Cellular Ad Claims Not matching Reality

Photo(Jim Hood @ ConsumerAffairs) Meeting consumer expectations isn't easy but wireless carriers are having a paticularly hard time of it, according to a new Interakt study that finds more than one-third of wireless customers have switched carriers because of what they see as broken promises.

Another 13% said they were considering switching and only 20% felt their carrier was meeting the claims it made when they signed up.

It's not so much what the salesperson tells them when they buy their phone or sign up a deal to switch carriers. Rather, it's the over-the-top advertising that seems to promise the sky.

Maybe that's why T-Mobile -- which has a smaller ad budget than its bigger competitors -- came out on top in the study. Only about a quarter of T-Mobile customers said the company's performance was inconsistent with its advertising, while a third felt that way about Sprint and Verizon.

AT&T got the worst rating, with 37% saying its advertising made big promises that its network didn't deliver. 

One area where consumers say some companies are doing much better than others is in their response to customer questions and comments on social media. Interakt said that, once again, T-Mobile did the best, responding to Twitter questions in an average of 35 minutes.

Verizon brought up the rear at 20 hours. It might want to read the survey carefully, as consumers said inadequate response to customer comments could cause them to switch carriers.