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AT&T responds to Consumer Reports beating, cites A+ rating from BBB

Zach Epstein
December 7th, 2010 at 5:04 PM

AT&T was dragged over the coals yesterday following the revelation that Consumer Reports readers think AT&T is the worst carrier in the U.S. The bruised carrier issued a statement shortly after Consumer Reports’ survey made the rounds, but it was pretty obvious that it had more in store. Today, AT&T points out that according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), its network is the best in the country — 0r, at least, its subscribers complain the least. In the 12-month period ending December 3rd, 2010, AT&T had the lowest number of complaints made to the BBB among the top four cellular carriers in the country. Verizon Wireless had 34% more complaints during that time frame, Sprint had 115% more complaints and T-Mobile had 207% more complaints. AT&T also says it has an A+ average rating nationally from the BBB, having received 107 A+ ratings, seven A ratings and one A- rating from local BBBs across the country. Hit the jump for the full press release.

AT&T Mobility Rated A+ Nationally On Average by Better Business Bureau

AT&T Mobility records fewest number of complaints, receives lowest complaint rate among peers over the last 12 months

Dallas, Texas, December 07, 2010

Over the past year, AT&T Mobility has recorded the fewest number of Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints and received the lowest BBB complaint rate among the four largest national wireless carriers, contributing to an average national rating of A.[1]

For complaints closed within the last 12 months as of Dec. 3, 2010, AT&T Mobility’s nearest competitor had 32 percent more BBB complaints and its largest competitor had 62 percent more complaints. However, the best way to compare industry peers is by complaint rate, which is calculated by the number of closed complaints per wireless provider subscriber.[2] Using this method, AT&T Mobility’s largest competitor had a complaint rate 34 percent higher, and the complaint rate of its two other industry peers were two times and three times more, respectively.

Wireless customers in the U.S. file more core customer issue complaints related to carrier advertising and marketing, contract-early terminated, service related issues, and billing and rates with the various BBBs each year than they do with any other entity.[3]

Earlier this year, AT&T Mobility announced that it was the only company in America to achieve separate ‘A’ ratings and separate accreditations from every BBB in the U.S. on their report cards for ethical business practices and responsiveness to customers concerns. These rankings are based on BBB confidence that the business is operating in an open and trustworthy manner. Each business undergoes an evaluation in 17 categories including BBB accreditation, how well the company has responded to consumer concerns, the company’s complaint history with the BBB, and the truthfulness of its advertising claims.

1 As of Dec. 3, 2010, AT&T was rated A+ by 100 local BBBs, A by 7 local BBBs and A- by 1 local BBBs.

2 Rate determined by the aggregate number of closed complaints per company as listed on Dec. 3, 2010 on the 108 local BBB Web sites divided by the average quarterly total of reported retail postpaid/retail prepaid subscribers (which does not include connected device and wholesale customers) per company over the last four reported quarters.

3 In 2009, the BBB received 36,086 complaints while the FCC received 18,989 complaints relating to Carrier Advertising and Marketing, Contract-Early Termination, Service Related Issues, and Billing and Rates. The FCC also received 47,902 Telecommunication Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) complaints against wireless carriers which stem from unsolicited text messages and voice calls. Excluding these non-core customer issue complaints, there are roughly twice the number of wireless complaints filed with BBBs as opposed to the FCC.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.


Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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