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AT&T Repeats As Lowest-Rated Wireless Carrier 201

Posted by Soulskill
from the defending-the-title dept.
redletterdave writes "Consumer Reports' latest ratings survey of cell phone carriers revealed that Verizon Wireless scored the highest satisfaction score out of the four major U.S. service providers, earning particularly high grades for texting and data service. Verizon was followed closely by Sprint and T-Mobile USA, but all three companies earned scores lower overall than their figures from last year. AT&T was at the very bottom of the list for the second year in a row. While AT&T's satisfaction score in 2011 wasn't as bad as its score from 2010, the Dallas-based cell phone provider, which recently discontinued its bid to acquire its better rival T-Mobile, still ranked at the bottom of the pack. Last year, AT&T was the only carrier for the Apple iPhone, but still managed to receive the lowest scores."
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AT&T Repeats As Lowest-Rated Wireless Carrier

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @01:29AM (#38288244)

    Just get an AT&T e-mail address (ala MyName@att.net), "serviced by Yahoo", if you want to find out why AT&T services are so hated.

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @11:00AM (#38290826) Homepage Journal

      I don't think the "serviced by Yahoo" has to do with customer service, I think it has to do with web-based infrastructure (but I could be wrong).

      It does seem that TFS is straight on, from my personal experience anyway. I had Cingular for years and was happy with them. AT&T bought them out and my bill skyrocketed, so I switched carriers.

      When I went to see about internet connections when I moved, there was Comcast at $40 and AT&T for $20, even though it was a slower connection than Comcast. After talking with the AT&T guy on the phone, I opted for their "double speed" for an extra five bucks. Still slower than Comcast, but as I'm the only one living at my house, I don't do the fast internet games any more, and there are only two computers running at any one time, the speed was fine for me.

      The latest bill came yesterday. All of a sudden it's $40. I'll be calling them this afternoon after I get my phone fixed/replaced to bitch about it, and will probably be going with Comcast after the contract is up.

      DIE, AT&T, DIE!!!

  • by JoshWurzel (320371) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @01:30AM (#38288246) Homepage

    No bars in more places...

  • by jd2112 (1535857) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @01:30AM (#38288250)
    "We're the Phone Company. We don't care, we don't have to" - Lily Tomlin
    • Video (Score:4, Informative)

      by antdude (79039) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @02:29AM (#38288474) Homepage Journal
    • Re:Famous quote (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @07:26AM (#38289392)

      That is actually a very accurate interpretation of AT&T's slide. Their monopoly on the iPhone was a big part of their downfall. Relying upon a popular phone as a draw to customers decreased their incentive to provide good customer service.

      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        Yup, I'm fairly certain the iPhone is the reason for AT&T's epic failure to handle Android properly, and AT&T's complacence thanks to the iPhone is why Verizon made such an incredible about-face when it came to device availability - it used to be Verizon was the LAST carrier you wanted to be on if you wanted a decent smartphone (for example, 9 month delays for the Treo 650 and the XV6800 for "carrier certification issues" - translation: we haven't finished crippling the software yet.), but that com

        • Verizon was traditionally very hands off when it came to meddling with many smartphone features. For example, they always had full bluetooth support. They still mess around with Android phones though. They put Bing in as the default search on all the non-Droid branded handsets and they preload a lot of their silly VCAST apps and other junk you can't delete.
      • by smpoole7 (1467717)

        As a communications engineer, I can attest that towers and transmitter buildings cost money. (Tower crews, just to name one expense, charge thousands of dollars per day now -- just relamping a 200-300' tower can cost well over a grand.) So ... the PHBs at all of the wireless providers are constantly faced with a terrible choice: do they spend the $$$$ to improve their coverage, or try to grab customers with bells and whistles?

        There's a REASON why so many wireless ads started pushing fancy phones, built-in c

        • AT&T Wireless (the old "blue" network) has had long standing coverage issues in parts of Northern NJ that have been documented for well over 10 years. Some dead zones from the TDMA days still exist and haven't been addressed. Verizon Wireless also has its fair share of dead zones, but they have actively worked to fill in the coverage gaps based on personal experience. In many cases it they had to build a new tower site to fix the problem.
      • AT&T's customer service improved in the years running up to the iPhone launch. They sucked royally compared to T-Mobile in the Washington DC area in the late 1990's.

