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I'm leaving Verizon today, and looking for a new wireless carrier. I'll probably go T-Mobile, but I'm interested to hear experiences any of you have had with AT&T (which I understand sort of universally sucks), T-Mobile (which I know nothing about) or another carrier in the US.
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450 comments
 
Still going through with it? Isn't it likely that the other 'big 3' carriers are doing the same thing? 
 
+Wil Wheaton , if you're leaving Verizon because you think the others aren't in on the same deal.  I got a feeling you're leaving +Verizon Wireless for the wrong reasons. 
 
I <3 Sprint and unlimited data. Also pretty good customer service. 
 
Perhaps get a Google Voice number for a "front end", and then you can switch carriers until you find one you like?
 
I'm also considering leaving Verizon. I've actually heard good things about AT&T's LTE service lately.
 
These days prepaid gives you the same service for less money. Red Pocket Mobile and H2O mobile both use ATT.
Andrew B
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The two guys in the crown victoria outside of your house are upset you're leaving Verizon.
 
Tmobile is the best right now, provided the coverage in your area is good. Nothing really comes close to their $70 a month plan for actually unlimited everything without throttling. 

Get the Nexus 4.
 
Leaving Verizon because the US Government makes them hand over your call data is like boycotting Ford because your friend was run over by a drunk driver in a Focus.

There's also no evidence to suggest that T-Mobile, AT&T, or Sprint haven't received their own court-ordered data mining directives...

That being said, go T-Mobile, everybody loves an underdog.
 
Why are you leaving Verizon? If it is because they have been outed -- surely it is obvious that every carrier could be and probably is doing the same thing under the same order.
 
Please don't think that the other carriers are not giving the same info to the government as Verizon.  I saw today where Google has been sharing our info as well.  NSA in our everyday lives.  Feel safer yet?
 
We've had T-Mobile for 8 years with no complaints.
 
T-Mobile was horrible to us.  We had them back in the 3G days.  They were forever getting 4G in our area.  But, that wasn't my biggest beef.  They were putting additional charges on our bill.  We have Verizon today and love them.
 
AT&T gets a bad rap for their reception, but honestly I think that has a lot to do with simply where you live. I have had no issues with it that couldn't be classified as typical cellular crap that anyone has to deal with no matter what.
What I can say though is that I have had two significant problems with my billing, and AT&T customer service came through for me big time on both occasions and didn't give me any grief (something I can not say about T-Mobile when I had them for a year or two when I was in college)

Hope this helps :)

Edit: Just don't go with Sprint. For the love of all that is holy. Stay away.
 
Hi Wil,

I'm living in New York, and I have T-Mobile.  I've had it for about almost 2 years now.  I've found that for the most part, I get good reception wherever I go.  There are some dead zones, but that's to be expected.   I'm even getting LTE Data now in Brooklyn (where I live) and in Queens where I work. 

The Data speeds are pretty impressive and the call quality is pretty good as well. I rarely get a dropped call. 
David H
 
I left AT&T for Sprint due to the degraded service from AT&T. Sprint is OK, but not available everywhere. I have LTE at my house though, which is a plus.
 
Verizon charges more than anyone else and basically hates their customers. Seriously. They come just short of answering the customer service phones with "Hello valued customer. F*ck yourself. How can I help you?"
 
+Wil Wheaton T-Mobile has some data coverage issues, from my experience, but the fact that you can bring your own unlocked device and pay only $30 a month for unlimited data/text and 100 minutes makes it my choice for a personal phone. I run a Nexus 4 on it.
 
I'll admit that my experience with TMO has been brief; I only became their customer about 5 or 6 weeks ago.  Having said that, their service has been great and they have yet to give me a single headache.  

AT&T on the other hand was a constant source of headaches while I was with them; my girlfriend is still with them and they just recently screwed her pretty good by double-charging her account last month.  She's just waiting for her contract to end so that she can join me on TMO.
 
T-Mobile, who I have to admit is employing me as a temp, no longer has long term contracts, so that is a major plus for them. They do handle iPhones, Galaxy, and assorted other phones I know nothing about. Generally they are pretty good.
That being said, I use Virgin Mobile USA, as they are cheaper and do what I need, which is not high end at all.
 
As long as you don't need any of their phone-in customer service (in-store is fine), T-Mobile is great.
 
I don't understand why  you would be upset with Verizon (over the phone records issue).  If they get a court order they're going to have to comply.  If you think the other carriers would not, or perhaps have not already you're being naive.

I'm very upset over the issue, but with the government who treats citizens as suspects, not with Verizon.
 
Not sure if AT&T is much better than big V

"The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in a massive program of illegal dragnet surveillance of domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001."
https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying
 
I have been with tmobile for 10 years now, love them! Great customer service and affordable plans. 
 
I had T-Mobile for years before switching to ATT for the iPhone. Had good luck with them in terms of service (both customer and coverage). 

I've been pleased with ATT so far.  Their plans are more expensive than T-mobile's are at the moment (great family plan deal, for T-Mo, may have me switch back...) 

The one time I had a data issue, I called Customer Service and told them my iPhone was downloading like crazy when I had completely closed all apps and had Cell data turned off (Podcast app issue...).  They were very nice, understanding, and instantly credited my account for the overages. 
 
I'm using a prepaid SIM and timecards purchased via bitcoin from a third party. The carrier is T-Mobile. I'm fairly happy with the arrangement. Their coverage map isn't terribly extensive, but neither is my range of movement.
Jason R
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What makes you think any carrier in the US doesn't have a similar letter? 
 
T-Mobile is great if you have coverage, but check the maps carefully. T-Mobile has 3G/4-ishG is in most urban areas and along major interstates, but as soon as you enter the other 95% of the country you get crap service. Nothing wrong with that, because that 5% covers most people, but make sure it will work for you.

I love T-Mobile's $30 prepaid plan.
 
Switched from Verizon to T-Mobile a few months back and they got me a better plan and cheaper.
 
We currently use Virgin Mobile prepaid plans, they have great deals and comparable coverage. We stopped using the other guys because of political reasons. I wish Credo mobile offered prepaid plans!
 
The Tmo coverage in my area was horrid but the one saving grace was the Wi-Fi calling that worked pretty well. I have changed to AT&T recently and have been more than impressed with the service and coverage so far. Traveling global would be a great time to use the Wi-Fi Calling and texting from Tmobile.
 
have had t-mobile for ten solid years.
 
I have AT&T...and probably always will since I'm grandfathered in with an unlimited data plan...that said, I just upgraded to a phone on the LTE network and it's FAST. My tech geeky boyfriend recently switched to TMobile because Verizon wouldn't let him upgrade his phone without switching to a limited data plan with tethering. He's been happy with the service....except when we went to Alaska....where TMobile has ZERO coverage. So, unless you plan to spend a lot of time in Anchorage, you should be fine. :)
 
Did you know that what was in the news was only about a renewal of a program that has been happening for years? I heard about that on NPR this morning. Who's to say it doesn't happen with all carriers.
 
I've not heard much about T-Mobile. I use Credo, which is a Sprint reseller. I have not heard much about Sprint's user privacy actions, but Credo at least donates profits to groups like EFF.
 
Grrrrrrrrrr!!! Stuck with another year on my contract with ver-government patsy-izon!!!
 
I really like T-Mobile's pricing. $30/mo for prepaid with unlimited data. (That plan is only available in special circumstances, though.) There are some noticeable coverage gaps, but only when I'm traveling, and mostly only on the road. It's something to be aware of, though.
 
I wouldn't recommend AT&T to my worst enemy. Every month my bill was incorrect, usually to the tune of $700 or $800. I had to call every month to get my correct balance. All I got for an explanation was, "there is a problem in the billing department". Uh ok, we're not talking about Joe Schmoe's cell shack. Once I was transferred to a "supervisor" who answered the phone, "what's your problem?" I will probably be going with T-Mobile as soon as my contract with big red is up. T-Mobile's coverage is not great in my area but they allow you to use Wi-Fi for calls and texts for free as part of the service which will help.
 
You may want to take a look at http://www.credomobile.com/ They use the Sprint network and though all carriers likely have some sort of arrangement with the government to divulge private data. At least some of what you pay for mobile service through Credo would go to help fix these issues.
 
Not a fan of Verizon, but they had no choice but to comply.
 
+Martin Strazynski Yeah, it's likely, but at this point what I know for a fact is that Verizon is dumping my data to the feds. Since I know that for a fact, I'm terminating my contract with that company.
 
+Wil Wheaton maybe try Boost or Cricket? both offer unlimited calls/texts/data (about 4Gib before a significant decrease in speed), although the overall coverage areas are each smaller than the big 2, Sprint and AT&T/T-Mobile. The unlimited plans are also up to 40% cheaper, and Cricket will flash any CDMA phone and install their service OS on your old Verizon phone.
 
As many others have said, don't fall for the fallacy that the other carriers have avoided that kind of governmental injection.  It's almost a guarantee that the other carriers (at least the major ones) are being forced to do the same thing.

Leaving Verizon because they suck is one thing, but doing it for this reason is not going to protect you.
 
Been with T-Mobile for about 8 years and like their packages. Customer service when I started with them was great. It's gone downhill though, due I think to the AT&T attempted takeover. Hope that will improve now that they're stable again. One thing though...find a friend with a T-Mobile account and borrow their phone for a couple of days. Check out the coverage where you live, work, travel, etc. They are probably the weakest coverage-wise, especially coming from VZ.
 
