Consumer Reports: AT&T Still Worst Wireless Carrier

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Well, there's $2 billion well spent.

The latest customer survey by popular product review publication Consumer Reports shows AT&T falling even further behind its wireless carrier rivals in subscriber satisfaction.


The nation's second largest wireless network received the worst possible rating in eight of the nine categories the magazine studied, including overall value, voice service, data service, phone support, staff knowledge, and resolution of issues, among others.

In the "texting" category, AT&T tied for last with T-Mobile with the next-to-worst rating. So at least it has that going for it.

AT&T received an overall score of 60 out of 100, versus 74 for Verizon Wireless, 73 for Sprint and 69 for T-Mobile.

In last year's survey, AT&T had a score of 66, also in last place but just a point behind third-place Sprint, which is the only wireless carrier to show a gain this year from last in subscriber satisfaction.

Regional carrier U.S. Cellular actually topped this year's list with a score of 82, easily beating the national wireless providers.

The level of customer dissatisfaction bodes poorly for AT&T when Verizon Wireless begins selling Apple's iPhone early next year. AT&T has had an exclusive contract with Apple to sell the iPhone. Expect a mass exodus once iPhone owners have an alternative.

Responding to the survey, AT&T spokesman Fletcher Cook said, "We take this seriously and we continually look for new ways to improve the customer experience."

Apparently easier said than done for AT&T. The company reportedly spent $2 billion this year to upgrade its network. If things have improved, customers clearly aren't noticing.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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