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  1. #1
    The Magnificent Bastard
    Guest


    Wireless Companies Try to Keep Customers Happy

    By REUTERS
    Filed at 7:51 a.m. ET
    August 9, 2003


    CHICAGO (Reuters) - Walk into a U.S. wireless telephone carrier's shop
    these days, and you might be jolted by the friendlier service, and
    improved quality of sound on the cell phone.

    That's because the wireless industry is feeling an urgent need to keep
    customers happy before the advent of a new government rule on
    switching services. Starting in November, customers will be able to
    keep their old phone numbers when switching wireless services.

    The so-called number portability rule scares wireless companies
    because it essentially makes it easier for disgruntled consumers to go
    elsewhere. And in the $91 billion wireless industry, winning and
    retaining customers is what it's all about.

    ``This is a wakeup call,'' said Rich Nespola, chief executive of
    management consulting firm, the Management Network Group Inc., or
    TMNG.

    As the deadline nears, wireless companies are now trying to head off
    the potential damage by making network improvements, re-evaluating
    customer service, and stepping up their marketing.

    According to a recent study by TMNG, 24 percent of large businesses --
    the most likely segment to take advantage of number portability -- are
    ready to switch services.

    The research also found that 33 percent of businesses that use more
    than one carrier are likely to consolidate their wireless accounts to
    a single provider.

    ``What you're going to see now is a lot of positioning, a lot of
    repairing and a lot of bridge-building,'' said independent
    telecommunications analyst Jeff Kagan.

    ``That comes both on the perception side, where you see a lot of
    advertising and marketing, and a lot on the reality side, which is
    improving the systems and the operations.''

    CUSTOMERS WILL WIN EITHER WAY

    Sprint PCS Group (PCS.N) (FON.N), the nation's No. 4 wireless
    telephone company, has made changes in everything from greetings at
    stores to its automated voice services to the way it deals with
    customer complaints.

    The company has also invested in its network by adding new cell sites
    and increasing signal density so there are fewer dropped or blocked
    calls.

    ``Overall, it's been a large culture change that we're not done with
    yet,'' said Len Lauer, president of Sprint PCS, who took over the
    reins of the company last fall to address the company's declining
    subscriber base.

    ``We're doing a lot of work to be ready for (number portability),'' he
    told Reuters, adding the company is even informing customers if they
    are paying too much.

    Lauer emphasized that Sprint PCS needed to make the changes regardless
    of number portability.

    However, analysts said companies are feeling a greater urgency ahead
    of the new regulation.

    ``No carrier will admit they're going to do anything,'' said Craig
    Mallitz, wireless analyst with Legg Mason. ``(But) all of the carriers
    seem to be taking somewhat of a defensive mode.''

    Companies like No. 2 Cingular Wireless (SBC.N) (BLS.N) are offering
    two-year contracts to keep customers longer while AT&T Wireless
    Services Inc. (AWE.N), the No. 3 operator, is waiving the activation
    fee on two-year contracts.

    Meanwhile, Sprint PCS recently launched advertisements targeted at
    businesses that tout its superior network quality compared with AT&T
    Wireless.

    Many of the operators' efforts so far have come as they posted solid
    second-quarter gains in key industry metrics -- customer growth,
    average revenue per user, and customer turnover.

    Verizon Wireless (VZ.N) (VOD.L), the largest U.S. wireless operator
    which analysts believe will gain the most from number portability,
    demonstrated exceptional strength, adding twice as many customers as
    its nearest competitor.

    ``At the end of the day it's going to benefit consumers either way,''
    said Mallitz. ``You're either going to get better quality if you stay
    with your carrier or you're going to get the ability to leave and go
    to another carrier, who is also trying to improve their quality.''






    See More: Unthinkable: All Wireless Carriers




  2. #2
    John Eckart
    Guest

    Re: Unthinkable: All Wireless Carriers

    I don't buy it. I don't believe the cellular providers are doing much of =
    anything. And why are they scrambling to improve services now? Why =
    didn't they do it long ago for consumers who don't care about their cell =
    numbers changing? Besides, you may be able to keep your cell numbers =
    now, but you still have to wait for your 1 or 2 year service agreement =
    is up before you can change providers. Even if they also killed the =
    service agreements, they still have somewhat of a hold on you due to =
    every cellular provider in the U.S. using phones that are locked to only =
    work on their particular network, making it expensive and difficult to =
    bounce from one provider to the next.


