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JD Power: AT&T Still Stinks at Customer Service
Sprint, T-Mobile Take Top Honors in Latest Survey
by Karl Bode 12:35PM Wednesday Aug 17 2011
JD Power and Associates latest "Wireless Purchase Experience Ratings" have been released, which according to the company's press release involved surveying some 9,190 customers on their wireless purchase experiences in stores, online, and over the phone. The survey ranks wireless carriers on a scale of 1,000, with T-Mobile and Sprint tying for top honors in this year's survey (both scoring 755). Verizon came in third place and AT&T took their now traditional spot at last place in most of these kinds of surveys. T-Mobile's primary score comes largely due to customers happy with lower prices, something we're sure AT&T will immediately "fix" early next year when their $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile is approved by both the FCC and DOJ.

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Wyatt657

@mycingular.net

Ok. Att is monopoly

And overpriced. But customer service, from my experience no problems although I don't call them often. Last time I had overage SMS because some jackas was sending me spam of 1000+. bill came with $300 but att went ahead and credited after described them my problem. In addition they directed me to a website where u can put block on incoming SMS from servers/email domains and even filter based on domain keyword.

If they rated their service and products I would sometimes agree. That's different.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Re: Ok. Att is monopoly

Only in your mind.

AT&T gets away with its lousy service levels precisely because the masses are too lazy and/or ignorant to evaluate any other options.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

AT&T stinks no more than the others

There is virtually no difference between the top 5. They all stink just about equally. Only 10 points on a 1000 point scale separated 1st from 5th place(755 to 745).
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xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: AT&T stinks no more than the others

It's fair to say of all consumer electronics, the phone carriers suck most overall. It's a complicated industry with various plans, conditions per plan and more and more complicated devices. The difference of support between carriers may not be much compared to how they differ overall from consumer devices in general.

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12
said by FFH5:

There is virtually no difference between the top 5. They all stink just about equally. Only 10 points on a 1000 point scale separated 1st from 5th place(755 to 745).

True, but kudos to Dan Hesse. He has certainly righted the customer service ship at Sprint. It was only a year ago that they were still ranked pretty low.

celeritypc
For Lucky Best Wash, Use Mr. Sparkle
Premium
join:2004-05-15
Caldwell, NJ

What's the criteria? What is asked?

I would like to know what questions are asked of respondants as well as who they ask. All I can say is my experiences with the companies involved have been very different than what is reported in the surveys.

Ironwolf21

@12.34.246.x

AT&T

Why does AT&T rank last?

Easy they suck at customer service. True story - I moved to a rural area with only Aircard access available for internet. I went to T-mobile, Sprint, Verizon and AT&T and got one of each of their cards for a free 2 week trial.

I went with Verizon because it gave me the fastest overall speeds.

I took all the other cards back and the other vendors were fine. AT&T however took the card back and then 2 months later I get a bill. They say I am overdue in paying. I call them and say - no it was a FREE TRIAL and I did not choose your card. They say ok - sorry for the trouble.

2 months later I get a phone call of being put into collection if I don't pay. I send back a reply in writing that if you do not stop harassing me over a FREE TRIAL - I will send this to the Michigan Attorney Generals office in an official complaint of harrassment.

They put me into collections.

I request in writing all pertainent data of my account and file my complaint with the Attorney Generals office.

I get a phone call from AT&T saying they are very sorry - I was correct and it is their fault. I reply that the people who do collections are rude and that I would NEVER use AT&T forthing if I can help it for the rest of my life.

jchambers28

join:2007-05-12
Alma, AR

Tmobile customer service

Goes to show Tmbile customer service will go to hell in a hand basket if they merge with AT&T.

mod_wastrel
iamwhatiam

join:2008-03-28
kudos:1

OK,

"JD Power: AT&T Still Stinks"

...just stop right there.
underthehood
Premium
join:2006-01-04

BS they are fine

Been with AT&T for about 5+ years now. Have never had an issue with the CS. Issue with actual call service occasionally but CS totally top notch. Verizon, Sprint? Total crap. Unless you understand some different language. I would rate US Cellular and T-Mobile tops though for CS. About equally good. Verizon well below the other 2 and Sprint as the most awful excuse for customer service.
Funny I see these totally BS surveys and I wonder where they come from. I've been a mobile phone customer from the early 80's and I have NEVER been surveyed

Re: BS they are fine

This really isn't about the overall customer service of each company. It's about the wireless purchase experience - two completely different things.

Although the rankings certainly do mirror the rankings in customer service.

