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AT&T is last as competitor Verizon leads the way according to Consumer Reports

A report published by Consumer Reports said AT&T ranks last among major U.S. wireless service providers, with 19 of 26 surveys indicating AT&T had the worst performance.

Subscribers in large markets such as San Francisco and New York City have long complained of lackluster 3G service -- though analysts were somewhat surprised to see AT&T ranked last in 17 other cities.  In San Francisco, Verizon had a 74 overall score, with AT&T receiving a disappointing score of 39.

Prior to this report, many tech enthusiasts believed AT&T struggled in markets where consumers demand the most of their providers, but that turned out to be incorrect.

"We believe it has been an elitist investor view that only a few high profile AT&T markets are having problems on the theory that only 'tech savvy' residents of coastal cities would find enough use in the (Apple) iPhone to impact the quality of AT&T's network," said Walter Pieck, a Pali analyst, in an investor note.

There has been an increased amount of chatter regarding the iPhone switching to Verizon Wireless (after a network switch from CDMA to LTE), which leads the way among subscribers, after the AT&T/iPhone exclusivity contract ends.

AT&T must now attempt to fix its customer relations issues -- especially if it wants to keep the iPhone -- as a combination of dropped calls, poor 3G coverage, and similar issues. If Verizon doesn't get the iPhone, it's possible T-Mobile, which ranked No. 2 behind Verizon, may be the next company to offer the iPhone.

AT&T responded with the following statement to Consumer Reports:  “We appreciate and value all customer feedback. We learn from it and it helps us serve our customers better. Without question the surest indication of customer satisfaction is churn, or turnover. For the last quarter, our postpaid churn was just 1.17 percent.”

Consumer Reports latest findings seemingly add more fuel to the fireballs that Verizon has been throwing AT&T's way over the past few months.

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By Jellodyne on 12/1/2009 5:52:36 PM , Rating: 6
Oh, yeah? Well... How do you explain ALL THESE POSTCARDS?!

By cmdrdredd on 12/1/09, Rating: 0
By PrezWeezy on 12/1/2009 6:28:05 PM , Rating: 5
It's not our fault you bought an iPhone and live in nowheresville South Dakota.

Yeah, or po-dunk little cities like San Francisco or New York. Who's even heard of those?

By MonkeyPaw on 12/1/2009 9:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
"Oh Lisa, anyone can miss Canada, the way it's tucked away down there..."

By quiksilvr on 12/2/2009 2:28:29 AM , Rating: 3
"Hey, what's this country? U R Gay. Hehehe..."

By The0ne on 12/2/2009 12:33:52 AM , Rating: 4
And parts of San Diego :) Yea, we're just tiny cities. No need to market to us little people here.

By eskimospy on 12/2/2009 10:42:56 AM , Rating: 4
Like I said before, the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot that is SPONSORED BY AT&T, has no AT&T service.

By callmeroy on 12/4/2009 1:18:51 PM , Rating: 2 serious?

Verizon should use an example like that in an ad....

By someguy123 on 12/1/2009 7:28:48 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah man, not AT&T's fault for selling those phones even where they know they have no service. I mean, come on now, that would be like not researching the cable in your area and installing cable that's advertised as 10mbps, only to find out performance in your area is actually 56k! Not their fault you forgot to research and believed their outrageous claims of actually providing advertised service to their customers.

By bigdawg1988 on 12/2/2009 1:57:20 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, the AT&T salesman in my area told me they wouldn't have 3G in our area (East TN) for a couple of years. So i said forget it to the iphone and got me a blackberry (it was cheap). Sux for you 3G users in the big cities though. But if Verizon gets the iphones and the added traffic, will they be able to handle it?

By atlmann10 on 12/3/2009 1:00:01 AM , Rating: 2
As far as Verizon being able to handle it I would say yes. This is based on the fact that they have the coverage they do. I remember when I flew to Portland shortly after becoming a subscriber several years ago. I dropped connection for about 15 minutes over the centre of the country travelling south west from Atlanta to Portland. Since them they have bought out several other carriers such as Altel mobile. Which was actually a mid size cellular provider. I remember shortly after that happened people on a few tech boards on the net observed that in a couple years Verizon would have a monopoly coverage wise because of the size of there network and the ones the bought out and added into there network.

