Poor AT&T. This is the second year in a row in which Ma Bell has been tossed under the knife with other carriers and came out dead last in terms of customer satisfaction. The survey, taken by Consumer Reports,  examines voice, data, text messaging services, and customer care; the biggest hit came from... can you guess?... voice. Phone-based customer care also helped the company to achieve its bottom-tier ranking.

Surprisingly, the top position is held by regional-based carrier Consumer Cellular, a provider that, ironically enough, runs off of AT&T's network and focuses on senior citizens. Next in line was U.S. Cellular, followed closely by Credo, a small carrier that utilizes Sprint's network to do its bidding.

As far as the Big Four are concerned, VZW took the top spot; Sprint and T-Mo followed close behind.


Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Steven

    Might be a little biased with the senior citizen oriented phone network coming in first place. I'm not trying to defend other networks or anything, I would just think that senior citizens might think their network is fine even if it is lacking. I know my grandparents who are in their 80s are completely satisfied with their Virgin Mobile service even though their phone is obviously defective (flip phone with inside screen not working and you have to battery pull it almost every day to get it unfrozen).

    I would take the small companies ratings with a grain of salt. Though AT&T in my area has the worst call quality/dropping issues and also mediocre customer service so I would agree it is the worst of the major four carriers in America (I have used them all extensively in the suburbs of Philadelphia). (To be fair AT&T has better coverage than Sprint/T-Mobile but they were more reliable when having coverage)

    • railgeek

      Well said, Steven.
      I think that it is difficult to get objectivity from those that don't always under stand the technology. That being said, Consumer Cellular was pretty smart catering to that age group. As long as they were willing to do the extra help, which seniors often need, they can get them on a phone.
      But as your said, it's hard to get an objective opinion from someone that doesn't understand what CAN be done.

  • mastermind26

    Another reason why ATT is whining about merging.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ScottColbert Scott

    Hard to believe AT&T was rated worse than Sprint-the worst, slowest, and most incompetent CS I've ever dealt with.

    • Aaron

      I have had Sprint for years, and have never had a problem with them. My only gripe with Sprint is their getting rid of the Premier program. Their data runs fast for me, and I've never had problems with calls or texts or any of that cal.

      But not getting the Galaxy Nexus first kind of sucks. But they never get anything first.

      • http://www.twitter.com/ScottColbert Scott

        I've had them twice actually: the first time was about 10 years ago, and then about 8 years ago I gave them another try, and still had dropped calls, but added, slow speeds, texts that don't get sent or received, outages etc. I live in Phoenix, and have Sprint towers surrounding me, yet on a good day, get less than a 256kbps d/l during peak and maybe...maybe, 500kbps late at night. For an entire year all I got when calling customer service was they were "working" on the towers.

        I liked Sprint''s prices, but paid the ETF and went elsewhere, and haven't regretted it since. For those who have good service, I'm happy for them, but my experience has been awful.

        • Freak4Dell

          Same here...Sprint's network has gone down the drain over the past year. I'll be switching within the next 2 weeks. Haven't decided where I'm going...conflicted between AT&T and Verizon.

        • http://www.twitter.com/ScottColbert Scott

          1. I meant 3 years ago when I tried again, not 8.

          2. Freak I went with Verizon, and been very happy with them so far.

      • JohnK

        Not true, they got the pre classic first.

  • J Rush

    I guess it all depends on your experience with the company. I've never had a dropped call, never lost service (I have HSPA+ connection where I live), and when I call for help it's always quick, speedy, and helpful. I can't say they're the worst or best. But what I can say is this: I'll be with AT&T for a good long while. I'm a satisfied customer.

  • Ryan

    Love the Title !!! About time peeps are honest

  • http://gthing.net Sam

    AT&T used to be great. Then one day they got the iPhone and they stopped caring about customers and their service stopped working so great.

    After repeated problems with their new "we don't care because we have the iPhone so f--- you" attitude, I decided to cancel.

    I told the rep that as soon as someone else got the iPhone they'd see an exodus because AT&T was putting no effort into being nice to customers anymore and that when that day came I'd laugh about it.

    Now I feel bad, but I feel like I need to keep up my end of the bargain.


    • Freak4Dell

      To be fair, that attitude seems to be pre-packaged with the bulk iPhone pallets. Sprint got that exact same attitude the minute they found out they were finally getting that thing.

