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Report: 60% of smartphone users are dissatisfied and ready to switch carriers

A new mobile report states that 60% of consumers are dissatisfied with their carrier's connectivity and overall experience and are ready to switch.

Published onApril 5, 2016


This may not come as any particular surprise to many of you – after all, more than half of you are likely unhappy with your current service – but the figures are staggeringly high in a carrier marketplace where it is increasingly easy to switch between networks. Number portability, contract buyouts and Project Fi all make it easier than ever to get what you want – so why aren’t we happy?

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According a new report from Accenture, it’s because these days we’re all very well-versed on what we expect from a wireless carrier – it’s not so much “the grass is always greener” as we simply want the best of all worlds. In 2012, just 26% of global consumers had a smartphone. Now that figure sits at 80%. The findings come from Accenture’s annual Digital Consumer Survey, which polled 28,000 consumers across 28 countries in late 2015.

Accenture Survey

Familiarity breeds contempt

Our familiarity with wireless service standards – including from other carriers than our own – means that the majority of smartphone users are “dissatisfied with their connectivity and experience and would switch providers”. Perhaps a little surprisingly though, 71% of those surveyed said they would pay a carrier more for better service.

Besides carrier satisfaction there are a lot more insights to be found in the report:

  • 83% are unhappy with mobile advertising interfering with their experience
  • 62% of consumers are concerned about the security of online transactions
  • 81% regularly watch online movies or TV shows on their mobile device
  • 47% are concerned about online privacy and security
  • 81% of those intending to buy a new TV will buy a Smart TV
Accenture Survey 2

What consumers want

The number of respondents planning on buying new gadgets in the next 12 months has dropped dramatically, from 33% in 2014 to just 13% in 2015. Although the smartphone market is plateauing generally and is projected to see single digit growth this year, Accenture reports that 83% of those surveyed “would buy more products and services if reliability and the speed with which problems are solved were improved.” So part of the reason we are buying fewer gadgets is because we don’t get proper support.

The report lists several recommendations for carriers, which make for some interesting reading if you’re curious, but the takeaways are pretty clear: we expect better service from carriers and will look elsewhere if we don’t get it; support and reliability are critical factors for new purchasing decisions; we’re willing to pay more for what we want; our digital appetites are just as strong as ever, although we expect better connectivity, less intrusive advertising and higher security.

What are your main gripes with your carrier? Are you considering switching?

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