Carrier Support Showdown: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Tested

Cellphone shoppers generally judge wireless carriers based on their networks’ speed, size and—above all—reliability. But reliability extends to customer service. Will your carrier be able to help when something goes wrong? And can you get your questions answered in a timely fashion?

With that in mind, we performed a survey of the country’s four largest service providers—AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless—to determine which offers the best service and which could use some lessons in customer appreciation.

How We Tested

To get a complete view of each carrier’s customer support options, we visited two of their brick-and-mortar stores, placed two phone calls to their tech-support hotlines and tried to connect with them via their Web services. For our tests, we used purchased phones (instead of review units) to help ensure we received genuine user experiences.

Our test beds included an AT&T Motorola Atrix 4G, a Sprint EVO 4G, a T-Mobile G2x and a Verizon Wireless Motorola Droid X. To ensure our testing was fair, we posed the same three questions to each carrier’s service representatives: “How can I tether my phone to my notebook,” “How can I upload photos from my phone to Facebook?” and “How do I improve my phone’s battery life?”

Best and Worst Carrier Customer Service

AUTHOR BIO
Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
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  1. TheFugitive Says:

    How much did ATT pay for this?

  2. John V Says:

    I’m an AT&T employee. It is an entertaining article and nice that we “won” but with so few data points the results are NOT the least bit valid.

  3. Eag Says:

    I have been an AT&T customer for nearly 10 years now, and theyve been godawful for every single one of them. People in store and on the phone are generally very kind and courteous, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve been succesful in fixing any problems that I have had. Further, I still can’t make a call on their network after 10 years that is longer than 45 minutes without having service cut out on me at least once – and that is if and only if I’m in a static position (and I do mean standing completely still).
    Why not switch? My friends on other networks fare no better. It’s a piss poor oligopoly with poor customer choice and a lose-lose for passable service.

  4. Kate Says:

    When I have questions or problems, I need to know that the carrier can actually help! And that means, a similar experience no matter how I contact them. Great article – just a peek into the wireless world. I like it!

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