Survey: Proposed AT&T Merger Bad News for T-Mobile Customers

Consumer Reports isnt doing AT&T any favors in the public relations department.  

A satisfaction survey last fall of more than 50,000 Consumer subscribers found that AT&T is less satisfying than the company it plans to acquire T Mobile USA in nearly every sense.

Our survey data finds precious little to cheer T-Mobile customers about the proposed merger or to 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,” Paul Reynolds of Consumer Reports wrote today.

For example, the results found that T-Mobile was better than AT&T at providing service with a contract plan. Although T-Mobile was rated lower than Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless in this category, the mobile operator had better marks than AT&T on nearly every attribute that Consumer Reports rated.

Prepaid customers those without a contract also were more satisfied with T-Mobile than AT&T.  

The gap between the carriers in satisfaction was highest when it came to customer support, especially for service provided by phone,” Reynolds wrote. Thats mostly because of AT&Ts sub-par scores in every aspect of customer service, from support on various modes (phone, email, website) to success in solving problems, and staff knowledge.”

The results further revealed that T-Mobile faced fewer problems with dropped calls than AT&T, Reynolds noted, and T-Mobile was meaningfully more satisfying than AT&T in 20 of the 21 cities in which we had sufficient data to rate both carriers.”

Asked about problems with no service, respondents rated AT&T and T-Mobile fairly evenly; both operators rated average or worse compared to competitors across all cities in the survey.

More troubling for AT&T, 46 percent of the carriers customers said they were considering switching to another carrier. Thats up from 33 percent in the survey a year earlier.

Thirty-seven percent of T-Mobile customers reported they were considering a switch the same percentage from the previous survey in 2009.

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