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Print 28 comment(s) - last by tallcool1.. on Dec 8 at 12:47 PM

Consumer Reports survey finds AT&T to be the worst carrier

While AT&T has been touting the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, a new survey by Consumer Reports concludes that's not enough for customers -- "AT&T is the worst carrier."

Of the 58,000 ConsumerReports.org readers surveyed, AT&T received the lowest customer satisfaction score and was the only carrier to drop significantly. Of the AT&T respondents, more than half were iPhone users. According to the survey, they were "much less satisfied with their carrier and rated data service (Web and e-mail lower than owners of smartphones on other carriers."

These findings mirror those of an earlier study by Deloitte, which found that nearly half of all current iPhone users would be interested in switching to a Verizon iteration of the device, mostly due to overwhelming dissatisfaction with AT&T.

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.

Some other interesting findings of the CR survey: 

- U.S. Cellular, in a major coup, overcame Verizon Wireless as the top-rated wireless provider for contract service.

- Sprint, in "a remarkable turnaround," scored higher than Verizon -- the de facto leader in overall satisfaction since 2003 -- in some aspects, and pulled even with Big Red overall.



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Getting tired of this...
By quiksilvr on 12/7/2010 9:34:20 AM , Rating: 5
This has been said for the past 3 years now ever since the iPhone 3G came out. Can we just move on from:

1) AT&T 3G still has issues
2) iPhone will come to Verizon...any day now...
3) You're holding it wrong
4) Steve Jobs is the devil

WE KNOW ALREADY.




RE: Getting tired of this...
By BSMonitor on 12/7/2010 9:54:14 AM , Rating: 1
Agreed.

To be fair to AT&T though. They were and would still be irrelevant as far as a wireless carrier if not for the unparalleled instant success that the iphone is.

Honestly, has any other wireless company experienced such a surge in customers from one phone's release. They took a chance with Apple, and low and behold the risk paid off. I am sure that in their risk management, however, investing hugely into their infrastructure ahead of time wasn't worth the risk.. If said iPhone fails, they have huge brand new 3G coverage everywhere and no one using it. As no one would switch to AT&T otherwise..


RE: Getting tired of this...
By ogSuede on 12/7/2010 10:01:02 AM , Rating: 1
I think there will be Major issues when Verizon gets the iPhone.
When seasoned iPhone users switch, they will not be able to use the phone as they once loved.

You can't talk and use data at the same time.

That is a problem in my eyes.
You can't be on the phone lost and access the gps/maps.
You can't be on the phone, and check FB.

A multi-taskers nightmare.


RE: Getting tired of this...
By Chaser on 12/7/2010 10:29:47 AM , Rating: 2
Verizon has a failed model to try and not emulate: AT&T. And with Verizon's apparent aggressive roll out of LTE voice and data will be able to be done at the same time.

3G will eventually be a fallback standard for more rural areas and LTE will be the norm. Well someday.


RE: Getting tired of this...
By JaniceJ on 12/7/2010 10:14:42 AM , Rating: 5
> Honestly, has any other wireless company experienced
> such a surge in customers from one phone's release

That gives the company an "excuse" to actually provide the service they charge you for????

AT&T saw in 2007 that iPhone was a *HUGE* hit.
They saw it again 2008.
And in 2009.
And also 2010.

Just how many *YEARS* can you keep excusing AT&T with "gee, we didn't know we would need more cell towers soon".

Remind me never to put YOU in charge of "maintaining any network".


RE: Getting tired of this...
By Aaron M on 12/7/2010 2:14:31 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T Wireless/Cingular was already the largest carrier in the country, before iPhone launched, so I would hardly have called them irrelevant. Though, it's obvious the iPhone boosted business even further.


RE: Getting tired of this...
By INeedCache on 12/7/2010 11:56:52 AM , Rating: 1
Yes, this is a dead horse issue. However, if it is more important for an individual to have an iPhone than it is to be on a good network, then you get what you deserve, as you are a fool and totally miss the point of a cell/smartphone, which is COMMUNICATION. If you have none, your phone is nothing but a toy. So, unless you have been with AT&T for some time now and didn't know they sucked when you signed up, everyone knows now and there is no excuse for bitching. You chose them, they didn't choose you!


RE: Getting tired of this...
By chick0n on 12/7/2010 8:35:01 PM , Rating: 2
I mean really AT&T suck for the past 3 years ONLY ? Its been suck ass at least 10 years ago when it was still called Cingular.

Many people thought AT&T is "different", but its really just Cingular. Cingular's name was so bad that when they took AT&T over, they would rather just use AT&T's name instead of their own.

Of course Apple knows they suck, but hey AT&T/cingular is giving them the biggest pay check so yea Steve Jobs just gonna tell their Apple Zealots that "iPhone + AT&T gives ya the best experience ..."


