Consumer Reports‘ January 2011 print issue is not kind to AT&T: In a feature ranking America’s wireless carriers, AT&T placed dead last, with full-fledged ‘worse’ ratings in the value, voice, data, phone, website, email, staff knowledge, and issue resolved categories. Only AT&T’s texting got something less than a full-fledged ‘worse’ rating, and even that received a below-average mark.
In an email to the Houston Chronicle’s TechBlog, AT&T defended its network and called Consumer Reports‘ findings into question:
We take this seriously and we continually look for new ways to improve the customer experience. The fact is wireless customers have choices and a record number of them chose AT&T in the third quarter, significantly more than our competitors. Hard data from independent drive tests confirms AT&T has the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network with our nearest competitor 20 percent slower on average nationwide and our largest competitor 60 percent slower on average nationwide. And, our dropped call rate is within 1/10 of a percent – the equivalent of just one call in a thousand – of the industry leader.
Surprisingly (to me, anyway), U.S. Cellular came in first place in Consumer Reports’ ratings; if you haven’t heard of them, you’re not alone, as U.S. Cellular is the #6 carrier in the country, with just over 6 million customers. (For comparison’s sake, Verizon and AT&T each have about 93 million subscribers, and even #4 carrier T-Mobile has 34 million.)