AT&T rated the worst carrier, again

AT&T has been crowned the worst carrier in the United States for a second year in a row. Last December we reported that AT&T ranked the lowest in every category, and not much has changed since then.

Consumer Reports tested all the carriers in the United States, and based on a survey of 58,000 individuals, AT&T ranked the lowest in every category. Over half of the people who responded to the survey who used AT&T, use some variation of the iPhone.

Currently, AT&T is the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the United States. It doesn't help that the iPhone 4 was plagued with reception issues, dubbed 'antennagate', where the phones signal would drop when held in a specific way.

Fortune has recently confirmed that the iPhone will be coming to Verizon in early 2011. Verizon placed second to U.S. Cellular for top rated carrier in the United States, which could mean a big shift of consumers who will opt for another carrier for the iPhone. Verizon was also reported to be paying a large sum of cash to prevent Sprint and T-Mobile from getting the iPhone.

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I used to love AT&T. Lately though I've stopped getting good reception where I live where I used to get perfect signal. According to the AT&T techs all of the towers are operating normally and they're not sure what the problem is. I'm having this issue with several different phones. HOWEVER...they were the only company that had deals with companies in Iraq so I could send text messages home while I was deployed.

AT&T is a terrible business. They left their network suck, and lost trust of their Iphone-subscribers, and as soon as Iphone hits Verizon, they will switch and AT&T will have nobody on their puny network.

All of my supposed ATT issues went away when I got rid of my iPhone 3GS, first for a Samsung Captivate and now for a Samsung Focus. No coverage issues, no dropped calls, excellent overall service.

I have had AT&T since 2001. Never had any real issues. When they became Cingular they had bad customer service on the phone but was fine in store. I live in Northern NJ (using Razr's them Blackberries) and the only time I didn't/don't get proper service is when I go to a show at Madison Square Garden or at the Prudential Center. It seems to me the Towers get oveloaded when everyone whips out their phones to entertain themselves and it collapses the network. Other than that its always fine, but i think here in Northern NJ every carrier works pretty great.

i live in Minnesota on HWY 48 zip coda 55037 and never had a problem with ATT. plus i live way out in the country side, sticks that is. on the rez.

OgamaWab said,
i live in Minnesota on HWY 48 zip coda 55037 and never had a problem with ATT. plus i live way out in the country side, sticks that is. on the rez.

It varies. I live up near Thief River Falls and it's pretty crappy here.

Where i live ATT service isnt bad but not really great either. Sprint and Verizon and Tmobile have best service here. I would never go to ATT or Verizon..why pay more beside Sprint is great imo.

I don't know. I switched from Verizon to Cingular back in 2005. I have yet to have any problematic billings, or my ability to receive incoming phone calls disabled. Yeah, I'll never go back to Verizon Wireless. Plus, AT&T provides faster data where I live.

The question I have is do these poll's factor in the amount of users?

Yes AT&T may suck but if 2/3 of those asked use AT&T the results might be a bit off.

I'm not surprised. We had BBs through AT&T for on call purposes and in Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs, they didn't work as well as my personal T-Mobile phone.

not to mention calls would disconnect when removing the phone from the holster, but I am assuming it is a BB issue.

I switched from Nextel to Cingular back in 2002. I have not had any major issues with AT&T. The issue was billing during the area code transition. AT&T stepped up and corrected it within 30days. They always seem to make it right, and provide good service. Regardless of my family having Iphones or any other phone, we get good service.

I'd bet the majority of problems people get are when they roam off AT&T network.

Personally, I'd love to see the results of this survey with New York City (and maybe Los Angeles) omitted. Those are two cities with huge populations, but with known problems for AT&T due to the sheer number of customers they have to service in a small geographic area. When you have that many people trying to access a necessarily small number of towers (since you simply can't put a cell tower on every city block), you are bound to have problems.

I have a feeling that if you mapped out the problem areas, they would exactly correspond to areas with incredibly high population densities.

BTW, I have had AT&T for about 5 years now, used several different smartphones from them and the only times anyone on my plan had troubles was when they used the iPhone. Apple's products are worthless and the people that continue to buy them, especially after experiencing major problems are fools. One poster said earlier that iPhone sales would quadruple if they were available on other carriers, I beg to differ. iPhone sales have taken a serous hit from android. Most newer android phones are far more powerfull and infinitely more flexible (and open source). Why anyone would buy an iPhone anymore is beyond me. Oh wait! They drank the kool-aid didn't they?