Dest
Bolo
Premium
join:2000-03-21
Naperville, IL
have you even deal with Sprint lately? their customer service have improved ALOT
nanaki333

join:2010-08-11
Chantilly, VA

Re: BS they are fine

agreed. i never have a surprise bill, overage, anything ever. everything has always been as advertised, and any changes i make online/phone/in-person, are always taken care of. which again, leads me to the fact there are never any surprises.

a lot of the time i do get someone who does not speak english as their first language, but the person is clear and fluent, and very easy to understand.

Geminimind
Premium
join:2003-12-20
Sacramento, CA
Yes I'm with sprint and they are way better than they used to be
underthehood
Premium
join:2006-01-04
After being bent over the table, screed glued and tatooed by them and no vaseline or even a kiss why would I EVER deal with them again?

Dest
Bolo
Premium
join:2000-03-21
Naperville, IL

Re: BS they are fine

said by underthehood:

After being bent over the table, screed glued and tatooed by them and no vaseline or even a kiss why would I EVER deal with them again?

funny, i have the same story about verizon

Jovi
Premium
join:2000-02-24
Mount Joy, PA
said by underthehood:

Funny I see these totally BS surveys and I wonder where they come from. I've been a mobile phone customer from the early 80's and I have NEVER been surveyed

If your referring to JD Power, you have to be a Power Panel member to vote on the surveys. I did it for a few years.
--
"Some people have no respect for logic."

liaa

@comcast.net

tm will drop in after merger

Ya for sure tm will lose big time when att get them the service will suck big time. my contract over I drop them I hate att so bad.

ctceo
Premium
join:2001-04-26
South Bend, IN

Pick two

Good Product/Service
Good Customer Service
Good Price

Gbcue
Premium
join:2001-09-30
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:8
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

Re: Pick two

said by ctceo:

Good Product/Service
Good Customer Service
Good Price

AT&T has none of the three.
--
My Blog 2.2

ctceo
Premium
join:2001-04-26
South Bend, IN
Reviews:
·Virgin Mobile Br..

Re: Pick two

I wish I could agree, but I had DSL service for about 11.5 years with them and the cumulative downtime was not more than an hour or three over that course of time.

Now, on the other hand, they are a corporation which tend to be indifferent and even callous to a customers problems. They still want to charge me for a DSL contract from 2002 that I asked them to transfer to another residence in the same apartment complex. They refused to do it for whatever reason. My girlfriend already had DSL at the residence, and I offered to pay BOTH until my contract ended since I have a multi-wan router. But they refused.

I do have a true story about the transfer of my girlfriends DSL to UVerse though and it's definitely not a pretty one. Needless to say we been borrowing a neighbors AP access key for about 13 days now as the transition wasn't as smooth as they said it would be. I will post a write up (review) on it when the whole fiasco is over, hopefully soon.

--
Start your enlightenment here. Let's try to start making the world a better place, or it'll never happen!

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AlphaOne
I see
Premium
join:2004-02-21

What's up with the AT&T brand?

Cingular in my opinion were doing good way back then.
After acquiring at&t mobile, they were still decent.
But after SBC merged(or bought) the rest of AT&T, things went downhill.

NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:12
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC

Re: What's up with the AT&T brand?

said by AlphaOne:

Cingular in my opinion were doing good way back then.
After acquiring at&t mobile, they were still decent.
But after SBC merged(or bought) the rest of AT&T, things went downhill.

Interesting, considering that prior to the SBC purchase of AT&T SBC and Bellsouth were joint owners (60/40 split) of Cingular. In fact, a good guess about why AT&T (nee SBC) bought Bellsouth was to gain full control of Cingular, for the purpose of restoring its original brand: AT&T Wireless.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

Paulster

@rcn.com

Re: What's up with the AT&T brand?

Everybody likes to say cingular bought at&t. That's what AT&T wants you to believe. I think it was some kind of, you buy me, I buy you deal.
Cingular (a conglomeration of two baby bells) buys AT&Ts wireless division. Later , like you said, The New AT&T buys Cingular's parent CO, and picks up the Yellow pages too. Hence the AT&T logo returns.
How long did Cingular hold control of their wireless division? I know not long enough to have any effect on the framework of the Company. It was probably never meant to effect any changes until the return.
Was all this razel dazel to to stay under the antitrust radar, when the feds don't seem to care?
They (feds) have allowed Verizon and AT&T to buy up and merge with as many baby bells, cable companies, and independent wireless companies as they see fit to own.
The biggest crock is the feds telling Sprint they could not buy MCI, but allowed Verizon to buy MCI 6 years later.
Was it Truman said the buck stops here? we need him back.
Why would the feds bust their A to break up the old Ma Bell. And then seem to go out of their way to put it back together again.
Now there is some real tax dollars at work.
Not to mention your phone bill when all this buying runs out of companies to buy. (Dam they worked hard, they deserve it. Right?)

NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:12
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC

1 edit

Re: What's up with the AT&T brand?

said by Paulster :

Everybody likes to say cingular bought at&t.

If you thought I was saying that, I apologize. I had know idea that saying something like, "AT&T (nee SBC) bought Bellsouth was to gain full control of Cingular, for the purpose of restoring its original brand: AT&T Wireless" could be so misconstrued.

AT&T was broken into at least at pieces; two of which were Southwestern Bell Telephone and Bellsouth. AT&T retained some bits, though, including the Wireless operation.

SWBT rebranded as, "SBC Global".

Two other pieces of Humpty Dumpty, Bell Atlantic and NYNEX, merged with non-Bell General Telephone and Electric to form Verizon. So Verizon is not all Baby Bell.

AT&T sold their Wireless operation, which was jointly bought by SBC and Bellsouth. SBC went on to by two other pieces of Humpty Dumpty, Ameritech and The Pacific Telesis Group. But they also picked up one non-Bell company, Prodigy, and one former Bell company (spun off by AT&T before the breakup), Southern New England Telephone.

So not only is Verizon not all Baby Bell, so also is SBC not all Baby Bell.

If you have been able to keep track so far, the original AT&T Wireless is now branded as, "Cingular", and jointly owne by SBC and Bellsouth.

Next SBC bought AT&T, then rebranded as AT&T. This is interesting because the original AT&T was forbidden, under the terms of the consent decree, from using the "Bell" brand; that was reserved for the seven RBOCs. So AT&T was no longer a "Bell" company until SBC bought them.

Finally, and my suspicion, SBC (dba AT&T) bought Bellsouth, in order to gain full control of Cingular; in order that they could restore the original brand of the wireless operation: AT&T.

So if you think I believe Cingular bought AT&T, you really haven't understood what I wrote.

P.S. I suppose I should add that there are no pure "Baby Bells" left.

The first to fall was USWest, bought by non-Bell Qwest. And Qwest, itself, was recently bought by non-Bell CenturyLink. So we currently have:

• AT&T: Formed from four "Baby Bells", and two non-Bell companies.
• CenturyLink: Formed from one "Baby Bell", and three non-Bell companies (CL being a merger of CenturyTell with Embarq).
• Verizon: Formed from two "Baby Bells", and one non-Bell company.

In fact, the USWest brand was so deeply buried by Qwest, and now further buried by the acquisition of Qwest by CenturyLink, that hardly anybody, outside of that company, remembers that there is a Bell company buried within that string of mergers.

--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI
If I recall the sequence-of-events correctly: Cingular was jointly-owned by SBC and BellSouth. Cingular purchased AT&T's wireless business and merged it in. SBC bought AT&T. SBC bought BellSouth's interest in Cingular and renamed it "AT&T Wireless." SBC renamed themselves "AT&T." SBC bought BellSouth.

As to why "AT&T" wireless is so bad now? Same reason "AT&T" everything is so bad now: They've become so dominant they figure they don't have to care anymore.

"We're the Phone Company. We don't have to care!" was the popular joke back in the day, before the breakup of AT&T. (The real AT&T.) Thing is: That wasn't strictly accurate, as they had the FCC and state regulatory agencies with which to contend. Then came the breakup, and quite a degree of deregulation. It was felt much of the old heavy-handed regulation was no longer quite as necessary, because now there was competition.

But now "AT&T," much like the T-1000 robot in Terminator 2, has re-merged much of itself. So we have, in the new "AT&T," much of the old "AT&T," except now it's run by bean-counters, rather than TelCom people, and much of the regulation that used to be present is now absent.

I used to like Michigan Bell Telephone. I used to like AT&T. But this... thing that calls itself "AT&T," these days? Absolutely horrible company, in my experience and view.

Jim
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

Re: What's up with the AT&T brand?

said by jseymour:

If I recall the sequence-of-events correctly: Cingular was jointly-owned by SBC and BellSouth. Cingular purchased AT&T's wireless business and merged it in. SBC bought AT&T. SBC bought BellSouth's interest in Cingular and renamed it "AT&T Wireless." SBC renamed themselves "AT&T." SBC bought BellSouth.

