Best Cell-Phone Service

By: Rachel Pierce Email
By: Rachel Pierce Email

Sprint speed for many apparently isn't good enough. Consumer Reports' latest survey of cell-phone users rated Sprint among the lowest of the five major carriers.

"This is the sixth year of our survey," said Consumer Report's Rosalind Tordesillas. "Sprint was consistently among the lowest-rated in satisfaction, dropped calls, and consumer service."

And AT&T, home of the acclaimed iPhone, had reported problems with static and gaps in service in many of the 20 cities survey.

In the Consumer Reports national Research Center survey of more than 47-thousand cell-phone users, only 45% were highly satisfied with their service.

"Among the top complaints were the required contract extensions when you change your phone or plan. But recently several big carriers have announced plans to eliminated these mandatory contract extensions." said Tordesillas.

Controversial early termination fees are also being reexamined. Several major carriers have agreed to prorate them over the course of the contract.

The survey shows the top reason people switched their cell-service carrier in the past three years was poor service. That includes dropped calls and poor coverage.

Among the better cell providers in the survey, Verizon Wireless, with better-than-average phone service. Alltel, a smaller provider, also got high marks. And T-Mobile was comparable to Verizon Wireless in many cities.

"If you're looking for a new carrier, your best bet is to start with one that did well in our survey." said Tordesillas.

Consumer Reports says take advantage of the 14-to-30-day free trial period offered by carriers. If you find you're not happy with the service, you're free to cancel it without paying fees or penalties.

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