Why anyone has faith in Consumer Reports reviews or surveys I will never know. I work for a major electronics retailer and on many occasions I have seen people buy items based off of their reviews after I forewarned them about the known issues others have had with those products. Like sheep led to the slaughter. The funny part is most of the CR buyers end up returning what they purchased because of the same reasons I warned them about, then go on to buy again based off of a CR review. What a bunch of idiots.

I don't have a problem with AT&T as a service but the other things like getting rid of their unlimited data plan while the others are still offering it at this time really does hurt them.

It's so hard to please people these days. I'm sure all the flipping companies are the same as far as service goes. I dont see verizon being #2. My friend has the incredible htc and when I surf the web it feels like I'm on edge.

Quick Shot said,
It's so hard to please people these days. I'm sure all the flipping companies are the same as far as service goes. I dont see verizon being #2. My friend has the incredible htc and when I surf the web it feels like I'm on edge.

That's because you pretty much are. The 3G shows up at the top of the phone in a 3G-serviced area.

I am glad that AT&T is catching hell for this iPhone. Now that the iPhone is getting ready to spread over to other carriers, maybe AT&T will quit putting the iPhone as priority and pay attention to the rest of us who may have Windows Mobile, or Android phones. For far to long AT&T has ignored us for the iPhone for years. Glad it is coming to an end.

JSYOUNG571 said,
I am glad that AT&T is catching hell for this iPhone. Now that the iPhone is getting ready to spread over to other carriers, maybe AT&T will quit putting the iPhone as priority and pay attention to the rest of us who may have Windows Mobile, or Android phones. For far to long AT&T has ignored us for the iPhone for years. Glad it is coming to an end.

How exactly have they ignored you? Every improvement they make to their network to accomodate the iPhone applies equally well to WinMo, Android, or Blackberry smartphones as well. Their data plan pricing is exactly the same for all smartphones as well. So again, how exactly have you been "ignored"?

With Verizon getting the iPhone next year I think we'll see their rating go down like AT&T. People are very quick to blame the iPhone's problems on the carrier...

I've only had to call AT&T's customer service twice, but when I did I always got someone who spoke English and gave me great customer service. I let the reps know it, too. My coverage is great. In fact, many times I can get a call out in places where my Verizon buds can't. Guess it varies by area, but I don't know how they are being rated so poorly.

I've had AT&T (/cingular back then) since 2003. Aside from hefty feature charges, they've been pretty solid. They are the only provider that has coverage near my area, which happens to be highly populated.

The only gripe I've had is during events where the city is jammed packed, data speeds slow to a crawl or are completely inaccessible. Even those are few and far between.

I will have to say though that last year during CES in Vegas, it was ridiculous not being able to even send a text during peak hours, let alone access data because their network was so jammed. Hopefully this year it'll be different.

Blasius said,
I've had AT&T (/cingular back then) since 2003. Aside from hefty feature charges, they've been pretty solid. They are the only provider that has coverage near my area, which happens to be highly populated.

The only gripe I've had is during events where the city is jammed packed, data speeds slow to a crawl or are completely inaccessible. Even those are few and far between.

I will have to say though that last year during CES in Vegas, it was ridiculous not being able to even send a text during peak hours, let alone access data because their network was so jammed. Hopefully this year it'll be different.

I don't have that issue in my area but I do hope they get that fixed. Maybe they can boost it in other areas.

In other news they had upgraded the tower walking distance from my home to being 3G capable so I get 4-5 bar 3G out in the middle of amish country.

Verizon is doomed when they get the Iphone. A friend of mine switched to ATT from Verizon when the Iphone 3g was still the thing due to the fact the service on his phone would drop in an out from everyone and their mother having Verizon, can only imagine how worse it has gotten and how much worse it will get. I myself have ATT and have no major issues except with my phone itself but that is due to my poor care taking of the phone. I also wonder myself who could be top but I have a feeling it's Sprint which I couldn't see how, they aren't that great specially their customer service.

So we know who the worst carrier is, and the 2nd best carrier, but no info. on who's supposedly the best carrier? Considering there's no links to this Consumer Reports info., it'd be nice if we could see the whole list.

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Lets face it, if iPhone even come to Verizon, there will be people whining about how bad Verizon service is.

day2die said,
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Lets face it, if iPhone even come to Verizon, there will be people whining about how bad Verizon service is.

Yup!

day2die said,
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Lets face it, if iPhone even come to Verizon, there will be people whining about how bad Verizon service is.

Yup!

day2die said,
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Lets face it, if iPhone even come to Verizon, there will be people whining about how bad Verizon service is.


+1000

day2die said,
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Lets face it, if iPhone even come to Verizon, there will be people whining about how bad Verizon service is.

You're totally right

I've been with AT&T since 1999. Yeah, there's network burps here and there, but nothing that I have brought me up in arms. I'll stay with them.