        We switched to AT&T to get the iPhone 3G, and anticipated major pain and suffering. The droids in the AT&T store screwed up the initial order, but the phone support people were actually competent and polite, and fixed stuff.

        Our recent upgrade to the iPhone 4S was handled correctly the first time at an AT&T store in Greenbelt MD

  • AT&T (Score:5, Informative)

    by BriggsBU (1138021) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @01:31AM (#38288252)
    After working for AT&T, it is no surprise to me that they rate so lowly. Their employees often find their hands tied when they want to help a customer. They also have a 0-5 score that all accounts are given. This score is one of the first things an agent sees when the customer's account comes up. Customers whose accounts rate a 0 or 1 (either due to being on the cheapest plan or due to poor credit/payment history) find themselves treated like a red-headed step child. AT&T's policies actually state that any customer threatening to disconnect their service due to a dispute should be transferred to a senior representative UNLESS they are a 0 or a 1. 0's and 1's should instead be disconnected immediately and have their Early Termination Fee waived. Essentially, AT&T doesn't want them as customers and will drop them the instant they have an excuse.
    • by arbiter1 (1204146)
      Wow that is pretty sad for a major company to treat its customers like that by giving them a number and treating based on how high it is.
      • Re:AT&T (Score:5, Informative)

        by MBC1977 (978793) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @03:00AM (#38288566) Journal
        Its called "firing a customer" and it makes perfect sense. If the customer is not profitable and cannot be made to become profitable, why keep them as a customer? Basic cost accounting there.
        • Re:AT&T (Score:5, Insightful)

          by MacTO (1161105) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @04:45AM (#38288910)

          Yeap. Some customers deserve the axe. The problem is when you give too many customers the axe: people interpret it as bad customer service either from direct experience or word of mouth. If enough people get that impression, it will be reflected in the company's ability to retain the good customers. So firing the customer doesn't really make sense unless it is a very exceptional case.

        • Re:AT&T (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @07:58AM (#38289502)

          Because that customer has friends, family, ect... And will tell them all how shit at&t is.

          Which is how they end up with the lowest scores year after year.

          The world is no longer isolated little cities spread across the planet. It's one global city now with the internet here. And treating people like shit for any reason WILL bite you in the ass.

          But of course companies are slow to change and rarely have touch with the real world. So it'll be another two decades before at&t gets it. And hopefully by then they'll be gone. And nobody will care.

          • Re:AT&T (Score:5, Interesting)

            by hal2814 (725639) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @10:32AM (#38290448)
            So a customer asks to have their service disconnected and AT&T not only does that but also waives the early termination fee? Yeah, what a "shit" move. I hope no other companies out there respond to customer complaints by doing what the customer asks and then some. I'd much rather spend half an hour while they transfer me to someone else to try to talk me out of what I specifically asked for.
        • by gl4ss (559668)

          sounds like a good way to get out of at&t if the instructions are to waive the etf.

        • "Its called "firing a customer" and it makes perfect sense..."

          And it sounds like you'd make a perfect candidate for a telecom CS dweeb.

          In pretty much every business I've been involved with it is called "Taking the good with the bad". You treat EVERYONE with respect and EVERYONE respects you. OK, maybe not everyone...there is always going to be someone like you that just doesn't get it.

          • by AJH16 (940784)

            Well you assume that firing the customer can't be done with respect. There is no excuse to treat a customer poorly, but there is every reason to honor their request and let them out of their commitment hands down if they ask when they aren't profitable for you. Sometimes the best way to serve a customer well is to allow them to cut off ties politely. Keep in mind that AT&T is taking a loss by waiving the termination fee as there is a good chance that they had paid out for a phone at the start of the

            • I don't think that AT&T is taking a loss by waiving the ETF, more like they are not capitalizing on an undeserved profit. Kind of like the bank taking a loss on a foreclosed property. The bank still owns the property, they just didn't collect all of the investment income, but overall they still have the property.
              • by AJH16 (940784)

                The termination fee is something they are contractually entitled to and in many cases covers the real cost of the phone in part. To use your example, it would be like the bank giving you the house when they foreclose, since the property they funded the purchase of is still yours.

