Are There Any Service-Savvy Cell Providers?

iphone angst has me wanting to talk to sprintBy now, you’ve heard why I’m pissed off at Apple. So yesterday, I had a thought: leave a bad relationship. My cell relationship with AT&T mixed with my iPhone OS4 beef is a polygamist marriage made in hell and I wanna climb over the compound wall.

So I tweeted @sprint and @sprintcare asking how to get in touch with someone from their marketing department.

Apparently @sprintcare is a bit of a misnomer. No response, even 12 hours later. Their Twitter stream is filled with @ replies to account holders.

What about a potential new one?

My ponder this morning is this: are there ANY good cell service providers out there? We all know that the only reason AT&T has ANY client retention is the iPhone and our propensity for suckling Apple’s technological teat. I want to hear who MY readers have as a cell provider:

  • Who you have or had
  • What you love/hate
  • Why  you’d build a statue in your front lawn to memorialize them or throw them in a room of Sarah Palin fans and a tank of piranhas.

Lay it on me. And maybe @sprintcare really does care and they’re working on getting back to a tech-savvy redhead who’s curious about engaging in a cell provider/client relationship that doesn’t land me in a Utah compound begging for divorce.

I’m headed to a meeting, but hey – I’ll dig into your comments when I’m back. Lay it on me.

57 comments
Luigi
Luigi

Verizon Wireless here. I hate my Blackberry Storm@ which is independent of Verizon's network and customer care relieability

Luigi
Luigi

Verizon here.

Hilary Cable
Hilary Cable

I had T-Mobile until recently. They were efficient, the CSRs were empowered to act and get things done, the website was easy to navigate and the bills were generally correct. I switched to Verizon because I just HAD to have the new Droid. Not impressed so far at all. It took them almost 30 hours to port my number (no phone service during those 30 hours; Verizon played a message to callers that made it sound like I had flaked out on my bill), customer service reps were very nice but completely powerless; and the website, which is swathed in make-me-angry red, is hard to navigate. Not looking forward to two years with Verizon at all.

Techsquirrel
Techsquirrel

There should be an AlAnon for ATT customers. ATTAnon.

Khürt
Khürt

Because this is what happens in a market where something ( a mobile phone ) has become something people need (demand ) and their are only a few large suppliers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint). It stinks. What are you willing to do to effect a change?

Jonathan
Jonathan

I have imbibed the kool aid since Apple was in it's infancy and while I certainly lured by the iPhone, I will not join the legions because of AT&'s poor coverage and equally poor customer service. I am very satisfied with Verizon and I am pretty sure that a Driod phone of some sort will be my next upgrade. As I have about a year, I am sure that there will be some 3rd party syncing application that will allow that phone to effortlessly sync my contacts and calendar ith my MacBookPro. I can wait. I have gulped enough of the Apple Kool Aid to gag a horse.

amycesario
amycesario

I'm in Denver and have Verizon for as long as I can remember. Go to the Cherry Creek Store and ask for Heath. :-) Check out the Droid X.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Yes, well, you'd think that helping someone contact their Marketing department *would* be helping. I'm sure shareholders would see it that way. But then again, I could be a moron.

The Redhead
The Redhead

I sooo wish I could do T-Mobile here in Denver. The network just isn't reliable enough. I want to drink the Kool-Aid.

Cara Ellison Halbirt
Cara Ellison Halbirt

This is not really adding much to the discussion here but I've been with T-Mobile for 2 years now & been super happy with them. The price is way right; I *heart* their unlimited minutes & data and texting I have for my phone. There customer service is over the top. I sometimes wonder what they put in the Kool-aid, the agents really seem to want to figure out whatever is going on & they are friendly & nice. It borders on the frightening. I'm just not used to being treated like a person when I call most companies. And I know the G1, et. al. are supposed to be fabulous but I LOVE my BlackBerry 9700. I can hold it how ever I want & it does what I tell it to (a plus in almost any relationship). And the software upgrades have been painless. Good Luck!

