Verizon Leads Among Major Carriers In Latest Consumer Reports Cell-Phone
YONKERS, N.Y., Nov. 29, 2012
AT&T is Among the Lower-rated, but 4G Service is a Bright Spot
YONKERS, N.Y., Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Verizon Wireless was
the highest-Rated major carrier in Consumer Reports' annual cell-phone
service Ratings, based on a survey of 63,253 subscribers by the Consumer
Reports National Research Center.
The full report can be found online at ConsumerReports.org and in the
January 2013 issue of Consumer Reports, which is on newsstands now.
Of the four major U.S. national cell-phone standard service providers, Verizon
Wireless led the pack, receiving favorable scores for voice and data service
quality, and also for support attributes like staff knowledge and resolution
of issues. Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T each received mostly middling to low
marks, particularly for voice and text service quality.
AT&T was among the lower-scoring providers, but its 4G LTE network was Rated
the most favorably of any carrier. Its users reported the fewest problems with
that higher-speed service, which most new smart phones now use.
Consumer Cellular, a national carrier that uses AT&T's network, received high
marks across the board in Consumer Reports' Ratings of standard (monthly bill)
carriers. The no-frills carrier caters to users with the simplest wireless
needs and offers the simplicity of monthly billing without a contractual
The report found that no-contract plans can be major cost-savers. Two-thirds
of Consumer Reports survey respondents who switched to so-called "prepaid
plans," which typically lack a contract commitment and bill each month in
advance, saved more than $20 a month by switching to prepaid. Those savings
can allow wireless customers to quickly recoup the cost of the phone itself,
which can be higher if they don't make a contractual commitment.
TracFone was among the top-Rated prepaid providers, receiving high marks for
value, voice and text. Like Consumer Cellular, it specializes in those who
seek simple, low-cost phone service.
Even those whose phone needs are less than basic can save by going prepaid.
"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," said Paul Reynolds, electronics editor for
Consumer Reports. "And you can even save by switching a phone from a major
carrier that's coming off contract to a prepaid plan."
Inside Consumer Reports January 2013 Issue
The full report includes detailed Ratings of cell-phone service providers in
23 metropolitan markets; Ratings of smart phones and cell-phone retailers;
data-hogging phone habits to avoid; advice on choosing the right phone and
plan; and a comparison of the Google Android vs. Apple iOS vs. Windows Phone
operating systems; and tips on how consumers save money on their cell-phone
bills. The January 2013 issue of Consumer Reports is available wherever
magazines are sold and also online at ConsumerReports.org.
Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing
organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey
research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services
annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to
its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division,
Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial
reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the
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