AT&T customers log the most dropped call complaints, Verizon claims fewest

There are those that love AT&T, and there are those that hate AT&T. But, there’s no denying that the leading GSM wireless carrier offers some fairly significant advantages over its competitors. You get to use 3G data alongside voice services – so you can look up the restaurant location and reviews while chatting with your friend about where to go for dinner. You get the benefit of a 3G data network that pushes wireless data at speeds that would make other carriers with similar coverage footprints jealous. You can swap your SIM card into any compatible GSM phone on a whim. Unfortunately, you also get arguably crappy service. A new study from ChangeWave Research highlights that problem with stats that have AT&T scoring highest in customer-reported dropped calls. AT&T also fared badly in terms of the number of customers reporting that they’re “very satisfied” with their wireless service.

The stats are interesting, mostly because they seemingly contradict other reports that have AT&T’s network making huge strides in improving reliability and service quality. Big Blue has been on an advertising blitz to try and repair the damage done to its reputation with all the negative press about the US fleet of iPhones hammering the AT&T 3G network into submission. The company has been fighting consumer backlash as well as advertising smear campaigns from the likes of Verizon Wireless, the largest US wireless carrier (by subscriber count) and AT&T’s biggest rival.

AT&T says that it has invested and will be investing boat loads of cash to continue to improve network reliability. But, compared to Big Red, ChangeWave’s numbers tell a different story. While the No. 1 US carrier’s percentage of dropped calls has been decreasing since September 2009 (to 1.5% of all calls in the 90 days leading up to March 2010), AT&T has seen it’s share increasing since March 2009 (hitting 4.5% of all calls in the 90 days leading up to March 2010).

Overall, VZW tops the charts in ChangeWave’s survey. The carrier comes in at the #1 spot for least amount of dropped calls (1.5%) and the highest proportion of customers (49%) indicating that they’re “very satisfied” with the service. Sprint ranks second best with just 2.4% of all calls reported as dropped and 35% of customers reporting high satisfaction. T-Mobile comes in third with 2.8% of calls dropped and ties with AT&T for customer satisfaction with 23% of customers saying they are “very satisfied” with both T-Mobile and AT&T.

Even more interesting is future consumer buying expectations. Both VZW and AT&T are losing mind share with consumers – with the percentage of consumers planning to buy an AT&T phone in the next 90 days dropping three points to 18% and Verizon shedding four points to 27%. Surprisingly, the number of consumers planning to pick up a T-Mobile phone in the next three months increased from 3% to 5%. Sprint fared the best in this metric, by doubling the number of consumers looking to buy a Sprint phone in the next 90 days (up to 7%). Sprint could be benefiting from the HTC EVO 4G that is expected to rock everyone’s socks when it launches later this year.

The data should be taken with a grain of salt, as they seem to contradict other reports and surveys that show AT&T improving network reliability and T-Mobile taking top-billing in customer satisfaction.

[Via: ChangeWave]

  • Grammer Ninja

    Fewest*

  • Robert

    So will any of this drive Apple to launch the iPhone on Verizon or does AT&T pay Apple enough for them not to care?

  • Tom

    Great, now if Verizon just get's the iPhone I'll actually consider switching.

    • Chris

      I-Phone is a joke. The HTC Incredible makes the I-Phone look like a rotary phone.

  • Alex

    Tom, just get the HTC Incredible or Motorola Droid. Either phone is a great choice and a worthy competitor to the iPhone.

    In fact, I'm willing to say that my Droid is lightyears better than a standard iPhone. A jailbroken iPhone is just as good as a normal Android phone, but it must be jailbroken, of course. A normal Android phone is open right out of the box.

    Helllooooooooo customization.

  • Amiga3000

    Big Blue is IBM. Since when did we start referring to AT&T as Big Blue????

  • SomeYungGuy

    Good! Keep reporting those dropped calls. We want to know about it. Actually, there is an app for that and we want you to use it so we can find out where the bad areas are. So, great! Keep letting us know when you drop a call people. Its a good thing. And thanks for your patronage.

