AT&T Ranked Worst Cellphone Service Provider

Dennis Faas's picture

The iPhone may be a runaway favorite within the burgeoning smartphone market, but that doesn't mean its exclusive provider, AT&T, is beloved by users of the popular Apple handheld.

According to a recent study by Consumer Reports, AT&T Inc. is the lowest-ranking major cellphone service provider in the United States.

The study is based on a poll of 58,000 subscribers and involved a total of five providers. Collectively, they ranked U.S. Cellular, a regional carrier in 26 mostly southern and western states, the best provider. That means last year's winner, Verizon Wireless, was bumped down to second, just above Sprint.

Rounding out the top five was T-Mobile in fourth, followed by lowly AT&T. Respondents slammed T-Mobile for its service, but it ranked highest for customer support.

Anger Over Service Could Soon Hurt AT&T

More than half of the AT&T subscribers who participated in the poll said they owned iPhones. AT&T remains the exclusive provider for the iPhone, but that could soon change.

"Our survey suggests that an iPhone from Verizon Wireless, which is rumored, could indeed be good news for iPhone fans," noted Consumer Reports' electronics editor, Paul Reynolds. (Source:

AT&T says it won't ignore the study, and promises to improve its service. "We take this seriously, and we continually look for new ways to improve the customer experience," the company said in a recent statement.

However, AT&T also pointed to a study from analysts Global Wireless Solutions Inc. that last month showed its service to be considerably faster than competitor Verizon.

Complaints Nothing New

It's not likely that iPhone users are surprised by Consumer Reports' findings. A year ago, many of them participated in Operation Chokehold, a plan to unravel the AT&T network by having as many people use data intensive applications over the course of a designated hour. (Source:

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