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  • Customers Rate AT&T Worst Carrier in US


    A Consumer Reports survey of wireless users in the US (subscription required) ranked AT&T dead last among major carriers in terms of quality. Most of the 50,000 people surveyed in 26 cities gave AT&T low ratings in such categories as service availability, circuit capacity, dropped-call frequency, and voice service. Adding insult to injury is the fact that Verizon Wireless - which has been hammering AT&T in its "there's a map for that" ad campaign - came out on top.

    The survey results come at a time that industry press is abuzz with reports that AT&T is on the verge of losing its exclusive arrangement to carry the iPhone in the US. Verizon - the #2 carrier in the US in the number of customers - has been widely rumored to be under consideration by Apple, though Verizon's CDMA network is not compatible with the iPhone's current hardware. AppleInsider reported today on speculation by an industry watcher that the iPhone might go to T-Mobile in 2010, which uses GSM technology like AT&T's, though in a different frequency that would require Apple to roll out a slightly modified phone. And even though Qualcomm has announced plans to release a hybrid chip that would enable the iPhone to use both AT&T and Verizon's networks, it's unlikely that it would be available until the end of the year, and would come at a significant cost premium. A phone capable of accessing T-Mobile's UMTS/HSDPA 3G network would presumably be available sooner and at costs comparable to the current line.

    A story in the Wall Street Journal's AllThingsDigital detailed Consumer Reports' finding that AT&T had the worst overall consumer satisfaction in 19 of the 26 cities where people were surveyed. Verizon, meanwhile, ranked first in all 26 cities. This is the second time this year that AT&T has gotten slammed in a customer-service survey: in May, the American Customer Satisfaction Index report ranked AT&T third out of the big four U.S. wireless carriers due to "complaints about slow and spotty performance." Verizon won that one, too.

    AT&T - perhaps understandably - dismissed the results. When AllThingsDigital contacted the carrier for its response, it had this to say:

    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.
    It should be interesting to see if this number changes when AT&T is no longer the exclusive iPhone carrier in the US.

    image via Consumer Reports
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Customers Rate AT&T Worst Carrier in US started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 116 Comments
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      I get 5 bars too despite having horrible reception. It's terrible
    1. pacmac's Avatar
      pacmac -
      i have no problem with service here in my area great 3G speeds no drop calls well i think i did like once but thats when i had i bar for like a second but over all its good for me..the only thing i dont like is the price for min/data plan but its all good i use skype and i use my 3GS as a internet media..
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by KartRacer View Post
      That's amazing considering AT&Ts own website shows zero 3G coverage in the whole state of Montana, so who's right? You or the company? I know that their map is up to date because I got an email from them telling me that 3g coverage has expanded to Macon GA and the map shows that. I live 40 miles from Savannah GA, the fourth biggest shipping port in the East Coast and they have 3G, but we don't here in Beaufort. I have EDGE service, but not 3G. But only If I'm outside anything that could be considered a building, and not moving. And even then it doesn't always work. They were whining about how even without 3G you they still have a huge amount of EDGE coverage. That's great, when it works. And traveling anywhere on the East Coast it's a joke. It doesn't work faster than about 2-15kbps, if you are standing still, and calls drop all the time. Do Verizon, T-mobile, and Sprint have this problem in this area? Nope. I'm not wrong, I've traveled most of the US and AT&T is a g-o-d-d-a-m-n joke.


      The point of the commercial was to show how good their 3G coverage was and they named major US cities. How is that hard to understand? They have ****** service nationwide, except in large cities and few spots around the country, and it showed just how stupid they are. AT&T has ****** service, coverage is ridiculously small compared to the company they are competing against in these commercials and they know it. I used to live in Atlanta and Columbus GA. Layoffs at the company I worked for forced me to relocate for employment, and the coverage all over the interstates in Georgia and South Carolina (in particular) are infuriatingly bad. I didn't choose to live in an area with bad coverage, so that isn't my fault in any way. I bought the phone where coverage was great, and due to things outside my control I had to leave and move to a place where they charge me extra for a feature I don't get that they are contractually bound to provide. When I was in Atlanta and Columbus service was beyond fantastic, same in nearby Savannah. But anywhere outside large cities and a small number of other spots, the coverage is crap. They don't have a problem providing useable service 60% of the time, but if I paid my bill 60% of the time I'd be in a world of hurt. That isn't right.

