How's your carrier customer support? Check out these rankings

A recent study by Tom's Guide examined the online, social media, and phone support of the major carriers in the U.S. and ranked them based on their performance. AT&T came out on top overall, followed by Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

Boost Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T tied their social media support scores, while AT&T edged in the top spot for online support. T-Mobile and AT&T tied phone support scores, though metroPCS boasts the shortest average support call time at 3:40.

The study was conducted by asking "how do I get photos off my smartphone?" and "how do I change my data plan?" through a variety of channels and times of day. If these rankings do anything to convince you to switch, here you can find plans from Sprint, Verizon (opens in new tab), T-Mobile (opens in new tab), and AT&T (opens in new tab)

The full results of the research by Tom's Guide is available at the link below, but let's hear from you guys about your most (and least) favorite U.S. service providers in the comments.

Read the full carrier customer service results on Tom's Guide

Simon has been covering mobile since before the first iPhone came out. After producing news articles, podcasts, review videos, and everything in between, he's now helping industry partners get the word about their latest products. Get in touch with him at simon@futurenet.com.
56 Comments
  • Not surprised by Att being first. Always a good experience if I ever have to talk to them. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I agree as I never had any issues with their customer support and I'm not surprised they are #1. Their cell service is also the best as I always have good service wherever I go and I travel quite often. Posted Via The AT&T Note 4
  • Agreed.. I actually spoke with them this morning. It went well. Nexus 5 (AT&T)
  • I stopped using ATT when they sent me an inaccurate (couple thousand dollars) bill, when I called the person I talked to, and her supervisor and the next level supervisor all said the bill was an error. Then all of them followed up with "We sent you a bill so you HAVE to pay it". After 4 hours on the phone, finally one of the people said they will correct the mistake and I don't need to pay it. Since they shut off my service I went and got a new phone at Verizon. 6 months later I got another bill from ATT for the mistaken amount. Again I had to call (difficult to get anybody when you don't have an existing account), and again "we sent you a bill so you HAVE to pay it. Another 3-4 hours to finally hear "OK we'll correct the problem don't worry about it. 6 months later I got a notice from a collection agency and the problem goes on and on and on...
  • Agreed. If you look at the questions they asked: "how do I get pictures off my smartphone" and "how do I change my plan" those are all simple questions that really should only take minutes to do but the difficult questions such as "why is my bill wrong" you spend hours and their ridged system basically telling you "Sucks to be you, pay it and we'll eventually correct it." I got off of AT&T and never looked back. I found out a couple days ago my brother who's on AT&T can't upgrade his phone without losing his unlimited LTE data plan which is grandfathered in and he and my mother will lose all their discounts that are on the account. Meanwhile T-mobile called me when they had a new plan that would save me money to ask if I wanted to switch and spent time with me searching to see if there were any discounts I could apply to my account. Yea sure I want my pictures off of my phone but there's a youtube video for that.
  • I don't care about what anyone complains about ATT. I've always had the best help both on phone and in store. Every blue moon I will get a nitwit but service has always been awesome both wireless and home services. Their chat service has always been efficient. Posted via the Android Central App
  • On line or 611 is a breeze. In store has been frustrating for me so I try to avoid it. Been with att since 1997. Posted via my Galaxy S6!
  • True Nexus 5 (AT&T)
  • Part of the time on the Sprint one is that I think they have to try to sell you something on every call. They ALWAYS try to sell me tablets ( they say they are giving them away but they require service so they aren't really free) or some sort of Lookout security garbage regardless of why I am calling. 20 minutes per call though...man that's high.
  • Same here. They blew a gasket when I told them I purchased a Nexus 6 from Motorola. Posted via the Android Central App
  • When you call Sprint, go to Tech Support to bypass the CALL CENTER IDIOTS! CALL CENTERS BAD! LG G2
    GSIII
    Galaxy Note 4
    (The Sprint Lover)
  • I'll do that Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not possible. Before transfering you to Tech Support , The "CALL CENTER IDIOTS! " need to verify your account, troubleshoot and determine if they can resolve your technical issue and if they are not able to resolve it and Tech Support can do it, escalate the issue to them. The call center agents that transfer you directly to them without verifying you and troubleshoot your technical issue, they get reported because affects the quality response of the Tech Support deparment increasing the call queue and waiting time and also affects the quality report of that Call Center who transfer you.
