This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say

Woman on cellphone
Deborah Kolb /

Looking for a new cellphone carrier? If you want the best network quality, you might want to avoid Sprint.

Additionally, chances are good that buying a plan from Sprint will result in the least satisfying purchase experience of the four major carriers.

Those are the findings of recent rankings from J.D. Power.

The 2020 U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study — based on responses from 33,750 wireless customers nationwide — found that Sprint consistently offered the worst wireless network quality.

In five of six U.S. regions, Sprint has the most network quality problems per 100 connections in terms of call, messaging and data services, J.D. Power says.

In the sixth region (the Southwest), Sprint tied with AT&T and T-Mobile for the most network quality problems.

At the other end of this spectrum is Verizon. In all six regions, the carrier had the fewest network quality problems per 100 connections.

In a separate J.D. Power study, the 2020 U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Performance Study, Sprint also ranked lowest of the four major carriers.

T-Mobile took best in class honors in this study.

The overall customer satisfaction scores for the full-service carriers for purchase experience are:

  • T-Mobile: 863 out of 1,000 points
  • Verizon: 838
  • AT&T: 837
  • Sprint: 808

In a related J.D. Power study, Cricket topped the “purchase experience” list among noncontract full-service carriers with a score of 855, while Consumer Cellular finished first among noncontract value carriers with a score of 881.

The purchase-experience rankings were based on feedback from 13,678 customers.

J.D. Power notes that customers are especially likely to have a good experience when they have “a store representative take the time to explain network coverage.”

How to find the best cellphone carrier

If the J.D. Power rankings have you thinking it might be time for a new carrier — and in truth, it’s always a good idea to comparison shop — stop by Money Talks News’ Solutions Center and use the phone and plan comparison tool.

WhistleOut — a Money Talks News partner — also provides information about how to find a great cellphone plan at the best price. For more, check out:

Which cellphone provider do you use? Tell us what you love — or hate — about your carrier in comments below or on our Facebook page.

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