Verizon leads among major carriers in latest Consumer Reports cell-phone service ratings

Consumer Reports
(Photo courtesy of verizonwireless.com)

(Photo courtesy of verizonwireless.com)

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.




MORE AT COnsumer Reports

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 commitment.

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.”

Copyright © 2006-2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Woman Who Ate ‘Carbs All Day Every Day’ Drops 100 Lbs. After Eliminating Bread from Her Diet

      Kristina Guice had always been “the fat kid in school,” she says, so when the Tucson, Arizona, native got accepted to graduate school across the country in Long Island, New York, she decided this was her opportunity to make a change. Guice, 25, had recently lost a close friend — who had also been her weight loss inspiration — and got accepted to graduate school just two weeks later.

      People
    • J.J. Watt accidentally outs relationship in Christmas photo

      A picture is worth a thousand words, or in J.J. Watt’s case, a stocking. After putting the finishing touches on his holiday decor Thursday, the NFL star gave fans a glimpse of his Christmas cheer via Snapchat. But Watt may have slipped up by displaying — tucked away in the background, as Terez Owens was first to point out — a second stocking marked with a “K” for stunning soccer-playing girlfriend Kealia Ohai. Watt has yet to address the relationship publicly, though Ohai — the sister-in-law of Texans teammate Brian Cushing — talked about the pair in October. “The rumors are true. We are dating,” Ohai confirmed on the 2 Up Front podcast. “I’ve known J.J. for a really long time, and we’ve always

      New York Post q
    • EXCLUSIVE: Steve Harvey Wishes Kanye West the 'Best' After Hospitalization, Jokes He Might Follow His Lead

      Harvey is known for his comedic timing, but the funnyman had no jokes for us when it came to discussing West's recent hospitalization.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • The jobs report is a perfect example of fake news

      On Friday, we learned the US economy added 178,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 4.6%, while over 95 million Americans were not in the labor force. One person can say the unemployment rate is 4.6%. Another person can look at the same report and say the unemployment rate is 40.3%.

      Yahoo Finance
    • Jadeveon Clowney looks like a child wearing Vince Wilfork's jersey

      Players and coaches have to find ways to keep things fun, and the Houston Texans seem to have a good grip on that idea. Texans players decided to switch jerseys at practice Friday, and no swap was better than the one between Vince Wilfork and Jadeveon Clowney. A few Texans players switched jerseys at practice today, but the Vince Wilfork and Jadeveon Clowney swap is probably the best.

      SB Nation q
    • 12 Creative Christmas Cookies the Whole Family Will Love (12 photos)

      ‘Tis the season for sweet cookie treats. Whether you like your bite-sized baked goods crispy and crunchy or ooey, gooey, and decadently soft, we’ve found a fun and festive recipes you’ll love — including a few healthier options. (Because that way, you can eat more of them.) So go ahead, click through the above gallery and find simple, sure-to-please cookies perfect for holiday parties and cold winter nights at home alike. Let's keep in touch! Follow Yahoo Beauty on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , and Pinterest .

      Yahoo Beauty 52 min ago
    • A mother-in-law overstays her welcome

      Dear Carolyn: My mother-in-law and her husband used to come to the city where my husband and I live about every other month, stay in a hotel, visit friends and spend time with us. Just before the holidays last year, her husband left her, and we invited her to stay at our apartment for a weekend (we live in a small apartment that has reasonable guest accommodations for a single person, but not a couple). My husband was hesitant to do this, but I convinced him that it was the right thing to do. It wasn’t. She extended her one-night stay to three without asking (just telling us what her tickets were). She walked into our bedroom while we were in bed at 7 one morning and generally didn’t respect

      Washington Post q
    • Mummified Body In Woman's Attic Believed To Be Missing Grandson

