Prices? Sure. Coverage? Absolutely that's important. But how does your carrier treat you? When you call, are you answered promptly and courteously? Are your problems fixed easily? Does the person on the other end sound like they even care? What about tech support?
Here's how you should pick carriers if customer service is most important to you.
Best customer service: Verizon Wireless
Why you can trust Windows Central
For top-notch customer support, look to Verizon Wireless. In Tom's Guide's testing, which took into account online support, social media responses, and over-the-phone support, Verizon scored the highest with a 94/100 rating. In terms of coverage, The Wirecutter rates Verizon number one, so you get the best on both fronts.
Whether it's a question about your plan, your specific device, or tech support, Verizon nails it on the phone, online, and via social media. It even has an online device simulator, which can virtually take you through tutorials on your specific phone so that you can figure out problems or simply learn how it works without having to wait on hold or heading into a Verizon store.
In Tom's Guide's ratings, T-Mobile didn't fall far behind Verizon, since it has a great social media presence when it comes to support, and its over-the-phone support is quick and helpful. That being said, its online resources could be a little better. Having had to do a ton of research on T-Mobile, I fully agree with that assessment. T-Mobile's website is quite frustrating at times, and it takes quite a bit of googling to find help pages that should probably be easier to find right on its site.
Having chatted online with some reps, as well, I noticed (similarly to Tom's Guide) that T-Mo reps often assume that the customer knows more than they really do, so their instructions aren't always explicitly clear.
Batting in the hole: AT&T
Since AT&T switched to an automated answering service, its over-the-phone support isn't the best. That being said, its support site is quite helpful, with quick response times for email. But its responses on social media are lacking.
This rating is despite J.D. Power's assertion that AT&T ranks the highest in overall customer satisfaction. J.D. Power's rating only takes customers with unlocked phones into account.
Bringing up the rear: Sprint
In Tom's Guide ratings, Sprint is actually in fifth place, behind Cricket Wireless (an MVNO owned by AT&T). According to Tom's Guide, reps are friendly and quick to respond, but testers were consistently given incorrect information, even on topics reps should know well.
Top Ten Reviews' rating is consistent with Tom's Guide, placing it in fourth place in its guide of best carriers and giving it the lowest score of the bunch for customer help and support.
Putting customer service reps aside, Sprint's consumer bring-your-own-device policy is frustrating and a major turnoff. Wanting to buy your phone from a provider is one thing, but having to is another. And Sprint's dated CDMA technology holds it back on all fronts.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Mike is a staff writer at Mobile Nations and fancies himself a musician and comedian. Keep dreaming, Mike.