By Angela Colley
Last week, J.D. Power and Associates issued their famous vehicle dependability study, and 3-year-old vehicles saw a 13 percent increase in dependability – the lowest problem rate on record. It’s been big news everywhere. But the next day, the research firm issued a largely ignored study that interested me a lot more…
The study measured customer satisfaction with “wireless purchase experiences.” Or in plain English: how customers rate their cell phone carriers when they have to buy stuff from them. Ironically, customers reported their biggest complaints when they had to conduct business over the phone – long wait times, difficulty talking to the customer service rep, and long transactions topped the list.
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So while automakers are on their way up, wireless providers are on their way down. Can’t say I’m surprised. As someone who calls customer service a lot, I’ve had my share of difficult experiences. But I’ve found it goes a lot easier (and faster) if you use a few tricks…
1. Reduce wait times
In 2012, customers reported waiting on hold for an average of 4.6 minutes – a one-minute increase over 2011, according to the study. Personally, I’ve got my wait times down to two minutes or less now that I know when to call:
Call during “off-peak” times. Like any retail center, your wireless provider’s telesales department has busier times, known as peak times. These typically last from mid-morning to early evening. So I call during the evening, about an hour before the telesales center closes. Most of the time, I get right through.
Steer clear of new releases. When Verizon Wireless first released the iPhone, my friends were waiting for more than 30 minutes on hold before talking to a rep. You’re better off waiting for the popularity to fade – or buying a new release online.