  • JohnK

    It's about time someone figured out that at&t is the worst carrier in the cell biz. As a truckers that drives all over the s.e. USA I have very little problem with them but the friends I have on at&t have nothing but complaints.
    My sister lives in the s.f. area and she tells me the same thing about her area and her friends on at&t. Her pre classic before and now her EVO blows those at&t iphones away so from coast to coast sprint is better in signal and customer service.

  • http://mgamerzproductions.com Mgamerz

    I have an atrix on AT&T and I can attest that their data speeds REALLY suck. They are pretty good at web browsing, but switching between wifi and cell is impossible, and don't even get me started on crowded areas like my college's stadium. I don't get service at all within like a 1 mile radius.

  • Michael

    if they would get better CS Reps and offer Unlimited Data They could have a bigger chance

  • Andrew – Des Moines

    I was on Verizon for several years before switching to AT&T. It was an excellent decision: lower bills, $15 data packages, the best GSII of all the carriers. I actually get coverage in areas I did not with Verizon. I think there are just more iPhone owners on AT&T who like to complain in general.

  • Kid Crew

    Weird I've had them all cept T-mobile and I like At&t the most...then again I used to have a few phone when Cingular existed, and on with them so I still have my Cingular plan...I just cus em about how they treat customers when I feel neglected(got 2 months money back once too).

  • http://verb0ze.net verboze

    Yeah, that's why I'm glad I left them soon as my iPhone contract ran out. The iPhone wasn't worth the headache it took dealing with their CSRs, and incidentally, I stumbled onto a better platform along the way :)

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

    Clearly it's a matter of coincidental experience, but more significantly it's a matter of where their sampling of people came from.

    I live in Oregon now, I lived in Las Vegas a couple years ago, and as a software development consultant I travel around quite a bit...Right now, AT&T is the only carrier that covers my home well, but I've had great service from almost anyplace I've lived or traveled. The one and only place I've had bad service is in San Francisco area.

    My feeling is that these surveys which always trash AT&T are probably done primarily with people in the San Francisco/Bay Area, New York, Boston, and a couple of other cities famous for bad AT&T service. By contrast, I know EXACTLY ONE person happy with Verizon service in this area.

    As far as customer service goes, I've heard similar stories from almost everybody, though I've heard the most egregious stories from Verizon customers.

  • http://lovepeacestudios.blogspot.com Love Peace Studios

    I've never experienced being on their network but from the looks of it, it sucks big time (reading forums etc). Is it because that they are serving a lot of customers or their radio frequency is different? (I'm from Singapore).

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bRvRFmRPHI&context=C3c5824fADOEgsToPDskJdFGcalGIO11XuFt-DtTgn Steven Junkersfeld

    AT&T dropped my 911 call 12 times, and they won't take responsibility nor will they even help me. They shoo me off and blame Apple. My phone works fine, the service just stopped gapped and shut down.

    Watch my youtube video! I want something done about this!


  • The Tall Man

    I've used all of the major carriers at one time or another, and basically they fall into two categories: Verizon and Everything Else.

    at&t is by far the worst, though. My company switched our mobile phones to them after we complained about our Nextel service, and I ended up uttering three words I thought I'd never speak: "worse than Nextel."

    For my personal phone, I ended up with Verizon about thirteen years ago. I can honestly say that in all that time, I dropped fewer calls cumulatively than I did with at&t EVERY DAY BEFORE NOON.

    Our company finally switched to Verizon, and the difference is night and day. The only thing is that I keep forgetting that I no longer have to go outside and find an elevated location to make a phone call.

  • Marz

    I never have internet connection.  When I do, it is so slow that it's excruciating to use.  This happened after my father decided to switch me from the unlimited data plan to the 2 gig a month plan to save me a whopping $5.  I tried to go back and AT&T refused to give me my unlimited plan back.  I cannot wait until my contract is up.  ACK!

  • attvictim

    Do NOT buy ATT mobile phone service. I did and I am sorry. I am going on vacation outside of US. ATT gives me 3 choice. First to pay ATT $120 for data which I expect about 500MBytes for driving and using google maps to get around. My second choice is to switch to different company bc the %$#** ATT is making it hard for me unlock the phone. My third choice is to delay my vacation for one year so at that time ATT tech support tells me they can unlock the phone. WTF. When I come back, so long ATT, hello Verizon, T-Mobile or anything.