Never understood the AT&T hate myself. Been with them forever and always had a pretty positive experience with the service and support. Really pleased with U-Verse too.  
 
I am happy with +T-Mobile . Out of the big four it is a toss up between them and +Sprint . They tend to be the lesser of the evils. The major determining factor in my particular case was coverage. I work for my tribe and we are a bit secluded. My only complaint with T-mobile was the phone selection. Which have improved since I sign up with them.
 
I'm more-or-less happy with AT&T, until Comicon or w00tstock comes to San Diego, in which case all BSIDs are overloaded and you can't do a damn thing on any network... I contract with Cricket Communications and they have towers and roaming agreements, pretty good if you're ok with CDMA voice quality =)  LTE is rolling out too... 
 
+Matt Abdou +Wil Wheaton AT&T's LTE is great except that they block things like Hangouts and Google Play streaming over the network.
 
I wanted to switch to T-Mobile, but signal strength is tricky at my house and there was no commitment to a femtocell option at the time.  I already have a Verizon network extender so even though I don't like them, I signed up for another 2 years.
 
I have always enjoyed being on T-Mobile. Customer Service is great and a decent selection of devices too. 
 
Wife and I are long-time T-Mo customers.  We've both been contract-less for a number of years now.  We currently have Nexus devices (1 G-Nex, 1 N-4).  Prior to that another android and a jailbroken iPhone.   We've been VERY happy.  Pricing has always driven the decision, but customer service has been excellent (they were very helpful walking me through configuring wife's iPhone, despite it not being "official").

Satisfaction seems to come down to coverage in your area.  My in-laws live in West Hills area and T-Mo's signal in that area is marginal.  Everywhere I've been in San Diego, it's been fantastic.  My best advice is to find a friend with a T-Mo device and have them visit your house or other areas where you spend time to ensure you see decent signal there.
 
I use +Sprint. The plans are priced well and the customer service is good. Don't trust their coverage maps though. According to the maps, I live in a great reception area, but it's really a dead zone.
 
T-Mobile is the network that most "burner" phones reside on.  Cheap voice plans and data.  They were a foreign owned company until the reverse buyout.  Don't you think that the government has the same deal with T-Mo?  I would think even more than Verizon.
 
I am quite happy with AT&T and have been for many years.
 
My family and I have T-Mobil for 9 years , even my 2 grandkids 5 & 8 years old girls know how to use the S G 3 net books they have their own and can use them way better thin i can come on they are kids. And my hubby has learned to facebook and run his own company on the phone when he is out and about . But i do all his e-mails so he can go have some fun with the grandkids watch when they have softball games he takes alot of photos. The S G 3 holds alot of info and pics. Good luck in your choice.
 
AT&T changed my data service on me because I had a 'smart phone'  (Which I'd had for two years) such that our bill went up $30/month.  Forget that none of our phones could use the 3G they upgraded us to.  They absolutely refused to change it back.

I switch to T-Mobile where my phones worked better, and saved money to boot.  I haven't looked back.
 
been on TMobile for years and have had really good luck with them.  The only issue is their coverage in rural areas can be spotty some times.  The new plans they have are really convenient, and considerably less than the other carriers, at least in my area.
 
I have very good experience with T-mobile.  I've never had a problem with over charges, common with Verizon and their customer service is top notch.  The only problem is coverage map.  In major cities or near highways, you're good.  Otherwise not so much.  

Anecdote about customer service:  My company forced me to move to Verizon (Loathe) after I just purchased a phone on a 2 year agreement with T-MO.  When I explained the situation to the customer service rep, they waived the surcharges and early termination fees.  They ate 18 months of contract and the phone.  I've never heard of any carrier do that before.  T-Mo Rocks.
 
Never had a problem with AT&T, but I also don't travel much, and coverage where I live is 100% rock-solid, so ... YM(will)V!
 
As with most carriers you should research by infrastructure and coverage per area that you live or travel to for best experience. For example AT&T where I live is great and T-Mobile not so much.
 
I think they're all evil. My rule is "go with the one that has screwed you the least."
 
I've been with T-Mobile since they were called Voicestream in 2000. I've been generally very impressed with their coverage and support, plus the cost of their plans (particularly the data plans) is quite reasonable, I think.
 
AT&T network tends to collapse during big trade shows like PAX Prime.  Its hard to get text messages and phone calls through due to intermittent connections. its been that way for 3 years and counting.
 
+Wil Wheaton If you are set on changing carriers, then take a look at Ting. You only pay for whatgt you use (voice, messaging, data).
 
i moved to a month to month on simple mobile, it piggy backs on t-mobile's network and is cheaper than t-mobile, so I use it for my old nexus one which my gf uses, and my galaxy nexus.  One has unlimited 4g($50/month), the other is unlimited 3g($40/month) data/text/talk that works well in the big cities, and anywhere t-mobile works well.
 
+Wil Wheaton I would state AT&T over everyone if you are looking for a uniform great experience when it comes to voice and Data.  I guess it really depends on who provides the best coverage in the areas that you spend your time, but if it were a choice between ATT or T-Mo then I would pick ATT hands down.

I'm one who loves data anduse it alot.  ATT's LTE is absolutely the fastest, and now that they are moving to the 10x10(10mhz) it is getting even better.  But when the LTE is not available then you will typically fall back to HSPA+ (ATTS 4G) and that blows the socks off of Vzw's 3g or any of T-Mos spotty coverage.

Voice quality is pretty often crystal clear and sounds much better than Vzw and CDMA which can sound like a tin can at times.  

Customer service wise, the rare few times I have contacted ATT customer support I have gotten expected results and replies but in a speedy manner.  

I have to say, there are 34 wireless providers in the US and I have service with the top 5 and ATT surpasses all the others.

Now, if ATT service just sucks where you spend the majority of your time then my opinion is null.  But there it is either way.  Let me know if I can help further in any way.
 
+Wil Wheaton Well, an added perk will be the ability to ditch the Galaxy Nexus (tried and true, though it is), and pick up the 'new hotness' (HTC One).  Enjoy & good tidings!
 
+Wil Wheaton Cons of Tombile include dropped calls. Pros include lower total cost of plan/phones and also when fully deployed latest LTE network technologies (with voice over LTE though).  Plus you get to use any one the Nexus phones (Nexus 4 or S4 or HTC One in Nexus form) with no contract!
 
Net10. Pre paid plan. You can buy a sim kit at Radio Shack, put it into a phone, call Net10 and have them transfer your number. Its AT&T service, but only $50/month with unlimited talk/text/data. Its really the best way to go. You can buy 2 phones with the money you save over the two years by taking a subsidised phone from a carrier.
 
Been with T-Mobile for 13 years. The only carrier I'd consider moving to (if I were to move) is Virgin.
Jason R
 
+Liam Cash of course the data still gets collected no matter the carrier, ESP MVNOs... It's possibly stored by their provider, but stored just the same..
 
I'd like to get behind this, I'm just not convinced the other networks aren't doing the same thing. Do we know they aren't?
 
If you are traveling with an unlocked phone and want it to be the most flexible for use anywhere in the world, you want a quad band GSM phone. T-Mobile and AT&T and the GSM carriers (Verizon and Sprint have CDMA, so you can't buy a sim card for a buck or five in another country and be ready to go). I like T-Mobile. That said, Sprint actually seems pretty good if you have coverage and don't mind not being able to use the phone everywhere you go.
 
Honestly, don't listen to anyone recommending a carrier like TMo or AT&T. Go prepaid for better service and cheaper prices. Carriers rely upon suckers. 
 
I've been relatively happy on AT&T LTE speeds are fast, I'm still grandfathered onto an unlimited plan (throttled after 5GB). At the time T-Mobile just didn't have good speed or coverage in my area so I went with AT&T. Supposedly that has changed so I may check out T-Mobile for my next upgrade since I do like what they are doing with the contracts and new phones.
 
+Wil Wheaton Check the T-Mobile coverage map at http://www.t-mobile.com/coverage - I have "satisfactory" coverage at my home, which according to them means I might be able to make calls indoors. They gave me a Cel-Fi signal booster, which helps a lot. All you need is one spot in your house where you have one reliable bar of service.

Price-wise, they are hard to beat, and plussing them in on a thread usuallly gets faster results than calling customer service.
 
I've been with Tmobile for years and we've always had good service from them. The prices are reasonable and other than no reception in my basement we do well. Oh, other than no reception in Alaska which sucks since I have family there. I wouldn't use ATT if they paid me though considering the service my husband got when he was with them through his work. 
 
I worked for AT&T for 5 years. Then I announced my pregnancy and told them that I was due the day after Christmas. Less than a month later, I was fired for putting stickers on my stapler. They called it "office supply abuse." Yeah. Fuck AT&T.
 
Why people "contract" a utility is beyond me. 
 
Switched after 7 years to TMobile. Their pricing was (and is) comparatively rediculous and they have no desire to help anyone because what's one account (or business, or city) to a company their size. Or at least that's their apparent attitude.
 
Also, you're +Wil Wheaton, you could sell your endorsement for free unlimited service. So go for whatever gives you the better deal :)
 
I just moved to T-Mo from AT&T a few months ago. The coverage and speeds are not quite the same, but I'm also paying about half what I did before, and the new simple choice plans have no overage charges. Hard to beat that! Good luck.
 