                • My point really is that the contract and ETF fees are a ripoff. They are no longer providing the service to you so why should you have to pay for it. Its more like AT&T canceling you contract and still providing you the service.
                  • by AJH16 (940784)

                    Maybe I'm not understanding what was originally being described, but I thought this thread started with an example that if a customer indicates they wish to cancel then AT&T won't try to keep it. If AT&T was terminating I'd agree with you, but in this case it is the customer leaving.

                • by tepples (727027)

                  The termination fee is something they are contractually entitled to and in many cases covers the real cost of the phone in part.

                  If the ETF covers the cost of the phone, then why don't I get a discount of (ETF / 24) off my monthly bill if I stay with a provider after the contract ends? T-Mobile gives such a discount, but an AT&T representative appeared surprised that any provider would.

          • The customer should always be treated with respect, even when he's not a customer any more. That doesn't mean it makes sense to serve every customer.

        • by morgauxo (974071)
          Why? If the lowest level plans are sold at a loss then raise the price on them. If customers just aren't paying their bills then cancel their service and send them to collections. Either way I don't see 'firing' customers as being a good reason to have a scoring system.

          On the other hand... at most of these companies those 'senior' representatives probably get better pay and commission for keeping a customer. The smaller profits made on a low tier customer might just not be worth sending them there. Tha
      • by AJH16 (940784)

        Honestly, I think the fact that AT&T eats the termination fee just to get them out the door is actually good customer service. If they really wanted to, they could stick it to the customer and try to recover their costs by charging the fee they are entitled to, but they don't since they simply want the business relationship ended. As MBC1977 mentioned below, you don't have a right to have a company do business with you if they don't make money. It is only good business to decide who is more of a drai

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Somehow that doesn't surprise me. AT&T is significantly worse than Sprint. With Sprint their customer service sucked, but I'd get a signal in more parts of the city than with any of the other carriers. AT&T by contrast can't even cover the city. It's embarrassing to be in a major city and have to worry about cell service in most parts of the city.

      I don't even bother with 3G anymore because the service was so spotty. For whatever reason going between 3G and EDGE would cause timeouts, and my service w

      • Now, if Sprint or Verizon would see the light and allow phones with SIM cards on their networks like CDMA carriers do in other countries I'd almost certainly switch. Most likely T-Mobile will be getting my service next time I need domestic cell service.

        I came to the same conclusion now that Sprint's been screwing me multiple times. For four years, they were great. This year, not so much.

        The only question is if T-mobile will be the same (or even extant) in July when my contract is up.

    • Re:AT&T (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sortius_nod (1080919) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @02:05AM (#38288372) Homepage

      And this is another reason I am happy to be Australian. We have very strong consumer protection laws that stop this kind of bullshit. Service providers are regularly audited, the TIO has the power to send cases to the regulator, and you still get the same service no matter if you're on the lowest plan or on the top plan.

      By no means is our system perfect, but it's a damn sight better than the US.

      • by operagost (62405)
        You mean by having government intervention in areas like customer service where it doesn't belong? Government is needed in the case of monopolies, fraud and contract disputes, not customer service. If you don't like your phone company, leave.
        • Referring to previous poster...welcome to AmeriCa (C=corporate owned)! Our country grew into a world power with regulations on business and now we're heading back to 1929 by repealing them all because of the theorists who think government only exists to wage wars and cut taxes on big business.

    • by morgauxo (974071)
      That's awesome! I'm going to tell my friend who thinks he is stuck in an AT&T contract about this right now. Maybe he can reduce his plan to become a 0 or a 1 and then call to cancel! Is that all there is to it? Or would he need bad credit too?
  • by milbournosphere (1273186) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @01:33AM (#38288262)
    'cause chances are you're not going to be able to do it on our network."
  • Surely no worse than Rogers Bell Telus (choose yr poison)
    • by Myopic (18616) *

      "Rogers Bell Telus"? What is that, some kind of sexually transmitted disease?

      "Dude, I think that girl from the bar gave me Rogers Bell Telus."
      "Ew, no way dude! Did you get a greenish discharge?"
      "Sort of. The discharge is sort of whitish."
      "Oh, that's not Telus, man, that's the Clap. They can clear that up with anti-biotics."
      "Thank goodness! If I had Rogers Bell Telus I'd have to get my dong amputated."