    "The Magnificent Bastard" <[email protected]> wrote in message =
    news:[email protected]
    >=20
    >=20
    > Wireless Companies Try to Keep Customers Happy
    >=20
    > By REUTERS
    > Filed at 7:51 a.m. ET
    > August 9, 2003
    >=20
    >=20
    > CHICAGO (Reuters) - Walk into a U.S. wireless telephone carrier's shop
    > these days, and you might be jolted by the friendlier service, and
    > improved quality of sound on the cell phone.
    >=20
    > That's because the wireless industry is feeling an urgent need to keep
    > customers happy before the advent of a new government rule on
    > switching services. Starting in November, customers will be able to
    > keep their old phone numbers when switching wireless services.
    >=20
    > The so-called number portability rule scares wireless companies
    > because it essentially makes it easier for disgruntled consumers to go
    > elsewhere. And in the $91 billion wireless industry, winning and
    > retaining customers is what it's all about.
    >=20
    > ``This is a wakeup call,'' said Rich Nespola, chief executive of
    > management consulting firm, the Management Network Group Inc., or
    > TMNG.
    >=20
    > As the deadline nears, wireless companies are now trying to head off
    > the potential damage by making network improvements, re-evaluating
    > customer service, and stepping up their marketing.
    >=20
    > According to a recent study by TMNG, 24 percent of large businesses --
    > the most likely segment to take advantage of number portability -- are
    > ready to switch services.
    >=20
    > The research also found that 33 percent of businesses that use more
    > than one carrier are likely to consolidate their wireless accounts to
    > a single provider.
    >=20
    > ``What you're going to see now is a lot of positioning, a lot of
    > repairing and a lot of bridge-building,'' said independent
    > telecommunications analyst Jeff Kagan.
    >=20
    > ``That comes both on the perception side, where you see a lot of
    > advertising and marketing, and a lot on the reality side, which is
    > improving the systems and the operations.''=20
    >=20
    > CUSTOMERS WILL WIN EITHER WAY
    >=20
    > Sprint PCS Group (PCS.N) (FON.N), the nation's No. 4 wireless
    > telephone company, has made changes in everything from greetings at
    > stores to its automated voice services to the way it deals with
    > customer complaints.
    >=20
    > The company has also invested in its network by adding new cell sites
    > and increasing signal density so there are fewer dropped or blocked
    > calls.
    >=20
    > ``Overall, it's been a large culture change that we're not done with
    > yet,'' said Len Lauer, president of Sprint PCS, who took over the
    > reins of the company last fall to address the company's declining
    > subscriber base.
    >=20
    > ``We're doing a lot of work to be ready for (number portability),'' he
    > told Reuters, adding the company is even informing customers if they
    > are paying too much.
    >=20
    > Lauer emphasized that Sprint PCS needed to make the changes regardless
    > of number portability.
    >=20
    > However, analysts said companies are feeling a greater urgency ahead
    > of the new regulation.
    >=20
    > ``No carrier will admit they're going to do anything,'' said Craig
    > Mallitz, wireless analyst with Legg Mason. ``(But) all of the carriers
    > seem to be taking somewhat of a defensive mode.''
    >=20
    > Companies like No. 2 Cingular Wireless (SBC.N) (BLS.N) are offering
    > two-year contracts to keep customers longer while AT&T Wireless
    > Services Inc. (AWE.N), the No. 3 operator, is waiving the activation
    > fee on two-year contracts.
    >=20
    > Meanwhile, Sprint PCS recently launched advertisements targeted at
    > businesses that tout its superior network quality compared with AT&T
    > Wireless.
    >=20
    > Many of the operators' efforts so far have come as they posted solid
    > second-quarter gains in key industry metrics -- customer growth,
    > average revenue per user, and customer turnover.
    >=20
    > Verizon Wireless (VZ.N) (VOD.L), the largest U.S. wireless operator
    > which analysts believe will gain the most from number portability,
    > demonstrated exceptional strength, adding twice as many customers as
    > its nearest competitor.
    >=20
    > ``At the end of the day it's going to benefit consumers either way,''
    > said Mallitz. ``You're either going to get better quality if you stay
    > with your carrier or you're going to get the ability to leave and go
    > to another carrier, who is also trying to improve their quality.''=20
    >=20
    >=20
    >




  3. #3
    Group Special Mobile
    Guest

    Re: Unthinkable: All Wireless Carriers

    On Tue, 12 Aug 2003 21:31:20 GMT, "John Eckart" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Even if they also killed the service agreements, they still have somewhat of a hold on you due to every cellular provider in the U.S. using phones that are locked to only work on their particular network, making it expensive and difficult to bounce from

    one provider to the next.

