Theory: There's no such thing as a good Cell Phone Carrier

Here’s my thought: AT&T sucks, but only if you have to deal with the customer support. Unless you’re in San Francisco at which point the reception sucks too.

I’ve heard folks that LOVE Verizon, and folks that have said they can’t get customer service to get their bills sorted out, after many consecutive months of trying.

I’ll bet that the folks that ‘like’ their cellphone service haven’t dealt with customer support.

So, what I’m looking for in this poll is a vote for ‘my cellphone company’s customer service sucks’ OR ‘I’ve had not problems whatsoever with ANY aspect of my cellphone carrier.’

Yeah, it’s not scientific, but it eliminates geographical misfortune from a reception standpoint. If you have a different kind of gripe, kindly post below! :smiley:

Back when I got my first text-enabled phone, I would occasionally get texts from various numbers with five digits in them. T-Mobile sent informative texts using numbers with three or four numbers in them. So of course I opened the five-digit texts and realized I’d been spammed. Cut to a few weeks later when I would open my bill and find that a $9.99 text had been charged to my phone. Calling customer service resulted in the fee being politely removed every single time after less than five minutes on the phone. From what I hear, Verizon won’t do that.

Oh, and I’ve gotten great reception on T-mobile phones (a dropped call eeeeevery once in a while but clear otherwise) and horrible to mediocre on Sprint and Verizon (constantly cutting out and finally dropping the call after half a minute of confused silence).

I’ve had Verizon for several years now…and although I hated them big time at the beginning, I discovered the secret for getting good service: Never call the 800 number for customer service! Going into the Verizon store for any questions on my bill, repairs, etc. has gotten me much better results. The local folks are actually great to deal with, and I haven’t had any issues with them. Very few problems with dropped calls, etc., so I’m pleased with the reception as well. But yeah, Bacon Salt is right about Verizon not removing spamming charges. Something about it not being a Verizon charge, so they have no control over it.

We’ve used Verizon for seven or eight years without a problem. The bill is always the same, within a few pennies. Maybe that’s because there’s just the two of us, and we’ve never exceeded our minutes, or received any spam text messages.

I used a Tracfone for awhile. It was cheap, but adding minutes was a major PITA. Half the time the on-line service wouldn’t accept my info, and adding minutes using the phone was only possible if you had three hands.

I used both phones last summer on vacation (Iowa to Seattle) – no problems with the Verizon phone (except for a few minutes in the Rockies, in tunnels) but I couldn’t get a signal on the Tracfone through most of the wide open spaces of Utah and Wyoming.

I’ve used Verizon since my first cell phone - about 2002. While they don’t “rule,” that’s the option I chose, because I’ve had not too many issues. I’d have preferred to check an option “Verizon is pretty good.”

ETA : My sis-in-law has an iPhone with AT&T. She can’t get reception in our apartment, in a heavily populated residential area of San Francisco. My Verizon phone is fine here.


Voted for “Verizon sucks.” God-awful phone selection, and that’s even considering the fact that their selection has improved markedly over the last year or so. The sooner they stop trying to cripple handsets with their own software the better. They still don’t have a real answer to the iPhone, but no one does for that matter (MHO). Customer service has always been a real dread to deal with.

I have a Verizon / LG phone and it’s great - it has a QWERTY keyboard, a nice camera that takes decent little videos too, lots of programmable features. What would really finish this product off nicely would be if it could communicate by radio with cell towers and thereby let me use it to have conversations over the telephone network. But, even without that, it does lots of useful things.

I’ve never had a complaint about my TracFone and I do bring it up every now and them to advertise how good they are. I sign no contract. The cellphone is $50 and it is basically the equivalant of a calling card w/phone attached. My only obligation is to put in new minutes every year.

It has texting capabilities but that’s about it, no bells or whistles. And I have had coverage everywhere I go except where there are no cell towers.

