Consumer Reports: AT&T is The Worst Carrier in The U.S Again

Consumer Reports, a popular product review and comparison magazine released the results of a survey in which readers in the US were asked to grade their carrier on several criteria such as value, voice service quality, data service quality and customer support.

According to the survey of 66,000 readers, AT&T is the worst carrier in the US again.

Consumer Reports had this to say on their blog while announcing the results of the survey:

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. 

AT&T hasn’t commented so far on Consumer Reports findings, but here is their statement from last year:

We take this seriously and we continually look for new ways to improve the customer experience. The fact is wireless customers have choices and a record number of them chose AT&T in the third quarter, significantly more than our competitors. Hard data from independent drive tests confirms AT&T has the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network with our nearest competitor 20 percent slower on average nationwide and our largest competitor 60 percent slower on average nationwide. And, our dropped call rate is within 1/10 of a percent – the equivalent of just one call in a thousand – of the industry leader.

We don’t expect AT&T to say anything different this year. However, this time around if AT&T doesn’t work hard to  doesn’t improve the customer experience, iPhone customers have the option to opt for Sprint and Verizon who have also started offering Apple’s new iPhone along with AT&T.

What has been your experience? Has AT&T’s service improved in the last one year? Let us know in the comments.

[via Consumer Reports]

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    • @iTaos

      If you don’t like it wouldn’t be a downgrade and not an upgrade?:P

  • Crystal Suen

    AT&T has better voice quality and reception than T-Mobile, but AT&T by far has the worst customer service over the phone that I have ever experienced.

    • RF

      I will be switching to Verizon or sprint after my contract ends with AT&T since they all carry the iPhone now. Screw AT&T, they sent me an email stating how they are going to throttle my data once I hit te top 5 percent. I pay for unlimited plan and I should get unlimited data. I don’t tether or anything like that.

      • Have Fun with that

        Verizon is gonna throttle yo ass just the same foo…

      • boomerang

        Verizon throttling data also. Sprint worst than throttle, their data sucks real bad, so even the throttling of AT&T and Verizon is faster than sprint data. So where u gonna go if throttling data is a big concern to u?

    • REALLY???

      AT&T and T-mo use the same technology; that is to say, there is no difference in voice quality.

  • Bullfrog

    Never had even 1 dropped call with AT&T. All the other carriers in my area are horrible. However, AT&T are “GREETY ASS”.

  • Jon Brieck

    I’ve had AT&T for the better part of 8 years. I live in northeast Ohio and I can say I’ve beat all my friends with data speeds as well as over all coverage. My only con I have with AT&T is unlimited data. But people in hell also want ice water.

  • KS

    AT&T actually got worst in the past year. I am an iPhone user in NYC and recently switch from AT&T to Verizon because of the poor service. My experience with Verizon so far has been fabulous and the only advantage AT&T has over Verizon is “Talk & Surf”.

  • Freddieboy

    I think that American mobile customers are not getting value for money
    The three network here in the UK offers unlimited data (no fair use policy)
    Plus tethering at no extra charge for £24.99 a month

    • Imhappy

      Ive been with AT&T since cellular came out around 21 years now I think. My first phone was a bag phone. Yes I have some dropped calls but that has a lot to do with typs of interferences in a particular area. As for Coustomer service they have always treated me fantasticly I have never had any trouble getting things corrected to my satisfaction and most of the time even better than expected. They are expensive but most carriers are comparable in price although T- mobles $45.00 unlimited offer is the Best deal out there but I’m happy.

  • Richard

    Freddie: That’s because in the UK you still have a choice. The phone system in the US is so corrupt they need all the extra money to pay bribes to the politicians so the laws will be favorable to the corporations. But they make up for it by telling us how FREE we are. Same with Healthcare.

    • Valdimir

      Like richard Comment! So true…

    • Leon

      Totally agree – have 10 pages to add – latter 😉

      • Mac

        I agree with you 100% !!!!! and the money they get from bribery they spend
        it on strip clubs!!!!

        • big richard

          Looks like we need to get into the strip club business.

  • Mac

    I will be switching to sprint.AT&T are big
    time cheaters they lie on the bill every month
    they have new tax charges and fed is doing
    nothing !!!! my best phone company is metro
    pcs I wish they have iPhone .

    • OGT

      Metro Piece Of Sh!t???? Ja ja ja ja ja ja… That company is the Worst of the Worst…!

  • Ttonny

    I have AT$T and my iPhone drop calls at least 3 times a month! Their tech support don’t give sh*t about customer experience when i call to complain. They allow you to unlock most phones but not the iPhone even after your contract is up. Verizon and Sprint now allow unlock of the iPhone after 90 days. Screw att. I hope the gov’t reject the merger with tmo. Hopefully Apple include Tmo on the iPhone 5.

  • Agree, specially, I should call couple of time to make an international call.

  • Jason

    AT&T just throttled my speed to 10kps. But that seams to be a growing trend.

  • Nephariouz

    I’ll take AT&T over Verizon any day!
    At least AT&T won’t repetitively threaten to sue me for $500 that I never owed them. Can’t say the same for Verizon.
    Besides, I like my unlimited data! 😉

  • Nosferatu

    I’ve found AT&T got better during the 2 years I’ve had the iPhone. Now I’m enjoying the “extended backhaul” (pseudo 4G) with my Android device and it moves quite nicely. Best I saw was 8.6Mbit down with an average of around 3-4Mbit. No complaints from them. There’s one or two crappy spots I’ve found here and there but blows Sprint out of the water. VZW has their LTE which AT&T doesn’t hold a candle to yet but unless your grandfathered in on an unlimited plan what’s the point of having 20-40Mbit you’ll blow 2GB in under an hour at that speed.

