Cell phone users hate dropped calls, text message spam most: Pew survey

Dropped calls still annoy cell phone users

Dropped calls remains the biggest annoyance for mobile phone users, according to a new survey from the Pew Internet and American Life project. Other major complaints include telemarketing calls, spam text messages, and slow wireless connections.

Pew’s survey of 2,254 U.S. adults between March 15 and April 3, 2012, found that approximately 88 percent of Americans now own some type of cell phone. Of those, 72 percent said they experience dropped calls, and 32 percent said they experience the annoyance “a few times a week or more.”

A full 68 percent of cell phone owners said they receive telemarketing calls, while 25 percent said these unwanted calls came in more than once a week. About 79 percent of cell phone owners use text messaging, the study found. And of those, 69 percent reported receiving spam text messages. A quarter of mobile users who text receive such messages repeatedly throughout an average week.

Approximately 55 percent of cell phone owners use their device to browse the Web or send email, Pew found. Seventy-seven percent of those users “experience slow download speeds that prevent things from loading as quickly as they would like,” wrote Pew. About 46 percent said they repeatedly experience slow download speeds.

Pew Cell Phone Survey

The numbers above represent all cell phone users. But Pew found these problems were exacerbated for users of smartphones, who remain a minority among U.S. mobile users. For example, 35 percent of smartphone users experienced dropped calls, while 28 percent of feature phone users suffered the same annoyance. Slow download speeds was the worst for smartphone users, with a full 49 percent suffering lagging load times, while just 31 percent of feature phone owners were made to wait longer than they would like.

“The big change that mobile connectivity has brought to users is the instant availability of people and data,” said Jan Lauren Boyles, the Pew researcher who authored the report, in a statement. “As mobile owners become fond of just-in-time access to others and as their expectations about getting real-time information rise, they depend on the cell phone’s technical reliability. Any problems that snag, stall, or stop users from connecting to the material and people they seek is at least a hassle to them and sometimes is even more disturbing than that in this networked world.”

While none of this should be particularly surprising, we should point out that the slow download speeds can easily be solved by upgrading to a 4G LTE-capable smartphone, which can achieve connection speeds equal to or greater than the average home broadband connection. To find the best smartphone for you, click here.

What do you think is the most annoying aspect of owning a mobile phone? Let your complaints flow in the comments!

Image via Ronen Boidek/Shutterstock

Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.
Gaming

Underwater survival game ‘Subnautica’ free on Epic Games’ online store

The award-winning underwater survival game Subnautica is currently available as a free download on the Epic Games store. The Steam challenger looks to attract players with a new free game every two weeks.
Movies & TV

Do you have questions about Hulu? We’ve got answers

Not sure which Hulu subscription is right for you? We're here to help. This is your complete guide to Hulu and Hulu with Live TV, including content offerings for each service, pricing, internet requirements, and more.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Mobile

How to use Samsung’s Bixby assistant for all of your smartphone tasks

Samsung Bixby is a powerful tool, but not the most intuitive one we've encountered. Here's how to set up and use every feature of Samsung's digital assistant, as well as what to expect in the future.
Mobile

Declutter your life with our favorite wireless chargers for Android and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.
Product Review

With sapphire glass and analog dials, you'd never know this watch is smart

The world of hybrid smartwatches is getting much larger, and the latest comes from a name with history — New York Standard Watches. In our NYSW GTS Activity Tracker review, we find out what makes this watch special, and why we were so…
Mobile

Microsoft patent filing shows wearable that mitigates involuntary movements

A patent application from Microsoft has shown the company is looking into using wearable technology to alleviate symptoms from various diseases and disorders that cause involuntary movements.
Mobile

AT&T makes 5G a reality for a dozen U.S. cities, with more to come in 2019

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Scientists have charged a phone and a Fitbit with solar-powered clothes

Scientists from Britain's Nottingham Trent University have discovered a way to incorporate solar panels into clothing, and they've even managed to charge a phone and Fitbit with the energy created.
Mobile

The Lenovo Z5 Pro GT packs the most RAM ever seen in a smartphone

The next generation of smartphones has begun, and it's begun with a bang. The Lenovo Z5 Pro GT comes with the next generation Snapdragon 855 processor, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.
Mobile

Which smartphone manufacturers won and lost in 2018

As the curtain comes down on 2018, we take a look at the big successes and failures in the smartphone market over the last 12 months. Which phone maker had the best year, and who had a year to forget?
Mobile

The best iPhone XS Max screen protectors to safeguard that huge display

If you love big screens, then the iPhone XS Max's huge 6.5-inch display is perfect for you. But it won't fare well against concrete. Protect your display with the best iPhone XS Max screen protectors.