This is my first contract with Sprint and I can’t wait to get out of it. I had switched from T-Mobile even though I thought their customer service was good because I get lousy coverage at the house.

The phone has had problems, especially with the email software and getting it reset has been such a royal PitA that I am so close to paying $400 to get out of these phones even though I have only five months left in the contract. Data service is really slow, coverage was a slight improvement over T-Mobile at the house, but dropped off at work.

I had no problems with Verizon and I wanted to go back. But it looks like the wife really has her heart set on an IPhone which means that I will have to have AT&T. I think the have a pretty weak coverage network which may not bode well if I am on road trips with my wife. I am not sure if I want to jump on this Iphone thing or get a blackberry which I am used to from work.

Poll needs an option between love and hate. I have T-Mobile and I harbor neither a loathing nor a desire to have its babies. The service always works for me, but I don’t travel outside of my home city much (or make many calls.) I have a family plan that covers my wife and I pretty well every month. Not thrilled with the phone lineup for upgrading or the cost of the data plan if I wanted it; but I have checked and found a problem point with every carrier’s plans.

OH - Thought of something, I do want to shoot their ad comapny. Those mytouch commercials are annoying.

I have Sprint and I think they are awesome. I have decent reception with very few spots where I lose signal and their customer service has always been wonderful when I’ve talked to them. They also provide me with discounts that make my cell phone super affordable so I never pay more than $36 per month including tax.

I’ve used Verizon for many years without problem. I haven’t had a landline since 1995.

Who is your cell provider, and do you love/hate them?

I have t-mobile. I’m satisfied with it, I guess, but the 3G is very limited, and when I’m in my office at home I pretty much can’t use my phone at all. Paperweight mode from that Verizon commercial accurately describes my phone 12hrs a day.

Driving through the Carolinas was always terrible too, cause we’d get 0 reception up I-85. Without fail there’d be a network blackout from near the GA line to VA. Dunno if this was just coincidence or if t-mobile just had no presence out there.

T-Mobile is worlds better than Wataniya though. My cell calls on Wataniya drop 95% of the time. Good thing that phone is durable.

I use Verizon, at least for now. After buying my house, I have no Version service for about 10 miles. I knew that when I bought the house, and it wasn’t enough to squelch the sale, but it’s annoying not to be able to use the phone at home. I have completed my contract however, and plan to change carriers, if ANYBODY gets service up here!

I have a Motorola phone with MetroPCS service. My phone is tres cool to me. I have NO SERVICE CONTRACT!

I pay $50 per month for unlimited calls and texting in the contiguous USA.

I’ve travelled to other cities and have had no problem using my phone: Dallas, San Francisco, Philadelphia.

If I decide to visit a city without standard MetroPCS service I can add cash to my account, dial a code and use my phone.

If I need to call overseas, I can add cash to my account and call. I only have one friend in England that I still speak to by phone, so the occasional extra is no big deal.

I’m on the Canadian carrier Fido, which was an independent company with a small GSM network when it was bought by Rogers, the communications company everyone likes to hate (cable, magazines, TV stations, wireless, home phone… it’s all there).

Rogers has made Fido into its discount brand. Bell and Telus, its two large competitors, have copied this with Solo and Koodo, respectively.

Bell is Bell Canada, the original phone company; Telus is a distant descendant of Alberta Government Telephones, which went private, bought BC Tel and a bunch of other smaller companies, then went national. Bell also has TV (delivered by satellite instead of cable), Internet, mobile phone, and home phone (of course), so in the comsumer space it is quite comparable to Rogers.

Partly because of the iPhone, and partly because of the Olympics, both Bell and Telus, orignally CDMA carriers, are implementing HSPA+ overlays on their networks to catch up with Rogers. These networks claim 21 Mb/s… pity my iPhone 3G can’t keep up. And Rogers/Fido opened MMS and tethering on the iPhone from the moment they were available. None of the Big Three have a policy for unlocking their GSM phones, even when the subsidy is paid off. All three carriers have had ‘systems access fees’ on their bills which they tried to convince everyone were government-mandated charges. But they weren’t. And there are the long contracts: I’m halfway through a three-year contract on my iPhone and pay about $85/month. And the overseas roaming fees are horrendous.

