J.D. Power: Flat-rate prepaid pricing plans a hit

According to J.D. Power and Associates' annual prepaid wireless customers satisfaction study, the overall satisfaction among U.S. prepaid users is higher among those who subscribe to flat-rate plans with unlimited minutes versus those who have per-minute pricing plans because of the cost advantages associated with the flat-rate plans.

"Prepaid customers are clearly responding favorably to these unique service plan options, as they provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional price-per-minute plans that are typically offered and allow customers freedom from worrying about being charged extra fees for making too many calls within a given time period," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. "Although plans with unlimited minutes typically have geographic restrictions for placing and receiving wireless calls, they still fulfill customer expectations and tend to meet a specific service need better than other wireless plans. In fact, 46 percent of unlimited plan customers have completely replaced their traditional landline phone with wireless service, compared with only 13 percent of traditional pay-as-you-go customers."

MetroPCS ranks highest in prepaid wireless satisfaction for the first time since the inception of J.D. Power's study that began measuring prepaid user satisfaction three years ago. Virgin Mobile was at the top in 2007.

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