    • rfb

      This chart is pretty much bogas. Att has the most dropped calls on iphone but not their other phones. Verizon is the worst dropped calls on all calls.. So bad, I had to walk outside to get reception. Verizon customer support says, “buy an antenna”… Since switching to ATT with a Samsung A707 simple phone, I can go anywhere in stores, homes and have yet to have a dropped call except when talking to a Verizon customer. And it was their phone that dropped the call not mine.

      My mom still has Verizon and she now, cannot call me because it says “Number has been disconnected.” Verizon tec support says it is ATT side not them. Of course, they said they tried to call as well and they got the same message. lol Does the finger pointing ever stop with these giants? If one or the other had brains, they would fix every issue and keep their customers happy, not just treat us as a percentage. We are only dollar signs to them.

  • @abutterflyloves

    I have had T-Mobile for three years. I am very happy with T-Mobile. I travel sometimes over 4 hours a day, and rarely drop a call. My boss has a Iphone with At&t, and I want to give him my Phone when he goes out. I love their Customer Service, their plans. I have three Smart Phones on my plan. We almost ALWAYS have a signal, even when other people in office buildings can't get one bar!

  • @NeilTantay

    It's all based on where you use YOUR phone the most. I have T-Mobile & AT&T. When one doesn't work, the other usually does and vice versa.

    • Melhdp22

      Using multiple carriers sounds like a expensive proposition. They suck the juice off your pocket if you follow what I mean. I could imagine yourself as always with a backpack every place you go. Lol.

  • Johnny5

    The iphone sucks on every network. In terms of its phone quality its a piece of crap.

  • att3g_sucks

    Another point that was not mentioned in the article is the limited 3G coverage of AT&T.

    AT&T 3G coverage area is a joke. The Internet is so slow that it would make dial-up years ago blazing fast.

    I am ready to switch over to anyone but AT&T or any carrier using their network.

  • Techwatch

    Its strange that dropped calls are still a problem when all the technology at their disposal you would assume they could keep two phones connected

  • rfer

    vergin mobile is a bad service cuz i tried to top up but the code did not work so i called custermer service and i cant understand a word they are saying so i ask for a maneger or something bad luck cuz they hang up when they here manager.

    • Jjk Benz

      uh…..work on your grammar buddy! No wonder they hung up on you lol

      • Melhdp22

        Bad grammar with wrong spelling, bad accent more so with bad attitude plus bad connection. Crazy. I’ll hung up either way. Lol. Peace!!!

  • bbfanboy99

    What dumb ass, zit-faced, psedo-journalist newb started referring to AT&T as "Big Blue"? For 75 years, "Big Blue" has been the name for IBM. AT&T is "The Death Star" dude.

  • Rick in Seattle

    We have five phones on AT&T and we have nothing but problems with dropped calls and lost txt msgs. Calling Customer service is a joke. The idiot I got on the phone was obviously from India and read a script and talked over me ignoring everything I said. He wanted me to go step through all the resets when we had just done that with another AT&T rep and that was why we were routed to this idiot. I finally asked for a supervisor and was put on indefinite hold – a stratgey to avoid dealing with cusmers. It is time for the consumer to fight back. AT&T and other providers are making billions selling a service and provifning unreliable equipment and then insisting the customer buy a new phone to replace a defective one. Where is the ‘merchantability’ statute? This particular phone is the third defective handset in one year which implies to me that it is AT&T system failures even though we have three towers within a mile of our home in Seattle. AT&T is absolutely the worst domestic provider and as soon as our contract is done we are through with them -FOREVER. Screw AT&T a.k.a. “Absolutely Terrible Technology”

    • Arj121

      As I am to an AT&T customer I have a completely different opinion. I never drop calls and sms msgs always go through. If I do have a dropped call it’s because I’m in a warehouse under loads of steal and insulation. When I have had issues with my phone service customer support always tries to solve my issue and has even compensated for loss of service. I also took the time to find out where the cell towers in my local area where at and who the provider was that had the most around the area I work and reside in.

