General discussion

AT&T or Verizon wireless?

My family and I are switching from T-mobile in the next few months, due to problems with phones/service. I have looked at both AT&T and Verizon, and although Verizon is more expensive, I have heard it's better than any other cell phone carrier.

So which cell phone carrier should we choose for a 2 yr contract?

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Comments
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for me...

it seems AT&T is quite expensive, compared to T-Mobile. I'm leaving T-Mobile as well due primarily to their lack of a phone I want. Verizon's phone selection is horrible IMO. We want a good, all around smartphone - and it seems only AT&T has the one we want. We'll be getting a Bold and a Touch Pro. I would be open to Verizon if they had a phone that had GPS and Wifi that was decent.

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Depends on your family's cell habits

In my humble OPINION:
Firstly, if you ask someone with a particular service, they will usually tell you the service that they use - or they wouldn't use it. There are exceptions - usually someone who has mistakenly switched and wished they hadn't. One can usually get a strong signal from the brand name carriers in large metro areas and on main highways. This makes it sometimes hard to determine coverage. If you put any faith in Consumer Reports (in many cases I think their ratings have out-of-date models and information), you would undoubtedly go with Verizon. Last time I checked CR, they had the highest service satisfaction in I think all continental US states. The second rated (overall) was AT&T, BUT in several states they were THIRD to Alltel or T-Mobile! In my area - lower midwest - I have used AT&T, but mostly Verizon. I have dropped less than a dozen calls in the last two years with VZ, and I even travel into some rural areas. I have friends that continue to drop calls with AT&T daily. That being said, if you travel overseas - AT&T may be better.
I almost switched back to AT&T due to PDA data plans being required with Verizon, planning to deal with the frustration of additional dropped calls. We have a four line family plan and AT&T wanted a $35 activation charge per line!! I don't recall ever being charged an activation fee with Verizon and have even switched several phones.
In summary, go with Verizzon unless you have a family that goes unchecked on minute useage. With AT&T, the rollover minutes can be a great benefit to cover this. The plan costs are competetive for one vs the other. If you manage/monitor your minutes- and you can do this very nicely (per line even) by registering online with Verizon - the call quality, Customer Service by phone and online support are superior with Verizon. I also have a strong preference for LG phones, especially on Verizon.

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zip code needed

In order to get a better idea of who serves your area well, could you please provide your zip code? Some markets are not served as well depending on the carrier/specific location. In general, T-Mobile is not as good as ATT or Verizon since they are mostly 1900 and do not offer native 850MHz service. Who to choose is mostly based on where you live and taking advantage of the trial period (ATT is 30 days).

-Pedro

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Verizon

I have Verizon. I have had AT&T and I didnt like it. Their customer service was not what I expected, and I had a lot of problems with dropped calls. I switched to Verizon and haven't had a problem yet, and I have been with them for over 2 years now. The coverage area is the best, and the phones are great. I have GPS and can use my phone for a wireless connection on my computer. Good luck in whatever you chose.

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Forget Zip Codes, Forget Trial Periods, Just Go Verizon

Ok, their may be a tiny % of zip codes where somebody's service is slightly better than Verizon, but who stays in one zip code? TRIAL PERIODS can involve activation fees forfeited, restocking/change and useage fees, and are a royal screwing/pain in the butt/mess on your bill just waiting to happen. So forget ZIP codes and TRIAL periods. Unless you want crappy service and a fad phone, Just get Verizon.

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You don't get it

It's not about staying in a single zip code, it's obtaining a good idea of the coverage where one uses the service the most. Sometimes coverage maps (& service) change. I recommend using a home zip code as a starting point, naturally. If someone works/travels through other areas frequently, then of course they would use that additional data in in the coverage viewer(!)

Let's get down to brass tacks though, eh? Within the trial period there are no additional fees to restock handsets w/ ATT. Of course there will be usage fees if you cancel the service but that's nominal in the course of things. (Verizon is no different, FWIW.) [Frankly, anyone promoting Verizon service should hardly be worried about paying excess fees(!)] Fad phones? Like the Chocolate? (ROTFL) Nice try though.

-Pedro

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Give me one survey that doesn't put Verizon way on top!?

Please tell us one independant unbiased survey that doesn't put Verizon way on top for service and coverage in the continental U.S without "cherry picking" a few zip codes. No cell service is perfect, but IMHO Verizon is by far the lesser of the evils, and all things considered, a much better value than AT&T or others.

With the $100 credit I get every two years toward already lower phone costs on Verizon, its actually less cost for me, ESPECIALLY considering the costs of a dropped signal or poor call quality on an important call.

