In the newest satisfaction survey of Consumer Reports online subscribers, a provider called Consumer Cellular topped the Ratings—and AT&T found itself at the bottom of the Ratings for the second year in a row.
Of the four major U.S. national cell-phone standard service providers, Verizon again scored the highest in this year’s Ratings, followed closely by Sprint. Survey respondents gave very good scores to Verizon for texting and data service satisfaction, as well for staff knowledge.
T-Mobile was below Verizon and Sprint but continued to rate significantly better than the higher-priced AT&T, which recently withdrew its application to the FCC to merge with its better rival.
“Our survey indicates that subscribers to prepaid and smaller standard-service providers are happiest overall with their cell-phone service,” said Paul Reynolds, electronics editor for Consumer Reports. “However, these carriers aren’t for everyone. Some are only regional, and prepaid carriers tend to offer few or no smart phones.The major carriers are still leading options for many consumers, and we found they ranged widely in how well they satisfied their customers.”
We surveyed over 66,000 of our subscribers about their service and customer-support experience with both standard and no-contract providers. The full report has carrier Ratings for 22 metropolitan markets and can be found in the January 2012 issue of Consumer Reports and at Consumer Reports Online (Ratings available to subscribers).