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The “Consumer Reports” 2012 survey of 63,000 people found that while we love our smartphones and the instant connections they provide, we’re not so happy with some of the companies who provide us with phones to purchase and data plans to blow through. Both “Consumer Reports” and J.D. Power had plenty of information to share on why the lowest-ranked wireless carriers received the poor marks that they did.
5 Credo Mobile
Credo Mobile may be one of the newer kids on the block, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come out to play. Credo received relatively pleasing marks on family plans. However, what Credo offers in affordability it lacks in choices: of its phone selection there are only six smart phones, although two are the highly popular Samsung Galaxy S III and S 4.
4 Verizon Wireless
Verizon may be the go-to cellular company for the latest cell phones, but when it comes to the value of services, your results may vary. According to “Consumer Reports,” Verizon’s ranking of the fourth-worst cell phone company is primarily due to its “Share Everything” plan providing only a “fair” value, and customer service support being less than stellar. If you only need to get your hands on great phones and quality 4G service to support all of the calling, texting and streaming you’ll be doing with it, Verizon should suit you just fine.
Sprint took the biggest hit for its lack of 4G coverage. While they’re working on “diligently enhancing” their network, the fact that they’re still working on improving 3G service while simultaneously rolling out 4G service means there are a lot of unhappy customers dealing with dropped calls and slow upload and download speeds. However, if you don’t mind trading crisp call quality and fast YouTube video streaming for good customer support, Sprint’s your man.
T-Mobile fares slightly better than AT&T, most likely saved by its no-contract offerings to customers, which are often cheaper than contract plans. “Consumer Reports” also gives a nod of approval to T-Mobile’s “average or better” 4G service, and their support of data-sharing plans for tablets. But customers have complained about both voice quality and customer service issues, so if these are deal-breakers for you, you may want to look elsewhere.
Both current and former customers agree: AT&T gets a gold star for the fast performance of their 4G service, but not so much as a slight head tilt of acknowledgment for decent prices and customer service. Additionally, while AT&T’s 4G service may be worth tweeting home about, survey participants noted that the quality of both text and voice services need improvement.