African-American Consumer Survey

MyWireless.org® 2012 National Online Survey of African-American Consumers

Research by the Pew Internet Project indicates minority populations are avid users of wireless technology, so we wanted to learn about why and how they use wireless communication so much in their daily lives. We conducted a bipartisan survey of a nationally-representative sample of African American likely voters and got some interesting results back.

Key Findings

  • African-American wireless phone customers, like other groups, are highly satisfied with wireless services and are apprehensive about adding new regulations
  • Like all wireless customers, African-Americans are very price sensitive
  • As a group, they are opposed to adding new regulations and fees
  • They believe that that current competition among wireless carriers provides them with enough choices so they can pick the device, plan, options and content that best fit their needs.

Survey Structure

The survey is divided into 9 sections. Jump to a section or explore the whole survey.

Consumer Lifestyle Back to Top

Other than making or receiving voice calls, which one of the following cellphone features is most important to you?
Reason Total 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women
Texting 43 48 43 38 39 46 39 46
Internet Access 16 20 17 27 12 5 17 15
Taking Pictures 11 4 8 8 18 14 7 15
E-Mail 10 10 11 11 9 10 12 8
Apps 6 9 7 4 7 1 7 4
GPS Navigation 3 0 5 4 5 3 5 2
Music 2 1 5 2 1 1 2 3
Games 2 3 1 2 0 1 2 2
Videos 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1
FM Radio Chip Set 0.2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
Other 7 1 2 4 9 19 8 6
Regarding your cellphone service, which one of the following is the most important to you?
Total 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women
Better value for your service 30 23 29 26 33 37 32 27
Improve coverage 27 29 27 34 22 24 26 28
Ensuring privacy/security 17 10 14 16 20 22 13 20
Access to Internet/Apps 15 23 19 15 12 4 16 13
Improving cellphone speed 5 9 5 6 2 3 7 3
Educate parent/content/minor 4 3 5 2 7 4 3 6
Other 3 3 1 1 5 7 4 3
If you had to choose one, which one of the following is the most important for you to have?
Total Urban Suburban Rural 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women
Cell/Smartphone 39 40 40 36 54 50 37 32 23 43 35
Broadband Internet 29 28 28 36 29 26 29 30 32 31 27
Cable/Satellite TV 14 13 13 17 10 13 15 16 14 13 15
Home Landline Phone 13 14 13 9 4 5 9 18 28 11 15
Don’t Know 5 5 6 1 3 6 9 3 3 3 8
Would you consider giving up your home landline phone and only use a cellphone?
Total Urban Suburban Rural 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women
Yes 34 32 34 37 52 35 41 22 23 35 33
No 40 43 39 35 19 32 30 53 66 43 37
Already Have 20 20 19 23 23 27 23 17 7 16 23
Don’t Know / Refused 6 5 8 5 6 6 6 8 4 5 7


Consumer Satisfaction Back to Top

Overall, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your cellphone service?
Total Urban Suburban Rural 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women
Satisfied 94 94 92 95 93 93 92 95 95 94 93
Dissatisfied 6 5 8 5 7 7 7 3 5 5 7
Considering the price you pay for your cellphone service and the benefits it provides you, do you consider the value of your cellphone service to be excellent, good, fair or poor?
Total Urban Suburban Rural 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women
Excellent/Good 78 78 79 79 74 75 77 84 80 77 79
Fair/Poor 22 22 20 21 25 25 23 16 19 23 20


Government Regulations Back to Top

Do you believe adding new government regulations on cellphone service would make your cellphone service better or worse?
Total Urban Suburban Rural 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women
Better 17 22 15 5 20 20 9 15 19 22 11
Worse 26 23 28 29 39 24 28 26 14 27 25
No Difference 31 29 31 37 15 25 41 36 38 33 29
Don’t Know 26 25 26 28 26 31 22 23 30 18 34
Do you believe adding new government regulations on cellphone service would make your cellphone service more expensive or less expensive?
More Expensive Less Expensive No Difference Don’t Know
Total 48 11 22 19
Urban 49 11 19 21
Suburban 50 10 24 16
Rural 44 16 24 16
18-29 54 13 20 13
30-40 55 10 16 20
41-55 48 12 23 17
56-65 45 14 24 17
Over 65 41 8 26 26
Men 51 12 25 13
Women 46 11 19 25
Under $60K 46 11 23 19
Over $60K 57 12 19 13
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
“Companies competing for wireless customers give consumers enough choices so they can pick the wireless device, plan, options and content that best fits their needs?”
Total Urban Suburban Rural 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women
Agree 81 80 81 84 80 75 86 84 78 82 79
Disagree 14 13 14 15 17 18 9 13 12 15 13
Don’t Know 6 7 5 1 3 7 5 3 10 3 8


Applications Back to Top

Wireless carriers have rules that protect the privacy of their customers’ communications and transactions. Do you believe that applications downloaded from all “app” stores – especially services based on your location, should be required to abide by the same set of privacy protections?
Total Urban Suburban Rural 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women
Yes 82 77 86 87 87 74 85 78 85 81 82
No 6 7 4 5 7 12 4 5 1 7 4
Don’t Know 13 16 10 8 6 14 12 17 14 11 14
What type of “apps” do you or would you use most often on your cellphone or other wireless device?
Total Urban Suburban Rural 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women
Social Networking 20 20 22 16 36 26 17 13 10 21 19
GPS/Maps 19 17 21 20 9 14 17 23 30 14 23
Entertainment 11 12 9 13 19 17 13 6 3 11 12
News/Politics 9 10 8 11 6 10 11 13 7 11 8
Weather 9 6 9 16 10 8 13 6 8 8 10
Banking/Finance 9 10 8 9 7 6 9 13 10 8 10
Sports 7 6 8 5 4 5 7 7 10 11 2
Education 2 2 2 1 0 6 1 2 0 2 3
Health/Fitness 2 2 2 0 1 1 0 2 3 1 2
Restaurants/Dining 1 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 4 1 1
Other 12 13 13 8 7 7 11 16 18 12 11
Do you use your cellphone to access or manage personal information like bank accounts, membership accounts, account passwords, bills or statements?
Total Urban Suburban Rural 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women Under $60K Over $60K
Yes 37 35 44 31 61 51 44 22 10 39 35 32 49
No 60 61 55 68 36 45 54 76 89 59 61 66 49
Don’t Know 3 3 2 1 3 4 2 2 1 2 4 3 1


