The people’s champ: Verizon is most favorable carrier

Remember those “Can you hear me now?” Verizon commercials? Turns out there’s actually some truth to those messages.

The people have spoken and Verizon is the most favorable cell phone carrier in the nation based on an annual Consumer Reports survey of 63,253 subscribers around the country. Out of the four big carriers, Verizon led the way in voice and data service quality, as well as the customer support qualities like staff knowledge and resolution of issues.

For the third year in a row, AT&T found itself in last place for voice and text service quality. However, its 4G LTE network ranked number one.

Sprint and T-Mobile also received mostly middle-to-low marks across the board.

The report also found that no-contract plans can save people big money. 66 percent of those surveyed that switched to prepaid plans saved more than $20 per month.

“Some smaller carriers that scored respectably in our Ratings and offer low-priced plans, such as Straight Talk and Virgin Mobile, now offer fairly sophisticated smart phones,” Paul Reynolds, electronics editor for Consumer Reports, said in a press release. “And you can even save by switching a phone from a major carrier that’s coming off contract to a prepaid plan.”

Also according to Consumer Reports, the best place to buy these phones are at Costco and Apple Stores. Consumer Reports also found that the average American household spent more than $1,500 on phones and phone services this year, up 7 percent from 2011.

Previously on GeekWire: The best place to buy your cell phone: Apple and Costco