Consumer Reports ranks AT&T last among U.S. wireless carriers

Consumer Reports ranks AT&T last among U.S. wireless carriers

Summary: AT&T ranked dead last in Consumer Reports' latest survey of wireless carriers and phones. The results are: Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint then AT&T. Isn't anyone surprised?

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TOPICS: AT&T, Verizon
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DSLReports notes that AT&T ranked dead last in Consumer Reports' latest survey of wireless carriers and phones. The survey itself is behind CR's paywall but the results are:

  1. Verizon
  2. T-Mobile
  3. Sprint
  4. AT&T

The DSLReports story details AT&T's long history of ranking at the tail end of such surveys, including last place showings in JD Power & Associates (see the latest customer care, retail sales and call quality surveys) and the American Consumer Satisfaction Index.

I can't wait for the iPhone's exclusivity with AT&T to expire (like it's rumored to in June 2010) so that I can head to the glorious digital hills of VZW.

The grass isn't always greener on the other side of the digital fence though, young jedi. VZW still uses the creaky CDMA network (no world phone here!) and its service plans have a history of being more expensive. Pick your poison.

Either way you slice it this latest survey from the highly respected CR is definitely a blow for AT&T. Can a new Verizon television commercial be far behind?

When does your agreement expire? Are you considering jumping ship to Verizon if they get the iPhone next summer?

Topics: AT&T, Verizon

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24 comments
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  • More salt on the wound

    Even AT&T's latest commercials seem to echo the very same perceptions everyone has of them. And they seem to do little to help their own image.

    I think one commercial boasts they can reach something like 98% of the US population, which is great if you don't move around [i]between[/i] cities. Of course that defeats the purpose of a [b]mobile[/b] phone.
    ZStoner
    • AT&T commercial non-answers

      AT&T is making a valiant but flawed attempt to counter the Verizon attack ads. While it may be true that AT&T serves up to 97% of the US population, that's not what Verizon's ads are pointing at.

      AT&T's *3G* service is limited to relatively major metropolitan areas. While Verizon's 3G service is slower than AT&T's, that service area is at least 5 times that of AT&T's.

      Since this is an Apple blog, let's stick with the patchy service (voice and data) that AT&T provides for the iPhone. Even Jason has complained about that so-called service, and he lives in a "major metropolitan area" Dropped calls, no signal (or weak signal), no 3G service. But boy, those iPhone ads sure show how well-connected those phones are. In San Francisco, that is, pretty much home to Apple Central. But if you live outside of an AT&T 3G service area, you'll have to depend on their EDGE network (when you actually have a signal, that is) for sending e-mail, or doing searches for that really good sushi bar, or finding where you parked your ride.
      M.R. Kennedy
      • Ironically

        The San Francisco Bay area has a reputation for some of the
        <i>worst</i> data connectivity among iPhone users!
        use_what_works_4_U
        • Gonna be a good boy...

          Heh. I could say some really nasty things about iPhone commercials, but I'm going to be a good boy and keep my trap shut. (Santa's watching, don'tcha know!)
          M.R. Kennedy
  • RE: Consumer Reports ranks AT&T last among U.S. wireless carriers

    Their customer service is the worst! As is their phone service!!! Can't even use my iPhone half the time - between the "call failed" messages I get when placing calls and the dropped calls.

    I told them that I couldn't wait for my contract to end so I could transfer service to ANY other carrier!!!
    howigetby
  • Been with AT&T for 4 years now

    and have had great service.

    Much better then the Verizon phone I carry for work. Guess VZW is the [b]NOTwork[/b].
    itguy08
    • It would seem you are out of ....