      Say what you want, AT&T coverage is only in large cities and fewer smaller areas than Verizon. That's fact, and they continually lie about it.
      Maybe you should re watch the map commercial with Luke Wilson because I didn't hear anything about 3G coverage area, just regular coverage area in it. That's the example you were using to say how crappy they are. And you don't have to write a whole thesis to reply lol, we're just having a meaningless discussion.
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      That's not even AT&T coverage, it's roaming 100%.
    1. jpeepers's Avatar
      jpeepers -
      They get my vote for worst coverage/service. I've never had worse service and coverage in my life!!! Can't wait till my contract is over so I can get away from AT&T.
      I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooo sick of daily dropped calls, static, no connection, etc., etc. It's aggravating to make a phone call because 6 out of 10 times it gets dropped. I'm done with them. If I didn't have 3 lines and have to pay early termination on all 3 I would drop them right this second.
      I live in a good sized city with 3g and full bars most of the time and still have unacceptable service. Every day I come closer and closer to throwing the damn phone out the window :ma.

      .
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL View Post
      That's not even AT&T coverage, it's roaming 100%.
      Who cares? You're still getting covered..I'm not with AT&T but I'm pretty sure that you don't have to pay for roaming with them. Correct me if I'm wrong.
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      Who cares? Try using one minute over half of what they allocate you every month. They'll release you of your service. Try using your iPhone to stream Youtube or Pandora/Slacker/XM/Rhapsody for more than a half hour and they'll charge you for overages AND cut you off. Not to mention you won't even KNOW you're roaming unless you look at a coverage map prior.
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      Maybe you should re watch the map commercial with Luke Wilson because I didn't hear anything about 3G coverage area, just regular coverage area in it. That's the example you were using to say how crappy they are. And you don't have to write a whole thesis to reply lol, we're just having a meaningless discussion.
      It was a response ad to the Verizon 3G map for that ads, and they explicitly stated that Verizons 3G coverage was vastly superior coverage-wise than AT&Ts. They completely ignored the jab about 3G service because they have no answer, and in fact their answer was a commercial touting their nationwide coverage and not mentioning it wasn't 3G just slow *** EDGE. So Verizon stated facts by outright saying what the difference was, and AT&T responded by suing them and then hiring an actor to talk about their overall coverage and not stating it was their slower network coverage combined with roaming. One was fact and the other was misdirection and half truth. See the difference and the overall lie AT&T has come out with?

      Their coverage is garbage, end of story. Even if you live in a bigger city like New York, the coverage is famous for being below subpar. AT&T has no factual comeback, and since they think their customers are too stupid to realize in both print and spoken words that Verizon was talking solely about 3G coverage, they create an ad ignoring the problem and talk to their customers like they are too stupid to get the difference. They even sued them and retracted the lawsuit because it made them out to be the truly stupid company they are. I'm getting really tired of sitting at work and seeing all the Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile customers getting great coverage inside an aircraft hangar, while I have to step outside to even make the 'No Service' crap go away and be replaced with 2 bars max and no data. I signed a contract for cell service, not cell service 60% of the time. If it weren't for the ETF, I'd be long gone from AT&T.

      Sorry about the long replies, but that's how I am. If you don't want to read it I get it.

      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      Who cares? You're still getting covered..I'm not with AT&T but I'm pretty sure that you don't have to pay for roaming with them. Correct me if I'm wrong.
      The point is they boast about it and the money you pay them for service isn't even covered by them, it's a roaming area. Do you not care that you spend money on a company that doesn't actively support it's customers? I sure do. If I'm paying a bill, the recipient better do what right and actively take care of the customer. And AT&T will absolutely rape you with roaming charges, there's even a setting on the iPhone for it.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      Quote Originally Posted by GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL View Post
      Who cares? Try using one minute over half of what they allocate you every month. They'll release you of your service. Try using your iPhone to stream Youtube or Pandora/Slacker/XM/Rhapsody for more than a half hour and they'll charge you for overages AND cut you off. Not to mention you won't even KNOW you're roaming unless you look at a coverage map prior.

