Consumer Reports readers rank AT&T worst carrier in US

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
AT&T, the exclusive wireless provider of Apple's iPhone in the U.S., was the only major American carrier that dropped significantly in overall customer satisfaction in this year's Consumer Reports reader survey.



AT&T fared poorly across the board, earning the worst-possible score in all categories related to value, service and customer support, except for the "texting" service category. More than half of survey respondents who used AT&T owned some version of the iPhone.



"Our survey suggests that an iPhone from Verizon Wireless, which is rumored, could indeed be good news for iPhone fans," said Paul Reynolds, electronics editor for Consumer Reports.



The carrier with the highest score was U.S. Cellular, which serves in 26 states mostly in the South and Midwest. To see the full results in the January issue, subscribe to Consumer Reports.



In second place was Verizon Wireless, which is widely rumored to receive the iPhone in early 2011. Verizon also recently began selling Apple's iPad, bundled with a MiFi 2200 Intelligent Hotspot.



Nipping at Verizon's heels is Sprint, which scored better than Verizon in terms of e-mail customer support. Verizon was previously the top U.S. provider since 2003.



In fourth, but still ahead of AT&T, was T-Mobile, which respondents said has poor service, but the best telephone customer support in the industry.



Consumer Reports carrier rankings, from the January issue.



In response to the Consumer Reports survey, AT&T sent out the following response:



"We take this seriously and we continually look for new ways to improve the customer experience. The fact is wireless customers have choices and a record number of them chose AT&T in the third quarter, significantly more than our competitors."



The company also cited a survey from last month, which found that AT&T has wireless speeds much faster than Verizon. That same study, from Global Wireless Solutions Inc., also found that AT&T's dropped call rate is within one-tenth of a percent of Verizon.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 78
    This survey is flawed. All of the iPhone users are on a single network (AT&T). As everyone knows, iPhone users have a unique expectation level and they stress the network far above all other cell phone users. This has skewed the results.



    More than half of the AT&T respondents were iPhone users. It would be interesting to see the survey results if you could take away the iPhone users.



    Next year’s survey will become more meaningful when we can compare iPhone users on multiple carriers. (IE…how does a Verizon iPhone user compare with an AT&T iPhone user, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc).



    In fact, Consumer reports should compare the same cell phones on various networks to get a “like for like” result. What’s the point of comparing a network full of voice/text users with a network that carries a lot of wireless internet traffic?
  • Reply 2 of 78
    Wasn't this the same bunch of muppets who did the self promoting iPhone 4 write up last year?



    I think their credibility rating shrank to zero after that. They could tell me the sun would rise tomorrow and I would still treat them with a dose of scepticism.
  • Reply 3 of 78
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    Wasn't this the same bunch of muppets who did the self promoting iPhone 4 write up last year?



    I think their credibility rating shrank to zero after that. They could tell me the sun would rise tomorrow and I would still treat them with a dose of scepticism.



    the grass is not greener in the cellular world....its all a bit dismal.
  • Reply 4 of 78
    Hard to take them too seriously when they rank Verizon #2. As far as I can tell, they're only good for two things: an excellent quality of service (in terms of things like reliability) and they've got some good phones. Almost every other aspect of the company is hell.



    And we all know AT&T sucks.
  • Reply 5 of 78
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    AT&T in NYC is quite horrible.
  • Reply 6 of 78
    Nonsense. AT&T has been great.
  • Reply 7 of 78
    Am I the only one who has never had major problems with AT&T? I've been with three of the major carriers in my cell phone lifetime, and they all have their problems, but my best experience has been with AT&T.
  • Reply 8 of 78
    I love ATT ... is that because I drink the coolaid?
  • Reply 9 of 78
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    AT&T in Warrenton, VA apparently is great. I ended up going with Verizon for unlimited data, but even they aren't doing that now, or so I've heard.
  • Reply 10 of 78
    This is all BS. I have been with AT&T for the past 8 years and they have been great. Yes they did run into some trouble when the iPhone launched in 2007 but honestly no carrier in the world could prepare themselves for that kind of increase in traffic, 5000% increase to be exact which is fucking insane! They have been working hard to keep up with demand and I'm really interested in seeing how the other carriers in the U.S. hold up when they get the iPhone. I think a lot of this have to do with those few iPhone users who wine about everything and are never happy.
  • Reply 11 of 78
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    A rephrasing of AT&T's comment:-



    "Money talks, consumer reports bulls**t walks."
  • Reply 12 of 78
    pt123pt123 Posts: 696member
    I didn't realize how terrible AT&T was until I switched from AT&T to Verizon Wireless a while ago. I have thought about the iPhone but I would never go back to AT&T.
  • Reply 13 of 78
    I have joined this forum to chime in with how much I hate AT&T. Their service is a complete and total joke. They regularly have no bars in places frequented by thousands of people daily. I hope AT&T dies in a terrible fire.
  • Reply 14 of 78
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post


    the grass is not greener in the cellular world....its all a bit dismal.



