NEW YORK — Sprint Nextel Corp., once last in customer satisfaction among the nation’s four largest wireless carriers, now has the happiest subscribers, along with longtime leader Verizon Wireless, according to a survey released yesterday.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index also shows tentative declines in customer satisfaction at the other two big carriers, AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA. That comes as AT&T has agreed to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion in a deal that could close next year.
The deal could make AT&T and T-Mobile customers even less happy. Claes Fornell, professor of business administration at the University of Michigan and the designer of the survey, said it is common to find that customer satisfaction drops after a merger.
Sprint and Verizon Wireless both rate a 72 for customer satisfaction in the survey, which polled 8,000 households in the first quarter. AT&T received a score of 66, down from 69 last year. It’s the company’s worst score since 2006, the year before it started carrying the iPhone. T-Mobile’s score was 70, down from 73 points last year.