I think if AT&T were a human being, and I were its girlfriend, AT&T would have just come home from work right now to find all of its stuff thrown out on the front lawn and me screaming out the window, “It’s OVER!!”
Why? Because there’s someone else… Yes, Verizon, you and I have chemistry. We’re going to be together forever.
A new study released today finds that lots of people feel the way I do. In fact, more people feel that way now than they did a few months ago—specifically towards AT&T. AT&T’s churn rate has doubled in the last seven months, according to a study conducted by Changewave. Today, the number of AT&T customers with plans to defect stands at 15%, compared to 8% in June 2010.
In the survey of 4,050 consumers, which was taken days before the Verizon iPhone announcement, Changewave researchers asked respondents how likely they were to switch their service provider in the next 90 days. AT&T tied with T-Mobile for the highest response, with 15% of each carrier’s customers saying that they are very or somewhat likely to switch carriers within the next 90 days. Of Sprint/Nextel customers surveyed, 10% said they would switch in the next 90 days, and a mere 4% of Verizon customers had plans to switch.
What makes AT&T’s churn rate so noteworthy is the fact that it has more than doubled in the last 36 months. In June 2009, only 6% of AT&T customers had plans to switch providers.
Why are people fleeing AT&T in droves? No surprise here: poor reception. More than 40% of customers who say they are likely to switch providers in the next three months cite poor reception as their reason for leaving. Dropped calls came in second, with 27% of citing that as their reason for leaving. Some 17% said that cost was their major beef with the company.
Now the clincher: How many people will actually leave AT&T for Verizon specifically for the new Verizon iPhone? Interestingly, 60% said they would not—fair enough. 16% said yes, and 23% said they didn’t know, but the researchers note that the survey was conducted before Verizon actually made the iPhone announcement.
The survey found more revealing stats among current iPhone owners: 26% said they will jump ship and swim to Verizon. Among all AT&T customers who plan to make the switch, 41% say they’ll do it within the first three months of the iPhone’s release and another 31% say they’ll do it within the first year if Verizon’s iPhone release.
The Changewave researchers attempt to make AT&T feel better about itself “despite the seemingly inevitable hemorrhaging of AT&T’s subscriber base” (something tells me that doesn’t make them feel better). The researchers note that AT&T’s percentage of dropped calls has actually decreased in recent months from 6% in September to 4.7% in December. In other words: “Congratulations, you haven’t sucked quite as much recently.”