AT&T Cell Phone Reviews

AT&T’s power as a wireless cell phone service carrier is demonstrated through their dominance of the American market. Currently, with 62 million cell phone subscribers, AT&T is the largest wireless cell phone carrier in the United States. With this large presence come certain subscriber benefits, as well as potential drawbacks of AT&T’s wireless cell phone service.

AT&T Benefits

Fewest dropped calls
According to independent research, AT&T asserts that they have the fewest dropped calls of any wireless cell phone network carrier. However, the strength of this statement depends upon the area in which you live and use your cell phone; metropolitan areas tend to have better cell phone reception than less populated regions.

Rollover plan
AT&T is currently the only wireless cell phone provider that allows you to take unused minutes into the next month. This flexible plan ensures that you do not waste unused cell phone minutes, but rather utilize them when you need them. However, the unused minutes do expire one year from the month of accumulation. In addition, if you decide to change or downgrade your cell phone plan, then you lose the associated rollover minutes. For example, if you switch from 750 minutes to a 500 minutes plan, then AT&T re-calculates and prorates the amount of rollover minutes for your new, lower cell phone plan.


Latest Phone

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Free nights and weekends with extended hours
AT&T offers an affordable option for its customers to extend the hours that count as “free nights and weekends.” If you pay a small fee, your “nights” begin at 7:00 pm instead of 9:00 pm. Depending on when you tend to talk on your cell phone, having the free minutes beginning at 7:00 pm could be a great benefit to your convenience and monthly cost.

Newest phones available on the market
If you like to have the newest phones as soon as they hit the market, AT&T may be a good cell phone provider for you. The wireless cell phone network generally is the first carrier to have the newest phones; for example, they were the first ones with the Motorola Razr, and AT&T is currently the exclusive network for the Apple iPhone. AT&T also carries a very large selection of Sony, Nokia, LG, and Samsung phones.

International coverage
AT&T provides international roaming coverage, which is a perk if you travel frequently overseas and need your cell phone. AT&T is a GSM carrier, and thus, you can find reliable cell phone coverage in 180 countries.

3G wireless network
As the largest carrier of Blackberry service, AT&T provides excellent 3G support for those looking for additional high-speed features with their cell phone service. However, the 3G service is limited to urban, metropolitan areas.

AT&T Disadvantages

Voice message delivery delays
One of the largest customer complaints regarding AT&T is that voice mails are not always delivered in real-time, but may be sent to your cell phone on the next day.

Customer service disappointments
AT&T’s customer service reputation is less than stellar, with many customers complaining that the customer service representatives are not reliable, friendly, nor professional. Of course, the customer service does vary depending on the AT&T representative, but overall, there are many complaints about the carrier’s customer service quality.

Overall Rating (8/10) : If you are seeking a wireless carrier that is generally reliable, has great phones, and affordable minute plans, then AT&T is an excellent carrier. With their extended nights option and rollover plans, you certainly can get the best “deal” for your cell phone minutes. However, if high-quality customer service is important to you, then AT&T may not be the best choice for you.

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23 Responses to “Comprehensive Review of AT&T Wireless: Good Options, Poor Service”

  1. meghan Says:

    i had been an AT&T customer, well also Cingular, for the past 5 years. i must say that they had great service back before AT&T bought out Cingular. but since then it has all gone down hill. i have over the past few years gained more dropped calls than i ever thought possible. i recently got a new phone and started to experience increased dropped calls, then moved to chicago, where you think that service would be better but in fact it was much worse. after having a case opened for dropped calls over a month they failed to solve anything. i counted 60 dropped calls in the period of one month. i never had reception at school or work. had full signal in my apartment, but that is where 80% of my dropped calls happened. after multiple times hearing that it was the towers in my area, when it wasn’t, they replaced my phone. in a period of 2 weeks i had over 40 dropped calls to just one person that i contact. the case was opened by my mom who has the same problem with dropped calls. she received horrible customer service, always being asked about what the problem was when it was already on file. then AT&T closed the case because she did not respond to them within 24 hours of them contacting her. after all that they would only remove the cancelation fee for myself. which is outrageous when there are two other family members on my contract. why would they keep the service and pay for another service for myself? they also have the same problems as i do. AT&T failed to provide good service so why should their customers pay for it? i recently switched to Verizon Wireless. not only is there better service with a lot less dropped calls but the bill is cheaper, there are more incentives in our plan, and my new Blackberry Storm cost $100 cheaper then the previous Blackberry Curve i had from AT&T. overall AT&T is horrible. maybe they should spend more time servicing their customers than focusing on the advertising for raising the bar.

