Telecommunications:

Surveys of Consumers and of State Utility Commissions about Wireless Phone Service (GAO-10-35SP, November 2009), an E-supplement to GAO-10-34

GAO-10-35SP: Published: Nov 10, 2009. Publicly Released: Dec 9, 2009.

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This is an E-supplement to GAO-10-34. This e-supplement provides information from two surveys: one is a nationwide survey of consumers about their satisfaction with wireless phone service and problems they have experienced with it in recent years, and the other is a survey of state utility commissions about their oversight of this service. We surveyed a nationally representative, randomly selected sample of adult wireless phone users 18 years of age or older who had cell phone service in 2008 to determine consumers' satisfaction with wireless phone service and any problems experienced. We conducted this survey of the American public from February 23, 2009, through April 5, 2009. We completed 1,143 interviews, which included calls made to all 50 states, with an overall response rate of 32 percent. Our sampling approach included randomly contacting potential respondents using both landline and cell phone telephone numbers. Using both types of telephone numbers provided us with comprehensive coverage of adult cell phone users. We conducted an analysis of the final weighted estimates from our survey to identify whether our results contain a significant level of bias because our results inherently do not reflect the experiences of those who did not respond to our survey--i.e., a nonresponse bias analysis. Because we did not identify obvious levels of bias in the final weighted estimates at the national level, we chose to include these estimates in this e-supplement. We surveyed state utility commissions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine their efforts to oversee services provided by wireless phone service carriers, including their regulation of these services and efforts to process consumer complaints. We conducted this survey from March 3, 2009, through April 1, 2009. Using a Web-based survey and subsequent follow-up with individual states, we received responses from all 51 commissions. The e-supplement includes (1) our analyses of responses to both surveys and (2) the questions asked in the two surveys. It does not include some results from both surveys.

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