Consumer Reports: AT&T Has the Most Unhappy Customers

AT&T has placed last in Consumer Reports' annual customer satisfaction rating for carriers. This is the second year in a row that the carrier has come dead last in the survey, which this year included data from some 66,000 subscribers. Interestingly, the smaller carriers were rated extremely well. DailyTech reports that Consumer Cellular, U.S. Cellular, Credo, as well as prepaid brands such as TracFone and Straight Talk, received higher scores than any of the Big Four.

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

So, how did 'The Big Four' do? Well, we know AT&T came last, so that's one out of the way. As far as the others are concerned, Consumer Reports subscribers rated Verizon their number one, with Sprint coming in second. T-Mobile filled the gap between Sprint and AT&T, but CR notes that while it placed below Sprint it "continued to rate significantly better than the higher-priced AT&T."

For its part, AT&T says it's working hard to improve its network. According to Wired, the carrier said that this year it has improved 3G dropped call performance by 25 percent and invested billions of dollars in infrastructure. The carrier also used the opportunity to push its proposed merger of T-Mobile as a solution to its problem.

"As customer demand continues to skyrocket, our proposed T-Mobile merger will enable AT&T to improve our customers’ experience even more," the company said.

Are you satisfied with your carrier? Let us know in the comments below!

Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.