Biotoxic_hazard_835 said,
No surprise there. It's been proved many times they have a terribly unreliable network and are quite pricey.

They are cheaper than other options I have been comparing (family plans...).

I have been on AT&T since Jan 2007 and haven't had any major problems (probably easy given that I live near Boston). I never understood what the fuss was about.

I have AT&T, and I have never had any problems. Always have 3G, can't remember the last time I dropped a call, what else is there to say?

Xeon said,
I have AT&T, and I have never had any problems. Always have 3G, can't remember the last time I dropped a call, what else is there to say?

I find it baffling also. I was an iPhone owner and on AT&T through the iPhone 4 but now am on T-Mobile which is utterly awful compared to AT&T. I used to travel for business with my trusty iPhone(s) always, and I was never roaming or out coverage/data - ever. With T-Mobile, I've actually been in places with no carrier watching people around me talking on their (probably AT&T) phones.

Xeon said,
I have AT&T, and I have never had any problems. Always have 3G, can't remember the last time I dropped a call, what else is there to say?

Same here. I've had a rare dropped call on my iPhone 3GS (or previous phones).

Xeon said,
I have AT&T, and I have never had any problems. Always have 3G, can't remember the last time I dropped a call, what else is there to say?

With you here as well. I've been with AT&T for 8 years. Never had any issues over those years. Heck, even with some erroneous data/txt charges years ago that I had, AT&T cleared them for me despite them being $250 in total costs.

Xeon said,
I have AT&T, and I have never had any problems. Always have 3G, can't remember the last time I dropped a call, what else is there to say?

I used to drop calls on my iPhone 3G. I think the worst part of iOS is its terrible phone functionality... The phones are bound to need restored after like 2 months... It starts with dropped calls, then you lose MMS functionality and then eventually you stop receiving text messages altogether... You take it to Apple and they tell you to restore it... I've worked with 5 iPhones total and also some iPod touches... The iPhones always start to have some problems with basic phone functionality...

Electric Jolt said,

I used to drop calls on my iPhone 3G. I think the worst part of iOS is its terrible phone functionality... The phones are bound to need restored after like 2 months... It starts with dropped calls, then you lose MMS functionality and then eventually you stop receiving text messages altogether... You take it to Apple and they tell you to restore it... I've worked with 5 iPhones total and also some iPod touches... The iPhones always start to have some problems with basic phone functionality...

iphone user, close to two years now, but never ever had any of the problems you described. May be I got lucky!

Xeon said,
I have AT&T, and I have never had any problems. Always have 3G, can't remember the last time I dropped a call, what else is there to say?
I switched to AT&T from Sprint a few years ago as I wanted the iPhone. I recently switched back to Sprint as I dropped 85-90% of my calls on AT&T (yes, I did about 50 time studies to prove that %) in the Kansas City metro area. I do agree that in some places AT&T is king, but not everywhere. So, while the survey is just that, a survey, I do think they hold some weight.

Electric Jolt said,

I used to drop calls on my iPhone 3G. I think the worst part of iOS is its terrible phone functionality... The phones are bound to need restored after like 2 months... It starts with dropped calls, then you lose MMS functionality and then eventually you stop receiving text messages altogether... You take it to Apple and they tell you to restore it... I've worked with 5 iPhones total and also some iPod touches... The iPhones always start to have some problems with basic phone functionality...

Uhhh..that is just you then. Been using iPhone for over 2 years. Early on, there were some freezing issues - but the iOS updates fixed those. The iPhone is the best and easiest phone I have had.

So if you are so unhappy, then break your contract or have someone else take over your remaining months.

Chaltalian said,
Wow! Again? You would think they would make some huge improvements the first time they are rated the worst carrier.

Why would they bother? They have so many customers that they do not have the incentive to improve.

Chaltalian said,
Wow! Again? You would think they would make some huge improvements the first time they are rated the worst carrier.

Actually they are the best on for _me_. I don't pay attention to surveys because the survey itself can be very biased.

shinji257 said,

Actually they are the best on for _me_. I don't pay attention to surveys because the survey itself can be very biased.

Yeah, it really depends on where you live. Here in Mississippi, AT&T is by far the best major carrier to be on (other than the local carrier Cellular South, which is just as good or better, but uses CDMA phones).

I'm sure for the huge numbers of people in the northeast (New York in particular), and out west, there are better options, but here AT&T is king. The survey probably gets skewed by the huge population of New York City, where I understand that AT&T has major problems with dropped calls (probably due to the massive number of skyscrapers in the way of signals). I'd guess the same can be said of the Los Angeles area as well.