Consumer Reports ranks Verizon best, AT&T worst among US carriers

“Consumer Reports on Tuesday revealed the results of its annual survey of US carriers, which found Verizon ranking highest and AT&T coming in last among America’s four largest wireless providers,” AppleInsider reports.

“This year is not the first time that AT&T ranked last in the Annual Cell Service Provider Survey, as the carrier has struggled for years with poor consumer perception in the face of coverage woes,” AppleInsider reports. “Last year, the survey similarly found that AT&T fared poorly across the board, earning the worst possible score in all categories related to value, service and customer support, except for the ‘texting’ service category.”

AppleInsider reports, “Verizon maintained its place atop the big four U.S. carriers this year, though the nation’s largest wireless provider was followed closely in the rankings by Sprint. Both Verizon and Sprint began offering Apple’s iPhone, ending a years-long exclusive arrangement between Apple and AT&T.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Never mind that, which vacuum cleaner did those tech illiterates recommend to grandma?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lava_Head_UK” for the heads up.]

33 Comments

    1. CR is struggling for relevance and believe the way to go is to create controversy. They are just shooting themselves in the foot with every issue.

      I personally have not read their reports since 1979 when I read a couple of copies at a brother-in-law’s place. I would never buy the rag nor would I even look something up online with CR. What a joke they are.

  1. How is this possible? If I have understood it right the Verizon can’t handle voice and data at the same time (correct me if I am wrong). That is a deal breaker when you have an iPhone. You have to be able to use data and voice simultaniously.
    So this consumer something something gives wrong advise to customers AGAIN.

      1. Dan,

        Where do you live? I’ll bet it’s not by me.

        Verizon sucks here and AT&T not only works better but is faster and yes, it can do data and voice at the same time.

        Your comment shows your lack of understanding to a global solution.

    1. Example from here where I live ie Finland… Here you can get unlimited** voice calls for 31,00€/month plus unlimited data with iPhone 4S’s maximum speed 16,90€/month and all this simultaniously including tethering. (SMS 3,5¢/each or max 9,90€/1200 messages.) iPhone 4S costs extra and is 17€,20€ or 23€ per month. So the maximum cost is

      *Prices are from Saunalahti that has full coverage.
      ** 44 640 Minutes

  2. I’ve been really quite happy with AT&T since I switched from Sprint in December 2007 to get the original iPhone. No, there coverage isn’t always the best, but it’s worked for me. I appreciated the free MicroCell, which helped coverage in my apartment. But now they seem to be trying to force us unlimited data holdouts into tiered data plans. I got an email from them last week saying I was in the top 5% for the month after my data usage crossed the 2GB threshold for the month (thanks iTunes Match!). I find this hard to believe, and after 45 minutes on the phone with three different reps, I remain unsatisfied. If they start throtlling me, I guess I’ll head to Sprint.

    1. Read up Sprint’s data network is the worst out of the 4 carriers (behind even T-mobile) and is literally a fraction of Verizon’s or AT&T’s.

      AT&T voice is good data is superb (fast and almost everywhere) Verizons voice is a little better but the data is slower (than AT&T) everywhere and non existent in a large number of voice covered areas.

      So you pick your poison… AT&T is a bit better in voice but you sacrifice data and the ability to look up stuff on the internet when you are on a call (something I do all the time) I could argue either side of that coin.

      Pick Sprint if slow data service with spotty coverage, dropped calls and poor customer service are a priority for you.

  3. That “Consumer” Reports would recommend consumer-hostile Verizon, the carrier pushing hardest against consumer-friendly things like net neutrality, tells you all you need to know about CR’s cluelessness.

  4. I switched from Verizon to AT&T in order to have an iPhone. AT&T coverage here (North Central Ohio) is abysmal. No 3G yet in the largest urban area between Cleveland and Columbus. (Admittedly not that populous , but still.) Zero coverage in outlying communities.
    Verizon is the best in this area; coverage is like a blanket. As soon as my contract is up it’s back to Verizon. FWIW I’ve never used voice and data at the same time.

    1. You have an anomaly, typically while Verizon has excellent voice coverage (I used them for years) their data is (far) less ubiquitous. But local conditions vary. -I hear- there are even (small) sections where Sprint has the best call reliability (I know, dropped my jaw as well)

      However… I can’t believe you don’t need to look stuff up on the web while you are on the phone. I do it all the time (both personally and professionally) Not sure I would switch back anyway (slower and spotty data coverage) but the no data while talking makes it a no-contest for me.

