Verizon Tops The Consumer Reports Rating Again

By Sumit Passary | Nov 30, 2012 09:36 AM EST

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Verizon was the highest rated U.S. carrier in Consumer Reports' yearly cell-phone service Ratings. Verizon topped in the Consumer Reports Rating last year as well.

A survey of 63253 subscribers, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, revealed that Verizon is in the top and AT&T amongst the lower-scoring carriers; however, the latter's 4G LTE network was rated the most favorable.

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Verizon achieved favorable scores for both voice and data service quality and other traits like staff knowledge and resolution of issues. Other major carriers like Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T received middle to low ratings for voice and text service quality.

AT&T users reported the fewest problems with the higher-speed 4G LTE service, which most new smart phones now use.

Consumer Cellular, a national carrier in the U.S. which uses AT&T's network, received high ratings across the board in Consumer Reports' Ratings of standard (monthly bill) carriers. Consumer Cellular offers wireless needs and the simplicity of monthly billing without a contractual commitment.

Consumer Reports indicated that no-contract mobile plans can be major cost-savers.

"Two-thirds of Consumer Reports survey respondents who switched to so-called 'prepaid plans,' which typically lack a contract commitment and bill each month in advance, saved more than $20 a month by switching to prepaid. Those savings can allow wireless customers to quickly recoup the cost of the phone itself, which can be higher if they don't make a contractual commitment," per the report.

Similar to Consumer Cellular, TracFone also offer offers low-cost phone service in the U.S. The carrier was among the top-rated prepaid providers, which received high marks for value, voice, and text.

"Some smaller carriers that scored respectably in our Ratings and offer low-priced plans, such as Straight Talk and Virgin Mobile, now offer fairly sophisticated smart phones. And you can even save by switching a phone from a major carrier that's coming off contract to a prepaid plan," said Paul Reynolds, electronics editor for Consumer Reports.

Carriers will now have to keep pace with the growing popularity of prepaid and monthly billing plans.

Would you prefer a long-term contract which offers a smartphone, or you'd rather opt for a no-frills prepaid contract to use with your existing mobile handset?

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