Print 40 comment(s) - last by Deathtwinkie.. on Dec 9 at 11:12 AM

  (Source: AT&T)
Touts Better Business Bureau "A" rating

Yesterday, Consumer Reports released the results of a wireless carrier customer satisfaction survey that was not too favorable for AT&T. In fact, the nation's second-largest carrier ranked dead last, and was the only carrier to drop significantly in score.

Today, AT&T is on the offensive, countering the CR survey with a press release touting the carrier's "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau.

According to AT&T, the company has logged the fewest number of complaints and has the lowest complaint rate with the BBB out of the four major wireless carriers. AT&T has even put together another color-coded graph, similar to the one provided in its "fastest-network" claim, which charts the results without calling out any of the other carriers by name.

AT&T says that wireless customers log more complaints with the various BBB's each year than any other entity, including the Federal Communications Commission. Thus, the argument goes, having a complaint rate that is 34% lower than the nearest competitor (Verizon) means that AT&T's services are better. 

When doling out scores, the BBB evaluates companies based on 17 categories which include accreditation (which AT&T has and pays for), how the company responds to consumer concerns, complaint history, and "the truthfulness of its advertising claims."

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By retrospooty on 12/8/2010 7:48:18 AM , Rating: 2
A poor consumer report comes out and they tout thier BBB rankings?

Denial, totally in denial. Which is normal for a person, but for a large corporation it seems pretty funny.

By Quadrillity on 12/8/2010 8:09:30 AM , Rating: 2
I really think AT&T service satisfaction is dependent on your geographic area. I live in a place where coverage is great, and free from overcrowding. Places like central Florida however, is a different story. The towers are overburdened, even though coverage is good. I have traveled all over the eastern coast, and have had great coverage and call quality.

I have never really had a problem with customer service. It seems like the biggest complainers are the ones that don't know which buttons to press with CSR's. You have to be stern but polite.

For example: I have a phone that had software issues a few years back. I called in a requested a replacement. They sent it overnight shipping, with free return shipping also. I had them replace the phone again, since this one did the same thing. After the third attempt, I called AT&T and politely told them that they would now send me a NEW phone of a different model. I didn't ask; I told them what they were going to do, and they did it. Long story short, I payed for 2 samsung flip phones, and ended up with two new blackjacks (again, this was years ago).

Also, it has a LOT to do with what cell phone you have too. Learned that when I went from Motorola to Samsung. Those of you out there that complain about AT&T's network and have an iPhone: IT'S YOUR PHONE, End of story lol.

By Anoxanmore on 12/8/2010 8:11:59 AM , Rating: 2
AT&T: My name is AT&T you killed my Consumer Reports Ratings, Prepare for my BBB Ratings!

Verizon: LOL,U MAD BRO?


By dayanth on 12/8/2010 9:20:30 AM , Rating: 5
My name is AT&T Montoya... you killed my Consumer Reports Ratings... Prepare to Die!

By Anoxanmore on 12/8/2010 1:08:49 PM , Rating: 2

I have failed this time with my princess bride quotes.

I promise it won't happen again.

By Samus on 12/8/2010 2:30:46 PM , Rating: 2
You know their desperate when they're siting a government agency.

By cerx on 12/8/2010 2:59:47 PM , Rating: 2
BBB isn't government ...

By name99 on 12/8/2010 5:11:47 PM , Rating: 3

Consumer Reports is a genuine consumer advocacy group.
BBB is a bunch of shills for corporations.

Which one are you going to believe?

By Deathtwinkie on 12/9/2010 11:12:08 AM , Rating: 2

By Dr of crap on 12/8/2010 8:49:31 AM , Rating: 3
I don't understand all the talk about customer service and cell carriers.
Do you people call you customer service everyday or something?
In a year I might call customer service once, and I don't decide if I like my cell service by what might happen when I might talk to them.
Dropping calls and not getting reception is the way to determine if the carrier is good.

By Solandri on 12/8/2010 12:59:53 PM , Rating: 4
If your carrier's customer service is good, you call them about once a year.

If your carrier's customer service is bad, you call them 3-5 times a year. For the same problem.

Typically, I also run into only 1-2 problems a year which warrant a call to customer support (other than for changing plans or changing phones). Back when Sprint sucked, each of these problems needed 3-5 or more calls to resolve. Lately, they've been able to fix the problem with a single call.

It's really a measure of how helpful their support is when you have a problem. Not a measure of how many problems you have with them.

By retrospooty on 12/8/10, Rating: 0
By bug77 on 12/8/2010 9:29:00 AM , Rating: 3
It depends on the country, too. For instance, AT&T reports zero incidents in the EU. How's that for a spin?

By Quadrillity on 12/8/2010 10:02:39 AM , Rating: 2
Well, from my experience, there is not a single "golden" provider. There all fall short in one area or another. All that matters is that you find the one that works for you. AT&T happens to work great for me, so I'm sticking with them for now. It's kinda like the Ford/Chevrolet or Mac/PC argument.

