New Survey Shows Wireless Consumer Satisfaction is High, as is Opposition to Excessive Taxation


Amy McLean

You think you have a pretty good thing going with your wireless service. Can you live without it? Well, maybe, but it’s still an essential part of your life these days. And you certainly think not having wireless would put you behind the eight ball. As for taxes, 17 percent a month might be the national average for wireless taxes and fees, but it’s way out of whack.  You’re not asking for a free ride, but just make the taxes you’re paying fair.

Does all of that sound like how you feel? If so, you have plenty of company. Our Annual Consumer Survey results are in and those positions are pretty clear among the 1,000 people we surveyed. Here are some of the key takeaways:

General Satisfaction and Use

Wireless phone consumer satisfaction is very high – more than 94 percent said they were satisfied with their service, and the majority reported they were “very satisfied.”

Overall, respondents said that having a wireless phone is more important to them than having broadband Internet, cable/satellite television or a home landline.

A little more than a quarter (27 percent) reported they didn’t have a landline phone at all, and more than a third of respondents said they would consider “cutting the cord.”

  • The percentage of “cord cutters” is higher among consumers under 55 years of age, especially 18-29 year olds (39 percent).
  • The percentage of “cord cutters” is also higher among lower income households and women.

Four in five (83 percent) of the wireless consumers surveyed said they considered wireless service an essential service in their everyday life.

  • While this sentiment was evident among all consumer demographics, including senior citizens, it was especially strong among consumers between 18 and 40 years old (94+ percent).
  • The sentiment was also very strong among African American consumers (88 percent) and Hispanic consumers (98 percent).

Two-thirds (67 percent) said they would be at a disadvantage without their wireless device and service for daily activities related to work, school or personal management. Most Hispanics and consumers 40 years old and younger feel they would be negatively impacted if they didn’t have their wireless device and service.

Nine in ten (92 percent) considered Internet service as an essential service in their everyday life. The attitude that Internet service is a necessity was evident across all consumer demographics.

Taxation

By a 3 to 1 ratio, virtually two-thirdsthought it’s unfair for consumers who buy digital goods and services to have to pay taxes from several different government jurisdictions for the same purchase. There is a majority consensus regardless of political affiliation.

If additional taxes and fees were added to their wireless bill each month, 71 percent would reduce their wireless service plan to help make up the increased costs. The percentage of people who would reduce their service plan is highest among Hispanics (88 percent).

The majority surveyed said they thought the tax rate on their monthly wireless phone bill should be lower than the taxes they pay on general goods and services, which is approximately 7 percent.

Essentially 4 in 5 (79 percent) said the combined federal, state and local tax rate of 17 percent for wireless services is “too much.” (Side note: That’s the national average.) This overwhelming opinion cut across all consumer demographics.

Four in five (84 percent) favored imposing a 5-year freeze on all new wireless taxes and fees.

  • The support for the moratorium was both wide and deep. The majority (56 percent) “strongly” supported it.
  • Only 7 percent opposed it.

Three-quarters (77 percent) opposed adding an Internet access tax on their monthly Internet service bill.

  • Roughly two-thirds (65 percent) “strongly” opposed it.
  • The large opposition was evident among all political groups.

For more of the survey results and information on our methodology, head on over to our data center.

 


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