tmobileConsumer Reports released its annual look at cell phone service in the U.S., and showed some promising results for T-Mobile.

The company’s “Uncarrier” initiatives seem to have been a boon to the company, which earned the second highest rating of all the major carriers in the survey, beating AT&T for second place by one point. It also took the top score among readers surveyed in Seattle, edging out a similar one point advantage over Verizon, which earned the top nationwide ranking.

That’s good news for the Bellevue-based carrier, which is one of the underdog providers of cell phone service in the U.S. with a smaller share of subscribers than AT&T or Verizon.

sprintSprint, the other underdog in the U.S., which purchased Clearwire earlier this year, took an absolute thrashing. The carrier, which ranked second in the survey last year, earned the worst marks in the value, voice, text and 4G categories, and earned poor marks for its data, phone support, and how frequently its support staff were able to resolve a customer’s problem. The company lagged in its implementation of 4G service, and while its Sprint Spark enhanced LTE network shows promise, it’s not available to a wider commercial audience.

“While the findings in the Consumer Reports’ survey are disappointing, they’re not necessarily surprising,” a Sprint representative told Cnet. “We’ve asked customers during the past year to ‘pardon our dust’ as we build out and upgrade our network.”

Meanwhile, AT&T, which came in third, earned top marks for the speed of its 4G network, though it was criticized for the value of its rate plans and the quality of its phone support. Consumer Reports called Verizon a “standout” for its customer service and overall experience of the company’s data plans.

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  • Vroo (Bruce Leban)

    The really disappointing thing about these ratings is the scores for “value” assigned to each carrier. These scores do not, apparently, reflect any calculation based on comparing costs for comparable services between the carriers but aggregate survey results of perceived value. That’s bogus statistics.

    • Anna

      I can see how more expensive plans/carriers aren’t necessarily delivering more value though. That’s how I feel about Verizon: to me, in Seattle, my service wasn’t justified by the cost. But Verizon is known for receiving the best phones, so hardware-wise, there’s value for many.

      For me, AT&T has value because of their moderate pricing plus their service. Those factors combine to make value for me.

  • André On

    Very happy with T-Mobile.

    • Romdude

      Me too, very happy. With my corporate discounts and cheaper overall bills, I’m not missing AT&T. In my area, coverage is great and I often get LTE signal. Also, I’ve often contacted 611 customer support and they always acknowledge my years with them and am satisfied with the support given.

      • Anna

        Can I ask the state you live in? I’ve been considering them for use in Seattle.

        • Romdude

          Hawaii. With the exception of some parts in the big island, reception for t-mobile here is very good. If I were you, check xda explorers for the phone and carrier you want and ask other people there who live in Seattle or Washington State.

        • André On

          I am in Seattle.

          • Anna

            Good to know. I just joined T-Mobile today, and so far I’ve dropped one call and had trouble connecting to voicemail, but I’m not too concerned. Saving money is, after all, saving money. Besides, the web seems to be very fast.

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