      1. I guess I probably have used voice and data at the same time – but with WiFi. Edge is excruciatingly slow and since there’s no 3G here… I really use my iPhone far less as a phone and much more as a truly personal computer – my very own Minisec.

        1. I find I use it constantly on the road, when someone calls and I need map data or to look up something or make reservations on the net and confirm it with the person to who I am talking (and I would otherwise have to hang up get the info/reservation and then call back… That is (only) awkward with personal calls but (IMHO) is totally unprofessional in business communications.

          Having come from Verizon I can say from personal experience that Verizon’s 3G data (in most places) is about halfway between edge and AT&T’s 3G. (and you will get no data in many spots) So if you think edge is excruciating, you will likely think Verizon’s 3G data service is pretty sluggish as well.

  5. Every carrier has its strengths and weaknesses. In a recent test, AT&T had the fastest upload/download speeds, Verizon had the broadest coverage, and Sprint iPhone performance was abysmal, making its unlimited data plan essentially useless. It suggested that Apple was working with Sprint to fix their issues. And yes, the AT&T GSM dual voice/data capability stands out over the CDMA voice OR data one at a time functionality of Verizon and Sprint.

    AT&T’s coverage in the Sacramento area is good, so I’m sticking with them, bad reputation or not. Their coverage has been good for me over the past four years.

  6. I’ve been with AT&T since the iPhone3. So I’ve been through the growing pains. Problem is, I wanted to get my mom and iPhone for Christmas, port her number from Verizon and add her to my Family Talk plan. I’m in MD and she is in FL. AT&T wouldn’t let me do it because she doesn’t live in my region, but if I had a business account, no problem. What is a region? Why does it matter? Verizon doesn’t have this “region” restriction with their Friends and Family plan. AT&T will lose more iPhone customers as the other carriers get voice and data working concurrently.

  7. It is important to remember that the service formerly provided by Consumer Reports has migrated to the internet. Product reviews from tech websites and users are plentiful and readily available on line.
    So the folks who responded to this survey, Consumer Reports subscribers, are Luddite in their attitudes. Probably the ONLY criterion they considered was quality of voice calls (“Can you hear me now?”).

  8. I had the original iPhone when it first came out…and then the 3GS. I was chipping off the days on my calendar until my contract with AT&T was over. Since switching to Sprint, I do not experience service interruptions and can make/receive crystal-clear calls. I feel like I can finally use my iPhone as a phone. 🙂

  9. Perfect, I couldn’t imagine a better synergy than having Consumer Reports recommend Verizon as the best carrier. As they say, birds of a feather flock together!

  10. I am a 3G/4G customer of both for data and the owner of an iPhone 4 (AT&T. I travel in my job and can offer these observations:

    1) AT&T 3G (enhanced) data is much faster than Verizon’s 3G service, but Verizon’s 4G smokes what AT&T is marketing as 4G.

    2) AT&T has made major strides in my region in coverage, 3G availability, signal stability and 3G speed. The AT&T Mark the Spot app works to help AT&T kill dead spots or points of crappy service. If you use AT&T download and install the app.

    3) AT&T is still a bunch of greedy (expletive deleted). Verizon only marginally less so.

    AT&T has made a great improvements in my service the last year and I will continue with them for my iPhone. As I have an unlocked phone with no contract I can walk at any time.

    1. if you have an iPhone 4 with AT&T, how do you know the 4G on Verizon smokes the 4G on AT&T?

      not even the 4S is 4G…
      yes Verizon’s “4G” beats AT&T’s 3G (which you have) but tests have shown that the iPhone 4S is as fast or faster than Verizon’s 4G.

      My dealings with AT&T have always been good.
      i can’t say the same with Verizon… Long story but Verizon screwed up my grandfathered plan, acknowledged they screwed up… but refused to correct it. Offered me a $5 case though!
      and Verizon’s Customer no-service was always a pain to deal with.
      I switched to Cingular back then, was worried about the Merger with AT&T.. but really haven’t had any problems.

      1. I own both AT&T and Verizon 4G hotspots and a 3G iPhone 4.

        The hotspots are used for my iPad and sometimes my desktop- like today thanks to Comcast’s shitty service.

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