Verizon Wireless has topped an annual list of best cellphone carriers published by Consumer Reports.
Of the four major U.S. national cellphone standard service providers, Verizon received favorable scores for voice and data service quality, and for support attributes such as staff knowledge and resolution of issues. Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T each received mostly middling to low marks, particularly for voice and text service quality, Consumer Reports said.
AT&T was among the lower-scoring providers, but its 4G LTE network was rated the most favorably of any carrier. Its users reported the fewest problems with the higher-speed service.
The report found that no-contract plans can be major cost-savers for consumers. Two-thirds of survey respondents who switched to prepaid plans, which typically lack a contract and bill each month in advance, saved more than $20 a month.
Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed 63,253 subscribers. The full report is in the January issue of Consumer Reports and includes detailed ratings of cellphone service providers in 23 metropolitan markets, data-hogging phone habits to avoid, advice on choosing the right phone and plan, and a comparison of Google's Android operating system and Apple's iOS.