    Not all carriers do. T-Mobile for one is very generous about giving
    out unlock codes. After 90 days is normal and sometimes for certain
    situations even before that.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    To send an email reply send to
    GSMthemobilestandard ( yahoo.com

    A. Top posters.
    Q. What is the most annoying thing on Usenet?



  4. #4
    James
    Guest

    Re: Unthinkable: All Wireless Carriers

    Probably anytime you move carriers you'll have to buy a new handset.
    Number portability doesn't mean handset portability. Regardless, most
    companies don't really worry about something until it either affects
    their finances or their image. I'm not surprised to hear companies
    like Sprint PCS are trying to improve their image now because of this.
    Their customer service department was truely the pits a few years ago
    and once they realized it was drastically affecting their subscriber
    base, that's when they decided to do something about it. Have you
    ever seen a telco exec not sit back when things are going fast, fat,
    and happy? It's only when there's a potential issue that they attempt
    to drastically improve. Only now that it's easier for a disgruntled
    client to say screw you, they want to prevent it.



  5. #5
    Group Special Mobile
    Guest

    Re: Unthinkable: All Wireless Carriers

    On 14 Aug 2003 13:12:39 -0700, [email protected] (James) wrote:

    >Probably anytime you move carriers you'll have to buy a new handset.
    >Number portability doesn't mean handset portability.


    Only somewhat true. If you have a GSM phone and you move to another
    GSM carrier you can use the same phone provided that the phone is
    unlocked and uses the same frequencies as your old carrier.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    To send an email reply send to
    GSMthemobilestandard ( yahoo.com

    A. Top posters.
    Q. What is the most annoying thing on Usenet?



  6. #6
    James
    Guest

    Re: Unthinkable: All Wireless Carriers

    Probably anytime you move carriers you'll have to buy a new handset.
    Number portability doesn't mean handset portability. Regardless, most
    companies don't really worry about something until it either affects
    their finances or their image. I'm not surprised to hear companies
    like Sprint PCS are trying to improve their image now because of this.
    Their customer service department was truely the pits a few years ago
    and once they realized it was drastically affecting their subscriber
    base, that's when they decided to do something about it. Have you
    ever seen a telco exec not sit back when things are going fast, fat,
    and happy? It's only when there's a potential issue that they attempt
    to drastically improve. Only now that it's easier for a disgruntled
    client to say screw you, they want to prevent it.



  7. #7
    James
    Guest

    Re: Unthinkable: All Wireless Carriers

    Probably anytime you move carriers you'll have to buy a new handset.
    Number portability doesn't mean handset portability. Regardless, most
    companies don't really worry about something until it either affects
    their finances or their image. I'm not surprised to hear companies
    like Sprint PCS are trying to improve their image now because of this.
    Their customer service department was truely the pits a few years ago
    and once they realized it was drastically affecting their subscriber
    base, that's when they decided to do something about it. Have you
    ever seen a telco exec not sit back when things are going fast, fat,
    and happy? It's only when there's a potential issue that they attempt
    to drastically improve. Only now that it's easier for a disgruntled
    client to say screw you, they want to prevent it.



  8. #8
    Group Special Mobile
    Guest

    Re: Unthinkable: All Wireless Carriers

    On 14 Aug 2003 13:12:39 -0700, [email protected] (James) wrote:

    >Probably anytime you move carriers you'll have to buy a new handset.
    >Number portability doesn't mean handset portability.


    Only somewhat true. If you have a GSM phone and you move to another
    GSM carrier you can use the same phone provided that the phone is
    unlocked and uses the same frequencies as your old carrier.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    To send an email reply send to
    GSMthemobilestandard ( yahoo.com

    A. Top posters.
    Q. What is the most annoying thing on Usenet?



  9. #9
    Group Special Mobile
    Guest

    Re: Unthinkable: All Wireless Carriers

    On 14 Aug 2003 13:12:39 -0700, [email protected] (James) wrote:

    >Probably anytime you move carriers you'll have to buy a new handset.
    >Number portability doesn't mean handset portability.


    Only somewhat true. If you have a GSM phone and you move to another
    GSM carrier you can use the same phone provided that the phone is
    unlocked and uses the same frequencies as your old carrier.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    To send an email reply send to
    GSMthemobilestandard ( yahoo.com

    A. Top posters.
    Q. What is the most annoying thing on Usenet?



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