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U.S. Wireless Consumers are Unhappy

Customers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with their cell phone service as the major wireless operators in the United States merge together, said a J.D. Power and Associates report. Overall satisfaction with a subscriber�s wireless provider dropped 10 percent in 2004, the largest year-over-year change since the U.S. Wireless Regional Customer Satisfaction Index Study was launched a decade ago. The findings provide a harsh contrast to the claims of the merging companies and their officials, who hope to smooth over the possible negative effects of industry consolidation on the consumer. �Given the number of major changes consumers have experienced over the past couple of years, the gap between customer expectations and actual service experience tends to widen as uncertainty from mergers greatly influences consumer perceptions,� said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. The report, which surveyed 24,096 wireless users, found that forces like mergers, regulatory programs, and competitive expansion have made it difficult for carriers to meet customer expectations. The companies that underwent major mergers had greater drops in customer satisfaction.

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