AT&T has distinguished itself as "the lowest-scoring cell-phone carrier in the U.S," based on figures gleaned from a satisfaction survey of 58,000 Consumer Reports readers in 23 metropolitan areas.
As Consumer Reports points out,
Over half of the survey respondents who used AT&T as a carrier owned some version of the iPhone, the Apple smart phone that is exclusive to AT&T, at least for now. Consumer Reports data, reflecting all versions of the phone, found that iPhone owners were much less satisfied with their carrier and rated data service (Web and e-mail) lower than owners of smart phones on other carriers that, like the iPhone, have a host of apps to encourage heavy data use.
This apparent dissatisfaction with AT&T comes amid rumors of a Verizon iPhone, which both Apple and Verizon have yet to confirm.
The Houston Chronicle notes that AT&T's customer satisfaction ranked slightly higher last year, but that AT&T doesn't seem too concerned with this year's results. In an email reproduced by the Houston Chronicle, an AT&T representative made the following response: "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."
Furthermore, Verizon's customer satisfaction rating seems to have slipped a little this year, when compared with Consumer Reports surveys from past years. Verizon usually scores top marks with Consumer Reports readers but lost the top slot to U.S. Cellular this year. Even still, Consumer Reports writes, "AT&T was the only [carrier] to drop significantly in overall satisfaction."