As to why "AT&T" wireless is so bad now? Same reason "AT&T" everything is so bad now: They've become so dominant they figure they don't have to care anymore.

"We're the Phone Company. We don't have to care!" was the popular joke back in the day, before the breakup of AT&T. (The real AT&T.) Thing is: That wasn't strictly accurate, as they had the FCC and state regulatory agencies with which to contend. Then came the breakup, and quite a degree of deregulation. It was felt much of the old heavy-handed regulation was no longer quite as necessary, because now there was competition.

But now "AT&T," much like the T-1000 robot in Terminator 2, has re-merged much of itself. So we have, in the new "AT&T," much of the old "AT&T," except now it's run by bean-counters, rather than TelCom people, and much of the regulation that used to be present is now absent.

I used to like Michigan Bell Telephone. I used to like AT&T. But this... thing that calls itself "AT&T," these days? Absolutely horrible company, in my experience and view.

Jim

So the breakup of MA-Bell was more of a DIVORCE (bells assets were TEMPORARILY removed like children into foster homes) & PROBATION rather than an anti-trust breakup.. Now we have AT&T and Verizon (rest of the country's bells, you dont' count anymore.. redheaded step children ;-> ).

NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:12
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC

Re: What's up with the AT&T brand?

said by tmc8080:

So the breakup of MA-Bell was more of a DIVORCE (bells assets were TEMPORARILY removed like children into foster homes) & PROBATION rather than an anti-trust breakup.. Now we have AT&T and Verizon (rest of the country's bells, you dont' count anymore.. redheaded step children ;-> ).

I honestly don't know where the "other Bell" fits into things. Used to be the seventh child of the break-up: USWest. Bought by Qwest, which was, itself, bought by CenturyLink.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI

"AT&T" vs. Sprint and VZ

I'm an IT professional, by trade. As such, I deal with "AT&T" (really SBC renamed) (both at work and at home), Verizon (at work) and Sprint (my personal wireless provider).

I have found Sprint's customer service the last few years to be exemplary in all respects. Even during their Dark Days, when Sprint's CS was allegedly very bad, I found it "acceptable," at worst.

My experience with Verizon Wireless has been somewhat mixed, but they've always eventually made things right. I would give them a... "B". Maybe "B+".

"AT&T," however... worst customer service of any vendor with which I deal, bar none. Absolutely appalling in every respect. And this isn't just recently. About a year after SBC acquired AT&T, things went precipitously downhill. I have had such a God-awful experience with these jokers at work that I'm seriously considering taking Comcast up on their offer and switching our home service over--something I thought I'd never in a million years consider.

So if "AT&T" wireless is anything like the "AT&T" with which I've had to deal, I can see how their customer service ranks at the bottom.

Jim
en103

join:2011-05-02
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: "AT&T" vs. Sprint and VZ

I haven't had any 'great' customer service, but I will agree with your opinion on Sprint. I have Sprint for work - the only CS issue that I had was migrating my line from Nextel over to Sprint. It took a few hours, and 4 reps.

AT&T - they haven't been 'great', but they haven't screwed me either.
bad: 'Authorized Agent' store in Porter Ranch, CA attempted to make me pay full price to migrate over from AT&T Wireless to Cingular (back in the day) or have my service cut.
good: AT&T Wireless service reps - they fixed my 'North America package', and once - due to their mistake, refunded me the cost of 2 months of it.
good: AT&TM gave me the 'unlimited iPhone data package' on my wife's line (never had data plan before).

VZW: Its been 10 years - and I haven't looked back. Everything from their Agent store selling me phone that was already registered to dropped calls R us to billing errors (often). In the end, the final straw was waiting 2 hours (Porter Ranch corp VZW) for a new phone, only to get home and be told that I'd have to bring it back. It got worse when I cancelled it next day (contract was up), and VZW kept billing me, and attempted collections stating that they didn't have a cancellation (I had my copy - but they wouldn't accept it). After a warning about having an attorney + BBB on their case, they stopped.

I agree jseymore, AT&T Wireless was a better company before SBC acquired them.
pkorx8

join:2003-06-19
San Francisco, CA

1 edit

My bad experience with ATT

I was an ATT (blue) customer since 2004 when I decided to finally update my phone (and thus the mandatory contract update) in April of this year.
I knew I should go to a retail ATT store to try and mitigate some of the contract update problems, even tho I knew online places like amazon wireless will be a much better deal (like free HTC Inspire instead of ~$150 for the same phone at ATT store).

