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AT&T Named Worst US Carrier for Third Year in a Row

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Remember how the characters in Inception, when they exited the dream space, needed a familiar object, or totem, to signal that they're back in reality? The accuracy and physical consistency of the object indicated to the owner that they're back in the real world, where time and space are constant, and everything makes sense.

For a potential totem in the sequel, might I suggest a Consumer Reports review ranking AT&T dead last in customer satisfaction?

Like Susan Lucci if she played fullback for the Buffalo Bills, AT&T clinched its losing streak as Consumer Reports rated it the worst of the major US carriers in the States. For the third year in a row -- though Consumer Reports mistakenly refers to it as the second -- AT&T found itself back at the bottom of customer satisfaction, which ranks qualities such as voice, text, data, customer support, and staff competence.

All of which, as any AT&T customer is aware, can be severely lacking.

After US Cellular pulled an upset last year, Verizon was back on top as the highest-rated major carrier, followed by Sprint and T-Mobile. However, surveying 66,000 cellular subscribers in 22 major cities, Consumer Reports found that subscribers to smaller regional carriers and prepaid providers were the most satisfied. Paul Reynolds, electronics editor for Consumer Reports, explains.

"Our survey indicates that subscribers to prepaid and smaller standard-service providers are happiest overall with their cell-phone service," Reynolds said. "However, these carriers aren’t for everyone. Some are only regional, and prepaid carriers tend to offer few or no smartphones. The major carriers are still leading options for many consumers, and we found they ranged widely in how well they satisfied their customers."

And certainly, if the iPhone or top Android devices were made available to the smaller providers, the weaker infrastructures may not be able to handle the taxing data streams that would hammer their systems. Then again, if that were to happen, we might have scenarios where an iPhone would have free tethering or a Galaxy Nexus would work with Google Wallet.

But that would be just plain silly.

For now, let's just stick with the familiar: The sky is blue, water is wet, and AT&T is the worst mobile provider in the US.

(See also: Verizon Kills Google Wallet on Its Best Android Phone and Google Engineer Calls Google+ a Complete Failure)

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