updated 03:35 pm EST, Thu December 30, 2010
Sprint and T-Mobile lead customer service study
Both AT&T and Verizon were tied for last place among major US cellular carriers in customer service, a study found on Thursday. The two received overall C+ marks as poor retail and web help dragged them down after otherwise good phone service. Staff at either of the largest incumbents weren't very knowledgeable or helpful to Laptop's surveyors.
The best service came from T-Mobile. Its phone service was on par with others, but it had knowledgeable, fast help at the store and was matched by an above average quality on the web. Sprint's concentrated efforts to fix its past reputation for poor service were rewarded as it had the best phone help and a good retail experience, but it was let down by its online assistance.
Such surveys aren't completely comprehensive and don't necessarily provide insight into how well a carrier will fare in customers. Device mix has routinely been one of the most important factors, and AT&T has grown the quickest in recent months owing to the iPhone where Verizon has slowed down as Android and BlackBerry combined weren't enough to offset overall decreases. Both Sprint and T-Mobile have at least sometimes bled subscribers as they haven't had the selection of either, and have expressed desires for iPhones of their own to regain ground or at least avoid further defections.