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Customers have spoken: AT&T = FAIL!

A survey of cell phone users of four of the major cell phone providers has ranked the ball-and-chain that the iPhone comes attached to, AT&T, last when it comes to customer satisfaction.
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Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

A survey of cell phone users of four of the major cell phone providers has ranked the ball-and-chain that the iPhone comes attached to, AT&T, last when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Consumer Reports surveyed 50,000 readers in 26 US cities about their cell phone carrier, and in 19 of those cities, AT&T ranked last.

Overall AT&T scored 66. It ranked worst when it came to voice service, managed to score average for messaging, surfing and e-mail. When it came to customer service, both over the phone and via the internet, it ranked poorly. Poor was also the customers verdict on staff knowledge and problem resolution.

The highest scoring network was Verizon with an overall score of 75. It scored highly across all areas of the survey. T-Mobile came in second, and Sprint third.

As you'd expect, AT&T don't agree with these findings. The company claims that the findings were based on anecdotal feedback from a self-selected group of subscribers:

 "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."

A couple of points worth making here. First, while anecdotes do not equal science, customer complaints relating to AT&T's network and service are at epidemic proportions, and there's only so long the company can bury its head in the sand. Secondly, how much of that low churn rate they quote is down to people being tied to either an iPhone or a contract they can't afford to terminate early? My guess is that the iPhone has been a major factor as to why churn rate for AT&T is so low.

My email inbox is almost always generously filled with AT&T customer service and network horror stories. Sure, they're all anecdotes, but they're anecdotes from paying customers who are getting tired of paying for a poor service. If I'm getting totally unsolicited feedback from AT&T customers, it makes sense to assume that AT&T are getting far, far more feedback which goes along similar lines. Ignore at your peril AT&T!

How do you rank your cell phone provider?

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