      A Pennsylvania woman made a disturbing discovery on Wednesday when she found a badly decomposed body in the attic of her home. Authorities suspect it’s her grandson, who disappeared two years ago. Zanobia Richmond, 65, heard something fall in the upstairs of her Erie home Wednesday afternoon, according to Erie’s WICU 12 News. When she went to investigate, she was shocked to discover a badly decomposed body had fallen against her attic door. Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook is now working to confirm the identity of the body, but told The Erie Times-News officials are confident the body is Richmond’s missing grandson, Dyquain Rogers. “That is where he lived,” Cook said. Authorities will use dental

      The Huffington Post q
    • Fox Sports investigating incident allegedly involving Coyotes broadcaster

      Fox Sports Arizona is looking into an incident that allegedly involved Arizona Coyotes broadcaster Todd Walsh, according to Deadspin. A Facebook account associated with the name Krys Poleon explained an encounter with a man after Poleon’s car allegedly clipped his side mirror.

      Puck Daddy
    • Inside Edition
    • Inside the Alleged Abduction of California Mom Sherri Papini

      Keith Papini details what happened before his wife was found alive.

      ABC News q
    • Kanye West Living Apart from ‘Concerned’ Kim Kardashian for Medical Reasons: Source

      Kanye West is out of the hospital, but the rapper is not back home with his wife Kim Kardashian West and their two children. A source close to the family tells PEOPLE the entertainer, 39, is living apart from his family for the time being and continuing treatment for undisclosed mental health issues after leaving UCLA’s Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital earlier this week. “He is receiving outpatient care else with a medical team,” says the source.

      People
    • Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin Already Mad at Donald Trump: ‘Big Sell-Out Is Coming’

      Two of Donald Trump’s most high profile supporters may already be regretting their decision. Both Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin criticized the president-elect on Friday, following months of staunchly supporting his election. “Sounds like the big sell-out is coming. Oh well. The voters did what we could,” Coulter tweeted Friday. “If Trump sells out, it’s not our fault.” Coulter appears to be angry over Trump backing off his campaign promise to build a wall around the United States as part of his immigration policy. Instead, vice president-elect Mike Pence stated he and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan would be the ones spearheading immigration. Coulter also expressed displeasure at Trump’s pick of

      San Francisco Chronicle q
    • Trump voter has buyer’s remorse after Steve Mnuchin picked for treasury secretary

      Teena Colebrook purchased a triplex in Hawthorne, Calif., in 1998. Now her home is one of 36,000 foreclosures by OneWest, a bank that became known as “a foreclosure machine.” Donald Trump’s pick for treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, headed an investment group that formerly owned that bank, and Colebrook holds Mnuchin responsible for her foreclosure.

      Yahoo News Video
    • Watch Hennessey Race the 2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1 Against the Corvette Z06

      The tuner also took the 650-horsepower muscle car up to its 173-mph top speed.

      The Drive
    • What 'are so many of them doing?' 95 million not in US labor force

      The November jobs report looked pretty good on the surface except for one number that popped off the page: 95 million Americans out of the labor force.

      CNBC
    • Five Things To Know About Sherri Papini and Her Family

      In early November, California mother Sherri Papini mysteriously vanished after she left her Redding, California, home for a routine jog. “It all started with a first kiss in middle school,” Sherri wrote on the blog for her 2009 wedding. Sherri moved away and lost touch with Keith for several years, she writes on the blog.

      People
    • Trump Speaks With Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen, Breaking Policy

      President-elect Donald Trump spoke Friday with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen by phone, according to the Trump transition team, breaking with decades of delicate U.S. policy on China. Friday night, Trump issued two tweets defending the move, which may cause tensions with China. Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi downplayed the call Saturday, describing it as "just a small trick by Taiwan" that he believed would not change U.S. policy toward China, according to Hong Kong's Phoenix TV.

      Good Morning America
    • Investigator Believes Sex Trafficking Could Be Motive Behind Sherri Papini Kidnapping Case

      A private investigator and veteran human trafficking expert believes California mom Sherri Papini‘s case has the hallmarks of sex trafficking.

      People