Consumer 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.
Sprint, 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.