Also, The LG Chocolate is a better call-quality phone than most on other networks aside from its typical "bells and whistles" - especially on Verizon's network.

Its been fun, but (for now) I've got a job to go to. Enjoy the last word if you wish.
Adios Amigo (;

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'best' coverage not absolute

Keep in mind your experience is valid but not universal. That's why it helps to know a zip code to get a decent idea of what the coverage should be like. Now I don't get in the habit of asking strangers their street address in public forums, although providing this can get you street level coverage maps with some carriers like T-Mobile. FWIW, I have had the opposite experience with ATT.

-Pedro

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Verizon

I understand what you mean. I should have stated that I live in Southern California. However, I live in an area that gets no coverage by certain carriers. Thanks for the heads up though.

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So Cal

Yes indeed- that part of the country is unfortunately not as well covered by ATT. Other places are phenomenal however (with tons of spectrum), and don't have to deal with some of the topographical hurdles of LA, etc. YMMV. We all have to figure out what suits our needs Wink.

cheers,
Pedro

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Pedro aka Pepe? is obviously a forum-troll-agent for AT&T?

You are the third or fourth person on this thread alone that Pedro -aka Pepe?? (or whatever stereotypically bogus Hispanic name?) has asked for their zip code to try and justify AT&T's poor service. Does anyone out there actually believe he's just researching coverage by zip code for everyone? And what a funny "coincidence" that your area has poor coverage by AT&T. I wonder if "Pepe" can help me recover the higher phone cost and $ in activation fees I'd risk for my family to try AT&T again, Or the loss in revenue from even one lost sale or mis-communication due to dropped call(s)?

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Pedro aka Pepe

Lol, I didn't think about that until you mentioned it. It's possible. Still the fact remains, that I am very happy with Verizon, and so is everyone else I know that had AT&T and switched. Oh well, let him do what he will I guess, its his choice, not ours.

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Stop generalizing

It's time for you to grow up and read what is written. You make a lot of bad assumptions in a single post.

First of all, I'm no troll, merely a regular contributor. Simply click on my nickname and view my posts in their totality. FWIW, I took Pepe7 as a forum user name because Pedro was taken already (big surprise).

The reason you need to start with a zip code is because people quite often do not even have a good general sense about which carriers serve their areas. It's the first tool I can quickly look at to see if indeed the only coverage is with a roaming partner, etc. ATT has added service in areas formerly served by smaller GSM providers, and that's why it's worth looking into for some folks. There's no hidden motive here(!)

The phone cost is approximately the same between ATT & Verizon if you look at some of the PDA offerings. And within the 30 day trial period, if you cancel you can receive full credit for any activation fee/cost of phones. You will have to pay for the minutes you use past the first few days of the contract though- Verizon is no different in this regard if you do not stay on with their service and complete the 2 yr agreement(!) If you're in sales and derive income from wireless phone service, of course you would ideally want the provider who serves you better, and hopefully, gives you the longest trial period to see what actual coverage is like. Don't for a minute think you are the only one dealing with this subject.

-Pedro

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Get Verizon service through broadband

I have Verizon and have been very happy with their service generally but still have had dropped calls & intermittent service at my home. I live in Southern CA also. A few weeks ago I started using a new service Verizon started called Network Extender. I is basically a signal amplifier that works through your home broadband (my home DSL service is AT&T). I brought my signal at home to 4 bars rather than 1 or none. I cost $250 and was fairly easy to set up, does not have any extra monthly fees associated with it and any minutes used through this service do not count toward my monthly total on my plan.
So far it has worked great for me and has fixed the only problem I have had with Verizon service. Good Luck, Larry

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Neither unless it's prepaid!

I had AT&T for many, many years and the service was as good as any - BUT the monthly bills killed me! ocouldn't get out cause too expensive to do so. When my plan was up, I switched to prepaid plan w/ tracfone. No surprises at the end of the month, since i buy what I need (which is usually no more than 500 minutes at month anyways) service, reception and all other variables remain at par w/ other carrier. But you just can't beat the cost... and savings.

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AT&T no better than pre-paid!!??

That just re-inforces how bad AT&T is...no better than prepaid? You stated: "I had AT&T for many, many years and the service was as good as any" - and now pre-paid is just as good? You've obviously never had Verizon.

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Verizon

I prefer Verizon over AT&T. I've been so happy with Verizon's service that I won't get the iPhone until you can get it with Verizon as a service provider (if that ever happens).

I've heard that AT&T is really spotty, but I rarely EVER drop a call with Verizon, and calls are very clear. And except for the iPhone, I like Verizon's phones better than AT&T.

