With the looming threat of Verizon Wireless offering a version of Apple’s iPhone next year, the news could not be worse for AT&T: Consumer Reports, the respected subsciption supported product review publication, ranks AT&T Inc. the worst cellular service provider in the U.S.

The survey of 58,000 readers shows customers continue to hold AT&T’s service in low regard — even after the carrier boosted its wireless spending by $2 billion this year in an effort to correct what it has acknowledged were weaknesses in its network, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. AT&T got the lowest ranking on eight of nine measures of customer support, service and value. The newspaper also noted:
The results bode poorly for AT&T as it faces possible competition for Apple Inc.’s iPhone, a device it carries exclusively now and relies on for much of its subscriber growth. In fact, Consumer Reports found “iPhone owners were, by far, the least satisfied with their carrier.”

“We take this seriously, and we continually look for new ways to improve the customer experience,” AT&T said in an emailed statement. The carrier pointed to its success attracting customers and claimed its dropped-call rate is only slightly worse than the best in the industry.

Verizon came in second in Consumer Reports’ ratings of cellphone carriers, behind U.S. Cellular Corp., which has just 6.1 million customers, compared with Verizon’s 93.2 million.
Read more of the WSJ story here.

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