By MonkeyPaw on 12/1/2009 9:13:17 PM , Rating: 5
How do you explain ALL THESE POSTCARDS?!

That's how AT&T customers communicate in these places.

By nuarbnellaffej on 12/1/2009 10:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
I think you deserved the 6 for this one.

By RjBass on 12/2/2009 10:25:37 AM , Rating: 2

By FITCamaro on 12/1/2009 9:13:57 PM , Rating: 5
They all have "I F*CKING HATE YOU!" written on them. Because they couldn't call it in.

By Gio6518 on 12/1/09, Rating: 0
By Gio6518 on 12/1/2009 10:06:55 PM , Rating: 1
Well... How do you explain ALL THESE POSTCARDS?!

damn you !
you beat me to it !

if find their new commercials boring and misleading, first they refer to the verizon commercials (that clearly say 3G at least 5 times and in print say 3G at least another 5 times), as a lie then say we cover all these areas.

By ol1bit on 12/1/2009 10:42:28 PM , Rating: 2
Verizon has to love this with the stupid AT&T lawsuit.

By mcnabney on 12/2/2009 10:00:27 AM , Rating: 2
This is nothing new really.

AT&T has really sucked, customer service-wise, for years. The big surprise is that AT&T beat Sprint out for the bottom of the barrel. Sprint has been the worst provider for years. Are they getting better or is AT&T getting worse?

By RjBass on 12/2/2009 10:30:09 AM , Rating: 2
You would think Sprint would get better, but as I have stated on DT before: Even in Sprints home town, Kansas City, when standing downtown in front of the SPRINT ARENA, you can barely get a signal.

By cocoviper on 12/2/2009 1:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
Educate yourself:

Average Download Speed
Sprint: 1361kbs
AT&T: 933kbps
T-Mobile: 786kbps
Verizon: 701kbps

Average Upload Speed
Verizon: 322kbps
Sprint: 267kbps
AT&T: 180kbps
T-Mobile: 177kbps

Connection availability (reliability)
Sprint: 90.5%
Verizon: 89.8%
At&t: 68%

By bigbubba on 12/2/09, Rating: -1
By ksherman on 12/1/2009 5:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
Good on ya, T-Mobile. I still miss T-Mobile as my cell carrier. I never had any problems with reception and their plans were a bargain. I only switched to AT&T for the iPhone, and I've had a pretty good experience with them, except my bill is nearly $100 a month. With T-Mo, same plan only cost me $60. And the Blackberry Pearl was a sweet phone.

Though, I can never go backwards from a phone as capable as the iPhone.

RE: T-Mo
By 67STANG on 12/1/2009 6:14:50 PM , Rating: 2
iPhone running on ATT = Ferrari running on urine

RE: T-Mo
By aguilpa1 on 12/2/2009 9:36:28 AM , Rating: 3
I drink a lot of alcohol, that might actually work.

RE: T-Mo
By shortylickens on 12/5/2009 6:44:29 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I think the iPhone is probably more reliable than the average Ferrari. Its more like a Saleen running on leaded gasoline.

Good thing it has Wifi cuz the cell network is junk. Imagine if that sucker had UMA calling!
Wait, does it allow VOIP on its Wifi?

RE: T-Mo
By amanojaku on 12/1/2009 7:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
You know, you could just unlock it...

RE: T-Mo
By ksherman on 12/2/2009 12:41:23 AM , Rating: 2
True, but then I have to pay an early termination fee with AT&T and lose 3G (T-Mo uses a difference 3G frequency set from AT&T, IIRC). I just went out to the boonies for last weekend and only had an EDGE connection, I don't want that to be my standard experience!