Not sure where Sprint beat Verizon...
By mcnabney on 12/7/2010 10:04:51 AM , Rating: 2
US Cellular - 82
Verizon - 74
Sprint - 73
T-Mobile - 69
AT&T - 60

The only world that has Sprint ahead of Verizon is the one in which 73 is higher than 74. But it sure was nice to put a plug in for your chosen carrier.




RE: Not sure where Sprint beat Verizon...
By Methusela on 12/7/2010 10:14:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sprint, in "a remarkable turnaround," scored higher than Verizon -- the de facto leader in overall satisfaction since 2003 -- in some aspects , and pulled even with Big Red overall.


Please note the above bolded portion. Sprint scored higher than Verizon in some aspects. Not all, but some of the aspects that cumulatively account for the overall score.

Please note the above underlined portion. Sprint pulled even with Big Red overall. 73 is pretty darned close to even with 74.

It almost seems like you just wanted an excuse to throw in a personal attack.


RE: Not sure where Sprint beat Verizon...
By ImSpartacus on 12/7/2010 10:19:58 AM , Rating: 2
74 and 73 are the same within CR's margin of error.

And Sprint's plans are generally cheaper than those at Verizon.

Granted, I'm not saying Sprint is just kicking ass everywhere (WiMax adoption?), but they are improving.


RE: Not sure where Sprint beat Verizon...
By mcnabney on 12/7/2010 10:45:40 AM , Rating: 2
I think those are the criteria that is helping Sprint. All of the 'value' categories clearly go to Sprint. Sprint also has been operating a limited Wimax footprint which has been pretty good for the customers covered.

Do remember that Consumer Reports has always rewarded adequately performing / low cost products over superior, but high-priced options. There is nothing wrong with that, but that is something they favor in reviews and testing. It is definitely a sign of improvement by Sprint. Now all they have to do is stop losing 3/4 of a billion dollars every quarter and the market will get more competitive.

I would also mention that AT&T isn't that bad. They provide better service than Sprint, but they charge as much at Verizon so they get punished for having a twitchy network and being expensive. T-Mobile is really starting to slide though. I guess they are going to be purchased this year. Probably by Comcast.


By TheRequiem on 12/7/2010 11:51:18 AM , Rating: 2
No, I beg to differ, I think this editorial from Consumer Reports is dead on and makes it quite clear AT&T does not offer betetr service... this is a hgue "duh". Despite Sprint just being ahead of AT&T in every possible segment ranked here, value si only one segment, the reset has nothing to do with value or copst. Their network is realistcally twice as large as AT&T's in backhaul capacity.

Let's say even if they did offer better service than a couple of the companies lsited here, they are still charging Verizon prices and offering crappy customer service. In fact, they are one of the most expensive AND they have crappy customer service so it's a no brainer to leave AT&T for better and cheaper service.


By TheRequiem on 12/7/2010 12:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
-Browser posted my previous comment before I could edit it... I type fast.

No, I beg to differ, I think this editorial from Consumer Reports is dead on and makes it quite clear AT&T does not offer better service... this is a huge "duh" when looking at the reader comments and general testimonials. Despite Sprint just being ahead of AT&T in every possible segment ranked here, value is only one segment, the rest has nothing to do with value. Their network is realistcally twice as large as AT&T's in backhaul capacity.

Let's say even if they did offer better service than a couple of the companies listed here, they are still charging Verizon prices for a lesser experience. In fact, they are one of the most expensive and they have crappy customer service so it's a no brainer to leave AT&T for better and cheaper service.


By semiconshawn on 12/8/2010 9:50:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
would also mention that AT&T isn't that bad. They provide better service than Sprint, but they charge as much at Verizon so they get punished for having a twitchy network and being expensive. T-Mobile is really starting to slide though. I guess they are going to be purchased this year. Probably by Comcast.
Do you have any data to support that b.s. or just more Verizon is my favorite and everyone else sucks nonsense. I have a Tmob windows phone (traded in my G2)my kids are on sprint with an evo and a bb and the wife has an Iphone on guess who? I pay them all and deal with everyone of the contracts (about $400 a month). Your facts dont align with my experiences.


By tallcool1 on 12/8/2010 12:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
After being a Alltel/Verizon customer for about 10 years, I just switched to Sprint this past month. The local Verizon store wouldn't deal with me on phones and their contract cost more per month than an equivalent Sprint contract. Been using Sprint for a couple weeks now and so far no complaints.


Not surprised
By 3minence on 12/7/2010 9:39:44 AM , Rating: 3
AT&T, more bars in more places, until you hit the dial button. I've lost count of how many times I've had 4-5 bars, hit the dial button, and watched the bars disappear and the phone beep for a uncompleted call. Then a moment later all the bars reappear.