The retail ATT store still managed to screw my transition:
- Did not grandfather my old SMS plan (200/$5) even tho I know they can and they said they will at the store. THEY WILL NOT REVERSE THEIR SCREW UP. Spent an hour on the phone with them to created a "case" because the retail ATT store cannot do anything about it. Unsurprisingly, they denied my complaint.
- Without notifying me of this, ATT changed the account to a "personal" instead of the "business" as it has been since 2004. This created problems such as the account cannot join a family plan in the future (which I intended to do) and it required the account to be "paid before each cycle" which is like prepaid. I didn't care too much about the prepaid part, but I cannot merge with my wife's iphone account. So when we returned to the ATT store to try and merge the account, the ATT guy actually told us the solution to this is to port out to another carrier and within the 30-day period of the other carrier, port back to ATT to create the family account, thus "merging" it. I'm "rethinking possible" but apparently setup up a family account is NOT POSSIBLE within the ATT system!
- Did not honor the accessories discount because of premier status at the ATT store even tho I used the same discount a month before at another ATT store.

So I returned to the ATT store before my 30-day period is over to terminate my 7 year relationship with ATT. I'm tried of their BS and I wrote a letter to the ATT store manager telling them of everything that happened.
(I ported out to Sprint an hour before this visit, so I don't lose my number.)
Unsurprisingly, I didn't even get a call from the ATT store manager, they don't care for my business after 7 years.

In their final attempt to screw me (its like their parting gift), they sent me a bill for the $350 ETF. It is intriguing that they have record of the contract initiation date and cancellation date on the account, which is clearly less than 30 days, but their excuse is the retail store didn't report it correctly into the system. REALLY!?!? Spend 2 hours with them on the phone to rectify this problem and another "case" is created.
Luckily they did reverse the ETF charge (why do I have to waste my time for their screw-up again!?!). I logged into the OLAM to find the new balance is without the ETF (no where on the statement is there a "fees reversed" or "fee correction", just a new balance with the ETF gone.) They did not even notify me via phone or email as they promised. Spent another hour on the phone with them to demand some kind of notification or confirmation of this resolution because after going thru all this with ATT, I won't be surprised that they will send me to collections, even though everything should be fixed.
To this date, never got a confirmation yet.

I'm now very happy with Sprint and have not had a dropped call in the last 3 months.
Crypto_Bug

join:2001-05-31
Torrington, CT

Re: My bad experience with ATT

I was an AT&T customer for over 15 years (throughout all the transitions in names) and when I left they did not even care. They were rude and nasty and actually tried to continue billing me for the service I cancelled. AT&T was a horrible company. In order to get my service terminated I had to file a complaint with the state Attorney General. I had similar issues when i dumped their wired services for my home. It took 4 months and finally calls to the DPUC before they would cancel the account. I guess it doesn't pay to be a good customer and pay your bill on time and in full each month.
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beavercable
Premium
join:2008-05-11
Beaverton, OR

Back on target!

This is talking about "buying" experience. I upgraded to my evo just over a year ago using their website and it was quick easy and almost painless. The pain came from spending $300 and having to wait for the rebate. But even the rebate process wasn't bad and I got regular emails from sprint on my rebate process.

TMMerlin
The Devil made me do it

join:2003-06-19
Oxford, MI
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

Sprint is 100% superior !

I have not called them in over 4 years, so they must be 100% "perfect !
It's all in the math ..
No contact = no problems = no hassel = 100% perfect !
--
Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness and they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy but they become legend.

axiomatic

join:2006-08-23
Tomball, TX

Look ahead...

Now just imagine how all the jilted T-Mobile users will rate AT&T after the merger if it goes through.

AT&T you have a very long and very hard road ahead of you and honestly.... I have no pity for you at all. You made your bed, lie in it.
Big Dawg 23

join:2002-03-27
Northfield, MN

Not for Me

I had horrible CS at VZW and T-Mobile. T-Mobile is filed with incompetent idiots. I know more than there tech support.

With AT&T they have been great to me. Solved any all questions on the first turn. Unlike when I had issues with VZW over my phone number be flooded with garbage calls and text, they wouldn't do anything.

At AT&T, they offered instantly to replace my phone number at No Charge then and there. On Monday my cell number was put on a Soccer Association contact information and emails. Over 60 minutes I received 45 calls. With no let up in site I called AT&T. They offered new number no charge. In 5 minutes all was done. Now, I do use Google Voice on my iPhone so my cell number from AT&T doesn't usually get calls.