RE: T-Mo
By Gio6518 on 12/1/2009 10:16:55 PM , Rating: 2
Though, I can never go backwards from a phone as capable as the iPhone.

i love my blackberry, and i dislike touchscreen

but you'd be better off getting the my touch 3G or even the G1...........i know they've been beta testing the new O.S. 2.0 same as the droid phone and hope to have an official release by the end of the year or at latest first quarter 2010

RE: T-Mo
By Gio6518 on 12/1/2009 10:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
or even go to sprint and get the HTC hero with the new 2.1 android OS

RE: T-Mo
By ksherman on 12/2/2009 12:38:44 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, my dad has the MyTouch 3G on T-Mobile and really likes it. I really have had a great experience with the iPhone, quite capable and doubles as my MP3 player to boot. If the next iPhone isn't killer, I'm moving to an Android phone. But, Apple knows this is the case for a large percentage of their purchasers as their contracts are running out and their patience more so; I am sure the next iPhone coming this summer is going to be pretty incredible.

RE: T-Mo
By kd9280 on 12/2/2009 8:56:33 AM , Rating: 2
I love my T-Mobile service. 50 bucks a month, excellent customer service, I never have any problems with connections. Had a slight problem with a bill this month, but that was more my fault than anything (forgot I had an extra 20 bucks because I bought a second charger) but even so, it was worked out quickly.

RE: T-Mo
By mcnabney on 12/2/2009 10:08:41 AM , Rating: 2
T-mobile has good service in many markets. Their problem is that their coverage is very minimal nationwide. And forget about 3G. Their 3G coverage makes AT&Ts look huge.

but if it works where you live and work keep it. They are almost as good as Verizon when it comes to customer service and they are cheaper.

RE: T-Mo
By Bateluer on 12/2/2009 11:56:02 AM , Rating: 2
You know the iPhone does run on T-Mo, right?

Posting this on my AT&T iPhone
By Performance Fanboi on 12/1/2009 9:48:37 PM , Rating: 5
This is all made up! AT&T has excellent ser

RE: Posting this on my AT&T iPhone
By Performance Fanboi on 12/1/2009 9:49:31 PM , Rating: 5
vice. My calls never dr

RE: Posting this on my AT&T iPhone
By Performance Fanboi on 12/1/2009 9:50:04 PM , Rating: 5
op and I never lose 3g connec

By Performance Fanboi on 12/1/2009 9:50:27 PM , Rating: 5

RE: Posting this on my AT&T iPhone
By RjBass on 12/2/2009 10:33:18 AM , Rating: 3
lol, this series def deserves a 6.

By fourzeronine on 12/2/2009 2:34:50 AM , Rating: 2
why does anyone even want an iPhone anymore... i mean seriously.

RE: iPhone
By 3minence on 12/2/2009 9:59:35 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I do. Ok, I don't, but may have to get one anyway. I actually want a Palm Pre or a Droid, but their both CDMA. My wife won't switch off AT&T, so that leaves the iPhone as my only acceptable alternative. I need a smartphone able to run certain apps, and give the devil it's due, the iPhone has apps galore. The apps I use are available on all three phones but only the iPhone works on AT&T.

I currently use a Treo 650 which runs the apps and works on AT&T so I haven't had to upgrade yet. But the Treo is old and I want to upgrade.

RE: iPhone
By theapparition on 12/2/2009 12:34:09 PM , Rating: 3
You could always get a new wife.

RE: iPhone
By theapparition on 12/2/2009 12:34:32 PM , Rating: 2
Or a backbone.

By sapiens74 on 12/1/2009 8:32:49 PM , Rating: 2
They have crappy phones, well I'm not counting Droid till I get to use one....

They remind me of Apple, they have great customer service, but at a premium and lock down their products.

Great for those who don't want or need anything other then what they provide.

By mcnabney on 12/2/2009 10:04:36 AM , Rating: 2
Droid is completely unlocked. Have fun with WiFi and Bluetooth.

/everything about Droid is awesome
//except maybe the battery life
//but I have gotten used to dropping my phone in the dock when I get home

By Bateluer on 12/2/2009 11:58:36 AM , Rating: 2
Verizon is beginning a shift in their mode of thinking. People now want handsets that have a wide range of capabilities, that can do whatever they want them to do. If you look at Verizon's smart phone options from a year ago and compare them today, there's a world of difference. The Moto Droid, the Droid Eris(HTC Hero), HTC Imagio, HTC Touch Pro 2, Samnsung Omnia 2, etc. More coming too, aren't they supposed to have several Android phones in 2010?

