Verizon Wireless Tops, Sprint Next, AT&T Worst, Small Best Carriers & $ Saving Tips

Consumer Reports readers were polled and rated wireless carriers.  CR also offers tips for saving money on your cell phone bill.  Consumer Reports subscribers rate carriers differently than the tech press does.  The consumers are able to rate, "value," "voice", "texting," "data",  "staff knowledge" and "issue resolved" which effect customer satisfaction. 

Verizon and Sprint were the better-rated  national carriers. Verizon had an edge over Sprint in texting and in knowledgeable support staff, but Sprint rated better in value. T-Mobile was below Verizon and Sprint but continued to rate significantly better than  AT&T.

When it comes to cell-phone carriers smaller may be better, according to a new satisfaction survey of Consumer Reports online subscribers. At the top of the Ratings for standard service providers were Consumer Cellular(87), a national carrier that uses AT&T's network, and U.S. Cellular(84), which operates in just over half the United States.  These companies tend to launch top-of-the-line smartphone models later than the major carriers.
Credo(78), which offers service to much of the country on Sprint's network(72), also bested Verizon(73) and Sprint(72). AT&T, America's second-largest carrier, again found itself at the bottom of the rating with a score of 59 while T-Mobile was rated 67.
Money Saving Tips:

Bypassing the carrier and using third-party services for texting and voice calls can be a real money-saver. New apps such as Heywire and TigerText let you send text messages for free over your data connection. With most carriers, that means you won't have to pay 10 cents per text or $5 to $30 a month for limited-to-unlimited messaging plans.

Max out on Wi-Fi. Consumers should avoid using their plan's allotment of data by tapping into the rising number of Wi-Fi networks that are available. Those who own 4G phones should set them to connect only to 3G whenever its adequate such as when texting or streaming music.

The full report features carrier ratings in 22 metropolitan markets and can be found in the January 2012 issue of Consumer Reports and at .  We have been examining how Consumer Reports rated the top smarpthones of the year for T-Mobile, AT&TSprint, and will cover Verizon Wireless, soon while compiling our top ten best smartphones of the year report.

3 thoughts on “Verizon Wireless Tops, Sprint Next, AT&T Worst, Small Best Carriers & $ Saving Tips”

  1. Verizon has gotten worse in their charges from phones to ipads/tablets.
    they OVER charge all of their customers and make sure you pay no matter what.

  2. These findings clearly highlight the importance of delivering superior customer service, as it was one of the two major categories used to rank the wireless operators. For customer care, this was then further evaluated by: phone support, staff knowledge, and issues resolved. Another way of saying it is that while value of the service and voice quality remain important criteria, 5 of the 7 criteria used fall under the category of Customer Support.

    This comes as no surprise, as the recent Echo Research survey, conducted on behalf of SpeechCycle ( further highlights the impact poor customer service has on customer retention, willingness to spend additional money on the provider, and whether they would recommend that provider to others. To improve customer satisfaction, service providers need to meet consumers on their mobile devices as an interaction channel, but also enable seamless transition to other channels such as Web and live-agent.

  3. To further what Scott states: Ironically Tracfone wireless scored very highly with consumers, even though it makes great big use of AT&T's networks - the same network that cause so much discontent amongst consumers. To even further this irony, tracfone's dedicated service to seniors who want prepaid wireless, they almost exclusively make use of AT&T's network for the seniorservice, and still, the most critical of demographic sector, pass tracfone off to be a great product. Don't you love the irony?

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