      ... step with the rest of the world. Do you work for AT&T perhaps?
      ShadeTree
      • My experience

        My service with AT&T has been mediocre, but acceptable. My family plan is much cheaper than Verizon, and I get to keep my unused minutes. Also, AT&T doesn't lock out features of my phone in an attempt to get me to pay them extra money. Finally, my few interactions with Verizon for my home phone have been so overwhelmingly negative that I'm looking to dump them soon. Their menu maze is totally frustrating!!
        bmgoodman
      • Nice

        Dissension automatically marked as an employee, get a life
        alwin3413
        • They Obviously Are NOT an AT&T Employee

          Because they mentioned that they were carrying a VZW phone for work. Or did you miss that?
          heymatthew
    • Agreed....

      I had service with Bell Atlantic first, then Beall Atlantic/Nynex, then Verizon when renamed.

      The service got so bad that I switched to Cingular which was so much better. Verizon had a cow since I was one of their original subscribers. So far I have had great service with ATT.

      The survey just asked the wrong people, the wrong questions I guess.
      linux for me
  • VZW pipe dream

    Jason, do you really think Apple will do a deal with Verizon
    after the Droid "iDon't" and their own "did you get my
    email" ads?! The technical challenges aside, having just
    bad-mouthed the Verizon network, I just don't see Steve
    putting the iPhone on VZW, unless they totally roll over
    and give Apple everything they want (total control of the
    customer relationship and big device subsidies).

    If the AT&T exclusivity does in fact end next summer (and
    that's hardly a given), I'd expect to see T-Mobile as the
    new U.S. carrier, for the well-documented reasons of
    network compatibility and previous relationship with it's
    parent company, Deutsche Telekom. (Yes, I know that
    Apple also has a relationship with Vodafone, co-owner of
    Verizon Wireless, but a joint-venture is far different from a
    wholly-owned subsidiary)
    matthew_maurice
  • About this blog post, among others

    Whenever I see things like "The report is only available for a fee but here
    are the results" I wonder about something. Why is it that I don't then
    see the phrase <i>"Used with permission from ..."</i>

    We rail against Psystar for profiting off o f Apple's intellectual property
    without permission, and yet this scenario of displaying someone else's IP
    thereby circumventing payment for people like me is becoming very
    commonplace. What gives?
    use_what_works_4_U
    • The details of the report are available for a fee...

      You can actually see the results for free, but if you want to read all the details and get the scoop on the exact survey then you have to be a paid CR subscriber.
      heymatthew
  • Truth, US wireless carriers suck.

    Over priced, under staffed, lousy service.
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • Let me add to that ...

      ... nevermind. No Ax has summed it up nicely!
      use_what_works_4_U
    • EXACTAMUNDO!!!

      It's a disgrace the level of garbage we have to put up with for wireless service...

      Almost as bad as Internet service.
      itanalyst2
    • Yes. Especially US carriers that don't offer the iPhone.

      Hey, NonZealot, when you gonna prove you purchased a MacBook Pro...LOSER!
      No More Microsoft Software
  • RE: Consumer Reports ranks AT&T last among U.S. wireless carriers

    I expect that Steve is too smart to switch the iPhone to an aging standard like CDMA, simply to go with a carrier with a better rep.

    LTE is the emerging world standard and VZW is rumored to be rolling theirs out over the next year.

    So, my two cents worth is: The iPhone 4 will be an LTE version on VZW in the U.S. and other carriers world-wide, as they switch to LTE. For all of the iPhone 3 users, AT&T will continue to be their carrier.

    Over a few years as LTE phases-in world-wide, Apple would phase out support for GSM much they did for OS 9 and OS X Classic.

    Bottom line is that Apple could have a large part of the smart phone market for the near future here and abroad.

    That's why I haven't done a new two-year contract with VZW, since last Sept. I'm keeping my options open.

    Mike
    Mike in No. Va.
  • Flip a coin on carriers

    I used ATT before the iPhone because they do the best job
    where I live. Average size town so the network isn't
    overloaded. Using an iPhone, Nokia and Samsung phones
    and all have been reliable. And it's the cheapest option as
    I'm running 4 phones under a Family Plan.

    For me ATT is OK. I'll not change when my agreement
    expires - probably just move to the next generation iPhone.
    Ken_z