  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @01:46AM (#38288306) Homepage Journal

    the AT&T today is in name only. It has no relation to the great company started by Alexander Graham Bell in the 19th century.

    AT&T ceased to exist after the Feds broke it up in the 1980's. Apparently some dog turd of a company called Cingular merged with another turd company (SBC), and bought the name from yet another company (PacBell), and they decided to call the resulting mega-turd AT&T.

    • by erice (13380) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @02:26AM (#38288460) Homepage

      Yes it is.

      AT&T was broken up into AT&T (The long distance carrier), Bell Labs (relabeled Lucent), and regional Bell Operating Companies.

      AT&T of today is Southwestern Bell (SBC) + Pac Bell + Bell South + Ameritech

      Verizon is NYNEX + Bell Atlantic + GTE

      CenturyLink is USWest + CenturyTel (not a Bell company)

      Cingular was a joint venture between SBC and Bell South and was renamed when those two entities merged and acquired AT&T.

      The Modern day AT&T is a reformation of the bulk of the old AT&T, albeit with management lead by one of the more ethically challenged corners rather than from the original top.

      • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @03:34AM (#38288674) Journal

        The Modern day AT&T is a reformation of the bulk of the old AT&T, albeit with management lead by one of the more ethically challenged corners rather than from the original top.

        Sorta like the T-1000 in Terminator II.

        The courts smashed AT&T into a bunch of little pieces, which rolled around like big balls of mercury each doing their own thing. Once the antitrust restrictions timed out, the balls began to merge. When enough of them had merged the resulting blob reshaped itself into something resembling (but somewhat different from) the original structure.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Steven Colbert had a pretty good bit on this [colbertnation.com] when Cingular and AT&T merged a few years ago. (Fast forward to 2:21 in the clip)
      • CenturyLink also took over Embarq which was Sprint's old wireline holdings.
    • by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @02:33AM (#38288490) Journal
      The AT&T which was broken up by the Feds was a monopoly that wouldn't let you plug your own phone into the wall. What we have now isn't so great, but lets not imagine that AT&T from the days before was cream and lollipops.

      Also if you really want service from AT&T, go into the store. That's been my experience.
      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        Yeah - I've always had good customer service from AT&T, but I always go to my local corporate-owned store.

        Now device availability and firmware maintenance - AT&T is an utterly epic fucking failure here. They're unable to do even simple things that take people mere hours to figure out on XDA.

      • ... lets not imagine that AT&T from the days before was cream and lollipops.

        Perhaps not, but one thing that many forget is that there was a lot lost when we lost the old AT&T. AFAIK, back when AT&T was a monopoly, there was an understanding that, in return for being allowed to be a monopoly, they wouldn't enforce patents for their inventions.

        Bell Labs was the premier research institution in the world having the slogan "a patent a day." We all know that things like C, Unix, and the transistor

  • by pjbgravely (751384) <pjbgravely2&gmail,com> on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @01:56AM (#38288332) Homepage Journal
    I know how bad they are. Cingular was great but when they changed their name to AT&T their service dropped accordingly. They claim they didn't turn down the towers but everyone's service got worse.

    I still use them because no one else has service within 4 miles of where I live. It is funny seeing people with other carriers try to use their phones in my area. They always say they always have service.
    • Same where I live, it's AT&T or nothing. You can pick up Verizon if you walk down to the end of my driveway. In the house AT&T gets full bars.

      Sucks.

      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        Same here - Back in 2008, T-Mobile was completely nonfunctional for at least 10 miles, and I live along a fairly major road (New York SR 17, soon to be I-86) - even along a major road like that, T-Mo users received no service until they got to Exit 67 in Vestal.

        Sprint isn't much better.

        I hate AT&T for how they handle device releases, but at least they do have coverage.

    • by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:13AM (#38289010)

      Remember when they merged and renamed all the AT&T Wireless stores Cingular...Then turned around a few months later and ditched the Cingular name, switching all the stores (including the newly acquired Cingular stores) back to AT&T? How many hundreds of millions of dollars did they piss away tossing out all those signs and replacing them? It wasn't like they just changed the name on the bills. They redressed every single store across the nation.