By triadone on 12/8/2010 12:19:00 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with this in re: to the network and geography commentary. My wife and I switched to the iPhone in 2007 after years with Verizon. Verizon had been largely usable in the midwest and upstate NY. When moving to FL we found our service would drop out in certain areas. When switching to ATT for the iPhone our service was great in all the areas Verizon had dead zones. That said, when I did have to rely on Verizon's customer service it was pretty horrendous. As in, "We've damaged your credit rating for 2 years because not only did we not know how to manage your account correctly, once we realized we had worked in error, we were apparently blind to our past actions and didn't know how to fix it." We will see how Verizon's iPhone offerings boil down. If they come with any of Verizon's spamware apps installed I'll consider it only with the possibility of a jailbreak and deletion of the offending app(s). This last issue was perhaps my greatest gripe with Verizon, how they perpetually would strangle the capabilities of a device to force you into their overpriced services via their network.

By Lanek2 on 12/8/2010 3:02:44 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T (Another Trial & Tribulation).

Consumer Reports
By Richard875yh5 on 12/8/2010 9:47:27 AM , Rating: 2
If Consumer Reports reported the same way as they report on cars, their report is not worth the paper it written on. As a car enthusiast I can tell you they are the epitome of misinformation.

RE: Consumer Reports
By theapparition on 12/8/2010 10:28:45 AM , Rating: 2
Consumer Reports actually does decent product reviews for most catagories........other than cars. I'd agree, I'd never trust a single review that they do on anything automotive related. Thier test methodology is severely flawed. Like using force gagues to show which door is easier to close, and which model has the most cupholders.

Also, don't particuarly like thier vaccuum cleaner reviews. None do a particuarly thorough review with pet hair.

However, if you want to know what blender does the best job of crushing ice or which string trimmer works best, they do a pretty fair job.

RE: Consumer Reports
By Solandri on 12/8/2010 1:31:37 PM , Rating: 2
The force gauges for closing doors is an interesting one. Most car enthusiasts are guys and don't care about that. But half of all car buyers are women, and a significant number of women do complain about doors which are too heavy to close easily.

Like I said below, CR tries to tailor their reviews for the average person, not the enthusiast. So they will make a big deal over simple things which matter more to regular people, like force needed to close a door, or number of cupholders (can be a problem if you have more kids than cupholders, and it's not a spec that's normally listed in car sales brochures).

RE: Consumer Reports
By Solandri on 12/8/2010 1:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
(Disclaimer: I subscribe to Consumer Reports.)

Consumer Reports satisfaction ratings are based on voluntary subscriber feedback, so it does suffer from self-selection bias. e.g. People who have had problems are more likely to submit a negative survey. Likewise, people who buy a more expensive item may feel they're getting a better product, and thus bias their survey higher.

So it's tough, often impossible, to read much into the magnitude of differences in survey results between companies. But the order in which the different companies place is usually pretty reliable. The year-to-year movement of a single company up or down between annual surveys is usually very reliable, since those only compare a company against itself.

There's also the self-selection of people who subscribe to CR. For whatever reason, people who subscribe to it tend to like Asian import cars more than domestic or European cars. So CR's satisfaction surveys for cars tend to be biased towards Asian imports.

Their product ratings (not satisfaction ratings) are based on their own product reviews, so do not suffer from this bias. I should also note that they do not get samples from manufacturers like most reviewers; they go to a store and buy the product off the shelf just like you or me (yes, this includes cars). So if there's a large deviation between their reviews and other reviews for a product, my first suspicion would be that the manufacturer is providing spiked or enhanced versions of their product to reviewers.

Their product review methodology is sometimes questionable, but what I've noticed is that they tend to design their reviews from the viewpoint of what an average consumer would look for. If you're an enthusiast in that product market, they're not going to look at a lot of the little details you consider important. Most of the stuff I buy I don't really care about as long as it works well and doesn't cost much; and CR is great for this. The stuff I do care about like computers or cars, I'm intelligent enough to find direct reviews online and compare spec sheets on my own.

RE: Consumer Reports
By LeftFootRed on 12/8/2010 3:18:21 PM , Rating: 2
Mostly agreed, except my personal bias against domestic autos came from hard experience. It's no mystery to me why they've done poorly in CR in the past. Not to say things haven't improved substantially on the quality front of late. I'm almost ready to give Ford a chance again, after that POS Taurus put me through hell.

iPhone, now AT&T
By ThreatcoreNews on 12/8/2010 7:53:05 AM , Rating: 1
Consumer reports knocks ATT.

Remember this flashback?
Consumer Reports Still Hates The iPhone 4

RE: iPhone, now AT&T
By Motoman on 12/8/2010 9:44:41 AM , Rating: 4
Both companies completely deserve to get knocked around. Not news.

RE: iPhone, now AT&T
By theapparition on 12/8/2010 10:17:26 AM , Rating: 4
Don't try to spin news that you don't like and imply that Consumer Reports is on some anti-apple crusade. CR has always reported very favorably towards all apple products.