How to Reduce Churn
By lightfoot on 12/1/2009 5:42:57 PM , Rating: 5
Without question the surest indication of customer satisfaction is churn, or turnover. For the last quarter, our postpaid churn was just 1.17 percent.

And the best way to keep the churn rate down is to use extremely long contracts with punative early termination clauses. To further "retain" customers you need extremely unhelpful service technicians that are not authorized to help the customer or issue account credits. If you then partner with an especially draconian handset manufacturer you can also guarantee that your devices cannot be unlocked for use on your competitor's networks. Business gold.

Welcome to our network, you will be up for parole in 24 months. Any changes to your contract will add an additional 12-24. Lights out at 9 PM and where service is not available. Roaming charges may apply. Mail is daily at 4 PM, you will be charged $0.20 per item sent or received.

Never had AT&T drop my call
By 3minence on 12/2/2009 9:53:51 AM , Rating: 3
I've never experienced a dropped call from AT&T where I am currently working, because I can hardly ever get the call through. Often my phone shows two bars, but as soon as I hit the dial button the bars disappear and my phone beeps at me for no service. A minute later the bars reappear. If I try again, the same thing happens.

More bars in more places, until you hit the dial button. I'd switch to another carrier but I'm on a family plan and my wife refuses to switch. Her whole family is on AT&T so she gets free cell to cell calls. We pay for the minimum plan yet were completely maxed out on roll over minutes because most of our calls are free (when they actually go through).

RE: Never had AT&T drop my call
By mcnabney on 12/2/2009 10:01:39 AM , Rating: 2
That is just how GSM works. It makes you think you have service when you really don't.

Re: These results...
By lainofthewired on 12/1/2009 5:12:22 PM , Rating: 4
Ha ha.


By Ramos22 on 12/1/2009 5:41:41 PM , Rating: 2
Without question the surest indication of customer satisfaction is churn, or turnover. For the last quarter, our postpaid churn was just 1.17 percent.”

well let's see how this quarter's percentage turns out to be... holiday season im sure lots of customers contracts will be up and at&t is getting its image completely trampled at the moment

i sense something like a windows vista syndrome coming along, everyone loves jumping on the bandwagon to hate on big companies. I'm not saying at&t doesnt deserve any of this criticism but these things snowball so at&t better fix this issue asap.

RE: really...
By heulenwolf on 12/2/2009 9:44:53 AM , Rating: 2
Agree, it may parallel the recent Mac vs Vista ads. Once you lose your credibility with the public and your competitors see that they can gain an advantage by constantly reminding the public of your problems, real or imagined, its hard to recover. I'm not sure how AT&T could possibly "fix the issue," though, in a timely manner. Regaining consumer trust in this scenario, where real data is being published backing up complaints, may take years of consistently outperforming expectations.

Here's hoping AT&T admits defeat and drops their plan price ;) Otherwise, VZW will have justification to raise theirs.

By teng029 on 12/1/2009 6:26:14 PM , Rating: 2
i wonder if AT&T is going to sue Consumer Reports now..

RE: hmmm..
By jconan on 12/1/2009 9:34:02 PM , Rating: 2
of course any company would sue another company that told that the truth about their products for damage control... Risk Mgmt 101

"Big" Cities aren't the only ones...
By storm96441 on 12/2/2009 9:21:14 AM , Rating: 2
I live in Fort Lauderdale. It's much smaller than, NYC, or San Fran, but I drop calls like there is no tomorrow. 3g on = you will drop any call. Whoever is passing around this story about ATT/Iphone only having problems in the "big cities" is dead wrong!

Turn off the 3g and the calls are better, but your phone makes anything it goes near buzz uncontrollably :(

By storm96441 on 12/2/2009 9:25:05 AM , Rating: 2
I forgot to say though, I still do love my Iphone. It's such a cool gadget, even w/ "the network".