  2. Joe Morton Says:

    The positives for AT&T on this site are WAY overdone. Here has been my personal experience-horrible customer service, poor reception and coverage, a ton of dropped calls, missed voice mails, and poor reliability. The 3G network is awful too-you hear crackling and inteference in the line when trying to make a call. Go with Verizon, you will be a lot happier. Verizon is so much more reliable than AT&T, plus they have a better coverage area.

  3. David Buechner Says:

    Amazingly bad customer service. Told one thing one time, another thing the next. Sales people poorly trained. Very poor billing follow through with correct actions.

  4. tim Says:

    I am a very unhappy new customer. on by 1st 3 bills they tried to over charge me.
    I baught 2 lg, then added iphone and black berry
    1. 1st order said they would wave atavation fee, but they billed me
    2. 2nd order they tried to get away with same thing
    3. all phones had unlimited text, they charged me for unlimited+ the hours,
    said they had a setting wrong.
    Its like they are trying every trick in the book.
    The rebate option you need to wait form them to send you a visa card, but you cant buy gass with it.
    it best to buy you phone from best buy get the rebate upfront
    I am unhappy with my black berry, I was 1 day late, they would not trade it in, even when
    they do not have a solution to the os problem, so i am stuck with a phone that does not work!

  5. Mary Lou Says:

    I am thrilled ATT has brought their customer service back to the US where I can talk the same language, English. The quality of their foreign customer service was the absolute worse I have ever encountered. They were uncaring, unfeeling, dominating robots. This past month I had the priviledge of speaking to a person located in the USA. It was pleasant to say the least. He acted as tho he was my friend and understood my problem and stayed with me until my concerns were taken care of to my satisfaction. I was very pleased with the customer service. I don’t use my phone a lot so I have had no experience with dropped calls. My husband is the talker in the family, I don’t remember him saying anything about dropped calls or bad service. Our contract has expired yet we continue with ATT because the service is the better of all the choices we are given.

  6. S. Kelley Says:

    I have been with Cingular/AT&T for years and was relatively happy until the past few years. I drop at least 4 calls a day and frequently have to wait several minutes to make a call because the “network is busy.” When I contacted customer service, I was told I need to move into a clearing away from obstructions and buildings to make a call. Apparently it is unreasonable for me to want to talk on the phone inside my house or car. My contract is up in March and I cannot wait to terminate this service and never look back. I have never been more unhappy as a consumer.

  7. Tony Says:

    I am leaving my att wireless review here because I hate the fact that every-time I would like to leave a rewiew about a product I have to sign up to that sight. Screw that.. My review for att wireless goes like this. I HATE EVERY BIT OF ATT WIRELESS AND I CANT WAIT UNTIL MY CONTRACT ENDS!!! I carried verizon for 8 years before jumping on the iphone bandwagon. The iphone was on my wish list for a while because I did not want to leave verizon, however, my love for the iphone overpowered my love of the wireless carrier. I have been with att for 5 months now and I cant stand it one bit. Upon my 8 year tenure with verizon, I had seldom problems as with any carrier. Customer service is helpful and that is the only positive I can give credit to this company. I drop calls many times a day, there always seems to be a problem with my bill

  8. Bill Roberson Says:

    I live in Cincinnati, Ohio and am constantly having problems with AT&T’s 3G network. It is very unreliable and poorly managed. I am on my 3rd, that’s right, 3rd Blackberry phone and am STILL having problems with dropped calls, terrible voice quality where there is crackling, and voice cut outs when I make a call, I don’t receive voice messages or text messages until the next day sometimes, I get “network busy” messages frequently, and the coverage is poor in many spots in Southwest Ohio. Their coverage map is a joke and claims there is coverage in many areas there isn’t. Also, my picture messages (mms) will get stuck and won’t send. I have nothing good to say about this poorly run company. Try to call tech support or customer service, and they will just give you the run-around. “Oh sir, it’s your phone that is the problem.” Not true-3 different Blackberries aren’t going to have the same problems!! Plus, I have read a ton of other online complaints about AT&T Wireless. The same things happen to many different people. This company better improve their service and coverage or they won’t be in business much longer.

  9. John Bracken Says:

    I totally agree with Bill. I also live in a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio and have the same problems Bill is having. I have an iphone and get a lot of dropped calls during all times of the day and night, network busy messages, calls that won’t connect or there is dead air, horrible voice quality where there is crackling, interference and static in the line when I make a call, and poor reception. When will AT&T fix these problems with their 3G network and what is it going to take? It does no good to call customer service, they just blame your phone for the problems.