Hope that helps!

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Hmm - I've had Verizon & At & T both........................

......and I travel lots back & forth From Texas to Calif. When I had Verizon, I would get dropped calls so I actually switched to Cingular (which is now At & T) a couple of years ago & the service has been great. I have not had any dropped calls in the last 2 years & traveling across country has not posed any problems with the service.

I am now also debating on whether or not I want to continue with another 2 years. My roommate also has the (Cingular - At & T now) plan that I have & she also had Verizon before that & had dropped calls quite frequently & now is very satisfied with At & T.

Guess everyone has different experiences. Verizon may be a bit different now than it was a few years ago. I do remember that the customer service I got from them was nothing to write home about whereas I've had very good customer service from At & T. Maybe they were nice to us in order to keep us as customers after they took over the Cingular people. I don't know but do know that the phone service has been just fine.

I will keep an open mind & take a very close look at Verizon again & compare some plans. I have heard that Verizon has improved from a few years ago. Ahhhhhhhhh...........decisions decisions

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Carriers tend to focus on main highways

Carriers tend to focus on main highways, but I wonder what would happen if/when your routes or travel varied much? No cell carrier is perfect. My experience has been opposite of yours, but my travel varies.

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Coverage is only half the picture---consider capacity, too.

Hi floyderman,

One "gotcha" that is overlooked by many users is the capacity of a wireless network in your area. It may provide you with good coverage but it may lack the capacity to serve you. I'll explain...

I faced a similar choice as you: A choice between Verizon and AT&T. In the end I went with Verizon because AT&T lacked sufficient coverage for my area. But after living with Verizon a short while I quickly discovered that it lacked sufficient channels for my area. Even thought my phone shows the maximum 3G signal strength (4 bars), I seldom get to use the 3G network because no channels are available. They're already in use by other customers.

This forces my call down to the standard digital cell network where call quality is much less. I can still use the data features of my phone (I have an LG Voyager) but it is slower than if I was on the 3G network.

My recommendation is this: Get a loner phone from each network (AT&T and Verizon) and test them at your location. If you plan to get a 3G phone---make sure the loner is a 3G phone. Then see if you can connect to the 3G network on a reliable basis when the signal strength is good.

Your best choice will be the network that provides both good coverage and good capacity. Capacity is useless without coverage. But coverage without capacity is very, very frustrating.

Best regards, WiredNot

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Great advice

You're right, getting knocked down to 1X RTT speeds is not nice Sad.

It's too bad the FCC has not made 30 days a mandatory trial period for all the carriers. Two weeks or less is not adequate enough IMHO to be able to properly evaluate or compare the situation. ATT gives you 30 days, but has Verizon matched that yet(?) It would be helpful for some folks who work a lot and really don't have much time to test, esp. capacity during peak times (during/after long commutes home, etc.).

cheers,
Pedro

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Just spoke with Verizon, thats total baloney!!

You AT&T forum troll(s) are something else. The name calling is ironic. If anyone has "delusions" its you Pepe. Anyone who reads this string or a number of others I've seen you trolling, knows whos really delusional with your shifty, sweet-talking promotion of AT&T. Opinions are one thing, but now you're just facilitating LIES and MISREPRESENTATION.

REAL SERVICE SHOPPERS: PLEASE CALL THE CARRIER'S customer service or tech extensions to get the TRUTH. The customer service/tech experience alone may make your decision.

OR...Find an UNBIASED survey or REVIEW by a reputable publisher - IT'S NOT HERE or anywhere you see the name Pepe(aka Pedro)or these other guys who write daily on multiple forums.

And AS IF YOU DON'T KNOW Pedro PEPE: Verizon's trial period is also 30 days and NO restocking to change when you OK with the rep (so idiots don't abuse the service). Unlike with AT&T, where you pay a hefty activation per line!

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Read my post again

If you re-read,I had a question mark regarding Verizon's trial period. This indicates that I was not 100% certain. Glad to hear folks will get a good chance to evaluate their service as needed. Now if you are naive enough to think that calling the CSRs of either Verizon or ATT are always giving you the correct information, then I feel for you.

There is not a restocking fee w/ ATT to try a second handset if you are dissatisfied with the first one. The Verizon rep who told you that is likely using outdated info. You only get charged if you swap handsets a second time to another model (if they will permit it based on your account numbers).

Keep in mind you are the one who started throwing the name calling into the context of this discussion. You don't even bother to address my points earlier up in the page. From now on I'll simply ignore your responses @ CNET.

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