  • Verizon corporate stores, at least the two I normally visit, almost always try to sell me something. As an example, I can normally troubleshoot any issues, but I went in once since I was stumped. Out comes the technician guy and we're talking for a bit. I've noticed that we've been slowly walking over to one side of the store and stop in front of some Bose bluetooth speakers. He tries to sell me one...their dang technician guy that works in the back! I didn't buy it and my issue wasn't solved. Had to go through Samsung. VZW's online support is great though.
  • I've never had them do that at the 2 Verizon corporate stores I visit occasionally. They have always been very helpful, once you make it to the top of the queue, even getting my Moto bought Nexus 6 functioning again before they officially recognized or sold them.
  • Like any store, people have varying experiences. I've seen many commenters and people in the forums state that they avoid going to VZW stores altogether due to their past experiences. Overall, the VZW stores are helpful from my experience. From a convenience standpoint though, I prefer contacting them online.
  • Agree totally, I usually prefer online as well, but the reason I ended up bringing my Nexus 6 to the store is because the online people f'ed it up so ymmv there also.
  • I've always had a good experience with Verizon as well. I remember I was having connectivity issues with my galaxy note 2 and they were able to fix it (even though it was running cyanogenmod). Posted via the Android Central App
  • Man those Sprint calls are long, sometimes I just tell them I'll use online support. "nothing I shoot ever gets back up again"
  • Add-a-lines are one of the few things that Sprint phone reps get a commission for. So on top of management pushing for it, reps are usually very happy to oblige, and tablets are the easiest to sell. The Lookout thing is new to me, unless you're talking about TEP (phone insurance). We're supposed to ask if you want it with every activation or phone swap. Store reps will try telling you it's mandatory, ask for their manager if they do, because that rep is full of it.
  • The lookout was pushed when I was dealing with an Airave call. That customer service number is different so maybe that's why? I am not sure.
  • Nah it was back like a year or so ago, there was a SPIF for selling Lookout. Like an extra dollar commision per add or something.
  • AT&T too when I had them they would always try to push their crappy uverse service on me.
  • I've found Cricket support less than ideal, but that's not why I'm with them. Their price to coverage ratio is unbeatable for me. I've only had to talk to them when I first set up 2 lines and they will tell you anything, whether true or not. Straight Talk is pitiful also....was with them prior to Cricket. If you want great service with great coverage, you'll pay for it (a la ATT, Verizon, etc).
  • Agreed. Fortunately the Cricket store by our house has one of the nicest people I've ever met, AND he knows his stuff. I never call in, I simply drop by if I have any questions - though that's been rare.
  • Metalmike...Cricket is owned by and operates on the att network, so you are good Posted via the "None-Ya" app
  • I remember when Verizon used to top these charts. Those days are looooong gone. I get so frustrated when I have to deal with Verizon support now. In store is just as bad. But, unfortunately, where I am, they still have the best coverage - so I will stay with them....for now.
  • I have to disagree. Stores are bad but never a bad experience on the phone.
    Store tossed my mothers micro SD card the other day saying it was bad. It was a 4gb model.
    In the mail comes a 64gb free of charge.
  • Agreed. I used to praise vzw's customer service. Now, unless you're a new customer they seem as if they couldn't care less about you. I've recently been getting the "hello sir, we're just calling you to go over your service" random calls. In the end the Verizon rep is trying to up sell me in order to extend my contract. Lastly, a couple of years ago if they couldn't resolve your specific concern they would offer you a credit of some sort. The phone rep had the authority to do this. Now the same credits an additional gig of data, couple of bucks off the bill involves going through the supervisor or being transfered to a different department for approval.
    Everyone's experience will be different, but my experiences have been noticeably different for the worse lately.
  • Stupid internet. How did I get redirected to the at&t fan site?
  • +1 Posted via AC app on my X 14
  • Best comment... Posted via the Android Central App
  • AT&T has good customer support, this is what happens as a product. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Tell me who gets the least support calls...that's who I want. It's great your customer support is good, but I would just as well not want to use it and happily continue using your service. Customer support is for those who need help, who have an issue, or who need to make a change. Satisfy your customer and give them easy access to these options, and you will not use customer service as often. I call Comcast frequently and no matter how nice they are (ok, taht doesn't happen often), I really would prefer I just had the internet speeds I paid for.
  • Totally agree. I was thinking that I wouldn't know if Verizon customer service is good or bad since I so rarely have to deal with them. Posted via Android Central App