The Redhead
The Redhead

good point - but I have another 15 months left. too painful :(

The Redhead
The Redhead

Yeah, the sucker is going on Craigslist after I cut bait and wipe it. And excellent point regarding the iPad w/3G. Thank you, @Trada www.trada.com!

Paul Jones
Paul Jones

You know, for less than your early term fee, you can probably find a 3G on Craigslist that has not been iOS4'd and pop your sim card in. Then when contract runs out, poof, hello new carrier.

Bill Green
Bill Green

You can downgrade the phone if you jailbreak it. If you pay the early termination fee and leave, you can still sell the phone or move it to T-Mobile. The huge downside with that is you lose 3G. The upside is $80/month for unlimited everything.Of course, since you already have an iPad, you might as well go back to Verizon and get a phone and network that actually work.

The Redhead
The Redhead

WOW. And the hits just keep on comin'.

Jeff Harbert
Jeff Harbert

I worked in IT for AT&T back in 2003 supporting WAN connections to retail stores. Short version: the connections sucked, big time. I spent a lot of time in AT&T stores last year for work, getting phones activated . In over six years *nothing* had improved.

The Redhead
The Redhead

It's beginning to sound like you can't have both - a great product AND great service :-/

The Redhead
The Redhead

Would you please TwitPic me a pic of you and your Pink Razr? :) *swoon*

The Redhead
The Redhead

"Hi, Paul."Granted, I will miss the apps and Mac OS/interface. But what I'd really like is a phone that works. I *have* an iPad and a MacBook. And an iPod. Seems I'm covered on Apple products and now all I need is a phone.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Ahh...the beauty of acquisitions in the tech world. Good luck, Kyra!

The Redhead
The Redhead

"Just think about this. If the iPhone went somewhere else AT&T would be out of business due to there shitty service!"I have nothing to add.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Yes, the packages are attractive. What's NOT attractive for me at this point is paying my "early termination fee" with AT&T since their service sucks balls and the iPhone OS4 sucks even more on a 3G model (and there's no downgrading).

jim
jim

I've had Verizon and Nextel, and I'm on Sprint now. I've been with Sprint the longest simply because where I live (central Indiana) they had the best coverage when I signed on (5 years ago) and have not caused me any problems in the time I've had them. However, I use my phone only as a phone. ("How quaint," I hear you say.) But the upshot of this is that in 5 years I've never needed customer service. I have found this to be a very comfortable way to be a mobile customer.

Kyra Clark
Kyra Clark

I have used Alltel for 9 years and have had no problems whatsoever. In fact, their plans are fabulous and customer service has always been helpful. It turns out that AT & T has recently acquired Alltel in my area and will be transitioned in January. I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS! Where I live (BFE), we have 2 options, Verizon or Alltel. Verizon coverage here is spotty at best and the calls get through depending on the direction one is facing. My mom can call me from out in the valley if she is leaning over her kitchen sink. I have NEVER had a problem with any calls being dropped through Alltel. After finding out about the AT & T transition, I have been trying to read all the info I can to decide whether I want to go with them or move to Verizon. So far, I'm not sold on either.

Paul Jones
Paul Jones

My name is Paul, and I am an iPhone Addict. The apps lure me in and suck dollar bills out of my hands like feature dancers at a pole dance festival. I have dropped some calls, yes. I started with then Cellular One in 1991, which became AT&T, after a while. I did defect to Nextel for a few years, but came back to AT&T when I became a Crackberry Addict. From there I stayed loyal, and got my iPhone 3G when the Crackberry did not survive the fall from my belt to the pavement 24 feet below where I was standing. The upgrade to iOS4 was ok, but took some noodling around forums to get some hints to solve issues, after that it works well. I would like multitasking however.Wife has Sprint, and she likes her HTC Touch Pro II, even with the clunky Windows Mobile. Her phone has no more or no less issues than my iPhone. AT&T has better reception in most places than her Sprint phone. Verizon seems to have best coverage into buildings and thing vs AT&T and Sprint.In our slice of the country (North Carolina) I get pretty decent coverage in most areas. Sprint is a paperweight outside urban areas. I think its a crapshoot no matter where you go. I am still an iPhone Addict, and probably will remain so, and stick with AT&T, unless Verizon pulls me off the wagon.

