October 15, 2003

The Least of All Evils

Just out of curiosity, from the following list of wireless service providers, which company/service sucks the least (or most), and why? AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless, Sprint, or T-Mobile?


Derek Gomez

I had a positive experience when trying to wrangle something out of Sprint PCS as a loyal customer of theirs for a couple of years.

Very subjective question though — I’m sure some have had bad experiences with Sprint PCS too. They’re the only provider I’ve used.

AT&T: best coverage nationally, most expensive. T-Mobile: Coolest phones cuz it’s GSM, not so good coverage (but I loved the cost/phone/coverage ratio) Sprint PCS: Really really poor customer svc stories from a LOT of my colleagues Cingular: no data.


Mark Shewmaker

I also use Sprint PCS and have not had any bad experiences. However, my LG cel has the worst interface I’ve ever had to deal with in a phone.

Rob Christensen

AT&T has very good customer service and pretty good coverage in the Bay Area. However, the particular Nokia phone I have does not perform particularly well (I’d go with a Samsung phone that has good reviews — Nokia phones doesn’t seem to make the grade anymore). You might consider waiting until around November 24th as that is the date the FCC has mandated that all cell phone carriers be prepared to allow consumers to switch provides and still retain their phone number. From what I’ve read, it sounds as though some price wars may emerge creating a win-win situation for consumers. However, if time is of the essence, then I’d suggest shopping around a bit and stick with AT&T or Verizon (which I’ve been told offers the best service — that’s second-hand though).

Nick Runco

i have had T-Mobile for 1 year and their service got progressively worse, and is now as frustrating as Cingular was for me before. i think, GSM phones are “cooler” and have bluetooth opitions, for instance, but CDMA/TDMA phones (digital cellular) are still more consistent.

patrick has had AT&T for while now, and from what i can tell his phone works all the time, with very few dropped calls. but he has an older generation digital cellular and when he temporarily switched over to AT&T’s GSM, his quality dropped off significantly.

two thoughts. one, cingular apparenlty has made a comeback, with a stonger network, rollover minutes, and verizon is rated very highly. but, i really dread the idea of finding a new provider so i can sign another contract.

Used Sprint for years, the only good thing they ever did for me was give me a discount when I went to work at a university. I had a few bad experiences with customer service, but through perserverance I resolved them. I’m using Verizon now, much better coverage and customer service

Rachelle Bowden

like derek, i’ve always had sprint and thought they were pretty good. i’ve heard horror stories and i’ve been put through the grinder with their cust svc a couple times but every time my contract is about to expire i tell them im leaving because i have no incentive to stay and they give me something. this year i got $100 towards a new phone when i signed the new contract. also, in the past (in sd), i remember switching my contract around a couple times and i didnt have to resign to do it.

Jessyca Wallace

We’ve had Sprint for a few years now and have had pretty good coverage. Very few dropped calls in SD, LA, or Bay Area…or Chicago for that matter…I always feel like we’re getting hosed anyway though. They’re contracts seem expensive and they keep changing the rules…like what time is “Night Time.” Mitch was considering Nextel for a while because of the walkie talkie feature…but I suppose that’s only really useful if other people you know are on Nextel, too. And it sounds like a lot of people you know are on Sprint ;-) If I ever leave Sprint I’m thinking Cingular because of the rollover minutes. I’m just hoping Sprint comes up with that plan before I leave!

Jessyca Wallace

I can’t believe I misspelled “they’re.”

Sean Peisert

Why isn’t Verizon an option?

Cingular: Sucks. When I moved to Gainesville, FL, the network was overloaded by incoming freshman (come on, they didn’t predict this?) When I called, they said it was a known issue. It often took me 1 or 2 hours of constant trying to get a line, and I would get disconnected frequently. Also, they lied to me about my roaming area and I got stuck with an $800 bill. There was a big to do, during which they were rude, incompetant, and contradictory.

SprintPCS: Great features… but coverage issues

T-Mobile: Great features… but coverage issues

Verizon: unbeatable coverage. They might not have all the fancy G3 data services, but for making phone calls, they are awesome. Good customer service too.

Scott Yager

AT&T was OK, but when we moved to Boston we got Verizon and it blows AT&T away. Plus the LG VX6000 is sweet (and inexpensive too).

Sam Oh

Well, Verizon Wireless (not to be mistaken with the parent company Verizon, I got flamed for saying that at their offices once) does have the best coverage nation wide. But honestly I don’t know how they are in the Bay area. Not to mention their new line of phone (like the vx6000 that Scott mention) are running on their 1x network (which is faster and more reliable then Sprint’s Vision network). And VZW tend to have pretty good deals on new phone

I personally have a Sprint phone, mostly because I want to keep my phone number (I give out the number for work). But once I can transfer my number, I’ll most like switch to Verizon or something.

And I would stay away from Cingurlar. I just heard a lot of bad things about.

One more thing, the US tend to have a better CDMA coverage compared to GSM.

Sean Peisert

My impression is that Verizon Wireless has been far and away the best coverage wherever I’ve been. This has been easy to test, since my girlfriend has Sprint PCS and I know others with AT&T. This isn’t to say that the coverage in general in the Bay Area for cell phones isn’t spotty…. Marin is like Afghanistan with all the hills! But it hasn’t mattered whether it’s San Diego, Marin, San Francisco, Boston, Maine, Tahoe (on the slope), Denver, Seattle, Idaho, Hawaii, I’ve found great coverage and reception.

I DO get a UCSD discount on my price, but that’s not the only thing keeping me with Verizon Wireless.

I wish they had more Kyocera phones, but almost nobody seems to be carrying many of those. They’re the bomb. Qualcomm relaly had some great engineers that went over to Kyocera with the handset division that Qualcomm sold.

Sam Oh

Kyocera are a good handset company. But I think they were downsizing for a while. So there weren’t as many phones that were developed. I think they are still one of the few handset developers that hasn’t release a camera phone yet.

But they are releasing a Slider phone. I have a couple here in my lab, and they look real nice. It might be a little too small for my taste. And I haven’t really played with them yet either. I think Verizon Wireless will be carrying these by Xmas, but don’t quote me on that

Walt Dickinson

Thanks for all the feedback. I’ll try to read through it all tonight.

Sean Peisert
Jessyca Wallace

My Dad has AT&T in San Mateo and it blows, FYI.