I have T-Mobile. There is NO contract, and for only 50 bucks a month, you get unlimited everything!!! The only catch is that it's 500MB 4g and 3g which is still hard to go over. Still, no contract is a huge plus.
 
T-Mobile seems to have hit or miss customer service. Ive had great luck with them for the past couple months on prepay.

T-Mobile does have kind of iffy coverage, however at least you GET a connection even if its slow.

 
If you think Verizon is the only company just forking over all your data to the feds, you're sorely mistaken.  In point of fact with the exception of things like tor, I'd wager that all companies are willing to give the feds pretty much whatever they want without a warrent.
 
I was a T-Mobile customer for years.  They are really good.  The thing that made me switch was the lack of coverage, not only around where I lived, but also when I traveled to other places.  The lack of coverage is a huge bummer and should be really taken into serious consideration, IMHO.  However, if lack of coverage is not a concern to you, then it just does not get any better than T-Mobile. 
 
I've had good service with Sprint for a couple of years. The unlimited data is great if you are in one of their 4g areas. You might want to go with some thing short term though. I suspect a few other carriers will "come out" soon. 
 
+Jonathon Wyza Unless someone says otherwise, I will believe Sir Richard Branson, who runs Virgin Mobile USA, when he says he does not give anything without an official warrant.
 
AT&T and T-mob are still EDGE here, if you can even get a bar
 
I've been a happy Sprint user for a number of years.  They do have unlimited data and some good Android phones.
 
I have been an AT&T user for about five years now, mostly due to extensive discounts through my and my wife's employer, but also due to their service here in the boonies of CT being best out of the rest.  Even though they are probably just as evil as Verizon and their support is typically lackluster, its the best coverage I can get here.

I tried T-Mobile for a bit of time as well and found struggles with their coverage, again a victim of the peace and quiet of the boonies and people afraid to ruin their vista views, regardless that they've most likely had an ugly utility pole in their front yard for millions of years.  I would say though that T-Mobile's customer service was fantastic.
 
I have ATT for business and their customer service is amazing, but my understanding is that that is only true for the business division....
 
To me they are all the same. Look at the areas your in the most and get the company that has the best coverage. It seems that all the cell companies piggy back off of either Verizon or At&T so you'll be screwed on thaw data going to feds anyways.
Verizon on the other hand, along with any communication company, needs to start making public the info the feds are doing. The more they do that the less the feds will try to go under the table for it. The AG has been to Capitol Hill a lot lately because the information is becoming public and our reps are pissed that its happening. At least Google appealed publicly, lost, but can still take it to US Supreme Court. Maybe get some case law or some reps to stop it.
 
I've been with T-mobile for about 8ish years now, and I've never had an issue with them. Never dealt with customer service of asshat quality, and generally love the fact that they're the underdog and still provide comparable service to the big dogs ( if not better service).
 
I'm on Sprint. DO NOT GO TO SPRINT. Trust me.
 
I've been happy with T-Mobile. The rates are fair, and there's no overage charges for data (though you may get throttled from 4G to 3G speeds after your plan 'limit'). Their coverage isn't spectacular, but you can get pretty accurate coverage info with the CellMaps app ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mosaik.cellmaps ), so maybe check that before switching. Before going on any #Ingress excursions to areas I don't usually frequent,  I use that app to make sure I have coverage so it's not a wasted trip. :)
 
avoid AT&T, if you ever have a billing issue it will never be resolved.  
 
I've had T-Mobile for a few years now, cheap plans, especially with their move to contract-less, their Android phones come with a mobile hotspot app, great customer service. Only frustration is getting coverage outside a major city.
 
+Wil Wheaton, why bother? I'm pretty darn sure they're issuing similar document subpoenas to all the major carriers.
 
try Credo, I've been relatively happy with them. They contribute money to worthwhile causes. And, unlike the major carriers, never allowed the government to spy on their users without a subpoena.
 
+Mike Moceri the reason to bother is if the other carriers see people leaving Verizon en masse because it became public that they were handing personal data to the government, then maybe that will make them rethink their position.
 
From experience, Sprint has fairly decent 4G coverage in SD's North County area (which I know you visit some). T-Mobile is also fairly decent in the area and has the benefit of having unlocked phones that you can move to AT&T or other various carriers if you want without having to switch phones. 

I haven't used AT&T in the area so I can't say.
 
Switched to T-Mobile two years ago from AT&T.  As long as you are around a metropolitan area, you will get decent coverage.  Go outside and into the sticks, and data coverage will drop to 2g speeds, but you should still have cell coverage.

One advantage to T-Mobile is if you get one of their phones that has the WiFi calling option, you can even get coverage when their is no cell signal as long as you have WiFi available to you.

works well at my parents house who live in the sticks.
 
From my previous experience, each provider tends to be better for different areas.  I am quickly getting to the point where I use too much data to afford Verizon.  I have been extremely happy with the service (please do not read as Customer Service).  Please update on what and why you decide.
 
My 10+ years with T-Mo were great for customer service, but very poor actual cellular service.  It got worse with smart phones.  Finally had to switch to VZW.  Only carrier with data and a signal in my somewhat-remote area.  If you are anywhere close to being iffy on signal strength for T-Mo, test AT&T.
Tara R.
 
I've had AT&T for eight years, overall they aren't as bad as people make them out to be. 
 
I have a few friends here in LA who have T-Mobile and they really love it.  they don't seem to have any issues with getting signals.  The issue is you travel a LOT and T-Mobile is also use the sprint network.  The Sprint network is not so great in many locations.  So, there's that to think about.  Unfortunately, for coverage while travelling, it's probably best you stick with Verizon or go with ATT
 
My wife loved T-Mobile when she had them before we got married. Then she wanted an iPhone (which they didn't have at the time) so I added her to my Verizon plan.

Now I want to switch to T-Mobile (lower prices, unlimited plan, more phone freedom) but we now live in an area that has horrible coverage... so looks like we're stuck with Verizon for a while until T-Mobile can expand their coverage in the midwest.
 
AT&T is the single most horrid carrier next to Verizon. And I guarantee they are turning over all calls without a warrant. 
 
Do you REALLY believe that this kind of data is "only" being collected from Verizon? 

I got news for you: The Easter bunny -- yeah, thats not real, and the tooth fairy isn't real either.
 
The only complaint I can give about +T-Mobile is coverage in some areas, and occasional idiot store clerks.

Coverage is a known issue going in, so just check their maps and make sure they cover the areas you need. For me, the cover the critical areas that I need them in and I can supplement the rest with wifi.

The store employee issue is pretty much universal in the mobile industry, unfortunately. Some will be fine, while others will act like the used car salesmen stereotype. My recommendation is to do as much business as possible online and skips the stores.

Other than these issues, T-Mobile has been fantastic.
 
I've been using AT&T for years (was on Cingular before it got consumed by AT&T).  I seem to have had experiences opposite of everyone else, because I've been completely happy with them.  The coverage is good, reliability is also good, pricing seems reasonable (disclaimer:  I'm not afraid to pay for what I want), and on the few rare occasions that I have needed customer service, it has been outstanding.

Maybe I'm just lucky.
 
I have T-mo.

It's great in cities.  In NYC I have better coverage than most Verizon users.  Outside of major metro areas it gets a bit more spotty than Verizon I will admit, but I've never had it be a problem.
 
Will, try Simple Mobile.. With an unlocked phone and no contracts. It works with pre paid and the plans are very good.
 
I rather liked T-Mobile. They had good coverage, even for roaming in Canada, and the bills were never a surprise. The only other carrier I ever considered was Verizon, but they had too many little fees I didn't want to pay. I miss T-Mobile now that I live in Canada. I got a lot for what I paid and never had any real problems. I was a customer since they were Voicestream.. never had a reason to change as could never find a better overall deal.
 
I use coded smoke signals.  It beats yelling and you can grow your own wood.
 
All the companies will be doing the same thing.

As far as the other 3: Never actually used Sprint, but the constant among friends who use them is that coverage is very lacking. I dealt with spotty reception with T-Mobile. It was very annoying to constantly get a weak & slow signal. At&t had good coverage but horrible customer service & support. Took them 10 months to make one change to my service (unbundled & discontinued home phone service). After dealing with cancellation notices for not paying for what they showed was cancelled & left for Verizon. Much better CS & coverage (At&t had very good coverage, but VW is better).

All carriers have their cons. But all will turnover data to the gov just like the ISP's will.
 
I looked at this, read a little, started to get upset, but then realized that I've pretty much always operated under the assumption that every phone call I've ever made has been recorded and stored by the government. None of that was ever private. Ever. Hell, two weeks ago, I had a conversation with my wife over the phone about current events and used what I considered to me a multitude of key words that would likely get that phone call flagged, and mentioned it to my wife in the call. Now that I think about it, it doesn't really upset me any more than the assumption I had made previously. Of course my phone calls are none of anyone's business, especially the government, but it happens and changing providers isn't going to do anything about it.
 
There is no stopping the government from collecting data from other US carriers with a court order.  Leaving VZ for this reason is really pointless.  For the record, 'I'm a Sprint customer. 
 
No, T-Mobile absolutely does not use the Sprint network.  Two completely different technologies.  Sprint and Verizon run on CDMA.  AT&T and T-Mobile run on GSM.  Sprint is backing Clearwire, the WiMax pioneer for 4G, whereas T-Mobile's 4G is all HSPA+.  Again, apples and oranges signal-wise.