Consumer Reports gave the iPhone 3GS it's highest rating, and also rated the iPhone 4 very high, that is until they verified many hardware issues and pulled it's rating. For a publication that has been quite pro-apple, this speaks volumes.

So complain all you want, but Consumer Reports is just calling a spade a spade. iPhone 4 has issues, AT&T have issues, and there are much better choices out there.

By jed123 on 12/8/2010 10:09:57 AM , Rating: 5
I used to trust the BBB. Now it seems you can pay the BBB for a better rating. Read the link. Very sad indeed.

By Cheesew1z69 on 12/8/2010 12:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
It's been like that for a long time....

AT&T's response to Consumer Reports
By Mitch101 on 12/8/2010 9:46:01 AM , Rating: 3
AT&T's response to Consumer Reports
Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!
AT&T Fail.

By Quadrillity on 12/8/2010 3:57:33 PM , Rating: 2
That, sir, made me laugh.

Marketing fluff
By djc208 on 12/8/2010 8:57:45 AM , Rating: 4
All the BBB rating proves is that people don't hate you enough to want to be bothered going through all the trouble of actually filing a BBB complaint. Doesn't mean they love your service. Besides, if people expect crap from you they're not likely to complain when they get it.

I don't get it!
By sreamer17ydr on 12/8/2010 1:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
I have had AT&T since I was 17, and I am 23 now. It was Cingular back than, and to this day now with AT&T, I don't get why all the complaints. I have never had an issue with customer service, in fact when I do call which is once a year to twice a year if that, they resolve my issue that day, and if its a billing issue they credit me and fix it that day as well. I live in Ohio, and here coverage is spot on, I never drop calls and I never had issues. My phones I have had over the last 6 years all worked fine, and the only issue was the Motorola Razr orignal but that is the hardware not the network. I love AT&T and I plan on sticking with them longer, it already been 6 years and looking forward to more years with them. I love the selection of phones, I get a 16% discount off each month my bill for working at Darden and like i said NEVER one complaint.

In fact, when my credit card was stolen and someone charged outragous fees on my cell bill, AT&T with ONE phone call credited it and secured my account. Alot of people's issues are in high traffice areas like california, or florida, or somehwere big, but here in Ohio its perfect and you got to look at the hardware too, most complaints are of IPHONE USERS... which i HATE APPLE but won't be biased towards them. The issues stem from the phone not the network, that consumer complaint report was of 46% IPHONE users, that more than half.. and all of them i looked were in high state cities like florida, california, etc.

The only issue with AT&T if you call it that... is the fact service isn't in southern ohio like in Millersburg.. here in NE ohio in Akron its fine , but Verizon and Tmobile dont go to Millersburg either (had friends say so) and only Sprint does, so only issue is in Millersburg Ohio no towers but i dont go there anyways lol.

RE: I don't get it!
By LeftFootRed on 12/8/2010 3:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that's just it. Apparently there they don't drop every other call like they do here. Come to Houston some time.

More Marketing Fluff
By kart17wins on 12/8/2010 9:06:36 AM , Rating: 2
Their graph also says "closed" complaints.
So they could still have many more complaints than other carriers and the complaints have just not been resolved yet.
Just more marketing bs.

Apple lovers would never complain
By PitbulI on 12/8/2010 10:19:35 AM , Rating: 1
If the iphone users complained to the BBB, that might also hurt the image of their beloved apple.

Moo says the apple loving cattle.

By teng029 on 12/9/2010 1:35:49 AM , Rating: 1
were you born an idiot or did you have to work at it?

Math Error (again)
By LRonaldHubbs on 12/8/2010 10:28:11 AM , Rating: 2
having a complaint rate that is 34% lower than the nearest competitor (Verizon)

This is not correct. If Verizon is 34% higher than ATT as indicated in the graph, then V equals 1.34 times A, thus A equals V divided by 1.34, or 0.75.
Thus ATT is 25% lower than Verizon .

I explained this response to your last article which contained the same error.

BBB is a complete JOKE
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/8/2010 12:02:00 PM , Rating: 2
Much like AT&T....

Why all the AT&T hate?
By 5150Joker on 12/8/2010 5:31:05 PM , Rating: 2
I've had AT&T service for several years and have never had a problem with them. Customer support has been very good, coverage decent and very few dropped calls. What else do people want?

By deeznuts on 12/8/2010 5:42:52 PM , Rating: 2
Hamas also got a great rating from BBB

That's all I have to say about that ... and I'm on AT&T

using BBB as the answer?
By The0ne on 12/9/2010 1:25:50 AM , Rating: 2
BBB, seriously? Someone hasn't been reading the news lately. BBB is so fcked up it's not even consider reliable anymore and undergoing changes.

By jbwhite99 on 12/9/2010 10:48:38 AM , Rating: 2
Almighty leader Steve Jobs told me to hold the magazine upside down, and now AT&T has the best ratings! Cool!

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