Sprint falls to last in Consumer Reports’ cellphone service rankings

Sprint headquarters in Overland Park.
Sprint headquarters in Overland Park. File photo by DAVID EULITT | The Kansas City Star

Sprint Corp. received “dismal marks” and dropped to last place among the major U.S. carriers in Consumer Reports’ new annual ranking of cellphone companies.

Consumer Reports, in a survey of 58,399 subscribers nationally, said the bad ratings this year came in the categories of value, voice, text and 4G reliability.

Last year, Overland Park-based Sprint ranked No. 2 behind Verizon, which again earned the top ranking, followed by T-Mobile US Inc, AT Inc. and Sprint.

“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,” a statement from Sprint said. “We’ve asked customers during the past year to ‘pardon our dust’ as we build out and upgrade our network.”

Sprint’s upgrade is designed to improve customers’ service, both in speed and quality.

It also is adding faster 4G service but trails other major carriers in the number of customers reached so far.

“The good news is that in markets where the work is largely completed, we are seeing indications of improved customer satisfaction,” the company’s statement said.

Sprint’s network is starting to show improvements, agreed Bill Moore of Root Metrics, which tests carriers’ networks for reliability and speed.

Sprint, now largely owned by Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp., shut down its old Nextel network this summer and acquired new wireless spectrum with its purchase of Clearwire Corp.

“People were down across the board on all aspects of Sprint services,” said James McQueen, a spokesman for Consumer Reports.

Bloomberg contributed to this report.