Will, I looked into this a few years ago and concluded that both AT&T and Verizon are pure, unvarnished evil, and I could not countenance doing business with them.  Given that I wanted GSM, which works worldwide (CDMA does not), that means my one and only large-carrier choice was T-Mobile.  I've been pretty happy with them.  Coverage is not quite as comprehensive as others, but I've always found it to be sufficient (though somethimes I'm stuck on EDGE for data, which is slow, in areas where T-Mo hasn't built out HSPA+).  Out of half a dozen customer service experiences with T-Mo, I've had only one negative one, and that was dealing with their automated billing service for pre-paid plans (which I understand is contracted out, not run directly by them -- not an excuse; they're still ultimately responsible, but just mentioning).  The one thing you'll be giving up is top-end data speed.  HSPA+ is just plain not as fast as WiMax.  In fully-built-out coverage areas, people who are willing to deal with the twin devils of blue death star and red check mark will run wireless data speed circles around you on your T-Mo "4G" connection.  That, apparently, is the price of a clear conscience.

One big plus for T-Mo: featureful and attractively priced pre-paid plans, which don't lock you in to any term.  You pay full price for your phone/tablet, but you can leave with it at any time, or upgrade it at any time, no penalties.  And if you keep using it for more than two years, you're saving money because there's no hidden device subsidy in your monthly service bill that you'd otherwise be paying on a contract plan.
 
I'm very happy with T-Mobile. Especially their bring your own device policy is very good, and their customer service is excellent in my experience. 
 
From personal experience I can't tell you about any of those people, but I can tell you about Sprint, which is blergily blergacious. Tolerable, but not great.
 
I've had excellent service with at&t in all of SoCal. When I first joined there were some dead areas where calls would be dropped but they seem to have fixed those. The phone upgrade policies and warranty coverage I feel are also quite generous. I've heard good things about tmobile in SoCal and other major metro areas but if you travel a lot to non major metros often it may not be worth it for the lack of service there.
 
I had to leave T-Mobile because they continued to charge me a Texas-specific tax even after I moved out of Texas, and then lied about it several times  The funniest one was "that's not a tax, that's a recycling fee".  Even after speaking to the executive relations team and the FCC and being told OK, we'll stop, they continued.  As for AT&T, I understand your point about wanting to leave Verizon, but AT&T is entirely off your list.  They effing PIONEERED the Clipper chip, a technology so evil all the other companies said no way. 

https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying

https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/faq

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/12/magazine/battle-of-the-clipper-chip.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
 
Here in Colorado the choice is Verizon or at&t. No one else has decent coverage. Verizon is what I use because it has coverage both in town and out of town. At&t tends to only cover city's. T mobile and sprint are worthless here. 
 
T-mo and sprint are the "good guys" except for the fact that they're only forced into that role to differentiate themselves from At&t/verizon. It's impossible to morally support any mobile phone carriers in the US right now because they all have shady pasts and suspect current practices.
 
Controversial opinion: I have never had a problem with AT&T. I've had them since shortly after I moved to Boston (when the iPhone 3G came out) and their coverage and reliability has been absolutely fine. 

Now that's not to say they're not an evil telecomm, they obviously are, but they are not as bad in terms of service quality as their detractors would have you believe.
Bryan H
 
ATT has done me ok really..
 
1. As far as actually protecting yourself, this won't help. I assure you that the feds have identical orders out to all the major carriers.

2. You should do it anyways. You should write blogs and articles about how you can't do business with a company that you  _know_ is spying on you for the government. You should mention it on every interview, at every ComicCon. You should do everything in your power to express your outrage, in the hope that enough of it will spread to the public to make a difference in this country. 
 
T-Mobile has amazing customer service and great plans and products.  But, they're coverage is more limited than other major networks, so I would check their map carefully since you travel so much.  It can get really spotty in rural areas.
Dave C
 
15 years with T-Mobile and I've only rarely had complaints.  If you go into the boonies, I'd be worried, but if you're a suburban and city person you'll do just fine.

Also, your international travel is MUCH easier with a GSM phone.
 
ATT  is okay but outside large Metro areas the service can be spotty.  Lived in an area where they had the Edge(2G) for the 2 yrs we lived there actually had to go  buy a microcell so we had 3G service at home. Now step son lives west of there about 2-3 hrs away and has 3G service but very spotty. 
 
Have had very few issues with Sprint. Good cost for what you get.
I was extremely unhappy with AT&T as I felt ripped off. The cost was way higher than it needed to be. Additionally, if you use a lot of data, you will be broke. 
 
ATT has been sharing their data longer than VZW
 
TLDR :-P So sorry if this is redundant... I've considered going to other providers, but unfortunately Verizon is the only one with decent coverage in my area from what I've personally experienced, so, that is to say, the places where I spend most of my time, which is to say, completely irrelevant to 99% of the population :-P Also, I agree, if it's about the phone records thing, don't hate the playa, hate the game aka the law that allows such invasions of privacy. However, they did announce recently that apparently this request ultimately foiled a pretty serious terror plot, so... we'll see. Question is what did they do with all the other "useless" phone data??? :-\
 
I've used T-mobile for 15+ years now. They treat me well.
 
T-mobile isn't perfect -none of them are - but they have a strong customer care record and a network that compares favorably to Verizon's.
 
All the other companies are giving your data to the government as well, along with selling your info to highest bidders, the only solution is to live with it or don't use a phone. 
 
While US Cellular doesn't have quite the phone selection of some of the bigger carriers, their customer service is excellent and (where I live) I almost always have coverage. Granted, it's 3G coverage, but they do have 4G LTE and are working on expanding it. I have an S3 and I'm very satisfied with US Cellular overall. Also, I believe it's quite a bit cheaper than some of the larger carriers.
 
T-Mobile is by far the best bang/buck if you get good signal where you spend most of your time. I've been with them since 2006 and never had a complaint aside from some building penetration issues. It does drop to 2G in a lot of rural areas but I don't see why anyone is surprised by that. I've had good signal throughout every major city I've been to on the east and west coasts. Seattle, Portland, and LA are tip-top.

AT&T was outed as having an NSA sniffer box at their terrestrial master control office ages ago. I don't see why anyone is so surprised about this Verizon business. 
 
Well  I was with T-Mobile for years but have recently left for a better deal with Sprint.   T-Mobile was faster in my area with decent coverage and, at least their pre-paid deals were great!   I don't think there is any good choice.   Avoid contracts and you will be happy.
 
+Wil Wheaton - Not much I can add to the discussion, I've been happier with Sprint than Verizon.  I have to agree with the other posters here though, if you're leaving because of the domestic spying, I don't think there are any greener pastures.  You'd probably have to look at regional or other small carriers to avoid the blanket orders.

IIRC - T-Mo phones all have a SIM, and allow you to setup international pay-as-you-go accounts. Only very few Sprint phones allow that.  So make sure to keep an eye on that too.
 
If you are leaving Verizon because of the recent revelation, then you should not be seeking another carrier. The Verizon leak was just that, a leak. All of the carriers are receiving these requests, and more than likely, all of them are complying. AT&T admitted a while back that it reports information to the government.

Want to have phone service without providers having this level of access and control and audacity to use it for spying? Consider migrating to pure VOIP, maybe run your own SIP server. ;) I plan to set up my own SIP server and see if I can go WIFI only or find a data only plan.
 
+Wil Wheaton another upside to leaving VZW for the GSM carriers is at least you get all the cool phones.  ex Nexus phones
 
Go with a virtual carrier! My wife and I are on Net10 (which runs off AT&T or T-Mobiles network) and it's $85/mo with no contract.
 
I've been using T-Mobile for nearly a year and have been very happy with their coverage.  No real complaints on a pay-as-you-go plan.  Phone calls are clear, data speeds are great.

The only possible concern is coverage, so whichever carrier you go with definitely test it out in areas you spend a lot of time.
 
Been with AT&T since 2001-ish (or a company whom they eventually gobbled up) and it has been perfectly fine. 
(That's probably as close to a glowing review as you'll find)
 
I've been with t-mobile for over 8 years and am looking to leave. Their customer service used to be generous and would do whatever they could to keep you happy, but now it's all about the rules and "i can't do that" and contracts (unless you're a new customer wanting the iPhone). Their "valued" long term customers don't get the same new deals for new customers even if said customer threatens to leave for greener pastures. Not exactly the company I used to love.
 
None of them have stepped up and fought this legislation, which leads me to believe they are almost all complying.
 
Sprint has been fantastic for me when I left Verizon. Unlimited data rules and they were shaved 30 bucks off my bill. 
 
T-Mobile's coverage in Houston is good. I get 11-17Mb down pretty much everywhere, reliably, with my Nexus 4.

I also pay $57 a month total, no contract, including taxes, for unlimited calls, unlimited texts, 4GB fast data, unlimited slow data, can roam on AT&T, get call forwarding to Google Voice, and so on... with a T-Mobile reseller called Solavei. 

Yes, they do pay people for referring friends and family ($20 a month for every three people you've signed up that are still with the service.) but I signed up for the plan (haven't managed to yet refer 3 people :) ) and am quite happy with things.
Van D.
 
+Wil Wheaton  I went to TMobile after Sprint pissed me off, and of course I was never going back to the Death Star of AT&T/PacBell/Ma Bell (yes Im that old).