      • That was because when Cingular bought AT&T Wireless they only bought AT&T Wireless (which if I recall correctly had already been split off from the rump of AT&T that still existed at that time) and did not have the naming rights to use AT&T on any of the stores that they did not acquire with AT&T Wireless. A few months later, Cingular's parent company bought the rest of AT&T's corpse and renamed themselves AT&T.
        Modern AT&T is not the same company as the original AT&T. A
        • So you're saying they're no longer run by Prof Moriarty, but by people who are much worse?
        • The reason the name stuck around after SBC became AT&T was that Cingular was originally a joint venture between SBC and Bell South. They weren't able to rename Cingular to AT&T Mobility until the new AT&T (SBC) bought Bell South and took full control of the cellular operations.
  • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @02:01AM (#38288352) Homepage

    The article is pretty much useless. While we know AT&T ranks lowest - we don't know what that means in absolute percentages. (I.E. they could be have a score of 99.98% percent customer satisfaction, and still be 'lowest'.)
     
    But, that won't stop the cavalcade of anecdotal AT&T hate, after all Slashdot has to produce it's daily Two Minutes Hate [wikipedia.org] against somebody corporate.

    • But, that won't stop the cavalcade of anecdotal AT&T hate, after all Slashdot has to produce it's daily Two Minutes Hate [wikipedia.org] against somebody corporate.

      Exactly. It is well known that customer service from all major telcos is horrible. And it is only to be expected; after all, they're all corporations.

      • by tompaulco (629533)
        That is not to be expected at all. Corporations ought to have good customer service. If they did, they would be successful. Look at the airline industry. Horrible service, force people to endure gropings and x-rays, make them wait around on airport ramps for hours at a time, tiny seats with no legroom. And the airlines are all doing poorly, other than Southwest which notoriously treats their customers better.
        Then look at the cruise line industry. Treats the customers like kings and queens. Provides shows,
    • by bogaboga (793279)

      The article is pretty much useless.

      Question is, "for who?" The article is useful for me because I now know which carrier to avoid when I get to the US of America later this month. How about that?

      • by Myopic (18616) *

        Depending on your circumstances, the brand new Republic Phone might be able to save you money and frustration -- but only if you are the right kind of person. Check it out.

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      All the companies scored 0 out of 10, so they just drew straws to determine the worst.
  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki&cox,net> on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @02:05AM (#38288374)

    They'd still be the #1 scumbag. Telcos are fucking evil.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They're all evil for pushing a mandatory data plan on smartphones despite these phones generally having wi-fi already built in. For most people, I guess needing to be on the internet every moment is a requirement, but I certainly don't need it while I'm driving, I certainly don't need it while I'm sitting in a bar with my wife, and I certainly don't need to to check my favorite porn sites.

      I'm just a deaf guy who wants an android phone to text my wife and family with, and to check my email while I'm at my w

      • by schnell (163007) <me&schnell,net> on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @03:13AM (#38288616) Homepage

        They're all evil for pushing a mandatory data plan on smartphones despite these phones generally having wi-fi already built in.

        I know this spoils the Slashdot anti-corporate groupthink storyline, but the cellular carriers don't just do this stuff for the sake of being evil. The fact is that telcos pay a lot more for smartphones than they do for dumb phones, but customers generally still want "a phone" to cost anywhere between $0 and $200. So the telcos lose more money on every smartphone sale and in order to make that money back they make sure you are forced to have a data plan. The majority - although clearly not you - of cellular customers with smartphones want that anyway, so not a big deal. If they weren't charging you for a data plan they would be extending the length of the contract or something else... it's not being evil just for fun, it's making sure they get their money back on subsidizing your new shiny toy.

        Here's a hint - if you want a smartphone and no data plan, buy a non-carrier-branded version unlocked at full price, then take it to one of the US GSM carriers and away you go. (With most GSM carriers, the smartphone plan automatic enforcement is based on serial numbers of subsidized phone models so if you buy some unlocked GSM smartphone that carrier doesn't sell, you should be fine.) Just don't expect the carrier to sell you a $700 phone for $100 and not charge you for a data plan and a two-year contract to make that money back for them plus interest.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @03:25AM (#38288648)

          Not so with ATT. According to some forum, people who did that were getting notified that they were getting a 20 or 30 dollar data plan smacked onto their account. Regardless if the phone is unlocked or not.

