T-Mobile Bests AT&T In Customer Satisfaction Survey

One of the biggest points echoed by T-Mobile customers when the topic turns to a potential AT&T merger is what will happen to their company’s praised customer service? While all wireless customer service departments are imperfect, T-Mobile has proven time and time again they are diamond in the rough and have the JD Power awards to support that statement. Thanks to Consumer Reports we have a look at how people really feel when it comes to comparing T-Mobile and AT&T both customer service wise as well as quality wise. The results aren’t likely to shock you:

  • When it comes to contract service, T-Mobile outshines AT&T on almost every attribute AT&T rated except for texting problems where AT&T and T-Mobile both rated “below average.” It should be noted that both T-Mobile and AT&T rated below Sprint and Verizon for customer satisfaction on contract service.
  • When the talk turns to prepaid satisfaction T-Mobile far outpaces AT&T for customer satisfaction. T-Mobile bests Verizon, Virgin, AT&T and was only surpassed by Tracfone and Consumer Cellular.
  • Surprise surprise AT&T customer service is its Achilles’ heel. AT&T had sub-par scores in every aspect of customer service from phone support to solving general problems.
  • T-Mobile was a better choice as a carrier in 20 of the 21 cities where sufficient data was available to properly compare the two carriers. T-Mobile suffered fewer dropped calls. Both carriers rated average or worse when compared with other major competitors in the cities test.
  • When it comes to customers wanting to leave their current carrier, AT&T customers want to leave by almost 10 percentage points higher than do customers on the T-Mobile network. AT&T customers were “more likely to say they were seriously thinking about making a move…”

The bottom line is that AT&T has shown a downward trend in the past two years with the Consumer Reports survey showing a definite decrease in customer satisfaction with AT&T service. Even more notable is that CR makes a point to say that T-Mobile customers will “….find little to cheer about the proposed merger or clearly support the expected pitch from AT&T that the proposed takeover of its smaller competitor will improve service for current customers of both AT&T and T-Mobile.”

Consumer Reports

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  • number1CSR

    working for tmobile, this question has been coming up a lot. will we (the reps) still have a job in the end of all of this? you’d think we would because we are bringing on 33 million more customers if there is a merger. but at the same time, at&t doesnt seem to really care that they have pitiful customer service. its too bad. i want to know if i will have a job in a year. but still the customers dont even care. they just want to know if they get to keep their rate plan. or if their phones will work.
    i dont know if i will have a job.

    first world problems.

    • MtnDew

      What happens to the customers is much more important than any of our jobs

      • NoAT&T

        Lets just say that’s it is AS important for you to keep your jobs as well is getting great customer service from T-Mobile as I have ALWAYS had. This whole thing just sucks for everyone. I made a choice almost 10 years ago now to go with T-Mobile and have not regretted it for one minute. The level of customer service at T-Mobile IS T-Mobile. I switched from AT&T because of their poor customer service and I personally don’t want to go back to that again.

        • Not4sakn

          I’m a retail rep for T-Mobile and where we are located has a good bit of overlap in stores. We have heard they will only keep the top performing stores and close the rest. We just happen to be located in a terrible spot that’s hard to get in and out of due to traffic and most customers would seem to rather drive 2 miles up the road to another store and avoid the hassle at mine. Having said that, I believe my store will get the axe but I also know that if this door closes, God will open more.

        • Brian

          On another AT&T point. Can someone redesign that website of AT&T’s??? It’s horrible and difficult to use! It also make ALOT of mistakes.

      • I think being able to provide for and feed your family off your income takes precedence over someone’s bill going up a few bucks a month. I dunno, just me….

      • Kahunaman

        I care about customers but I have a family to take care of. Speak for yourself.

    • dis b j4ke

      I am concerned for all parties involved on the tmo side. Every T-Mobile store I have been in the reps have been great, and coming from someone who has been out if a job for 6 months I don’t wish anyone to loose their jobs. But yes we as customers are concerned about our rate plans and phones as well. My contract just went up this month and I don’t know if I should renew or jump ship while I can. The last carrier I want to be with is at&t. But numberonecsr I hope whatever the outcome of all this I hope at the end of the day you still have a job. Keep up the good work we love your great customer service.