TMobile's service has been fine, incl their web-based customer service.  Although dont think for a moment that TMob wont stab you in the back for the NSA exactly as Verizon has.  Hell, Id be surprised if it wasn't already happening.  Thanks, FCC.  Every telco on a nice short broadcast licensing leash that the federal govt can yank at will.  Great idea there.
 
I think it's pretty safe to say if they are monitoring Verizon they are monitoring all of the big guys.
 
Surprized no one else has heard of, or is endorsing Creedo Mobile http://www.credomobile.com/ Their coverage is pretty solid, but their ethics and social policies are fantastic!
Jason R
 
+Aaron Norris "I think it's pretty safe to say if they are monitoring Verizon they are monitoring all of the providers, big or small." -Fixed
 
I use T-Mobile. They're OK, service-wise, but they sure like to send a lot of text messages at random times. It's common for me to get a message between 2-5am warning me know that they're going to bill me in two days: http://support.t-mobile.com/thread/39447?start=0&tstart=0

I've had to go out of my way to get an alternative SMS program to silence their nag messages.
 
AT&T seems a little pricey for the shoddy service.  The customer service isn't bad from what I've personally experienced, but it's not the best.  I'm not sure about their involvement with handing over all records.  I think they've been doing that for a while.  
 
Honestly, Verizon was complying with a warrant. If you think this will not or does not happen with the other carriers you are smoking something.
 
The love-fest with T-mobile is bizarre. They have the worst network and the slowest 4g. What does it matter if you have  a phone a month before every other carrier if you can't make calls or it takes 2 hours to upload a video. 
 
I live in the middle of nowhere way up in the mountains, everyone service sucks. 
 
Verizon isn't the villain here.  Heck they are probably behind the leak of the information that let us know about it.  We have absolutely no idea if AT&T and T-Mobile haven't already complied with the exact same request. 
Jason R
 
The big question is, are they also doing this for other governments... Vodafone is a major owner in Verizon and UK based, while T Mobile is Deutsch Telekom, essentially.. If T Mo has to provide information, that would include all the MVNO metadata as well, to Solavei and Straight Talk, Simple Mobile and the rest would all be included, as would all the ones on ATT, Sprint (yes, even Credo), Verizon, or any other US network... Basically, if you use a US tower, somewhere, the metadata is stored, and available to the NSA with a letter similar to the one that leaked. Hate companies for what they can control, not for following the laws. Hate the laws you don't like, not the corporations that follow them.
Van D.
 
+Bryce Kerker They may be behind the leak, and I hope so, but they're also behind their own compliance.  It has to stop somewhere.
 
I've had T-Mobile for years. The prices keep coming down, the customer service is great. Austin has good coverage. My former home in Pflugerville didn't get 4G inside, but otherwise I've always had great service from them.
Jason R
 
FYI, WiMAX is dead, Sprint is going to LTE, and has decided to use a new infrastructure easily upgradable to LTE-A to boot. T MO is also going towards LTE to upgrade the "4G" they use now...
 
I'd go to t-mobile. Just triple check coverage where you plan to be a lot, roaming charges are horrific.
 
T-Mobile's coverage in Colorado looks awful. Yeah in Denver and major cities it's good but almost every mountain area is roaming or no service. I get Verizon service sometimes 10 miles deep into a hike in the back country.
Jason R
 
+Robert Jones Maybe because Sprint would report this stuff for Credo, and not everyone needs to pay sprint AND Credo for service. Also, for whatever reason, they are not able to port sprint phones over, and by their website, are very 3G centric in their phone options...
 
I went with Credo Mobile because I am going to pay for political activism whatever company I use and Credo lets me choose how and what... They're carried by Sprint which may have drawbacks for coverage for you. T-mo screwed me by how they lied about the sidekick having a future so I can't recommend them but I did like them before that; they are also a questionable coverage company.
 
I'm virtually certain Tmobile is doing the same thing as Verizon is.
That said, I've been a TMO customer for 12 years. I like their plans, their products & their CS. I live on the east coast though, so ymmv.
 
Remember the Telecom Immunity Bill from 2008? The wiretaps from 2006?

This has little to do with Verizon or any given company. The law as it is says companies have to comply and makes it illegal for them to admit that they complied...or that there was anything for them to comply with.

Boycotting a company over this seems to miss the point.
 
This is because of the whole Verizon giving out metadata to the U.S. gov't, right? I work in the telecomm industry and to be honest, I'm confident more information will probably leak out about other major carriers and the information that they've been asked to provide to the government. It's really a situation of choosing your poison. Short of creating your own personal network, big bro is watching.  I'm an AT&T customer though, and I have no complaints.
 
I know people that don't any reception with t-mobile, I have sprint and the only down side is we don't have lte were we are yet, but LA is getting or just got it
 
I had a truly horrible experience with AT&T last summer when I needed to buy a new phone before I was eligible for an upgrade.  My mom has dementia that is probably Alzheimer's and I need a cell phone that works.  I need to be reachable.

After calling every customer service department (there are a few) and complaining and complaining for several days, AT&T finally let me upgrade 6 months early.  I had to threaten to file a complaint through my state's consumer protection division and everything.

It wasn't my fault their warranty replacement phones sucked.  It was a manufacturer issue they didn't want to acknowledge.  I wasn't taking another warranty replacement phone that I knew wouldn't work.  I still believe almost a year later that the only reason they let me upgrade early is so I would quit calling and complaining.  I'm stubborn that way.
 
I've had AT&T for years and have never had any complaints!
 
My wife worked at AT&T and they gave us discounted cell service. Unfortunately the signal where she worked was so bad she could never use her phone.
 
T-mobile has been my provider for quite a while now. They've always covered me well and taken care of me. Including doing things like loyalty plans over the years for thanking me for being a long term customer. 

Have had no issues with them, however, comparatively I've never found them to be the best if you're looking for family plans.
 
I've been using TMobile for years and they're pretty decent. Never any trouble with calls.
 
Hmm...well, if your concerns involve privacy, you're not safe with any carrier.  TextSecure and RedPhone are your friends.  T-Mobile has pretty good 4G speed and a good selection of phones.
 
I've had Sprint, and I really like it. It's available in more places than other carriers (more boonies areas!) and they are more willing to make you happy when things come up than other carriers as well.
 
I've been with t-mobile longer than I've been married (10 years!), and I've got to say, their customer service is fantastic. I've never had a problem they couldn't solve, and they bend over backwards to reward my customer loyalty.
 
I would recommend Sprint or one of the Sprint-based MVNOs like Ting, from the people that brought you TUCOWS.  The only problem is that, outside of Texas, connectivity is pretty sparse.
 
+Wil Wheaton I honestly do not believe for one moment this  whole NSA thing is restricted to just Verizon. I'm sure this impacts any kind of digital communication to some extent. 
 
+Wil Wheaton - Every US carrier dumps data to the feds to some degree.

IMHO, +Sprint and +T-Mobile are the best carrier choices simply because they both still offer unlimited data.

I use +Sprint . I've had zero issues with them aside from a few slow-data areas while traveling.

+Sprint has the best outlook and, given the info available, their network has the best chance of keeping unlimited data and showing massive amounts of improvement over the next year (especially once they get that 800 mhz spectrum going). They also offer nice little features like the ability to remove most bloatware, Google wallet on flagship devices,  and full Google voice integration. The only thing they don't offer is a Nexus phone.

+T-Mobile - Is more of a hit-or-miss situation. Their network will either be very fast or useless. Their prices are low. They have the Nexus 4. They're GSM. I don't trust that they'll keep unlimited data going. They have a long history of waffling on that issue (one of the things that keeps me away from them). The no-contract plans aren't that great unless you plan on keeping your phone more than 2 years and/or bouncing between them and AT&T. Their network improvement outlook is a bit weak compared to the competition.

Verizon still currently has the best network in the US and will continue to have it until Sprint deploys on the 800 mhz spectrum and wraps up the Softbank + Clearwire deals.

Every carrier offers a 14-day trial period. Give the two candidates a chance before making the switch.
 
I use ATT (previously Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon with a brief excursion with Virgin). I travel extensively here and oversees and you have to like AT&T for International service. I have no complaints in Orlando on the service and price is pretty much the same wherever you go. I do understand why some people hate AT&T but I think it is dictated largely by the service in specific locations.  If you travel internationally absolutely not Sprint. I should add that although signal sucks at my home (Rural) I use an AT&T Microcell which is pretty much flawless.
 
What about Credo Mobile? They use Sprint's service, but they are supposed to be all about social change.
 
It depends on the coverage.  Where I live, t-mobile lets me download around 11 or 12 Mbps on my Nexus 4.  In a few years the metroPCS merger will net a lot more coverage, but that will take a while to reconcile due to different technologies.
 
AT&T actually has the strongest signal strength in my practically basement apartment.  The other three carriers only get one or two signal bars in my apartment.
 
Sprint data is really bad even when you have full signal. Att has decent coverage but data is slow in certain areas. Also they charge a lot with caps. Tmobile is amazing in cities but goes down to 2G in rural areas. If you're grandfathered in unlimited data on Verizon you should probably just stick with it even though Verizon hands over your data. All the carriers do it, none are ethically superior.
 
I've been with AT&T for close about 10 years and beyond some issues with combining my wife's account and mine into a family plan, I've rarely had issues.
 
