Sprint ranked worst in consumer satisfaction, Verizon stays on top

Sprint ranked worst in consumer satisfaction, Verizon stays on top
Sprint has slumped in consumer satisfaction. The nation’s third-largest carrier in terms of subscribers has its users less happy than before amidst a massive transition to 4G LTE. Sprint had "dismal marks" in value, voice, text messaging, and 4G reliability, according to a Consumer Reports' survey.

"While the findings in the Consumer Reports' survey are disappointing, they're not necessarily surprising," a Sprint representative said. "We've asked customers during the past year to 'pardon our dust' as we build out and upgrade our network."

Sprint held the number two position after Verizon Wireless just last year, and customer satisfaction has been chief executive Dan Hesse’s topmost priority, but clearly the Nextel shutdown and the transition to 4G LTE take their toll. The carrier however says it expects the issues with its network to be resolved by next year.

Last month, Sprint demonstrated its Spark high-speed 4G LTE service and it has just launched the 5.9” HTC One max, the first device with support for the speedier service.

Consumer Reports rating once again puts Verizon Wireless on top with customer satisfaction as the U.S. biggest carrier has the largest 4G LTE network, but it has its own fair share of issues in the big metros like San Francisco and New York.

AT&T and T-Mobile were ranked in the middle. AT&T received recognition for having the most reliable 4G LTE network. T-Mobile on its part has quickly rolled out a massive 4G LTE network on top of its existing HSPA+ (that it also markets as 4G).

Interestingly, the survey concludes that consumers are overpaying for data. 38% of all consumers use less than half their monthly data allowance. Speaking of allowances, Sprint and T-Mobile remain the only carriers to offer unlimited data plans whereas AT&T and Verizon cap monthly usage.

Regional carriers traditionally had a strong showing as their limited outreach is obviously allowing them to have better customer satisfaction ratings.

source: Consumer Reports via CNET

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79 Comments

1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

$20 a month for unlimited LTE on my Note 3 seems to be the best deal ever. Thank you T-Mobile :')

7. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

What good is unlimited LTE if it only works in 10 places?

9. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

250+ million people have LTE coverage from Tmobile in the US.

26. TheRequiem

Posts: 245; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

This is incorrect information, they will be lucky to cover 225 million pops as their network is too small to cover anything more. They will also have 50 millions pops less then Sprint at completion -http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1813427-T-Mobile-s-LTE-Network-to-Cover-50-million-POPS-less-than-Sprint-at-Completion

32. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

Verizon covers over 300 million and it's not limited to major cities. What's your point?

39. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

Is that their 4G and "4G" HSPA+ combines, or actual 4G?

44. alouden unregistered

I have t mobile too. But I did read where it was stated that their LTE coverage will cap at 225 million POPs. I cannot comment on Sprint, but that puts tMobile at a smaller footprint than Verizon and AT&T. What I do not know is if their hspa 42 network will complement the LTE network, thus extending coverage. If so, then the smaller LTE footprint would not be a big deal to me.

67. Professor

Posts: 223; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

I also have T-mobile (Nexus 4 & T-Mo Galaxy S4 phones). And LTE enabled in the Nexus. (The Galaxy is already LTE). Regarding your question... Both phones works on 4G HSPA+ when they cannot find an LTE signal (that's 99% of the time). And on LTE if by miracle they can get LTE (in NYC). If they cannot find neither one (like when travelling to PR) they slow down to 3G...

54. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

Actually they don't. T-Mobile USA, Inc. is the U.S. wireless operation of Deutsche Telekom AG (OTCQX:DTEGY). Deutsche Telekom is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the World, with nearly 130 million customers worldwide

76. Sparhawk

Posts: 75; Member since: Mar 10, 2012

And your point is? When carriers say something like "250+ million people have LTE coverage from Tmobile in the US" that does not mean that Tmo has 250+ million customers. It means 250+ milion people live in areas where Tmo has LTE __coverage__. That means 250+ million (out of 320 million) Americans live in areas where Tmo LTE is __available__, not that all 250+ million are Tmo __customers__.

10. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Ok thats dumb tmobile lte works i more than 10 places. I used them in more than 10 places and they had lte..

50. oNEWorld

Posts: 140; Member since: Aug 01, 2013

I have T-Mobile as well and everywhere I go I have great service.

53. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

I see that sarcasm was obviously lost on you sir.

19. JDogg5281

Posts: 74; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

no no no...you must be confused. Sprint only works in 10 places.

28. TheRequiem

Posts: 245; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

They have over 20,000 sites with LTE, far more then T-Mobile and basically as much as AT&T, go to sensorly.com and compare real time LTE coverage. Sprint has a much larger LTE network then T-Mobile, has more LTE coverage in a lot of places even over AT&T, even though AT&T currently has more markets and Verizon is basically worthless, good luck with that capped data and 5mbps LTE. I am personally awaiting Sprint Spark's launch in Las Vegas next year, it'll be the first LTE-Advanced 1gps terrestrial service and the 8 channel radios (industry first) and small cells involved in it's rollout will eliminate coverage difficulties.

59. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

Wow, I've never read a comment that went more against all findings or truth. "They have over 20,000 sites with LTE, far more then T-Mobile" First of all, even if Sprint does have more LTE spots across the nation than T Mobile, one thing that needs to be factored in is that even if T Mobile has less LTE it has a 42mb HSPA+ network to fall back on. Sprints EVDO was running at 50-200 Kbps for me last month... Not to mention that Sprints LTE here in Seattle runs at approx 2Mbps everywhere I've been on it. And overall there are about 10 locations in all of Seattle that have single towers serving them. Sprints coverage in Seattle is abysmal. "has more LTE coverage in a lot of places even over AT&T, even though AT&T currently has more markets and Verizon is basically worthless," Sprint has more LTE coverage than AT&T and Verizon is worthless? WTF are you talking about!? Where do you get this stuff? "it'll be the first LTE-Advanced 1gps terrestrial service and the 8 channel radios (industry first) and small cells involved in it's rollout will eliminate coverage difficulties." You do realize that's all lab tested theoretical limits right? Sprint is all promise and no delivery. They'll keep whispering in your ear that "next year will be better, next year will be better." Keep wasting your money on them. I finally had to cut them off and I couldn't justify giving them anymore of my money. They were literally selling me a barely usable network.

65. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

I think its absolutely ridiculous that in areas like Vegas where I am Sprint cant already have there 3g up to speed. I will not wait on a "Spark" gimmick prob like wimax there now gonna try and ill enjoy my already blazing Tmobile no contract and better value service thanks.

66. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

P.S. well all that sounds nice if it works . Its things like Spark that are poor decisions. They are asleep at the switch they need to start by getting there dropped call problem and 3G up to speed. In the real world too we dont need those "terestrial" speeds. Waste of time in my opinion they need to be fixing there broken network in areas like here but no there focusing on something like "spark" instead

79. JDogg5281

Posts: 74; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

you have lost your mind if you think sprint had more LTE than Tmobile. Verzion is worthless.....i dont have Verizon and i know they have the best coverage you cant not argue that. You are so hyped about Sprints Spark network but im sure you were hyped about Wimax and we ALL know how that turned out

23. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Rollout began in spring/early summer and already covers nearly 250 million people. You were saying?

27. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

still do not work in my house, I live in New York, I know because one of my cousins have Tmobile and they have to go outside or use my phone to call or text

68. Professor

Posts: 223; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

I also live on NYC and I can say that T-mobile coverage in NYC is aceptable for phone but super slow for internet. Now... once you go out like to some parts in NJ you have no signal at all. Not even to make or receive a phone call. Sometimes you can get a text message, but if you try to answer it back it can be half an hour or 1 hour trying to send the message...

29. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

I didn't ask how much of the population T-Mobile covers. I asked how many places. Verizon not only covers the major cities, but the rural areas as well. That was the point that I'm making. You can travel and have flexibility with your coverage, you're not limited to high population areas.

43. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Everywhere I've gone, I've great coverage. Been with T-Mobile since 2011 and can say they're coverage has gotten so much better. I had from 07-11. While I never dropped a call, paying over $250 for four lines was insane.

75. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

Well there isn't T-Mobile LTE in almost a 200 mile radius of where I live in SW VA. But Verizon covers almost the entire state. So what good does your discounted service do for you? Believe it or not, some people actually travel once in a while.

45. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Well obviously u havent been to Los angeles verizons lte is the worse go down to Griffith observatory u as of nov u on 3G cdma ,same in palm springs 3g evdo alot of parts of Victorville are 3g evdo and thats the rural parts so much for covering rural areas with lte i have family that live in Victorville and want to switch to att because they had it with verizons coverage lte in that area its really spotty they on 3G all the time. I have tmobile as my personal phone and att for work as i have mentioned on here before i found att to be the best in LA i been to those parts i mentioned above and had lte on att while my sister had a big 3G icon on her verizon galaxy s4.

31. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

LMAO!!!!

38. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

There are actually a lot more people that do than Sprint lists. I have pretty good coverage in my entire area, but it is still being built meaning Sprint hasn't listed it as a covered city yet. But yeah compared to other companies their coverage stinks. So if you do a poll then of course your going to get negative reviews. Sprint is in a transition right now. It's late to the game and taking longer than it should but it will be there one day.

46. kabukijoe

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 06, 2010

What good is LTE everywhere if you hit your cap in a week?

63. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

So we recently switched from Sprints Unlimited to AT&T with a 10 GB data plan for my family. Back in the day when I had a WiMAX Sprint phone I used to use 30-40 GB of data a month on Sprint, of course that was when I had a 8 Mbps connection vs the 200 Kbps EVDO connection I was stuck with the last 8 months. So far this month on AT&T I've used 4 GB of data, I ended up changing my usage habits trying to make sure I didn't used too much. I stopped letting Dropbox auto upload, ripping YouTube files, updating my apps over the data network, and letting my kids watch Netflix on my phone. I still read tech news ALL day, download podcasts and play games on my phone; now I just do all my downloading when I hit a WiFi hotpspot. A lot of my 4GB of data usage has been speed tests to check out AT&Ts LTE network. Honestly, having a reliable LTE connection on AT&T and changing my habits is a lot more appealing to me than living on Sprints 50-200 Kbps EVDO network because they cant seem to get their LTE rollout moving here in Seattle. Good riddance Sprint. You let me down one too many times, after 12 years with you I couldn't take the heartbreak anymore.

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