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Sprint falls to last on Consumer Reports list

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DENVER — Sprint tumbled to last place in this year’s Consumer Reports rankings for wireless service providers, based on a survey of users.

Although it trailed only first-place Verizon in overall customer satisfaction among major carriers, Sprint got what Consumer Reports called “dismal marks” for value, voice, text and 4G reliability.

“Our latest cell service satisfaction survey revealed a somewhat precipitous decline by Sprint that shuffled the rankings of the major standard service providers,” said Glenn Derene, electronics content development team leader for Consumer Reports. “And smaller, no-frills, no-contract and prepaid service providers continue to do a better job of satisfying customers, and provide an increasingly viable alternative to some of the expensive, long-term contracts that many consumers find themselves locked into.”

The rankings, released Thursday, were based on a survey of 58,399 wireless subscribers.

Sprint said the slip likely is due to improvements the company is making to its network.

“We’ve asked customers during the past year to ‘pardon our dust’ as we build out and upgrade our network,” Sprint said in a statement. “We’re working to deliver an advanced wireless network that we believe over time will deliver unmatched speed and performance to our customers.”

The statement said that, in markets where the work is complete, the company is seeing higher customer satisfaction. It noted an American Customer Satisfaction Index report this year that ranked Sprint as the most-improved company across 47 industries during the past five years.

“The findings in the Consumer Reports’ survey indicate we still have work to do and only serve to make us even more committed to providing outstanding wireless service to our customers,” the statement said.

Small providers scored well with Consumer Reports, beating out the nation’s major players. Consumer Cellular was the overall leader, gaining high scores across the board even though, as Consumer Reports pointed out, it uses the same network as AT&T, which ranked lower.

Many small carriers offer no-contract and prepaid plans that some consumers prefer.

AT&T, which along with T-Mobile finished in the middle of the field among major carriers, was the only company to receive the highest ranking for the reliability of its 4G service.

According to the Consumer Reports survey, 38% of respondents who had data plans that set limits on usage used only half, or less, of their monthly allotment. That, the group said, may mean many customers paid for wireless service they didn’t need.

More detailed survey results are expected to be posted on the Consumer Reports website.

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  • alphaomega80537

    I’m on Sprint. I like the unlimited data/text that I can’t get on Verizon. However, I have owned 2 smartphone’s from Sprint (LG Optimus S and Samsung Galaxy S3). In each case, within a few months, the phones get a firmware upgrade and the phone stops working correctly. This happened to me, my wife, and my son. Our LG wouldn’t charge unless the phone was powered off, as well as issues with the dictionary, etc. The S3 has signal issues now. I used to have a strong signal. Now my signal is horrible. I can be sitting in my living room and have text messages fail to send.

  • Jimmy

    Sprint has been a poor excuse for a service provider. What is interesting, behind closed doors, Dan Hesse has acknowledged how horrible Sprint service is going to get. He’s willing to lose customers over this but when asking Sprint what is happening, it’s all denial. They attempt to act like the problem is related to one specific tower. It is instead a horrible network of 1x speeds, 30 miles of no service along a major interstate and many other issues. is a joke, they don’t respond in a timely fashion, they take 7 days at a time when they advise they’ll provide feedback in less time.

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