Two of the three biggest cell phone companies fare poorly in the latest ConsumerReports.org survey of its subscribers, while two smaller companies get the highest marks from users.
The survey of more than 58,000 people was done in September of this year (2013) and covers the seven-biggest US cell phone service providers.
Topping the list is Consumer Cellular, which gets near the highest marks in every category except 4G service. Consumer Cellular's coverage map shows it offers voice and data service to the majority of the country. It gets Consumer Reports' highest marks for value, data speed, and for several customer service areas, including phone support, help with startup, and resolving issues that consumers bring forward. Consumer Cellular got 89 out of 100 possible points in the survey.
Second highest-rated is US Cellular, which got 76 out of 100 points. While US Cellular did well in most categories, users hammered the company for what they see as the company's lack of phone support, giving it the lowest grade possible in that category.
Credo Mobile got a 73 out of 100 and comes in third in the survey. Credo Mobile scored well with users on all customer service areas, but graded down because of lack of 4G coverage.
Fourth was Verizon Wireless at 71 out of 100. Verizon graded well in six of eight categories, but was graded down by users for what they see as lack of value and customer service phone support.
T-Mobile was next at 65 out of 100, and this company was graded well down by users in value and Text categories, and got the lowest possible score for voice quality.
Next-to-last is AT&T, which scored 64 out of 100. It got users' lowest scores for value and customer service phone support, but got the highest possible mark for the quality of its 4G service.
Dead last in the survey is Sprint, which got 59 out of 100 possible points, and which got the lowest possible marks in four our of eight categories, and next to lowest in three others. Sprint did not get high marks in any category, and scored the lowest possible in value, voice quality, text, and 4G coverage.
The complete Consumer Reports survey is available on-line to consumerreports.org subscribers.
It also rates prepaid services, nearly all of which get low marks in customer service categories.