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Wireless Satisfaction Decreases, Study Shows

Satisfaction among U.S. cellular customers is down about 10 percent compared to last year, according to a study released Wednesday by J.D. Power and Associates.

Part of the reason for the decrease, the market research firm said, was the wave of mergers among cellular operators. Those mergers include Cingular and AT&T Wireless last year and the recently-closed Sprint-Nextel merger. As was the case with the earlier merger, Nextel and Sprint experienced the largest declines in customer satisfaction in the latest study.

"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," Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates, said in a statement.

Besides being less satisfied, more people involved in the survey -- about five percent -- said they intend to switch carriers.

Among the U.S. carriers, T-Mobile had the best performance, receiving the highest ranking, or tying for highest, in all six U.S. regions measured by the research firm. Verizon Wireless tied with T-Mobile in the mid-Atlantic, North Central and West regions.

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