Still, I understand (from this web site) that AT&T is loosing money on it's wired home phone service that the government won't let them dump. I wonder if they could afford to upgrade their cellular service if they weren't having to support the wired service.

Of course, given the poor quality of their cellular service, I cringe at the thought of dumping wired home service. I've never had to call 911, and I don't want to relay on AT&T wireless if I do.




RE: Not surprised
By ImEmmittSmith on 12/7/2010 9:55:58 AM , Rating: 2
Was speaking with a guy at the AT&T store and we had the same reservations, but now they have everyones home phone number associated in a database that the 911 operators use to locate you. So, the issue of finding you via VOIP is not the same as it was years ago. We switched and should save $20 a month easily and get the added discounts for having everything bundled. We have had very good service with AT&T over the years and we have had cell phone service since the early 90's.


RE: Not surprised
By torpor on 12/7/2010 10:25:37 AM , Rating: 2
One would think that loosing money would be a good thing.

After all, that has to be the opposite of having tight money....and that's bad, right?


RE: Not surprised
By Anoxanmore on 12/7/2010 10:38:48 AM , Rating: 4
I could have swore I heard that the tighter the better...


RE: Not surprised
By torpor on 12/7/2010 2:18:58 PM , Rating: 4
No no no, that's what loose money gets you.


Sticking up for the Death Star
By JeffCos on 12/7/2010 11:02:15 AM , Rating: 2
I've been an iPhone user since summer of 2008 and I very rarely have any voice or data issues. I'm not an Apple fanboy, I don't care much for Jobs or his business model, but whatever problems everyone else is having with ATT, I don't have them. I use my iPhone on the road, in buildings, in my home and it works.




By The Raven on 12/7/2010 1:02:21 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to be one of the lucky ones.

I had great service with them before they turned into Cingular. Dropped them like a hat. Haven't looked back since.

We all have our personal stories, but this is a full on consumer report.

BTW I have had zero issues with their DSL (my only option, that I was dreading upon relocating).

You think you know a guy!


RE: Sticking up for the Death Star
By lecanard on 12/8/2010 2:23:07 AM , Rating: 2
Me too, I'm fine with AT&T where I live (LA). I have service everywhere and enjoy the faster 3G speed. Verizon would just be a slowdown for me.


It is going to be extremely interesting...
By Motoman on 12/7/2010 10:15:00 AM , Rating: 3
...to see whether or not iPhone usage on Verizon is markedly better than on AT&T.

Yes, everyone is sure that AT&T sucks...but until the iPhone becomes widely available on a competing carrier, it stands to be seen how much a contributor to user problems the phone itself is.




By HrilL on 12/7/2010 12:41:46 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. It was noted that Half the complaints and reviews were from iPhone users. I'd love to see the ratings of iPhone users compared to other phone users on At&t. If the average score is higher by any kind of margin then you'd really have to blame the phone itself. I mean these are Apple users that are basically sheep. The media blames At&t and Apple blames At&t so all the sheep follow.

I'm not a fan of At&t but in areas where they do have good coverage it works great and is really fast but in others its piss poor and slow.

Like when going to Mammoth for snowboarding. You'll almost have no services at all. The network tells your phone its 2 time zones over. My friends and I all had our phones switch to central time yet we never left the pacific time zone. Why it skipped over mountain time is another question completely. What I don't get is the small towns on the trip up to Mammoth all have 3G but once you get there you only get edge. Shouldn't they upgrade areas with more customers before ones with less? Must be the lack of backhaul capacity.


Non-iPhone users: "Ditto"
By MeesterNid on 12/7/2010 9:56:16 AM , Rating: 3
Sucks just the same without the iPhone too.




US Cellular
By The Raven on 12/7/2010 1:14:29 PM , Rating: 2
It's nice to see US Cellular get a good score. They are the only one on the list who has free incoming calls/texts/pics/etc. standard.

I'm with Sprint now and ready to jump to them. I'm so sick of the scam that the major providers have with regards to incoming messages. They talk your friends into signing up with a text plan (Unlimited!!!! GD it!) and then you get a bunch of texts from them and that forces you to get a plan. Or you tell your friends not to text you, like I have, but you still get something from someone that you don't want or just some plain ol' spam and you are paying an extra +/-3 bucks/mo. Sprint has been nice enough to give me 10 texts free to appease my anger, but I know that I am in the minority as far as someone who will put up with this crap and not fold and get a text plan.

Of course I can turn the ability to text off completely which Sprint has offered to do, but there are times when texts are useful and I currently just see the $3/mo as the fee for having that luxury.

So I will be going to US Cellular as soon as my contract is up. And I will jump into that without a contract as I am sick of that crap too. </bitterness>




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