I've recently switched from t mobile to at&t and not for an I phone. So far I haven't had any problems with my phone or service (I use a Sony Xperia tl). I was with t mobile for about seven years and it was terrible.
 
T-mobile.  Fast reliable service., especially for unlimited data
 
T Mobile, but it will not matter. The Feds will get whatever they want from these companies. Remember, internet was built by DOD
 
I have never had an issue with T-Mobile that their customer service didn't handle well. I rarely drop calls, the plans are some of the cheapest of any carrier, and they have a good phone selection. I left Verizon 7 years ago for them (because Verizon is a terrible company!) and I haven't looked back. I will admit that the Verizon LTE network is way faster, but weighing in on everything else I care about, its a small price to pay for good service.
 
i love my AT&T plan  no dropped calls, have not had to do any roaming,  internet is lightnin' fast on my Galaxy Note and there are tons of WIFI hotspots to help keep  your data usage down!!
 
I have an unlimited data plan with insurance for about $85, with Sprint. I get better connectivity with my Sprint phone (personal) than I do with my AT&T phone (work). I also get an American when I call customer service from America. Imagine that!?! Every time I have to call AT&T I get someone that I can't understand and who doesn't understand me. Grrrrrrr
 
I've had pretty good luck with AT&T, believe it or not.
 
https://ting.com/

AT&T were just as much a lying sac of crap as verizon was. I've got a few months left on Verizon. 
 
I have been with at&t for 2+ years. Never had a problem. Even just renewed with the new family plan. Seems ok to me
 
I switch from AT&T to T-mobile, cheaper and better customer service, the only problem is that T-mobile takes forever to get any new phones.
 
Does this have anything to do with Verizon handing over your call information to the NSA?
 
Wil, it's probable that all major carriers have been siphoning off data to the feds.  Verizon just got caught at it first.  Not saying I feel it was ok but switching carriers may not, in the end, make as strong a statement as you intended.
Ryan R
 
AT&T is cooperating with the NSA as well. T-Mobile's status in the warrantless wiretapping scheme is unknown, but they're probably your best bet in that department.

T-Mobile has the best plans in terms of value also. If you're mostly in urban areas, the coverage and broadband speeds are great. If you wonder out of their service area, you can still roam on all the AT&T towers for voice and data (they have a 7-year roaming agreement as a result of the failed merger).
 
TMobile with the $30 plan with unlimited data using Google Voice. Really can't beat that as long as you have strong T-Mobile coverage. However with the current amount of WiFi coverage it really doesn't matter, you can still use GV.
 
I have no love for AT&T.  The customer service I have dealt with has been infuriatingly useless at best and damn near hostile at worst.  Early upgrades are a nightmare if they're possible at all, and the pressure for non-iPhone users to switch to an iPhone is completely over the top.  I've also found that I seem to hit a lot more dead zones than my friends (my almost-in-laws home being among those dead zones), but that's purely anecdotal and could be coincidence.

My fiance has been with Sprint for years time and he has been very pleased with the service.
 
I'll add my two cents to those suggesting Sprint. We bailed from Verizon for a bunch of reasons (none of which had to do with the actual service itself). Sprint was the only alternative that offered a reasonable unlimited data plan (we considered T-Mobile but they throttle your connection after a certain point). Their service can be spotting, but they're building out their network and I've noticed increased 4G coverage just in the 6ish months we've been with them. And their customer support has been phenomenal.
 
I have had T-Mo for 5+years and never have a problem. I can get any phone I want and just put my sim card in (Even phones not sold in the good ol' USofA). No issues traveling or in Europe either. 
Do it
Do It
DO It
DO IT.
 
I'm leaving verizon as well I bitched on the phone for an hour straight about not losing my unlimited and all they said was basically tough shit so now they need a new customer. Tough shit verizon
 
Sprint is ok for cell coverage but my lte is so sloooooow on my iPhone. It's about 1/3 the speed of Verizon LTE (which I have on my iPad) where I live.

I do feel dirty now everyone I use my iPad...I wonder if my company will consider a change in carriers?


 
Of the major carriers, T-Mobile seems the least awful. But as a Canadian I have no experience with any of them.
 
I've had Sprint for over 10 years.  Never had any kind of major issue with them, even when I went to Europe.
 
I have been very happy with Sprint. The only truly unlimited plan that I'm aware of.
 
we have been with at&t for years and I have nothing but praise for them every time I need to call them I get awesome service and in most case's I get some type of a credit  
 
There is really no correct answer.  You just have to test drive the other 3 carriers to see which ones you like best.  Ask your friends and see what carriers they are using.
 
T-Mobile's been pretty good to me so far, however outside of major metropolitan areas you will probably get spotty service. I'm on the outskirts of the Chicagoland area, and between where I'm at and Chicago there's some spotty reception. I used to have AT&T and, while they had slightly better coverage, they had the worst customer service of any company I have ever dealt with.
 
I've never had trouble with AT&T
It depends where you are on which company is the best. In my area, i'd say Verizon and AT&T go neck and neck. 
 
I tend to find T-Mobile pretty up front about their policies with me as a customer. Also, the fact that they allow me the privacy of my own life helps out too.
 
I just started using Ting. It uses sprints network but its a lot cheaper after one year. One pro is that they don't discourage rooting and even have a section for rooting on their forums. So far so good 
 
republic wireless, do the right thing Wil.....
 
I haven't been too happy with tmobile's 4g or voice reception. Verizon was much better. 
 
Senators are now saying all the major carriers are doing the same thing and have been for 7 years straight. No need to switch in protest. Only way would be to ditch your cell entirely. Also WAPO just announced that google, MS, facebook, apple, dropbox, yahoo, pretty much everyone but twitter is involved in a program called PRISM that is collecting everything we do, say upload and download online.

So yeah, sadly the only way to protest this is to become a luddite or take to the streets
 
I've had T-Mobile since December. 2007 and I've never had a bad experience, never a complaint with coverage, call quality or customer service. I wish their prices for service and phones were lower, but that goes for all companies, right? I live in north Texas, so we've got lots of towers here. With T-Mobile I started with a Blackberry, but moved to Android on my first update, and I've stayed with Android. 
Holly B
 
Tmobile is great. Been a customer for years withno issues.AT&T overcharged for everything and never had service
 
I loved T-mobile and was very loyal to it for years.  A year and a half ago I moved to a slummish area where I got almost no service.  I called about it and was promised improvement so I waited another seven months.  At the end of that time, I called, canceled and moved to another network.  Despite assurances that I had paid all my bills and had fulfilled my contract, they charged me for an additional month AND an early contract termination and sent me to collections.  So.  T-mobile.  Great while you're paying for it.
Rich H
 
My service with T-Mobile was ok but not as widespread as I've had with other carriers. But their in-store and on-the-phone customer service sucks. I've heard that AT&T has gotten better, but that still may not be saying much...
 
I used T-mobile the last time I was in the States.  Coverage in cities and on highways was reasonable, but I really only chose them because they were the only provider (I could easily locate) who offered service without a contract.
 
We've had at&t for many years now with no issues. Their customer service is good and we're always credited when disputes arise over app charges. Even their affiliate stores are good to us. 
 
There is no escaping big brother, brother.
 
I've been with T-mobile since they were VoiceStream (1998), and have overall been happy with them. Their new no-contract value plans are really amazing. My wife and mother-in-law are dropping their individual plans, and we're going to add them to my account and spend significantly less than we are now. All unlimited, and no contract. Good stuff!
 
I was a AT&T customer... was being the optimum word.  I am a happy T-Mobile customer and have been for almost 5 years.
 
+Wil Wheaton There's a bad storm on the Verizon!

The question I ask is... How safe is all that data?

We've already seen major flaws in mobile data security, what makes this any different... apart from the vast quantities stored?
 
If you're really leaving Verizon then Sprint is your best bet.
 
I like Credo Mobile. They use the Sprint network and are very active in progressive causes. 
 
if you are living in a city with population of upwards 100k you'll be fine with T-Mobile. there are  numerous reports of LTE sightings in major cities all over the country. they are definitely deploying LTE faster than Sprint and their fallback network will be HSPA+42.
 
From spending 3 weeks in Portland, OR, I can at least say that, if you have your own phone, T-Mobile and AT&T are your only real options. I got decent coverage from T-Mobile, and their in-store service was pleasant. Just don't buy their horrendously marked-up micro-SD cards :)
 
Credo Mobile for sure - they actually give a damn about people and the earth - something that is very anti-corporation. Please don't go to AT&T - they are the father of big brother afterall.
Rich H
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Here's what I don't get. Why are some of you giving him a hard time about this? He has decided that he is no longer willing to patronize Verizon because of this issue. He asked for input about other carriers to try to make a more informed decision. Who cares if other phone companies did this or Skype did that? It's irrelevant to this posting. He geeks strongly enough about this to switch. Support him in his decision, and offer what info you can, or just don't say anything. Your opinion on his choice doesn't mater. Wil, you do what's right by you. 
 
I've had nothing but awesome service with AT&T. With Sprint, TMobile and Verizon nothing but grief. Highly recommend AT&T.
 
The first time it was AT&T it was great. Then Cingular took over and it went to hell in a hand basket. Terrible customer service, and horrid reception were the hallmarks. I went to Verizon and didn't look back.

