Consumer Reports: AT&T dead last in service survey; 98% of iPhone users would buy iPhone again

Apple Holiday Sale 2009“The annual survey of wireless customer satisfaction from Consumer Reports hits the streets this week and it doesn’t have much good to say about AT&T. In a canvass of more than 50,000 readers spanning 26 U.S. cities, the organization found the carrier had the lowest customer-satisfaction rating in 19 cities surveyed; Verizon ranked highest,” John Paczkowski reports for AllThingsD.

“To hear that AT&T ranked dead last in customer satisfaction in high-profile markets like New York and San Francisco isn’t all that surprising. It’s common knowledge that the average AT&T iPhone drops 30 percent of all calls in New York City, and complaints about lousy service in the Bay Area are legion. But to find that the carrier placed last in 17 other cities as well suggests that AT&T’s shortcomings are more widespread than the carrier would have us believe and not simply the product of a high concentration of iPhones in the country’s larger cities,” Paczkowski reports.

“With low marks for several key indicators of customer satisfaction–including service availability, circuit capacity, dropped-call frequency and voice service–across 73 percent of the markets Consumer Reports surveyed, it’s pretty clear that AT&T has become overextended by the popularity of the iPhone,” Paczkowski reports. “Which is bad news for the carrier and, of course, for iPhone owners as well.”

Paczkowski reports, “As Consumer reports notes, ‘Apple’s iPhones are the top smart phones in our Ratings–actually, among the best of all phones we tested, period–but their exclusive carrier, AT&T, was middling at best in satisfaction….If you’re readying to buy Apple’s phone, prepare for possible disappointment with its service and expect to love the phone anyway. Despite the network problems, a staggering 98 percent of iPhone users in our cell-phone-buying survey were satisfied enough to say they would definitely or probably buy the phone again. Only 79 percent of respondents who bought other cell phones said the same.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That’s some disconnect.


  1. “…98 percent of iPhone users in our cell-phone-buying survey were satisfied enough to say they would definitely or probably buy the phone again.”

    The remaining 2% said they would whack an iPhone user in the street steal his phone and swap GSM cards. If arrested they’re pretty sure they heard something about jail breaking and iPhones.

  2. While AT&T;is upgrading constantly, they can take as long as they want… long as they are the only suppliers of the iPhone.

    I can’t imagine they will ever get around to covering all the US with 3G, since 4G is already out in some markets.

  3. Where’s R2 whinging about ATT and worshipping Verizon when you need him?

    ATT clearly needs to up it’s game with it’s network but the iPhone would have crushed and wireless carrier in the US. The good news is we are finally seeing carriers put some effort into upgrading the wireless data service in the US.

  4. It’s pretty clear that AT&T;wasn’t prepared for the growth rate of the iPhone. I don’t think any carrier could have forseen what the device has become.

    If the iPhone were a normal phone, these kinds of surveys would be far more even. Let’s stick 14,000,000 iPhones on any other carrier in this country and see what happens.

    Personally I have not had the issues that people complain about with AT&T;service. In fact it has been the opposite for me: verizon was awful and dropped calls constantly, but since we have been with AT&T;we couldn’t be happier with the coverage and call quality.

  5. I don’t have too much problem with ATT.

    I came from Sprint – which I rarely had a problem with, but never came in my friends basement.

    I have ATT now with the iPhone – I get a dropped call maybe once every 2 weeks, not so bad – but sometimes, maybe twice every two weeks I get a VM alert but the phone never rings… which is frustrating, but that’s all.

    I can take those few grievances, for the price of owning an iPhone.

    I reside in the Twin Cities, btw.

  6. Obviously, the iPhone slammed their network, and the continuing expansion of sales continues to increase the numbers of iPhone users on the ATT network.

    ATT has noted that it intends to spend 15 billion – that’s with a “B” – dollars on its network expansion program next year. Nice to know that they are putting their money where their mouth is.

    Now if it would be a little faster in the updating …

  7. This is madness! Pandemonium!

    Release us, Steve! End the madness that is your exclusivity agreement with ATT and allow us to enjoy the iPhone on America’s best network in June 2010! That’s what you wanted, Steve. That’s why you came to them first. You wanted Verizon blood pumping through the iPhone’s veins but they couldn’t recognize its power. Now they see, Steve. Now they’re ready to bend to your will after learning a hard lesson and you must do what’s right!


Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.