Digital Downloads Back to Top

How often would you say you purchase online digital downloads such as ringtones, music, videos, games, books, software or apps to your cellphone or other wireless device?
Total 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women Under $60K Over $60K
DOWNLOAD 63 84 77 66 49 39 70 56 61 68
Everyday 7 19 10 4 3 0 8 6 6 8
Once/Twice a Week 9 17 20 5 2 0 10 7 8 12
Once/Twice a Month 14 17 14 21 10 7 17 11 13 17
Rarely 34 30 33 37 33 32 35 32 34 32
NEVER 36 15 23 30 49 61 29 42 39 31
Don’t Know 1 1 0 4 1 0 1 2 0 1
Which statement do you agree with more on the issue of taxing the purchases of online digital downloads?
  1. Federal guidelines should establish one fair and consistent set of taxes to apply to purchases of online digital downloads.
  2. Each state should have the right to decide how its state taxes the purchases of online digital downloads, even if it means the consumer could be subject to taxes from multiple jurisdictions for the same purchase.
Total Urban Suburban Rural 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women
Federal 55 53 53 64 41 51 57 64 60 60 50
State 21 19 27 16 41 30 14 14 10 20 22
Don’t Know 24 28 20 20 19 19 29 22 31 19 29


Taxes & Fees Back to Top

From what you know, about what percentage of your monthly cellphone bill is taxes and fees?
Less than 5% 5% to 9% 10% to 14% 15% to 19% 20% or more Don’t know Mean %
Total 17 29 19 9 6 22 9.8%
Urban 15 30 22 7 6 20 10.0%
Suburban 13 31 16 10 6 24 10.3%
Rural 28 24 15 9 3 21 8.4%
18-29 16 32 20 10 7 15 10.3%
30-40 11 27 25 11 5 21 10.7%
41-55 22 31 15 8 4 20 8.8%
56-65 16 28 17 8 9 22 10.4%
Over 65 18 27 16 5 3 31 8.8%
Men 17 29 22 9 5 18 9.8%
Women 16 29 15 8 6 26 9.8%
Under $60K 19 30 17 6 5 23 9.1%
Over $60K 12 30 23 14 7 15 10.9%
Do you think the tax rate on your monthly cellphone service should be lower, the same or higher than the taxes you pay on general goods and services, which is approximately 7%?
Lower The Same Higher Don’t Know
Total 64 27 2 8
Urban 60 29 4 7
Suburban 63 27 2 8
Rural 75 20 0 5
18-29 51 38 6 6
30-40 57 32 2 8
41-55 76 15 2 7
56-65 64 28 1 7
Over 65 68 22 0 11
Men 64 28 3 6
Women 63 25 2 10
Under $60K 62 27 1 10
Over $60K 65 28 4 4
Would you support or oppose Congress passing a 5-year freeze or moratorium on all new wireless taxes and fees, which would prohibit states and municipalities from raising taxes and fees on wireless services?
Total Urban Suburban Rural 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women Under $60K Over $60K
Support 83 80 86 87 77 83 88 84 80 87 79 82 86
Oppose 6 6 8 3 12 2 2 7 7 7 5 5 7
Don’t Know 12 14 7 11 12 14 9 9 14 6 17 13 7


Parental Controls Back to Top

Are you aware or do you use parental controls or settings offered by wireless carriers that allow parents to limit a child’s cellphone use, a child’s internet access, and texting and downloading?
Total Urban Suburban Rural 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women
YES 79 79 77 83 86 80 78 82 69 78 79
Aware/Use 25 23 28 24 41 32 21 18 12 25 24
Aware/Don’t Use 54 57 49 59 45 48 57 63 57 54 55
NO 18 18 19 16 7 19 20 15 27 19 27
Don’t Know 4 3 5 1 7 1 2 3 4 3 4


Account & Consumer Tools Back to Top

Are you aware or unaware that all major wireless carriers provide voluntary account tools to customers such as notification alerts or updates on your usage to keep you informed and give you the opportunity to access your account and manage your wireless services if needed?
Total Urban Suburban Rural 18-29 30-40 41-55 56-65 Over 65 Men Women
Aware 64 64 63 68 73 63 65 61 61 66 62
Unaware 29 29 29 27 20 25 30 35 31 28 29
Don’t know 7 7 8 5 7 12 5 5 8 5 9

Methodology

McLaughlin & Associates partnered with Penn Schoen Berland to develop and conduct a bipartisan national online survey of 400 adult African-American wireless phone users, who are likely voters. The survey was conducted between April 1-6, 2012. All interviews were conducted online. Interview selection was at random within predetermined geographic units. These units were structured to statistically correlate with actual census of the African-American population. The accuracy of the sample of 400 adult African-American wireless phone users, who are likely voters, is within +/- 4.9% at a 95% confidence interval. The survey results in this summary have been rounded and the wording for each question is verbatim from the questionnaire.