  10. Phillip McCoy Says:

    The AT&T Wireless 3G network has many problems and issues in the Cincinnati, Ohio area that never get fixed-no matter how many calls to technical/customer support you make. Ever since I started service with them, I’ve had about 50% of all my calls dropped. During morning and afternoon rush hours, you can never get a clear call-there is always crackling and static in the line. The voice will also cut out. Many times, I won’t receive text, picture or voice messages people send me. Especially people who send me messages from Verizon phones. The 3G network goes down quite frequently and you aren’t able to check your e-mail. Coverage is spotty at best and there are quite a few dead zones throughout the city, reception in and around my house is poor, and customer service is very unknowledgeable. They will always try to blame your phone for problems happening. I’ve read many other reviews online of people having the same issues I am having with them. No technicians are ever sent out to check the problems. When will they come to Cincinnati and fix the tower issues here?

  11. Mike Peirano Says:

    Like a few of the others reviewers on here, I also live in Cincinnati, Ohio and am fed up with AT&T’s 3G service here. My two biggest complaints (among many) with the service is the poor call/voice quality. Every time im in a call, the voice sounds garbled (even with full antenna strength), cuts out and echoes, and many times the call will drop. Secondly, I don’t receive many of my text and or picture messages. These problems are enough for me to want to switch to another wireless provider. People with Verizon or Sprint don’t have these problems. Many of my co-workers have iphones and they report having the same service issues. And of course, AT&T will do nothing to fix them. Even after repeated calls and e-mails to customer service and technical support nothing ever gets fixed. Do not go with them, you will have nothing but problems.

  12. george Says:

    I signed up for an AT&T plan Talk7 69.99 month. I ended up putting 151.48 for down payment and accessories on July 01. I received a bill a few weeks later for Billing Cycle July 01 thru July 02 for amount 190.69. I called AT&T customer service and this was for 1 day of Service in July which I was charged 1 month and the next month in advance. I decided to exercise my right to cancel contract in first 30 days. I took phones and accessories back to AT&T store on July 16 and was charged restocking fee for phones. I received a credit for -16.00. I called AT&T to submit a gripe to a AT&T manager and the service attendant did not escalate my request. However AT&T informed me that I would be getting a final bill. I asked how can I get a final Bill on an account I just closed. I even got a -16.00 refund.. No explanation AT&T could give can satisfy my mind. These guys seem like thieves and robbers. If you are a poor working person like me you may want to avoid these guys as you may not be able to afford the AT&T Invoices which you will not be able to interpret. Invoice was beyond my ability to interpret and more than I could afford.

  13. Brian Hocking Says:

    I live in Southern Ohio and AT&T’s 3G service here is pathetic. I have a Samsung Solstice 3G phone. At least 50% of my calls are dropped everyday, I frequently do not receive text, voice or picture messages. They never come through or come through days later. The voice quality is horrible with echoing, crackling, and interference in the line, the coverage is spotty especially in the Cincinnati and Batavia, Ohio areas. The network is very unreliable and will go down even on a sunny day. Avoid AT&T if you live in Ohio, Verizon is so much better. AT&T’s internet is extremely slow too. This company is very cheap and will not spend any money to upgrade their horrible network. Obviously, I’m not the only one having problems with their service. Do your research-there are a ton of people online who are very unhappy with them. Plus, they are way overpriced for the service you receive.

  14. lunadune Says:

    AT&T is terrible. I recently got married and so we merged our accounts together. The sales rep totally lied to us and said it would be cheaper. Second lie was he said I had to get a new phone because i could not use my current blackberry without upgrading to a data plan (which i currently did not have and it was not required when i got my blackberry). I do not use or need internet. I need my blackberry for the medical software i have downloaded on it that does not access the internet. Third lie was i asked if there was anyway for me to use my current blackberry without having to add the data plan… turns out after speaking to customer service for hours that he could have added a “smart phone over-ride or exclusion” at the time. AT&T company is based on lies and greed. the moment my contract is up i will switch… after being a customer for 8 years (and never paying late!). i recommend never to use at&t!

  15. Marcia Ceciliot Says:

    Hmmm – I am reading all these negatives and don’t honestly believe them to be 100% accurate. I have been with ATT for many years and have experienced only one bad contact with customer service. Most of my interactions have been over the top positive. Rarely do I lose a call – Nothing is perfect – I love all the pricing options.

  16. Bill Says:

    I switched from Verizon and I know now I made a huge mistake. Att claims 97% coverage…BS! everywhere I go I am in the 3% no coverage area. I’m going back to Verizon with my tail between my legs.