    • T-roubled

      Personally I think we are gonna need to have the CWA on our sides, if we are gonna have a shot at keeping our jobs… If ATT wants to downsize, they will obviously go for the path of least resistance, and that is the non-union T-mobile reps.. If we want to keep our jobs, we need to get our asses in gear and get organized!

  • well there is always that servernce package that att will give us if we are fired. they only have 3 tmobile stores in the city i work in, and i have a feeling they will close at least 2. Hopefully this thing doesnt go through, but i have a bad feeling it will. I mean why would ATT put up 3 billion and 4 years of free roaming if they didnt feel they could make it go through?

    • Anonymous

      I have this feeling that AT&T will do absolutely whatever they have to, to get this approved. :(

      • remister

        And we must do everything within our powers to stop it.

        • Judith Kahn-Levine

          I’ve been with T-Mobile for ten years, a totally satisfied customer, and would like nothing better than to see this TAKEOVER, erroneously defined as a Merger, declared DEAD IN THE WATER by the DOJ and FCC.

    • Kahunaman

      Two Tmobile stores at my mall and an Att store so I most likely will be getting that severance package too. Sad because I love my job, customers, and I get paid to sell people stuff they wanted.

  • ohwell

    I am pretty sure that Deutsche Telekom will focus on a new strategy to sell off its US branch if this deal does not go through :-( …

    Sucks but I’ve already started looking at other employment options to prepare for the worst.

    I’ll miss you Tmo. For the customers sake I hope AT&T will be smart enough to keep the CSR division of Tmo. That’s the only way I’ll stay with AT&T if I am no longer employed with them.

    Best wishes to the employees who will be affected by this deal.

    • Brian

      Deutsche won’t necessarily sell of everything if the deal doesn’t go through. T-mobile GAINS ALOT if the deal fail. Complete use of AT&T roaming areas. Some bandwidth AT&T owns is GIVEN to T-mobile. AND T-mobile gets 3 billion in cash for their problems. All of this goes to helping T-mobile build itself out further. So a no sale isn’t necessarily bad.

  • TM97

    One of the biggest issues with AT&T is their service.

    Their techs are glorified board changers, they aren’t allowed to use self thought, work on issues that they don’t have tt’s on, and aren’t allowed to think outside the box. Two guys who are 70 mile apart may show up at the same cell site to fix two different problems? Why didn’t the one guy do both problems, and let the other guy focus on something else?

    Its not the technicians fault, its the unions and the companies.

    One tech may go to a site, see an additional alarm. He isn’t allowed to touch it, then he’ll get a ticket 100 miles away to the east. While travelling east to the new site, he will be passed by the tech who left the site he is going to, driving to the site he just left.

    How does this make sense?

    And their techs are only allowed to operate 4 TT’s per day, maximum.

    If AT&T doesn’t adopt some T-Mobile employees, some engineering standards, and some of the drive and “can do” attitude that the magenta employee’s in engineering have shown over the last 4 years, then its doomed to mediocre service with excellent marketing, the same thing it is now.

    T-Mobile employees have done more, with less, then most of the other cellular companies have had to deal with. Their employee’s are cross trained, they understand more than just their small part of the network, and when they see a problem, its fixed without waiting for authority to tell them they can.

    A lot of these are problems brought about by union negotiations. I have no problem with the union, but if this is how they make the company operate, then they need to go or they are going to kill it.


      What He said….

    • TBN27

      They aren’t unionized from what I was told…

      • Anonymous

        T-Mobile isn’t. AT&T is. And I agree 99.9% with what TM97 states. The .01% being “I have no problem with the union”.

        • TM97

          I see the current AT&T Employees as being at fault for letting their union hurt their company like this. One could argue that the company could change their procedures, hire new technicians to fix problems quicker and more effectively.

          But in all honesty, field work in the cellular field is very different than an assembly line job in Detroit. One size does not fit all. It requires outside the box thinking, it requires being light on your feet and being flexible in what you are doing, and being able to think for yourself.

          As I said, I have no problem with a union if it were ran correctly. There have been times where T-Mobile employee’s could have benefited from union representation. But when it starts effecting your networks performance, and therefore your customers, and therefore the union members themselves, then there should be a change in the contract.