      As for the iPhone and AT&T… Sad story, many people think that it’s the provider that has an issue when in reality the iPhone is constantly sending and receiving data on the network and thus creating an overall high in broadcast traffic. Fortunately Verizon is taking the iPhone from AT&T and will relieve at least 30% to 40% of the overall network traffic. Verizon’s (great coverage/3g support) is about to be pushed beyond its threshold. Let’s see how that works out with the Droid and iPhone sucking up the network…

      • Joyra75

        Arj21 I totally agree with what you’re saying. People does not realize all the network traffic that AT&T has to handle…
        Let Verizon go ahead and get an IPhone and then the tables will turn…
        I’ve been with AT&T since 1999 and has not had a single problem and I’ve had the many different phones.

  • lester

    I have used my iPhone roaming in: Ghana, China, India, Argentina, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa. Not a single dropped call in any of these places. In NYC where I live, I am lucky if I can complete a single call. AT&T, by conclusion, one of the worst carriers in the world.

  • Cestirling

    I thought that “Big Blue” refers to IBM. Dark blue suits, company color. AT&T moniker is “MaBell” For wireless the better name would be “Dropsy”

  • 411monk

    Unless you are on Verizon and everyone you talk to is on Verizon …. there is not much value in comparing AT&T with Verizon.  At&T and Verizon represent the 2 largest carriers across the US.  With that in mind, you Mr. Verizon user have a rather strong chance of speaking with an AT&T user, which will equate to — a dropped call.  The one luxury you as a Verizon user have is you can say “it wasn’t me it was you”.  A true reliable network can only occur when both end points are reliable and stable.  So if you take dropped calls due to Verizon and dropped calls due to talking to someone from AT&T, you’ll find a high percentage of drops ….. point being cellular stability and reliability pretty much sucks across the board.

  • Anonymous

    at&t i am dropping call all day long. paris ny, snowden hill road sauquoit ny 13456

    ant thing i can do? if i drive away everything is fine

  • greg speller

    i live on west 96 st in NYC  on the 33rd floor yet i can’t use my phone 
    i keep getting my calls dropped this service sucks 
    AT&T the worst 

  • greg speller

    i live on west 96 st in NYC  on the 33rd floor yet i can’t use my phone 
    i keep getting my calls dropped this service sucks 
    AT&T the worst 

  • Fred CT

    I am jealous after reading many of your comments.  ATT has been my worst experience ever.  I drop more calls in a week than I did with Sprint in 7 years.  They have changed sim cards, phones, re-provisioned and re-provisioned my service.  I have been on the phone for 45 minutes today (home office, not cell) to get dropped calls addressed yet again.  I can only hope that my company will get a corporate account elsewhere.

     

  • Shuckapeafarms

    I want to give credit where credit is deserved. I have VERIZON……….worst in the industry in my opinion. Bogus billing, dropped calls, pathetic customer service, over claims galore regarding their service!
    From there I went to TracPhone…………another big mistake! Thought it would be a better investment not having a long term contract and paying only for what I used. It was the “just what I use” part that got me. Most folks associate MINUTES with phone service however, TracPhone had it set up as UNITS…………….so what you thought would be 30 minutes was actually 30 units that would expire in a matter of minutes…………not 30 minutes, more like 10 minutes…..TOPS!
    Finally went to CINGULAR…………was a great company, no games, straight forward contracts, rare for a dropped call, always had service, no billing issues ever! Thought I had found heaven…………………….and then along came AT&T buying up Cingular………………..it’s been ALL downhill since! Thank the Lord our contract expires this month…………….I’m DONE!! Dropped calls is the only way they fly! The data plan is deceptive at best. Had that turned off completely to avoid the over billing BS! Many many things they DON’T tell you or inform you of unless you ASK……………they have adopted the corporate “it’s not our place to educate” principle! I shouldn’t have to nor do most people have the ability to read and interpret the legal implications within their contracts.
    I think a good home phone and a pocket full of quarters is the safest way however, a phone booth isn’t always just around the corner……………and if there is one, it probably has been vandalized by societies finest!
    I think I’m going to do a bit of research to see which companies have the highest number of consumer complaints and go from there…………..with a pay as you go! I was at Best Buy and Wally World the other day and see that I can have “THE WORKS” for as little as $35 a month…………….that beats my current $170 a month for a freaking telephone!
    By the way, my Directv is going out the door when it expires this summer as well! That $69 a month advertised subscription somehow turned itself into $134 a month…………that’s double what they advertise! I have the upgraded plan that consist of 475 channels of corporate advertising and another 25 channels that basically play the same show over and over and over and over! HD you say…………………buy a Blue Ray and you don’t have to pay an additional $30-$40 a month fee!
    The cable tv industry is on their last legs…………their GREED has consumed them! An antenna, along with your WiFi, Hulu, redbox and a few other tweaks far outweighs any cable subscription!

