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This Is the Least Trusted Cell Phone Carrier in the U.S., According to Data

Consumers say this cell service provider is the least reliable of them all.

Our phones have become the epicenter of our daily lives. In addition to communication, we use them to access information, catch up on our favorite TV shows, keep our calendar in check, and so much more. But as versatile and useful as our phones have become, they are nothing without a reliable service provider. That's why we consulted the latest American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Wireless Phone Service and Cell Phone Study to help you avoid landing with the least trusted wireless carrier in the U.S.

The ACSI results are based on interviews with 21,189 customers, who were chosen at random and contacted via email between April 1, 2020, and March 29, 2021. Customers were asked to evaluate their level of satisfaction with their current cell service provider. The responses were then used to score each carrier on a 100-point scale, which Best Life used to rank the carriers from highest score to lowest score, or best to worst. Read on to discover the least trusted wireless carrier in the U.S.

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at&t logo

ACSI score (out of 100): 74

Although AT&T tied for the highest ACSI score on this list and the carrier's score went up by one point from 2020, plenty of its customers are less than pleased with the service.

"No matter what I call them for it is always an issue," one dissatisfied customer wrote in a recent Trustpilot review. "I have never been able to call them hassle-free. This is ridiculous. If you are thinking about switching to AT&T I would say that it's not worth the headache!"

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verizon store exterior

ACSI score (out of 100): 74

AT&T and Verizon both had an ACSI score of 74, the highest awarded on this list. That's the same score the widely used carrier earned in 2020. However, some of Verizon's customers think the carrier is seriously lacking in the customer service department.

"A labyrinth of recorded messages, web links that do not correspond when online, [and] customer service wait times given and not adhered to," one Trustpilot reviewer wrote recently about their experience with Verizon.


T-mobile store

ACSI score (out of 100): 72

T-Mobile's merger with Sprint in 2020 has drawn some recent negative press, and the carrier is also getting poor feedback from its customers.

"Dropped calls, [lagging] internet, [and I] can't make standard calls. This was with my old phone, and also with my upgrade. Poor service," one unhappy T-Mobile customer wrote in a recent Trustpilot review.

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U.S. Cellular

U.S. Cellular storefront
Ken Wolter /

ACSI score (out of 100): 69

U.S. Cellular had the lowest score of all the major wireless carriers on the ACSI list. Complaints from the company's customers include everything from poor customer service to hidden fees and penalties.

"The company has execrable customer service, and indecipherable bills," a Trustpilot reviewer wrote recently about U.S. Cellular. "I set up my account for autopay when I began, but each and every month, first, something goes wrong, and they wind up charging me penalties for nonpayment, and then instead of providing a single bill so you know what you're paying, they have some kind of rebate, but that doesn't show up for two months later, making it virtually impossible to know what you're being billed…I do not know how they keep customers."

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