So my cellphone service is not perfect, eh? But it still works reasonably well. And there are rumours of new entrants into the wireless market.

I’m not getting the AT&T hate here… of the three carriers in my area, Verizon, U.S. Cellular, and AT&T, I get the strongest signal from AT&T, do I get the occasional dropped call? sure, at home, where we’re in sort of a “dead zone” that causes drops on any cell phone, no matter the network it’s on.

one corner of the house (the bedroom) seems to reliably block cell connections, I get 1-3 bars there, the rest of the house 4-5 bars, but even then, the sound quality of the conversation is top notch

the Dead Zone in the house affects any cell phone, be it running on Verizon, U.S. Cellular, or AT&T, as an interesting side note, Verizon and U.S. Cellular had the worst sound quality of the bunch, even my Verizon-powered OnStar phone in my car sounds worse than my iPhone on AT&T when parked at home

once I’m out and about, both phones work fine, no dropped calls, but something about the house wreaks havoc with cell phones

I’ve also had no issues with AT&T customer service, my first iPhone bill was bigger than expected, so I called them up, only to find out they had double-billed the data plan, and added in a few unneccesary surcharges, five minutes later, the bill was back to what it was supposed to be, no complaints or issues from the rep

I have Sprint, and I would describe them as more comically inept than outright evil. It took me four telephone calls to activate my original phone, which was purchased from their website. One guy told me that the phone had already been activated by someone else and I should return it to the store. The next guy told me that it had been activated by the previous guy, in my name. The third guy said that I just needed to wait an hour. An hour later, the fourth guy spent about 30 seconds at his computer, then said: “Ok, it’s activated now, it should start working in a few minutes.”

I have the SERO plan, which is a phenomenally awesome deal. My whole plan with data and text included costs as much as the data add-on for most people. No one ever seems to know quite what you can do with it. They have some restrictions about which phones you can get, but you don’t always get the same answer talking to them in-store, online, or via phone number. There are whole message board threads with hundreds of posts where people describe the steps they took to try to upgrade a phone, and it seems like a total crapshoot whether you can actually do it.

Their website is so terrible it’s actually entertaining. The first time I tried to pay my bill I had to log in 4 times. One time because you actually had to log out and log back in to get the “Pay Bill” button to show up (seriously, this is what the support guy said on the phone, and he appeared to be right.) The other 3 just because it would randomly kick me back to the login screen. There are something like 3 or 4 redirects bouncing between and that you run into just doing normal things like paying your bill or logging in.

Call quality and reception seem to be fairly on-par with any cell phone I’ve had.

Verizon here. My plan is apparently too old (6 years) to allow me to get most new phones without upgrading to a more costly monthly bill with little or no increase in monthly minutes – I don’t need more minutes. I was willing to move into what they deem a smartphone (it really isn’t) and pay an additional $25/month for a data plan, but not if I have to pay another $20 a month for a new voice plan with only 100 more minutes. (That, again, I don’t need/won’t use/can’t rollover.) So much for customer loyalty.

Now today I find out that once again, their system has “lost” the fact that I pay extra per month to have unlimited “Mobile Web” on my non-Smartphone, and so I’m about to max out my minutes for the month (with 12 more days in the billing cycle) because my web usage is being charged against my voice plan minutes. I fear that when I call to rectify this error on their part, they will try to construe it as a renewal of my contract, which I’m not interested in. I’m thinking very strongly about moving to AT&T and an iPhone. I’ll pay more for the same amount of monthly minutes but those minutes rollover and the data plan will cost the same as a Verizon smartphone.