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AT&T Still Ranked the Worst Mobile Provider

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With so much changing in the world around us, it's comforting to have some familiar constants. The sky is blue, water is wet, and AT&T is the worst mobile provider in the US.

Once again, and confirming what we already knew, Consumer Reports ranked AT&T dead last in a review of the country's cellular networks. Based on a survey of 58,000 readers, subscribers remain unhappy -- and in most cases, livid -- at the awful coverage, abhorrent customer service, and constant dropped calls. In other words, that $2 billion it spent on network restructuring and improvement meant precisely squat.

The carriers -- AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular -- were scrutinized under several categories: voice, text, data, customer support, staff competence, ability to resolve issues, and overall value. On a 1-5 scale -- one being Worst and five being Best -- AT&T scored a 1 on every category except text. On that, my friends, it was able to eke out a 2.

No other company scored a 1 in any category.

Consumer Reports found that "iPhone owners were, by far, the least satisfied with their carrier," making the device's rumored move to the Android-friendly Verizon a godsend in their eyes. But could the network take the flood of customers adequately?

According to the survey, it just might. Verizon came in second place in the running -- besting Sprint and T-Mobile, in that order. But it still fell short of the plucky US Cellular -- a carrier offered in 26 states and serves just over six million customers.

In response to the report, AT&T issued a statement:
We take this seriously and we continually look for new ways to improve the customer experience. The fact is wireless customers have choices and a record number of them chose AT&T in the third quarter, significantly more than our competitors. Hard data from independent drive tests confirms AT&T has the nation's fastest mobile broadband network with our nearest competitor 20 percent slower on average nationwide and our largest competitor 60 percent slower on average nationwide. And, our dropped call rate is within 1/10 of a percent -– the equivalent of just one call in a thousand -– of the industry leader.
Ah, well. That changes everything.

Everyone else is clearly wrong.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.