  • Problem though, is that metric is hard to measure due to cause and effect. Increased use of customer service could be the result of users enjoying the experience and feeling their needs are met. So, they are more open to use it. It could also be used frequently to increase services. Decreased usage could be the result of frustrated users realizing it's pointless. If you are a crappy doctor and no one comes see you, does that mean you've done a good job in keeping everyone healthy, or people don't trust you to heal them?
  • this is a spot on analogy.
  • These things are weighted stupidly. Sprint's call's take over 3x longer to resolve than T-mobile yet it's in 2nd place? Time is money.
  • You are clearly an idiot. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Oh, you're so cute when you're trying to hurt somebody's feelings.
  • These rankings are ridiculous. There's no information on how the scoring is determined, why the various items are weighted the way they are, etc. Examples: why is phone support worth 50 points? How many points is each item they're scoring for worth? Why is call length, an item important enough to people that it's tracked as a separate item, not included in the scoring? These rankings are a joke, something that becomes even more apparent when you read the individual carrier results on their site. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I guess you don't know how Tom's guide works. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have had go and bad experiences with att customer support. The most recent was pretty bad though. It took 5 days and several chat sessions and phone calls to order a new phone and upgrade a line. In the end it all worked out but it was a huge hassle.
  • Interesting how AT&T has historically got bad ratings for customer service.
  • This needs Ting. Ting would be #1!
  • Verizon is by far the worst. They allowed my worthless cousin on a sub account that he had not paid the liability charge to own his own line to use my wife's info and take over our account run up a 400 dollar bill and when we called to buy out his contract they would not let us because he changed our account to show he was the primary owner thus we were not allowed to access our accounts. We had to file a police report and press charges then give the fraud department the documents before we could terminate his account. We talked to 15 different people from Verizon each of them gave us a different buy out charge amount before I got fed up and threatened them with a post on social media with screen shots of our account and police documents ,then it was o were so sorry sir we will disconnect it for free, were still waiting for the line to be terminated. F Verizon when my contract is up we are switching to at&t . posted with the first phone I have not broken in 2 days , Droid Turbo lol
  • AT&T has gotten better over past years in my own experience. My only complaint is when the store sales rep snuck in their most expensive insurance when I upgraded my wife's phone a few months ago. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've had great experience with att as well. But sometimes they just suggest services from competition if they don't have what I'm looking for. Posted via the Android Central App
  • T-Mobile is where it's at Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't believe this... Verizon in third place.. What a crock of..... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Verizon customer service is terrible. In-store, phone, on-line. Seems like Verizon wants it to be a bad experience. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Don't have an issue with the service with straight talk but every time you call for support their volume is low you can barely hear them Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've been trying to get Verizon to fix a problem with them still applying my Edge payments to my old phone (which I don't have) after 6 months 10 to 15 calls all promising to get it fixed not one has ever called me back I probably have 20 hours into this. This is their last chance or I'm done with them . Posted via the Android Central App
  • It would be neat to see Canadian rankings Posted via the Android Central App
  • Isn't the ultimate moral of this story just looking at the best way to contact your carrier? I mean looking at it from my perspective, MetroPCS wins big. So, on average, I can call them directly and have my issue worked out in 4 minutes. Sounds good to me. Plus they have stores almost everywhere now, so there's that aspect that wasn't even brought up. In fact, when you look at ALL of the rankings, they are almost 100% reversed on phone support vs. online support. The average user usually wants to talk to someone to get a problem fixed. The big 4 will want to upsell you every chance they get while you are on the phone. An MVNO is the opposite - they want your issue fixed and off the phone as quickly as possible. Just my 2 cents, but this seems like more of a skewed attempt at getting people to check out your partner links at the bottom of the page than a recommendation on who provides better service to the end user.
  • This is bs. I work with all 4 carriers. Ive never had to wait on hold for more than a few minutes with any of the carriers. This is definitely a ymmv. Posted via the Android Central App