I'm the luckiest ATT customer
By pkirby11 on 12/2/2009 10:08:16 AM , Rating: 2
I must be the luckiest ATT customer ever. I live in Champaign, IL we just got 3G early fall and I went back to the iPhone. The network is fast, faster than my Verizon friends and Sprint friends. I never have a dropped or lost connection and I have full bars almost everywhere I go. I get 3 to 4 bars in the basement of my workplace, covered in several feet of concrete.

These customer satisfaction reports are pointless because it just depends on who you talk to and were you do your survey. Obviously they never talked to anyone in Champaign, IL because everybody I know that has an iPhone loves the service and the phone in this city. Again I've been with ATT for 10 years and never had any issues and will stick with them no matter what.

And just out of curiosity why does everyone side step the Verizon iPhone question? Someone up top commented on it and of course you all ignore it. Do you truly think Verizon can handle the millions of iPhone users any better than ATT? Maybe it's not the network completely. The only thing ATT needs to do is upgrade their 3G network, but you all forget that Verizon doesn't have full 3G speed every where they just call their whole network 3G whether it's 3G speed or not.

By phantom505 on 12/2/2009 1:23:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yes I think they can handle the traffic just fine. Everyone I see around here (Phoenix,AZ in a 600 bed hospital) has a BB with Verizon. You can't even get a signal from AT&T in the hospital. I had AT&T for 2 years here. I found out my company (the hospital) gets 22% off for Verizon. I called AT&T and told them I was considering switching since I would make my money back in 6 months and save 22% thereafter, they basically told me "cya". I can promise you with the number of nurses, patients, physicians, and visitors the Verizon network is saturated, to the point that at peak time I can't even get a phone call out the first try (not happy with that but heck, I never get dropped calls and I always get a good data stream on my Curve, which beats the heck out of my AT&T 2G Curve).

So I have no love for them at all. They won't compete on any level, service, price, nothing. I can care less about lousy overpriced iPhone that couldn't even do MMS until a few months ago. BTW did they ever fix the email attachment problem?

By DuctTapeAvenger on 12/2/2009 9:48:42 AM , Rating: 1
Poor 3G coverage? There's an app for that.

RE: ...
By Chaser on 12/2/2009 12:52:46 PM , Rating: 2
And there's a phone for that. The Motorola Droid on the Verizon network.

By cosmotic on 12/1/2009 8:39:55 PM , Rating: 2
This is so funny. Every time you call ATT they are required to answer the phone "How may I provide excellent service?" Then, 20 hours later and 20 phone calls later, they admit they have a firmware bug. How about not bullshitting your customers?

LOVE my Iphone, HATE AT&T
By BillyBatson on 12/1/2009 10:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
I was with sprint for 6.5 years before making the switch just for the phone. I love my iphone more than any ther gadget I have ever owned. I however HATE ATT, their service, their net speeds, and cry for the day my phone can go to Sprint or Verizon. If it went to t-mobile I would stay with ATT until a 3rd provider got it.

both equally disappointing
By Soulkeeper on 12/2/2009 7:55:48 AM , Rating: 2
I've had service with both of them and neither was perfect.

I once owned 2 phones with verizon and never got reception in my own home (or street). This forced me to have to cancel and pay a $350 termination fee (they said it was my fault).

att was a little better, I had their 3G on my laptop. The service worked everywhere (including my house/street).
I had to cancel their service also after a year because I was looking to reduce my bills, and they slapped me with a $300 termination fee.

The contracts are where they disappoint.

I have T-mobile now, and they have much better pricing and no contract.

By shortylickens on 12/5/2009 6:40:16 AM , Rating: 2
Verizon really is superior so far as network coverage and customer support are concerned. I prefer the freedom of T-mobile but they just arent good enough when you need reliable and regular service.
I still dont love Verizon, especially for how they treat me with FIOS, but I acknowledge they are darn good at taking care of cellular customers.
I've used all 4 multiple times in the past year (experimenting) and Verizon was actually the best for me.
Sprint screwed me, AT&T annoyed me, and T-mobile tried hard but just did not impress me.
I will say T-mobile gets bonus points for being the loveable underdog.

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