Unfortunately all the carriers are likely bowing to the overreach of the government. Time to clean HOUSE (and Senate!) And get that crap repealed.
 
I'm thinking about leaving Verizon as well..
 
T-Mobile screwed us over pretty badly when we left them a few years ago (our contract had expired, we called and notified them of this, they said it was handled, then all of a sudden we are hit with a $400 collections bill because they never shut off the service, and they refused to resolve it).  We are with Sprint now, and so far happy with it.
 
I have AT&T. I get LTE everywhere I go... minus college campus--which is actually a good thing. Lol.
 
I have been with AT&T for over 10 years now and have never had any real issues with them.  I would like to switch to T-mobile but their lack of coverage outside of the interstate system concerns me.
 
When my husband and I switched to smart phones on a family plan, we decided to go with Sprint.  Our respective contracts long expired, I left AT&T and he left T-Mobile.  The day we called to cancel his T-Mobile service turned out to be the first day of the new billing cycle.  I discovered this later when I received the bill.  After absorbing our first month of Sprint with all the activation fees added, an unexpected $50 bill had me very upset.  I called T-Mobile and talked with everyone I could get hold of, but they refused to budge.  That 8 hours of service we received justified them charging an entire month, and that was that.

Finally, very upset, I called Sprint and gave them my tale of woe.  The girl listed politely and in a cautious is-this-crazy-bitch-going-to-go-off-on-me voice, asked what exactly I thought Sprint could do about it.

"I don't know,"  I wailed.  "I don't even know why I called.  I guess I just wanted someone to listen to me and agree that this situation is bullshit."

She asked me to hold.  I did.  Five minutes later she came back and said that as a "thank you" for switching carriers, Sprint was crediting my account for the amount of my final T-Mobile bill.

I emailed this Goofus and Gallant story to T-Mobile, but they never replied.
 
As a mobile representative for the four major carriers, I'd say go with T-Mobile; They recently ditched their contracts in favor of "leasing" out their phones. With approved credit, you pay a "down payment" and add ~$20 to your monthly bill for the duration of two years. You are no longer locked into a two-year contract, and their rates start around $50/month for a single line.  If you decide you no longer wish to remain with T-Mobile, they charge you the remainder of the retail value of the phone instead of an "early termination fee" (but it's essentially the same thing). A lot of people are weary about this change, though, but with how great their coverage is in urban settings, it is the way to go. For more rural homes, another carrier may be preferred. Personally, I use prepaid for unlimited everything, $55/month, and I own the phone I use instead of leasing it or being locked into a contract. Good luck, though, on deciding what is best for you! Be aware, though, that you will NOT be able to keep your Verizon phone if you switch to T-Mobile or AT&T; the use completely different networks. :)
 
I left Verizon years ago because of their crappy customer service.  This asshattery won't be bringing me back.
 
hmm +Wil Wheaton but  .. move isnt the solution .. any carrier could happen the same thing .. just had less publicity ...
 
If you can get coverage with T-Mobile it may not be bad. In my area coverage is horrible. I could not talk for more than 3 minutes without losing a signal. Rarely could I get on-line, text, or e-mail. I would see if anyone you know in your area uses T-Mobile and see if they get a good signal.
Jason R
 
Many phones are built with GSM capes even on sprint and Verizon for roaming... If you have a phone like that, and buy out your contract, they should unlock it for you for GSM. 
 
The important thing about t-mobile is the coverage. If they have good coverage where you are, then by all means, go for it. I've been with t-mobile since I had a G-1, and have had nothing but good to great service in my area (CT coast) 
 
I've used AT&T for a few years after switching from Sprint.  I've never had an issues with coverage.  Customer service is a whole other matter, but whenever I go into a store I just have the mind set that the employees are just playing by the handbook their given, and that the corporation sets the policies which are decidedly in their favor.  I don't think that's different whichever company you go with.
 
I'm on AT&T until they kick me off the iPhone unlimited data plan. 
 
I've had horrible customer service experience with T-Mobile. I actually got the Better Business Bureau involved to get them off my back in 2006. I've been with AT&T ever since, and I have had no problem with them. (And, yeah, being grandfathered into the unlimited iPhone data plan helps.)
 
With all the geeks, I was really expecting more Ting love. My cell phone bill is now less than $30 a month with an android smartphone, and I'm getting the same service with better support than I was before.  

Essentially, Ting's a cell phone company run by geeks (tucows), for geeks -- think web startup for the cell industry. They bill for what you use, with no contract. They use the Sprint network, and use Sprint phones (except for the iphone which is "coming soon").  Their support is fantastic, very quick responses and good service (I've submitted two tickets for minor issues, all resolved in less than 5 minutes via email).

The great part: if you have a smartphone that can connect to WiFi and you're around WiFi for most of the day, you can use Google Voice and an VoIP app to bypass cell charges and only use the WiFi for all your talk/text/data. And when you're away from WiFi, you can use your cell data to do the same. 

For me, I'm around WiFi at least 90% of the day. So I just have my smartphone connect to that. The only charge I get from ting is a small amount for data usage when I'm out and about. Because of how their plans work, that means my bill has been between $15-30 a month since I signed up.

The downside is that, while the plans are much cheaper, the phones are unsubsidized. This usually isn't too big of a deal; in my five months on Ting I saved enough to buy a lastest-generation upgrade on ebay.  I just wish I had known about them before.

There's a link below for $25 off new accounts. 
https://zai5q4175h2.ting.com/
and for more detail on getting Google Voice working on Ting:
https://help.ting.com/entries/20993213-Using-Google-Voice-on-your-Ting-phone
(port your number to GV beforehand if you want to keep your number)
 
Sprint has, all around, been very reliable. The only time I was disappointed and At&T prevailed was at Denver's Comic-Con. Sometimes, high up in the mountains, At&T will prevail as well. All-in-all, Spring gives true unlimited date and, at least in the states, had extremely reliable service in the most areas compared to other carriers!
 
From what I understand, AT&T is in on the same phone records shenanigans. Can't speak to the other two though.

It may be worth floating a test balloon with T-Mo before dumping an objectively more reliable network though.
 
I've been using AT&T for about 3+ years, have had NO issues! 
Doug M.
 
Unfortunately I'm one of those individuals that lives in an area that gets Verizon coverage only. I'm pissed off not only at Verizon but at the other carriers as well for not expanding into more rural areas. 
 
I'm affraid if one wants to avoid being secretly spied on, they'd have to do some more radical moves, like for example leave this planet... Or at least move to a country, where they actually make profit from conserving anonimity.
 
+Wil Wheaton Do you remember a few years back when Bush was still president and there was that big stink about the government getting illegal access to phone lines?  AT&T was one of those who jumped at the chance to divert all of the phone lines through that "secret room" that allowed the government to see all, hear all, and they were also at the top of the list to get the free pass by the government for breaking the law whilst doing it. That was when i switched from AT&T and will NEVER go back to using their services! I would advise to not avail yourself of their services, and to go with some other company.
 
I'm one of those rare people who has had AT&T forever and doesn't have any problems with them.

That said, the reps in our local store are douchebags, which, granted, has nothing to do with my phone service.
 
Switched from ATT to TMo several years ago and have never had reason to regret it. But, as ever, YMMV. Best of luck with the phone change! :-) 
 
I've had AT&T for over a dozen years and have had very few problems other than a few dropped calls here and there (but who knows if they were on my end or the other person's end).
 
I am with AT&T and do not know about any others sorry can't help you the only thing I know is that Verizon is expensive and cricket is cheap especially with the family plan where it's 60.00 and you pay 30.00 and your wife pays 30.00 that's all I know but good luck on finding that new phone.❤😊🌻

 
I have T-Mobile on my work phone, and Verizon on my personal phone. Verizon coverage is much better, at least in LA (I haven't taken my work phone out of LA yet). There have been many times -- at a Dodgers game, at a restaurant at Pasadena's Paseo Colorado, and others -- when I could get data on my Verizon phone but not on my T-Mobile phone.

And this is in one of the most heavily populated areas of the country.  I have nothing against T-Mobile, and I applaud the stance you're taking, but as a strictly practical matter, T-Mobile is vastly inferior to what you're used to on Verizon.  You should expect that from time to time your phone simply will not work (at least for data; not sure about voice).

I have had AT&T in the past, and they were at least as bad as T-Mobile, probably worse.  Politically, AT&T is even worse than Verizon, too.
 
If you have an online subscription to Consumer Reports, they give an objective review of the carriers in each major metropolitan area. I have no idea if this website is legit, but they have comparison by zipcode http://www.cellreception.com/

T-mobile is a great company to be with. The coverage will not beat Verizon, but it's a much better company to deal with. It's also WAY cheaper, if that is a factor.
 
From personal experience, T-Mobile's customer service is of the lowest ranks (I can say that because I've subscribed to almost all available providers).  As for coverage with Verizon vs T-Mobile, Verizon pretty much knocks it out of the park.  I will say that some of us can't just quit our current subscriber because if a monthly bill for a family is pretty pricey, a cancellation fee from the current subscriber added onto a sign-up fee from another can reach pretty deep into the pockets.
 
+1 for Ting, Credo, or Republic.  
 
+Matthew Coulter Really? I've had quite the opposite experience with the customer service. They try pretty hard with me, and I expect a lot. That said, it's all on the phone. I don't go into stores. I typically know more than the people in the stores do, so it's pointless.
 
