In addition to its carrier satisfaction survey, Consumer Reports also released the results of its cellphone buying experience survey this morning. The firm’s National Research center asked 10,000 subscribers who had purchased a cellphone in the last two years to rate their buying experience. And surprise, surprise, Apple came out on top…
According to Consumer Reports’ data, people who buy an iPhone at Apple’s walk-in stores or via Apple.com had a better overall experience than shoppers at any other cell phone retailer. Chains like Costco and Best Buy faired well in categories like pricing and selection, but only Apple received top scores for both checkout and service.
Why isn’t it surprising that Apple finished first? Well for starters, its online store and subsequent purchasing process is among the most straight-forward and easy-to-use on the web. And Apple’s physical retail stores have long been known for their customer service, thanks to the non-agressive approach of their sales staff.
Trips to carrier retailers — such as those belonging to AT&T, Verizon and Sprint — on the other hand, are typically filled with plan up-sells and accessory pitches. You see, carriers don’t make much, if any, money off of the handsets they sell. The truth is they make much more off of the markups on things like car chargers and cases.
Other points of interest from the survey data include the finding that the average household spent more than $1,500 on cell phones and services this year, and that 70% of the survey participants say that own a smartphone, which is up from 50% just two years ago. The full report can be found in Consumer Reports’ January 2013 issue.
Do you agree with these findings, or have you had different experiences?