  • fas

    So Sprint and Verizon have something to talk about in their ads now.

  • Killa B

    ATT RULES!!!!!

  • CMIK3

    I had AT&T for nearly 4 years w/a grand fathered plan & I just switched to SPRINT. I’m a retired veteran & was never offered any discounts through AT&T even though supposedly they do give military discounts. Sprint, though slower data speeds, bought back my old iPhone 3GS & gave me my long deserved military discount. Dropping my bill from $100/month to $69/month. Happier now

  • Conquest

    I will get unlock iPhone 5 on tmobile next year.

  • Wh1stl3bl0w3r

    I work in a retail AT&T store and believe me when I say I’m far from a disgruntle employee. That being said, after coming in last on the consumer report of 2010, the company went on the HUGE campaign to “WOW the customer”in 2011, meaning we’re supposed to just blow the customer’s mind with the service from the time they walk in to the store until the time they leave the store. We are even forced to wear orange wristbands engraved with the word “EXTRAORDINARY” as a reminder for us to give the customer an extraordinary experience. There was an eight hour training class on how to be nice to the customer. The “powers that be” came up with this script we have to use to greet the customer. If you didn’t use the script then disciplinary actions are taken. A few months later, they created a script that must be recited when we have finished helping the customer. If not recited, then disciplinary action is taken. There are about 8 products that we HAVE TO offer to a customer or disciplinary actions are taken. After the 2011 consumer report comes out a few days ago, the Director of Sales for our region starts making store visits. He makes his way to my store and observes everyone for about 2 hours. A couple of days later, there’s a mandatory meeting at which the store manager tells us the DOS was very upset because he did not hear us greeting the customer properly (although it was warm and friendly). We were not reciting the script word for word, which is “Welcome to AT&T. My name is ___. What brings you into the store today?”After the customer tells us what they need, then we say “I can help you with that.” He observed some saying, “Hello. Welcome to AT&T. My name is ___. What can we do for you today?” or some other similar variation with the same affect. The manager tells us that the DOS does not want any “ad libbing or freestyling” when it comes to the greeting. So from that moment forward the DOS does not want us to say “Hello, Good morning, Good afternoon, good evening, how are you doing?” or anything of the sort. When a customer walks into the store, we are to JUST say “Welcome to AT&T. My name is ___. What brings you into the store today?” After we find out, then “I can help you with that.” That was the craziest thing I have ever heard! We cannot say hello! If we do then we get written up. My point in all of this is that this guy thought THAT was the problem for failing on the report….because we weren’t reciting a script word for word and because we were adding “Hello’!

    There’s a saying that some people are SO smart, but they lack common sense. AT&T thinks they are geniuses and if they get a few big wigs in a room, then they can come up with a formula for making their customers happy. They fail to realize that ALL IT TAKES IS COMMON SENSE. Listen the the customer! Its not rocket science. They have turned all of their sales reps into robots and puppets. There is NOTHING personable about how an AT&T sales rep deals with a customer now. We must follow their formula “or else.” AT&T has created a formula that gives them control of every aspect of the sales pitch and conversation with the customer. Where we, as sales rep, see average people like ourselves who just want to buy one thing and is telling us they ONLY can afford one thing, AT&T sees numbers and dollar signs. “Everyone that walks in the door is potential money.”

    I predict AT&T will fail the report again next year because they honestly feel that their sales reps are the problem. They fail to realize that THE CUSTOMERS ARE ALREADY ANGRY WHEN THEY WALK IN THE DOOR. It’s not the reps they have a problem with. We are just the messengers. THE CUSTOMERS DON’T LIKE THE MESSAGE (products, services, etc.). So if you want to change people’s opinion of your company CHANGE THE MESSAGE and quit acting like you’re still the top dog on the block. People now have other viable options when it comes to cell phone service. So ignoring a problem and/or taking your sweet time to fix it is just pissing the customers off and forcing them to leave for other carriers. Hell, as an employee, I get 50% off my cell service every month, but I’ve been seriously think of switching my service to Verizon, because I’ve been having so much trouble with them as a consumer. I’m willing to forfeit my discount so I don’t have to put up with their horrible consumer outlook. Open your eyes AT&T and quit trying to Jedi mind trick me into believing I’m the problem. You’re the problem. Your service is the problem. The way you treat customers is the problem. The way you force your employees to treat customers is the problem. If you don’t change then I’ll just see you on another article titled and reading the same thing as this one in 2012.

    • Eduardo

      Wow man I had no idea that’s how you guys handled things. Now it makes sense when I do visit At&T stores. They need to replace the current big bosses with those who KNOW what the problem REALLY is. And this goes for EVERY job out there. They blame their employees for THEIR failures and then we the employees feel like shit and perhaps end up quitting. Pathetic. I still love At&t service far better than Sprint’s crappy service. Hell Sprint is giving me problems anyways so I’ll close their account with them once I pay off what I own.

      I don’t have problems with AT&T as of yet (knock on wood). No carrier is perfect but I just hate when a particular carrier is hated upon like no tomorrow. I hear mad hate on AT&T but yet I hear a lot more of “Verizon sucks” or “Sprint connection is horrible/they charge for every stupid crap” or “T-Mobile is horrible service”. Regardless if a carrier is good for you and you have no problems with them stay with them. If not there are other carriers you can check out for yourself and see if they are good for you.