Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Consumer Reports Slams AT&T (Again)

Consumer Reports has been taking swings at AT&T’s cellphone service for a while now. But the carrier finds itself in its crosshairs once again.

The January 2011 issue ranking cellphones and services carries this headline on the cover: “Best and worst providers (Sorry AT&T).”

I’m going to try to pick up a copy this morning and will then update, but here are the highlights, according to the Houston Chronicle. AT&T got the magazine’s full black dot rating (that’s as low as it gets) in almost every nationwide category, while Verizon topped the rankings.

AT&T sent out the following statement in response to the rankings: “We take this seriously and we continually look for new ways to improve the customer experience. The fact is wireless customers have choices and a record number of them chose AT&T in the third quarter, significantly more than our competitors. Hard data from independent drive tests confirms AT&T has the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network with our nearest competitor 20 percent slower on average nationwide and our largest competitor 60 percent slower on average nationwide. And, our dropped call rate is within 1/10 of a percent–the equivalent of just one call in a thousand–of the industry leader.”

On the device side, the iPhone (the same one that the magazine once recommended against buying) tops the list of phones available at AT&T, the Droid X and Samsung Fascinate tied for best Verizon option and Samsung’s Epic and Vibrant top the options at Sprint and T-Mobile, respectively.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work