          Besides, as I said earlier, I've offered to buy the phone outright (full price) and I've been told by several salesmen as well as customer services online that the data plan is still required. See link -> http://mobile.engadget.com/2010/02/11/atandt-forcing-smartphones-even-unlocked-ones-onto-smartphone-da/

          According to them, the phone just won't work "right" without a data plan.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Well that's all well and good, but the companies could offer to sell the phone for actual cost, and then not require the data plan. (Or give a discount on it).

          What they are doing also means that since you pay off the phone in 2 years, anyone who doesn't upgrade their phone every 2 years is overpaying and being ripped off. They should break out the cost of the phone as a loan, and list it separately. Then when the phone is paid off in two years, you have a choice:
          a. New Phone, New Loan
          or
          b. Same phone, decr

        • this wasn't even the basis of why Telcos are scum. Smartphones are best when you've got a data plan. A smartphone - data plan = fancy brick that can sometimes make calls.

        • by Myopic (18616) *

          I have heard and understand that argument, but it is -- let me put this bluntly -- complete bullshit. And we know for a fact that it is bullshit, because the requirement to have a data plan applies even to customers who already own their own smart phone device (as do I), despite your claim to the contrary. The policy is absolutely, positively, 100% obviously and incontrovertibly a greedy fucking money grab on the part of telcos who illegally and unethically collude with one another to fuck the general publi

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        why didn't you just buy the phone from expansys?
        at&t doesn't "sell" phones. they rent them, the dataplan is the rent. imagine what kind of data service they could provide if the data-service fee went actually paying the data service and not just paying for some percentage of the phone.

      • by Myopic (18616) *

        Indeed. This is the reason I don't have a smart phone -- the ONLY reason.

        Actually I do have a smart phone, an HTC Incredible. It's very nice. I use it like an iPod, for music and podcasts and games and whatnot, but I don't have phone service for it. I have a candybar-style phone in my other pocket for phone calls. So, of course I would like to merge those two devices, but I'm not willing to pay for a data plan, so I'm not able to merge them. But consider doing as I do, and buy a cheap secondary-market smart

  • by lennier1 (264730) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @02:24AM (#38288452)

    They worked hard for that title and they deserve it.

  • still the cheapest (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pausanias (681077) <pausaniasx.gmail@com> on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @02:30AM (#38288478)
    Service quality is not so bad where I live. I can talk and surf at the same time. And there is no way, I repeat no way to have two iPhones under one plan for less than $100/month in the USA other than AT&T. Would I prefer to have Verizon? Sure, but not $50 extra per month sure.
  • by swonkdog (70409) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @03:19AM (#38288626)

    We find the conclusions reached by Consumer Reports to be not only ridiculous but completely baseless as well. Our company would like to believe that it's service would be given a fair and unbalanced evaluation in the market but that is apparently too much to ask. Below we have chosen to refute a few of the more egregious claims leveled by so-called Consumer Reports.

    Consumer Reports asserts that AT&T's customer service is below average. This is completely untrue. Not a single member of our executive board had trouble reaching a service representative. All of our executive board member's questions were answered politely and completely. They were even told to have a nice day as they disconnected.

    As to the statements that our system coverage is sub-par; they have obviously failed to take note of our previously stated plans to at some undefined point in the future to potentially undertake some form of consideration on the concept of improving coverage and building out our meaninglessly named 4G network. We are truly serious about thinking about these things and we believe that we should be given extra credit for taking the time out of our very busy day to contemplate things of this ilk.

    We support our troops, orphans, nuns and puppies.

    To the assertion that our customer satisfaction ranks at the bottom of the list. Completely untrue! Our internally generated satisfaction matrices inform us that customer satisfaction has never been higher. Our P.R. Department confirms that they believe our internal numbers to be accurate and will sign sworn statements to this effect. In short, we believe our customers love us.

    In conclusion, we feel that this is yet another attempt by our enemies in the FCC, the Obama administration, Sprint and the Society for Creative Anachronism to slander our company's good name and prevent our monopoly from succeeding as planned.

    Sincerely,
    Your AT&T Overlords

  • by Vskye (9079) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @04:09AM (#38288798)

    I've had all 3 services, and I'll just break them down service wise: Uverse: Speedy all around, latency not that special.
    DSL: Really great and cheaper than Uverse.
    Charter: Wow.. oversubscribed crap, less than a 56k modem.