    All good comments, but I agree with this one the most...Cell companies are rather like Cable companies...just trying complex and convoluted pricing structures to exact another few dollars per month out of me...I cut the cable cord and miss F1 and some of the good NFL games...but screw paying $60/month and having to watch inane commercials for pizza, beer, buicks and car insurance! Uggh!



    Cell companies are rather like the music industry charging $17 for a CD with only a few good songs on it. Or MS selling me a POS OS, AOL sell me POS access to the internet or Sony, HP, Dell, Gateway (RIP) selling me a POS tower! Ugggh! Or me giving my GF $5K a month and only getting 60 Bj's over the last 3 years! Something's gotta give!





    Best.
  • Reply 15 of 78
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post


    This survey is flawed. All of the iPhone users are on a single network (AT&T). As everyone knows, iPhone users have a unique expectation level and they stress the network far above all other cell phone users. This has skewed the results.



    More than half of the AT&T respondents were iPhone users. It would be interesting to see the survey results if you could take away the iPhone users.



    Next year?s survey will become more meaningful when we can compare iPhone users on multiple carriers. (IE?how does a Verizon iPhone user compare with an AT&T iPhone user, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc).



    In fact, Consumer reports should compare the same cell phones on various networks to get a ?like for like? result. What?s the point of comparing a network full of voice/text users with a network that carries a lot of wireless internet traffic?



    ATT was at/near the bottom of Consumer Reports surveys long before the iPhone was ever released.
  • Reply 16 of 78
    Consumer report is against the iPhone so as far as I am concerned I do not put too much stock on what they say. I have been with the other carriers and I was not happy with any of them.
  • Reply 17 of 78
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post


    Am I the only one who has never had major problems with AT&T? I've been with three of the major carriers in my cell phone lifetime, and they all have their problems, but my best experience has been with AT&T.



    You're not the only one... When the iPhone was first released, I did have problems with AT&T service. It has steadily improved... I've used the "Mark the Spot" app a few times to report problem areas.



    The last time I had a problem was during the SF Gay Pride Parade at the end of June... I actually didn't have a problem along the parade route and was using facebook mobile to upload pics from the parade, but lost most service when I was in the Civic Center Plaza... But this is an iPhone loving crowd and there were hundreds of thousands of people jammed into a 6 block area... I thought I might see a couple of iPhone 4's but thought I would be one of the few... I saw at least 100 iPhone 4's that day.



    I'm wondering if this isn't a matter of perception... iPhone users are a little pickier than average (actually, I think we're a LOT pickier). I've tried ALL of the major service providers and Verizon in SF was the worst of ALL of them. I returned the phone and cancelled service within the first week, after calling their Tech Support and being told they don't guarantee service in buildings (couldn't get any service in my apartment). I actually liked Sprint's coverage and T-Mobile seemed to try the hardest (their support was much better than the others).



    I'm guessing that Verizon's favorable ratings will decline when they get the iPhone.



    As for Consumer Reports, I've been a long time subscriber and their coverage of the iPhone 4 antenna issue has lead me to lose a lot of respect for them... I had FAR MORE issues with having to hold my Motorola RAZR delicately with 3 fingers to avoid antenna related reception problems than I ever had with my iPhone 4. Shame on you Consumer Reports. If you see a dramatic drop in subscribers, maybe you'll do better REAL WORLD testing... I know I'm not renewing!
  • Reply 18 of 78
    I can say that my experience with AT&T in Houston has improved over the years since the iPhone came out and by far the i4 is the most reliable one for me. There are even times when I hit over 4 or 5 Mbps download without breaking a sweat. Not all the time mind you, but it happens. Usually in the 1.5 range.



    I am happy with them and won't be leaving. Every service has its issues and it all depends on how it works for you. Sprint may do better in one particular spot than Verizon and vice versa.
  • Reply 19 of 78
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,452member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post


    This survey is flawed. All of the iPhone users are on a single network (AT&T). As everyone knows, iPhone users have a unique expectation level and they stress the network far above all other cell phone users. This has skewed the results.



    More than half of the AT&T respondents were iPhone users. It would be interesting to see the survey results if you could take away the iPhone users.



    Next year?s survey will become more meaningful when we can compare iPhone users on multiple carriers. (IE?how does a Verizon iPhone user compare with an AT&T iPhone user, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc).



    In fact, Consumer reports should compare the same cell phones on various networks to get a ?like for like? result. What?s the point of comparing a network full of voice/text users with a network that carries a lot of wireless internet traffic?



    Oh this is nonsense. We were told that iPhone users were all using heaps of data until AT&T offered a $15 plan then suddenly everyone chimes in and notes they don't even use 200 megs.
  • Reply 20 of 78
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post


    Consumer report is against the iPhone so as far as I am concerned I do not put too much stock on what they say. I have been with the other carriers and I was not happy with any of them.



    I second that...they were always seemingly negative to Apple when talking about laptops and desktops....way before the iPhone! Uggh!



    How many people did they steer to HP's, Dell's, Sony's and Gateway's (RIP) creaky, plasticky POS?



    I long ago stopped my subscription...I already know Honda and Toyota make the best cars!







    Best
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