AT&T again ranks lowest in customer satisfaction
AT&T's cellphone service was pegged with the lowest satisfaction rating for the second year in a row in an annual Consumer Reports survey of wireless providers in the U.S.
"In the newest satisfaction survey of Consumer Reports online subscribers, a provider called Consumer Cellular topped the Ratings -- and AT&T found itself at the bottom of the Ratings for the second year in a row," the magazine said in an article about its survey, which will be published in its January 2012 issue.
The survey also offers rankings for mobile carriers in 22 major metropolitan markets, the L.A.-area among them.
"Of the four major U.S. national cell-phone standard service providers, Verizon again scored the highest in this year's Ratings, followed closely by Sprint. Survey respondents gave very good scores to Verizon for texting and data service satisfaction, as well for staff knowledge," Consumer Reports said.
"T-Mobile was below Verizon and Sprint but continued to rate significantly better than the higher-priced AT&T, which recently withdrew its application to the FCC to merge with its better rival."
For AT&T's part, Andy Shibley, the carrier's vice president and Los Angeles general manager, said the complaints noted in the Consumer Reports survey aren't being ignored.
"We hear our customers and we are committed to getting better and better," Shibley said in an emailed statement. "And that will continue as we deploy 4G LTE technology to millions of more customers. We have turned a corner, and we are making progress toward our goal to offer our customers the best experience anywhere."
AT&T also said in a separate statement that it has made more than 1,700 network improvements in the Los Angeles area this year and that dropped-call rates in the L.A.-area have fallen 41% over the past year.
Subscribers of prepaid and smaller carriers "are happiest overall with their cell-phone service," Paul Reynolds, electronics editor for Consumer Reports, said in the article. "However, these carriers aren't for everyone. Some are only regional, and prepaid carriers tend to offer few or no smartphones. The major carriers are still leading options for many consumers, and we found they ranged widely in how well they satisfied their customers."
The Consumer Reports survey was put together using the survey responses of 66,000 of the magazine's subscribers and focused on experiences with their carrier's customer service and support.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Image: A screen shot of ConsumerCellular.com. Credit: Consumer Cellular Inc.