Bill Green
Bill Green

I think T-Mobile has the best customer service though not exactly the greatest cell service. I've been using my iPhone on T-Mobile for a couple years with no plans to change. I had a brief tryst with Verizon to try out the Motorola Droid and discovered that while Verizon's cell coverage is amazing, their customer service is every bit as terrible as that phone was.

Megan
Megan

I'm also a T-Mobile user. Everything you've heard about the customer service is true. Refreshingly so. I hear AT&T horror stories and cling to my pink flip razr (yes, you read that correctly). I've actually been with them since even before VoiceStream (it was called PowerTel). One thing, though. I've heard rumblings online that T-Mobile might be merging with Virgin Mobile or Sprint in the near future. I really hope it is just s a rumor.

Jeff Harbert
Jeff Harbert

I've never had T-Mobile myself, but everyone I know that's used them have been very happy with them. We're with Verizon currently and have been mostly pleased. I used to have AT&T way back when. You couldn't pay me enough to use them again.

jason schippers
jason schippers

Also, I used to work at a cell phone company and heard stories about Sprint. I wouldn't sign up with them even if someone else was paying it. It's like going to the doctor without insurance. You're going to go in for one thing, they are going to do 20 other things and ultimately what you originally came in for isn't solved. You'll keep going back like those scary meth billboards. Stay off the meth, I mean Sprint. Think of the children.

The Redhead
The Redhead

For the record, Sprint STILL hasn't responded. Total CS fail. I loved Verizon and wished I'd never left.

The Redhead
The Redhead

THAT is one helluva an endorsement. THANKS!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Laughing my ass off..."ice green Jag"

SkyddsDrake
SkyddsDrake

I've had T-Mobile for years, now. I switched to them from Verizon because I wasn't happy with the high plan costs and some bad customer service phone calls I had with Verizon. T-Mobile, I'm ecstatic about. Any time I've run into a quirk with a phone or something, all I've ever had to do is drop into a store to have it fixed or the phone replaced. I like the way their website is set up. Pretty much everywhere I go, I have service. That being said, I'm more of a texter than a talker when it comes to cellphones, and I'm not sure it takes as much of a signal to do the one as it does the other... Any time I have ever hit a spot where talking was tough, I'd only need to go a few feet in one direction or the other to make it work (but that has been VERY rare).

Millercaster
Millercaster

I had T-Mobile going back to the VoiceStream days and never really had any issues with them, in fact my wife is still on them. As everyone else has indicated, their customer service is outstanding and you always get someone whose first language is English, which is nice. My major gripe with them is their phone selection sucks in comparison to the other companies. I switched to AT&T 13 months ago for the 3GS and dealt with the dropped calls just to have the iPhone. When the iPhone 4 came out I waited in line and got it. Since then I haven't had one dropped call. Not one. That is in Phoenix, Charlotte, Nashville and St. Louis since launch day. Even in areas where I dropped calls every single time. Additionally, I just got a letter in the mail that gives me a free Micro Cell. Why I don't know, but I grabbed that sucker up and now I have 5 bars all over my yard! If I wasn't for the iPhone I still would be on T-Mobile and may go back if they ever get the iPhone. The new iPhone is MUCH better and it might be worth getting instead of giving AT&T the ETF...

mah man
mah man

It's not common for somebody thinking about becoming a customer to ask for someone in the Marketing Department, particularly in the online world where "marketing" is a synonym for "leprosy." I'm sure they thought you were looking for a job or wanting to do a story or some such thing, and probably thought they'd spend their limited time and resources helping customers.

Chistinayak
Chistinayak

I've had pretty good luck with cingular, then At&T after the buyout. I feel the in-store custormer service is really pretty good. That said, I'm also an apple person because it's about the only thing about me that is COOL. I know... how lame is that?! 47 years old and still wanting to be cool.Perhaps when I can someday get that ice green S-Type Jag, and actually afford to drive it, I can let go of the phone. :-) Till then, I'm hoping my future will soon bring me an ipad.

