Consumer Reports: Top Cell Services and Savings - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Consumer Reports: Top Cell Services and Savings



    Consumer Reports ranks cell services and gives some suggestions on how to get discount. (Published Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013)

    Consumer Reports is out with its annual surve of the top-rated cell phone providers.

    Verizon ranks No. 1 in the Dallas- Fort Worth area, as it did last year.

    Locally based AT&T ranked second, which is an improvement from 2012 when it ranked at the bottom in Consumer Reports' survey.

    T-Mobile was ranked third and Sprint came in last.

    NBC 5 reached out to Sprint and a company spokesperson told us:

    "The findings in the Consumer Reports' survey indicate we still have work to do and only serve to make us even more committed to providing outstanding wireless service to our customers. We've asked customers during the past year to 'pardon our dust' as we build out and upgrade our network. We're working to deliver an advanced wireless network that we believe over time will deliver unmatched speed and performance to our customers. The good news is that in markets where the work is largely completed we are seeing indications of improved customer satisfaction. Sprint continues its commitment to offer the best value in wireless with Sprint One Up and Unlimited, My Way and My All-in plans.  Finally, earlier this year the American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries, during the last five years."

    And Consumer Reports has advice for saving on your cell-phone bill. It turns out the traditional two-year contract is not necessarily the best choice for value. Initially you get a big discount on the phone you pick. But you may be paying a lot more for service compared to a prepaid plan.

    In a recent survey of more than 58,000 Consumer Reports' subscribers, prepaid Straight Talk earned high marks. The company advertises unlimited talk, text and data for $45 a month.

    Even if you're in a traditional contract, a good way to save is to check your bill to make sure you aren't paying for more data than you use. Of the people surveyed with a monthly data allowance, nearly 40 percent reported using no more than half of it. But, if you usually burn through your data allowance, rein in those data hogs such as streaming video, music and gaming.

    Another tip is to make sure your Wi-Fi connection is always activated which lets you surf and stream for free in Wi-Fi areas. But, never us an unsecure connection for sensitive tasks like making purchases or paying bills.

    Consumer Reports also advises checking to see if your employer participates in discount plans with any of the big nationwide cell phone carriers. You can find out by searching for "employee discounts" on your provider's website.

    Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website.