      i stream pandora, youtube all the time no overages no cutoffs no extra charges. i think maybe it has something to do with the fact that i literally have over 3,000 rollover minutes. do you get rollover minutes there with your network?
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Quote Originally Posted by rhekt View Post
      i stream pandora, youtube all the time no overages no cutoffs no extra charges. i think maybe it has something to do with the fact that i literally have over 3,000 rollover minutes. do you get rollover minutes there with your network?
      That has absolutely nothing to do with roaming data. Voice minutes aren't used when you stream data like using YouTube and Pandora. When you are roaming and using data to access those services you get charged for roaming data charges, not dipping into your rollover voice minutes.
    1. cbx133's Avatar
      cbx133 -
      I guess this is one of the discussions that are important to research before investing in a long term contract with someone. I had T-Mobile in Phx, AZ and it was basically piss-poor at the very best. Lose service constantly even outside and inside building was horrible. My buddy just got a cliq, and loses 3g Reception only 15 feet into a building at work. I switched to AT&T and have 5 Bars everywhere I go, no dropped calls, crystal call quality(with no more reverb/echo) compared to T-mobile and 1-1.8Mb 3G all damn day. Inside a auto shop made of concrete T-mobile-0 Bars, AT&T-5.

      Anyways guess it just depends where you live because AT&T sucks some places and flourishes others. It's a shame because if it worked everywhere like it does here it would be top notch. They def need to get to friggin work on spending all this iPhone revenue lol.
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      Rollover? Surely you jest. I've never needed more minutes than what I have been allocated, I haven't paid one red cent in overage charges. That's with Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. All of them don't have rollover, I wonder how millions of others live without it?
      Who was even talking about Rollover, I said DATA Roaming.

      AT&T is hardly all the rage in Phoenix. I'm glad you get service in your part of town but I can find you someone else with a totally different experience.
    1. cbx133's Avatar
      cbx133 -
      Quote Originally Posted by GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL View Post
      Rollover? Surely you jest. I've never needed more minutes than what I have been allocated, I haven't paid one red cent in overage charges. That's with Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. All of them don't have rollover, I wonder how millions of others live without it?
      Who was even talking about Rollover, I said DATA Roaming.

      AT&T is hardly all the rage in Phoenix. I'm glad you get service in your part of town but seriously, I can find you someone else with a totally different experience.
      Hell I can find anyone on any carrier with bad/good experiences. While everyone is hating on AT&T I added in that I have flawless coverage in all of the west valley, downtown, north phoenix and mesa/tempe. WAYY more then I can say of my 9 years with Voicestream/T-mobile. Just my personal experience..
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by battlecrushr View Post
      lol me 2
      If you can get those transfer rates in the USA you must be the only one.
      Luckily I live in a civilised country
    1. LanCo Rider's Avatar
      LanCo Rider -
      Quote Originally Posted by KartRacer View Post
      Does the name Philadelphia not mean anything to you? Do you not comprehend what you said? You live near a major US city. Jesus Christ, it's like talking to a wall. The reason you have 3G there and in Lancaster because you live where I would guess that alot of people that work in Philly live. Philly iteslf has 1.5 million residents, in the urban areas around it, usually about an hours or so drive outside any big city, the population is almost 5.5 million. Lancaster has over half a million. My point is proven yet again. I live less than 45 minutes from a major US port for cripes sake and we don't have 3g in a county of 150k+ people. Are either of you capable of basic comprehension and possess basic reading skills? Because it sure doesn't seem that way. Living within 70 miles of a city that it's residents live pretty close by, it shouldn't be hard to understand why you have 3G.

      And it wasn't a competitor sending out postcards, it was in a frickin AT&T commercial talking about where they had 3G coverage by throwing postcards at the cities that have it. Amazes me that you call BS on my points when you have no clue what you are talking about in the first place. Their own map shows zero 3G coverage in the whole state of Montana as you can see below. I know it's updated because they show the recently expanded coverage into Macon GA.
      lmao... You sure are passionate about your cellular knowledge.