Amy
Amy

I've had AT&T (Cingular, before they merged) for the longest time, practically since cell phones started becoming common. I haven't had any real customer service issues but the call quality has always sucked. I also had T-Mobile for a year, when I had a Sidekick with just a data plan. No problems there. I called them once to unlock the phone and the CSR was friendly and helpful.We're switching though. I'm tired of dropped calls and not getting phone calls or voicemails and the iPhone 4 mess has made it so I don't care to stay with AT&T just for the phone. Sprint was a possibility but after your experience... We'll probably end up with Verizon.

Carrie Turner
Carrie Turner

Absolutely T-Mobile is the way to go. Their customer service department is 2nd to none and my G1 is the first thing I'd rescue in a fire. OK not the first thing - but you know what I mean. I compared it to my boss's iPhone and my phone did everything his did but for a 1/3 of the cost. Actually 3 phones all unlimited everything, internet, blah blah was cheaper than his one phone so yeah, I say it's an awesome company.

Derek Belohrad
Derek Belohrad

I have had T-Mobile for years now and any issues I have ever had resulted in a resolution and a new phone or discounted service for the month. I have managed to get my whole family to convert and I haven't heard one complaint.

Micheal
Micheal

I think every mobile phone provider sucks in its own special way. I have Sprint as my personal provider and have had both Verizon and AT&T at work. Two of my siblings use AT&T and the third uses T-Mobile, and beyond the questionable customer service at AT&T, none of them have had major issues. Best coverage I've seen is with Verizon. My sister's AT&T phone was useless when her car broke down in the Utah desert. Verizon's customer care seems okay, but their response time is a bit slow. AT&T is horrible with customer care, which was the primary reason my workplace left them. In nine years I have hardly had to deal with Sprint's customer care, except for when my friend's phone went TU. After a horrid experience with Radio Shack, where she bought the phone, the nice folks at the Sprint store stayed late to try to get it working and finally replaced it, out of warranty, for a $50 fee. Now, of course, I think Sprint has the best plan with their Unlimited Everything $69.99 plan. What irks me is that with the EVO the salespeople won't tell you up front that there's another $10/month charge for 4G (regardless of whether or not it's available in your area) and an additional charge still if you want to use the mobile hotspot capability. There was also a weird thing a few years back where they dropped a bunch of customers who were contacting customer care too often

robert
robert

I'm encouraged by all the T-Mobile replies. I recently left Verizon for no other reason than I wanted, not needed, but wanted an iPhone. I was very happy with the service performance where I live and work and rarely had any issues.So at this point Red, ditch the iPhone. You got your shiny new iPad so you can do all the cool stuff anyway. Just get yourself a phone that works.

Wendy
Wendy

I've had Verizon for 18 months and have not had a problem with dropping calls. I also haven't had any crisis in which to test out their customer service.Jeremy just got an Incredible 2 months ago and I literally just finished ordering my own online. Plus, Jeremy coded some of the chip in that phone, how's that for a personal connection?

Bill W
Bill W

I can honestly say I've never had a problem with AT&T, though I'm a late iPhone adopter (only getting an 3G last fall). I started with Southwestern Bell Mobile, then it became Cingular, and now AT&T Mobility, and I've never had a coverage or connection issue, even in rural areas, that prompted a call to Customer Service.Now, having said that, I now fully expect my phone to explode this afternoon, but...

Cool T. Awesome, Sr.
Cool T. Awesome, Sr.

I'll have to second (er, third...) the T-Mobile vote by proxy. I have quite a few friends who've been with them since they were still VoiceStream, and they love the service - decent support, no playing phone hop-scotch through the support queue. Unfortunately I'm stuck with Verizon through work, but should things change those folks can have my money.

Kevin
Kevin

I appreciate T-Mobile's customer support, and cheap "unlimited everything" plan. Maybe try a Nexus One on T-Mobile?