          I am not an AT&T employee (yet hopefully), and I could go either way on a union vote. My main concern would be ti allow enough flexibility in the contract so that customers aren’t effected, and to allow the company to call in all hands when needed.

          There have been times I’ve worked more than two days none stop for major outages. There have been times where I comped back work time because our markets budget was crunched. There have been times where I bent over backwards to make sure that the customer was served first, and I and the company were served last.

          But there have also been times when HR policies that were worded so “loosely” were used to induce me into job changes that I wouldn’t have made, and its been used against other employees who should not have been fired, to let them go for personal matters between them and management.

          Sure, you can go to HR about those things, but who does HR work for?

          No system is perfect, but I’m at least willing to look at all aspects that make things best for the customer. They are, always have, and always will be mine, and every other T-Mobile employee’s first priority, even if we are working for the death star.

      • PhoenixBennu
    • Playboy505

      yes tmobile done more for me i when 800 in txt with 300 plan and they made it where i didnt pay for the 500 txt i love tmobile i had at&t they suck they made me pay when i went over 3000mins verizon chage me $4000 for some one used my name …keep tmobile the same that all im saying lol

  • YOOivansterr

    I don’t think they needed to do a survey to know who beats who.

  • Tracfonesucksballs

    “When the talk turns to prepaid satisfaction T-Mobile far outpaces AT&T for customer satisfaction. T-Mobile bests Verizon, Virgin, AT&T and was only surpassed by Tracfone and Consumer Cellular.”

    Are you kidding me? TracFone customer service does not even speak english. They say the same thing over and over and if what you need is off script, they hang up on you.

    • TrollSeason

      Lmfao! Wow

  • Senor Chang

    In addition to this headline,
    “T-Mobile Bests AT&T In Customer Satisfaction Survey”

    Other news today include:
    “Sky is still blue”, “Cats Like Climbing” and “2 Plus 2 Equals 4”.

  • TrollSeason

    Hmmm not sure about Virgin Mobile USA. Everything I hear about them, seems positive and damn near perfect. My mom left AT&T at the end of her contract in Feb (due to horrible service and paying a grip for the iPhone 3gS) for that $25 300 unlimited plan and she said she couldnt be anymore happier. She says CS is outstanding and simplify everything for customers and real good with bonus minutes and kickbacks (whatever that is). She loves her Optimus V. She says unlike AT&T and sometimes her T-Mobile buddys at the office, she now gets a 3G signal with superb reception everywhere in the building, underground just like her Sprint and Verizon consumer friends. I know T-Mobile got great prepaid rates as well, but just like FlexPay/Even More Plus customers, we all have the same coverage and customer service reps, unlike post paid customers. But still good though. But I never had to call Tmo for anything ever since I left contract for EM+.

    • soldier

      virgin mobile is part of sprint

      • Playboy505

        itz been since 2000

  • Mott4126

    I am a “Ready to Jump” T-mobile client” with 11 years of loyalty …I cringe at the idea of going to AT&T… so I called Verizon today to see if they had a plan for people in my same situation…. NADA…
    What wrong with them? I currently represent 4 users (wife and kids) and spend monthly over $300 with T-mobile and I’m willing to cut short my T-mobile agreement (bearing the cost) I’m willing to pay some for new phones (mine our incompatible with Verizon)… and they have NADA?
    So I guess your right, T-mobile has the best customer service around, because if the shoe was on the other foot they would be trying hard to get a user to pass over… maybe one of the smaller carriers wants me? I’ll have to start asking.


  • TechFan33

    I don’t have a contract with AT&T but I would still rank them last in a customer service survey. You can be on the phone with these guys and they’ll make you jump through hoops to correct one simple thing. But I’ve been with them so long, I figure why switch?  So why not commit to a contract you might ask? Because over the last 5 years they’re plan prices have skyrocketed. One of these days I’ll get up the nerve and go somewhere else though. The AT&T and T-Mobile merger will be interesting though. From what I know it’ll take some time to implement. Plus I heard that T-Mobile phones won’t work on AT&T networks even after the merger. Hopefully that’s a temporary holdup.