  • Shuckapeafarms

    I want to give credit where credit is deserved. I have VERIZON……….worst in the industry in my opinion. Bogus billing, dropped calls, pathetic customer service, over claims galore regarding their service!
    From there I went to TracPhone…………another big mistake! Thought it would be a better investment not having a long term contract and paying only for what I used. It was the “just what I use” part that got me. Most folks associate MINUTES with phone service however, TracPhone had it set up as UNITS…………….so what you thought would be 30 minutes was actually 30 units that would expire in a matter of minutes…………not 30 minutes, more like 10 minutes…..TOPS!
    Finally went to CINGULAR…………was a great company, no games, straight forward contracts, rare for a dropped call, always had service, no billing issues ever! Thought I had found heaven…………………….and then along came AT&T buying up Cingular………………..it’s been ALL downhill since! Thank the Lord our contract expires this month…………….I’m DONE!! Dropped calls is the only way they fly! The data plan is deceptive at best. Had that turned off completely to avoid the over billing BS! Many many things they DON’T tell you or inform you of unless you ASK……………they have adopted the corporate “it’s not our place to educate” principle! I shouldn’t have to nor do most people have the ability to read and interpret the legal implications within their contracts.
    I think a good home phone and a pocket full of quarters is the safest way however, a phone booth isn’t always just around the corner……………and if there is one, it probably has been vandalized by societies finest!
    I think I’m going to do a bit of research to see which companies have the highest number of consumer complaints and go from there…………..with a pay as you go! I was at Best Buy and Wally World the other day and see that I can have “THE WORKS” for as little as $35 a month…………….that beats my current $170 a month for a freaking telephone!
    By the way, my Directv is going out the door when it expires this summer as well! That $69 a month advertised subscription somehow turned itself into $134 a month…………that’s double what they advertise! I have the upgraded plan that consist of 475 channels of corporate advertising and another 25 channels that basically play the same show over and over and over and over! HD you say…………………buy a Blue Ray and you don’t have to pay an additional $30-$40 a month fee!
    The cable tv industry is on their last legs…………their GREED has consumed them! An antenna, along with your WiFi, Hulu, redbox and a few other tweaks far outweighs any cable subscription!

  • http://www.gsmbooster.co.uk/ gsm repeater

    AT&T is one of the largest mobile networks in the US and the world. But these days, it has lost the previous reputation as well it failed to retain some of it’s reliable users. I am little disappointed that AT&T could not able to serve it’s best. Good to hear that Verizon is doing well.

  • http://www.gsmmobilesignalbooster.co.uk/ signal boosters

    It is such awful reports for AT&T indeed. AT&T has lost some balance since last few years. Other side, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile are progressing quite wonderfully. As far as call dropping issues are concerned, I never faced problem with my Sprint network.

  • ProAm1

    I’ve been on the at&t network for about 5 years now (North San Diego county) and it has been good as far as dropped call are concerned, but now in mid 2014 I loose calls almost daily and am looking to make a change to either vzn or t mobile after my next phone purchase!

  • Will Park

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