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Sprint finishes last in Consumer Reports cell service survey

Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 | 6:04 AM ET

Nov 21 (Reuters) - Sprint Corp has been ranked last among U.S. mobile telecom operators in a customer satisfaction survey by the influential Consumer Reports organization, scoring dismal marks for measures ranging from voice to 4G reliability.

No-frills carrier Consumer Cellular received the highest overall score of 88 out of 100, followed by U.S. Cellular with 75. Sprint received the lowest score of 59, faring the worst in terms of value, voice, text and 4G services.

The annual ratings were based on a September survey of 58,399 cellphone service subscribers by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, which publishes widely followed surveys and reviews of everything from cars to refrigerators.

In last year's survey, Sprint trailed only Verizon Wireless among the four major carriers. Verizon Wireless ranked highest again this year with a score of 71.

T-Mobile rated 65 and AT&T Inc 64, according to survey results released on Thursday.

The rankings are based on ratings for voice, text and 4G, taking into account the occurrence of problems and adjusted for frequency of use.

Sprint has been revamping its network after years of customer losses. The company, which is 80 percent owned by SoftBank Corp, warned in October that customer defections would remain high in coming quarters.

The company reported a decline in third-quarter revenue as it lost more subscribers than expected following the shutdown of its older network.

"Our latest cell service satisfaction survey revealed a somewhat precipitous decline by Sprint that shuffled the rankings of the major standard service providers," Glenn Derene, Electronics Content Development Team Leader for Consumer Reports, said in a statement.