Ting, Consumer Cellular, & Republic Top Consumer Reports' Latest Cell-phone Service Ratings

Share Article

Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T essentially tied; Sprint lands at very bottom for second consecutive year

Smaller providers like Ting, Consumer Cellular, and Republic have excellent satisfaction ratings because they're designing innovative strategies to keep plan costs down for their customers and simplify their service options

Ting, Consumer Cellular, and Republic emerged as the highest-Rated providers in Consumer Reports’ latest annual cell-phone service Ratings, based on a survey of 63,352 subscribers by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

Ting, a relatively new company, and Consumer Cellular each far-outperformed all other traditional postpaid providers in Consumer Reports’ Ratings, receiving satisfaction scores in the 90s. Both garnered ‘excellent’ marks for value, and for data service reliability despite running on lower-Rated networks. Ting provides U.S. service using Sprint’s network, Consumer Cellular uses AT&T’s.

Among the four major traditional postpaid providers, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T are essentially tied in overall satisfaction – a departure from the past couple years when Verizon held a clear lead. Verizon still stood out with high marks across the board for voice, text, web, and 4G reliability, but T-Mobile received the highest mark of the group for value, as well as for resolving issues promptly and customer service staff knowledge. AT&T earned the top mark for 4G reliability, while Sprint received the lowest overall reader score of any carrier in the survey for the second consecutive year.

Republic Wireless, another relative newcomer, surpassed TracFone as the top-Rated prepaid carrier. It was one of only three carriers in the survey, along with Ting and Consumer Cellular, and the only prepaid carrier to receive a top mark for value.

“Smaller providers like Ting, Consumer Cellular, and Republic have excellent satisfaction ratings because they're designing innovative strategies to keep plan costs down for their customers and simplify their service options," said Glenn Derene, Electronics Editor for Consumer Reports.

Seventy-three percent of respondents had traditional cell phone contract plans, the survey revealed. Only 11 percent had traditional no-contract plans, while an additional 11 percent had prepaid service. However, with an average overall reader score of 78, those with traditional no-contract plans were the most satisfied with their carrier.

The full Consumer Reports cell service Ratings, which includes separate ratings for 26 major U.S. metropolitan areas, can be found online at ConsumerReports.org.

The Consumer Reports survey also revealed that consumers tend not to make changes in their cell phone service. While 27 percent said they’d seriously considered switching providers in the past 6 months, not many actually make the change. Eighty-three percent said they have been with the same provider for more than two years, including 62 percent for more than five years.

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

James McQueen
Consumer Reports
+1 914-378-2839
Email >
Consumer Reports
since: 07/2008
Like >