha Mcelhone from Caledonia, OH was with Verizon for more than four years when she and her husband left for Sprint. After less than one week, they were back on Verizon's network. "They may promise to cut your bill in half, but you get service less than half the time. It's not worth it."

These are just a few examples of customers who were initially attracted by Sprint’s offer but found the experience didn’t quite match the hype.

While some carriers may muddy the waters with their overblown network claims, third party companies that regularly evaluate carrier networks will tell you there is indeed a difference.

Researching these reports and talking to your friends and colleagues about their experiences will help you choose the best network and ensure you will stay connected when and where you need it.

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