    Regardless, AT&T has won hands down in service and support. When I called up Charter on my slow ass Internet speeds I was taking to some script reading dude from India and well ya. I took the cable box and modem back to them and they seemed surprised that I canceled my service.

    These are my only choices btw, and it sucks.

    • by ndogg (158021)

      Experiences like that vary from place to place. I've seen areas where Uverse was as shitty as dial-up, and in other areas where it's no question the best service available. Same with Charter, and other cable companies.

  • They're all the same (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jbov (2202938) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:52AM (#38289116)
    Verizon is no better. When the Motorola Razor was a big deal, it had a bug which would keep the data connection open upon receiving a picture message. Countless customers had data usage charges tacked onto their monthly bill because of this. I did. I called Verizon several times, at 40 minutes plus per call. They customer service representative told me I must have been surfing the web. I told him I was at work (at an ISP), in front of a computer, and was not surfing the web during those hours. Each time coincided with when I received a picture message. They had hundreds of dollars tacked onto my bill. I told one rep to do a simple Google search for the bug in the Razor. He said they would credit my account. He didn't. He left bad notes in whatever call logging system they had. Finally, about 1 month later, I got someone with brains. This rep said they were aware of the problem and applied a credit immediately.

    Long hold times. Poor customer services. Lies. Getting hung up on. I've had the same issues with Verizon, ATT, and the latest venture Simple Mobile.

    I swore I'd never go back to Verizon, but they are the only one with any service near my house.

    Customer service sucks with all cell phone carriers. I've tried them all and have stories for each.
    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      Speaking of the Razr, the new Droid Razrs (as well as other smartphones) have been having problems across the East coast on Verizon since yesterday [droid-life.com], including mine. Basically, they're not able to connect to 4G, and often lose data entirely. If they don't get it fixed today I'm going to fight for a credit... which doesn't look good on them seeing as how I've only had the phone for about two weeks.

  • by gelfling (6534) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @07:33AM (#38289414) Homepage Journal

    Would you rather get brain melting prion disease or rabies?

  • Even though it might be delaying the inevitable, I'm glad that, for a few more months at least, I'm still on Magenta and not AT&T.
  • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @08:27AM (#38289602)

    In my humble opinion, I think much of the complaints about AT&T wireless service comes from the fact the method of cellphone tower installations in the USA (smaller number of high-powered towers) work poorly with GSM, because most of the world, cellphone tower installations are based on a large number of lower-powered cellphone towers, which is far better-suited for GSM. The US-style of cellphone tower installation works WAY better with CDMA, which was designed with this in mind; this is why iPhone 4/4S users on the Verizon network report a lot less dropouts on cellphone calls.

    • by HBI (604924)

      That's an infrastructure problem for the GSM provider, not my problem. I hear a lot about how "hard" it is to set up towers. That didn't stop thousands of the things from being installed, serviced and decorated like christmas trees in some cases over the last 20 years.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      gsm limitations?
      the "usa style" cell-tower placing is a _choice_ from at&t. there's enough money per square km for them to make profit while keeping a decent coverage with their 850mhz band.

      also, who cares about gsm? umts is where it's at. our country dropped 900mhz gsm ages ago, 900mhz umts is where it's at if you're at a summer cottage..

    • I can believe that and also now know why those in big cities wish for a replaceable battery on the iPhone. AT&T combined with my updated 4S in a recent trip to NYC was not very encouraging. While I usually had at least one bar above ground, data was near non-existent anywhere in the city and with the limitation (carrier implemented?) of not allowing you to turn off 3G and go down to Edge like the 4 can do, my battery wouldn't last the day, even turning it on airplane mode when going subway.This made n
  • The real news is why so many people/companies keep bending over and taking the reaming that AT&T gives them, year after year. So why is that? Anyone? Anyone?
    • by Myopic (18616) *

      Because the marginal difference between carriers is small enough to be negligible. They all suck horribly and in inconsistent ways. For many people, AT&T sucks less than the alternative, but still sucks. When all the carriers suck, the only recourse would be to go without a cell phone, which sucks even more than the carriers do.

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