      What a bitter, sad man you are.


      Have a great day!
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by KartRacer View Post
      It was a response ad to the Verizon 3G map for that ads, and they explicitly stated that Verizons 3G coverage was vastly superior coverage-wise than AT&Ts. They completely ignored the jab about 3G service because they have no answer, and in fact their answer was a commercial touting their nationwide coverage and not mentioning it wasn't 3G just slow *** EDGE. So Verizon stated facts by outright saying what the difference was, and AT&T responded by suing them and then hiring an actor to talk about their overall coverage and not stating it was their slower network coverage combined with roaming. One was fact and the other was misdirection and half truth. See the difference and the overall lie AT&T has come out with?

      Their coverage is garbage, end of story. Even if you live in a bigger city like New York, the coverage is famous for being below subpar. AT&T has no factual comeback, and since they think their customers are too stupid to realize in both print and spoken words that Verizon was talking solely about 3G coverage, they create an ad ignoring the problem and talk to their customers like they are too stupid to get the difference. They even sued them and retracted the lawsuit because it made them out to be the truly stupid company they are. I'm getting really tired of sitting at work and seeing all the Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile customers getting great coverage inside an aircraft hangar, while I have to step outside to even make the 'No Service' crap go away and be replaced with 2 bars max and no data. I signed a contract for cell service, not cell service 60% of the time. If it weren't for the ETF, I'd be long gone from AT&T.

      Sorry about the long replies, but that's how I am. If you don't want to read it I get it.



      The point is they boast about it and the money you pay them for service isn't even covered by them, it's a roaming area. Do you not care that you spend money on a company that doesn't actively support it's customers? I sure do. If I'm paying a bill, the recipient better do what right and actively take care of the customer. And AT&T will absolutely rape you with roaming charges, there's even a setting on the iPhone for it.
      Hey I completely agree with you on the customer service part! All my friends that have At&t absolutely hate their CS with a passion! I'm with T-Mobile which is alright all around, but compared to At&t's customer service it's like a breath of fresh air lol. I just don't think their service coverage is terrible, my friends with At&t seem to get better reception in more places then I do. I understand that because I live in Utah I'm not going to get the best coverage area like they have in the East, but idk, it would be nice if T-Mobile covered as much as At&t out here.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      The /only/ issue I have with AT&T is their Tech department. They aren't very tech minded.

      I will never leave AT&T. Believe all the coverage maps you want. AT&T has me covered everywhere I travel.

      The /only/ issue I have with AT&T is their Tech department. They aren't very tech minded.

      I will never leave AT&T. Believe all the coverage maps you want. AT&T has me covered everywhere I travel.
    1. bengo's Avatar
      bengo -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Wow! I get between 1 ans 2 Mb / s when tethering on my iPhone with T-Mobile.
      Yeah, 1Mbps is 125KB/s ... your point?
    1. i007's Avatar
      i007 -
      ATT sucks!!!! I love my iPhone, but I can't use it as a phone!!!! What the !!??? I try to make a call and I get the good ol "Call Failed" crap.... I call ATT and they say this: "Sir, your phone is a computer, and as with all computers, it must be rebooted at least once per day. To reboot, hold down the power button....blah blah blah!!!"

      Can you believe that horse sh$t?!

      I pray for the day Verizon gets the iPhone, I'll be telling ATT to shove it!
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      Hey I completely agree with you on the customer service part! All my friends that have At&t absolutely hate their CS with a passion! I'm with T-Mobile which is alright all around, but compared to At&t's customer service it's like a breath of fresh air lol. I just don't think their service coverage is terrible, my friends with At&t seem to get better reception in more places then I do. I understand that because I live in Utah I'm not going to get the best coverage area like they have in the East, but idk, it would be nice if T-Mobile covered as much as At&t out here.
      My experience with CS has always been fantastic. They are always friendly and very helpful. Even took less than five minutes to get them to send me a new sim card to try and fix the problem with not having any signal. I guess we're opposites, I love the CS but hate the coverage!