  17. Pat Says:

    We have been with AT&T for many years. Customer service in the AT&T stores is beyond horrible. The salespeople are rude and act as though the customers are bothering them. I purchased an insurance policy on my cell phone at the recommendation of a CSR because I work outdoors. When I needed to replace the phone I found out I have a $50 deductible which is just under what a new phone will cost. I checked into Boost Mobile and found that I can get unlimited minutes, unlimited internet, unlimited directory assistance, push to talk for $12.00 less a month than I am paying for limited minutes, no internet, charge for directory assistance and no push to talk. I have stayed with AT&T because frankly I was too lazy to change when my contract ran out. With other, less expensive, options, now we are going to change. Why stay with AT&T with expensive contracts, not enough coverage and a lot of other charges. In AT&T’s arrogance, they informed me that I would just have to deal with their options, or go elsewhere. How can Boost Mobile offer so many options for so little when AT&T seemingly cannot. By the way my daughter has Boost Mobile and LOVES IT!!

  18. Kim Anderson Says:

    AT&T has horrible service in the Cincinnati/Northern KY area. They just sent me a letter saying that they upgraded the network and added towers here this Summer. What a joke!! Many people, including myself are still having problems with dropped calls, poor voice quality, crackling and interference in the line, poor reception, not getting text or picture messages, etc. I rely on my cell phone for my business and am having nothing but problems. Obviously, nothing has been upgraded. My bill is wrong all the time as well. The service with this company continues to get worse and worse. Avoid them! Go with Verizon or Sprint, you will be much happier and their networks are more stable. You can actually make a call with them!

  19. Bernice Sickles Says:

    We often travel to Big Bear Campland, WV at Bruceton Mills, W.V 26525. the cell tower that feeds the campground is located at Hazelton, Wv, is not doing the job, on any weekend there is an average of thousand people there, everyone has a cell phone. I am unable to get service most of the time, when I do get service it will end up being a dropped call or an unfinished text, I have been told the problem is at the tower at Hazelton. I would appreciate some kind of response to this problem.

  20. Joana F Says:

    At&T has a HORRIBLE service! They say they have the least dropped calls…. Yeah! Because the calls won’t go through and if they do, they don’t drop, but the other person doesn’t hear you so ends up hanging up the phone!
    The phone doesn’t work in my home, and when I call they say I am in a good service area! I can only imagine the bad ones!
    It was a very bad choice of mine to go to AT&T!

  21. Lance Hardin Says:

    After reading the other reviews on here from Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky, I wanted to give an update. I also live on the Eastside of Cincinnati and am still having problems with AT&T’s wireless service-even after numerous calls to customer service and tech support. It is January 21st, 2012 and everyday, I still have a lot of dropped calls in Downtown Cincinnati and in the Anderson Township area. When I make a call, the call quality is very poor and you hear crackling and interference in the line, making it hard to hear the conversation. Many times, when someone sends me a text message or leaves a voice message, I won’t receive it for several hours, sometimes days. Most of the time, picture messages never come through. Their 3G network is always going down too and the internet is very slow. It’s gone down 3 times in the last two months. I have had very unreliable service with them and am very frustrated because they won’t fix the problems here in Cincinnati. I recommend Verizon if you live in the Cincinnati area. Their service is great!

  22. Karl Moore Says:

    I was reading about the negative reviews for AT&T Wireless in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and I totally agree with all of them. The tech support team told me that many towers in this area were upgraded to 4G late in 2011 and that more 3G spectrum was added to alleviate calls dropping and improve voice quality and data speed. Well, I can tell you personally that none of that is true. Me, along with many other people that I know who have AT&T 3G phones are still having many of the same problems. 3G call quality is still very poor in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. I still drop at least 30% of my calls, and when I am on a call, I can still hear static in the background and the voice becomes garbled/cuts out many times. I still don’t receive text or voice messages sometimes until the next day or several hours after they are sent. Data speeds are still very slow when trying to access the internet. You get the picture! As soon as my contract is up, I’m switching to Verizon. I hear very few complaints about them. Whenever I call tech support, they always tell me that a “trouble ticket” will be opened. Well, I’m on my 3rd one and the problems are still happening. Hmmm…. The towers are obviously being overloaded and it’s affecting the quality of a simple phone call or text message on the 3G network. Sad.

  23. Charles Hansen Says:

    Bought an iPhone 4 from a corporate AT&T store in Minnesota.
    A “regional version” of the phones os was loaded to my phone.
    I did not know there were not supposed to be regional versions of the phones os.

    I was constantly on the phone with customer service for
    things from itemized billing to rollover minutes.

    After a great deal of research I discovered that AT&T and Verizon were
    a 60/40 split of the same original company. This did not make me happy.

    I challenge anyone to try to find out who AT&T ‘s affiliated companies are!
    AT&T is not for me. No matter how sorry T-Mobile is they will be my next provider
    of cell service .

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