T-Mobile has the cheapest prices and best perks in the industry, and certainly the most sweary executive. But for one of the things that matters most to customers — good customer care — AT&T actually pips the “Uncarrier” to the flag.

The latest edition of the J.D. Power satisfaction survey ranks AT&T as the network with the best overall customer care experience. T-Mobile finishes second, with Verizon and Sprint rounding out the best of the rest.

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The J.D. Power survey uses data from over 7,000 wireless customers across a broad demographic, and is the best annual look we get at who likes their cell carrier the most. Customers fill out a survey detailing their customer care experiences, and the responses are used to build a score out of 1,000 for each customer. AT&T scored 820, while T-Mobile was on 815. Sprint was down at 750, by comparison.

Interestingly, the best non-contract carrier, Customer Cellular, scored 878, way better than any full-service provider. Even though its customers are lacking years-long contracts, the quality of care they receive actually appears to be higher.

Of course, the customer experience is only one part of a network’s overall experience. Verizon is typically said to have the best service, for example, so a survey that takes into account cell coverage would probably see it bumped up a place or two. But it’s worth noting that AT&T, the oldest carrier (with the stuffiest reputation) has actually managed to keep its customers the happiest.

Chris Mills has loved tinkering with technology ever since he worked out how to defeat the parental controls on his parents' internet. He's blogged his way through Apple events and SpaceX launches ever since, and still keeps a bizarre fondness for the Palm Pre.