Sprint Tumbles In 'Consumer Reports' Ratings

sprintHaving been at the top (or near the top) of the rankings for the past four years, Sprint has tumbled to the bottom of the rankings of the Big Four carriers in Consumer Reports'latest tracking of cell-phone service rating. 

The publication surveyed its more-than 58,000 subscribers to rank the carriers in categories such as value, voice, text and 4G reliability. “Pretty much across the board, they were at the bottom,” Jeff Blyskal, senior writer at Consumer Reports, tells Marketing Daily

Verizon Wireless was once again the top major carrier, receiving high marks for data service and customer support, while AT&T and T-Mobile were in the middle. (AT&T did receive a top rating for 4G reliability.)

After having been toward the bottom of the rankings in 2010, Sprint had recovered enough to pull into a statistical tie with Verizon in 2011 and 2012 before falling to second last year. (These rankings are considered the 2014 tally.) “It was a good story a couple years ago because they had picked up,” Blyskal says. 



Among all carriers, Consumer Cellular was the overall leader with strong scores across all categories, he says. He noted the company uses the network of lower-ranked AT&T, indicating perhaps that consumers might consider AT&T overpriced. “The difference is [Consumer Cellular] is cheaper,” Blyskal says. “When you price it right, consumers love it.”

Consumers also continue to love no-contract plans. As in previous years, the no-contract and prepaid services such as TracFone and Straight Talk scored consistently better than the contract-carriers, he says. “For those plans, TracFone, Straight Talk and Net10 were all higher rated than Verizon’s contract service,” he says.

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