Screw AT&T! I canceled my account and paid my bill in full. The next month they charged me for another month, I called and they said they would fix it. The next month I got billed again, I called again and they said they would fix it again.
Last week I got a letter from a collections agency and it has already been reported to my credit score.

Bunch of assholes at AT&T!
 
Our family switched to US Cellular because they had much better coverage at our home, but that may not be the case for everyone.
 
I left T-mobile for AT&T. T-Mobile had horrible customer service and dropped calls all the time. I love it now that I have AT&T.
 
I was with T-Mobile for almost 10 years and put up with constant rate hikes and horrible customer service which led me to another carrier P-Tel. I love it and will never even consider going back to T-Mobile.
 
The news about Verizon pretty much can lead us to believe that all calls in the US are being reported.
 
I have AT&T in Irvine and since the LTE rollout it's been great. Been with them a long time.
 
T-Mo customer for nearly two years. Suck AND fail.
 Their customer service is actually exponentially worse than Verizon. I'm looking into Sprint.
 
I've had service from Verizon, T-mobile, AT&T, US Cellular and Sprint. Smart Talk is reselling AT&T (and maybe Verizon as well). Virgin Mobile & Credo Mobile are reselling Sprint. Verizon has always been arrogant. US Cellular as a lower tier carrier didn't have cooler phones when I wanted them. I left Verizon for T-mobile. Coverage was inconsistent for my location, but that wasn't unexpected. Switched to Sprint for a SERO Treo, switched to AT&T for the iPhone 3GS. Have been with AT&T ever since with no problems. None of them can have their hands clean.
 
I switched to TMO about a month ago. I'd have to say that it's been decent outside of SF which just kind of sucks for any carrier. Outside of SF TMO has rolled out LTE and it's as fast as VZW. I have no complaints with the S4 on TMO. AT&T let the Gov. put capture servers in their CO so fuck them.
 
I highly recommend service from Ting. Arguably the most ethical cellular provider on the planet. www.ting.com
 
Well, AT&T did it without a court order...
 
I really wish I could. Where I live, verizon is the only game on town (or rather in the boonies where I live). Also, I doubt the others are any better wrt privacy and handing over of data to the fed. 
 
I had T-Mobile many years ago and back then I thought they were a completely second-rate provider.  You left a densely populated area and you were permanently on "roam."  No idea if it's still that way but my experience was very negative in terms of their coverage as compared to the other carriers.
Sandy P
 
I've been with T-Mobile since before it was T-Mobile (VoiceStream), all the way back to 2001.  Early on, they tended to exaggerate their nationwide coverage a bit, but I haven't had any significant problems with them in years.  I'm even surprised how much signal I get in mountainous areas.  Dropped calls happen on occasion, but we're at solar max, so what do you expect?

Disclaimer: I've never used any other network, so I can't give a direct comparison.
 
In az AT&T is awesome. I'm seeing 40mbps down/15-20mbps up on their LTE with a jailbroken iPhone 5. If I drive to LA I lose signal for some of the trip unfortunately.
 
+Joseph Paquette Nice call with Ting, I may switch if I can find a dumb phone that works with them (they have one listed on their site, but I'd like to see other options).

+Stephen Emert All the more reason to avoid them.
 
Come over to T-mobile +Wil Wheaton , I've been with them for over 12 years now and will never go elsewhere. They have the best prices and unparalleled service by far. All of us T-Mobile customers welcome you dearly :-)
 
Verizon likely saw this as a either we do it or have later complications with FFC compliance. Bottom line the Government will obtain what they want with or without consent. That being said, why not switch carriers as a form of protest. I found this after thinking the same thing. Cheers.
 
I've had good experience with Sprint.
 
At&t with a rooted phone is great. Plus, if you travel there's very little CDMA coverage. Sprint and Verizon both work on CDMA. GSM covers over 75% of the world cellular network. 
 
T-Mobile also has wifi calling. So as long as you have wifi you can make calls and send sms. I get pretty good coverage on T-Mobile, but my parents live in a metal building which acts like a feraday cage. Thankfully they have wifi so I get perfect reception.
 
We have 5 lines on Tmo, they are great here. I have a Nexus 4 and love it, but I suppose the phone is a matter of personal taste. Though I thought you had a Nexus now.
 
I am AT&T only satisfied customer, for only this reason. I can get cell service where not to many other company's can offer.. I shit you not. I have been 200 feet deep inside a cave, I got a phone call and was able to text. Amazing! I use an iPhone 4s and it never leave me out of touch. Customer service is not to shabby either. Often if I have an issue they are quick to give me discounts and free time. Got to live AT&T!
 
In my area Verizon has better service area for data, but overall service sucks. Att has poor data service, but better for other services. I would go T-Mobile if they had service in my area.
 
I think it really depends on where you live. All the wireless carriers are better in some areas and not so much in others. I have AT&T I live within a mile from a tower and I rarely have over 2 bars and constantly have dropped calls. Inside or out it's the same, no power lines in the area, ( all underground ). Verizon is also the same.
It's best to ask friends in your area that use different wireless carriers.
Good luck!
 
I dropped Verizon 3 months ago for T mobile and I'm never looking back, in southern California too.
 
I've been extremely satisfied with Sprint, for the last 7 or so years.  Their customer service has always been impeccable.  I like to keep calling till I get a Canadian on the line. 
 
I love CSpire but not sure what their coverage is like nationally.
 
Do NOT go to T-Mobile. As a german i can tell you hours and hours of bad stories . Right now the Telekom (wich is the mother company) tries to abandon the network neutrality wich is by all means a complete desaster for the net.
 
I've been with T-Mobile for 11 years now. No complaints.
 
T-Mobile seems to suck everywhere else don't know why USA would be any different.
 
Well I've had at&t since before if was at&t, you know, Cingular. I never had any issues with customer service, call quality, or any other aspect of it. I totally get +Ian Stedman with the billing issues, I've had one or two issues, but I've never hassled with them. 
 
I've been with Sprint for the last 12 years. They are the only carrier I've had. Most of the issues I used to have have long since been solved.
 
I have ATT in OC, and I have very consistent good coverage. I have a Verizon aircard for data, and LTE on ATT consistently is almost double the speed of VZ LTE. I moved from Georgia and kept my Atlanta number for 4 years with no issues. They were then able to port in a couple of numbers for me. I would definitely recommend getting your number ported to GV. This way you can block/screen through GV and won't have to hassle with porting again if you move carriers again.
 
I have had terrible customer services from T-Mobile in the UK - I recommend avoiding... Do you have O2 in the US? I cannot fault them, but that is in the UK again!!
 
+Sprint for the unlimited data, good coverage in my house, and cheap android share plans. Their coverage has been about the same as Verizon's for me, almost. In some cities it seems to suck.
 
There are plenty of reasons to leave any wireless carrier. Coverage, device lineup, customer service. I understand that now you "know" Verizon was "forced" to share data. But given the very nature of this order, you'll never officially know how many american carriers are being compelled to comply. But in your mind, you can't not know that it's happening. I am not saying don't leave Verizon. I'm am just saying find a better reason than, "I want to lie to myself and think that everything's okay." Because that's what your doing if you think any other carrier isn't secretly complying. 
 
I've been using T-Mobile for years. While their LTE is very VERY sparse, the HSPA+ 4G they use is fairly widespread and as fast as wi-fi in many cases (anywhere from 4 Mbps to 10), and that's using their first ever 4G phone (MyTouch 4G/HTC Glacier, now rooted to CM10.1). For the price I'd say you really can't beat it. 

The one problem is one that's probably common to all carriers, namely that there are dead spots in high-speed data coverage, but in recent years I've only really come across these in farmland and woodland areas. Any urban area and most suburban I've been to has 3G/4G. 
 
Been on TMobile for 14 years, since they were Voicestream, very happy. When my home DSL went out for a week, Verizon refused to acknowledge the problem (which turned out to be a typo in a service change order that was meant for somebody else), jerked me around, and failed to credit for lack of service. I made due with the WiFi hotspot on my phone but it got slow after a day; TMobile traced the problem to a local repeater with a technical failure, put it in for priority repair, and credited me $5 for the inconvenience.

Bonus: TMO tech support are willing to listen and work the problem as described. When I say, "... and this is what I've done to troubleshoot", they say, "Okay, we can skip these first five items on my checklist." They aren't just drones reading from a script.
 
If you're leaving b/c of the NSA monitoring, what will you accomplish? Do you think the NSA isn't doing the same with every other comms co.?
 
You might want to rethink leaving Verizon to 'punish' them.  As it was disclosed today - it's not just Verizon.  It's everyone.  All the mobile carriers, all the major email providers, all the IM providers.  People like to think the show Person of Interest is fiction.  It's closer to reality than we'd like to think.  The huge facilites the NSA built in Utah can hold staggering amounts of data, and CPU power keeps increasing to let us search it faster.
 
Until Sprint gets their act together, I can't recommend them. AT&T has good signal mostly, terrible CS, and awful rates. Tmobile seems the logical choice. 
 
I made the switch from VZW to T-Mo about 3 months ago and I have never been happier!
 
I've had AT&T for many years with no issues. I've owned every single iPhone so far, all through AT&T. Clear signal and never a dropped call. Plus with my LTE iPhone 5 I see some pretty amazing upload/download speeds on AT&T.

Disclaimer: I live in Orlando, FL and I don't travel much. My travel is mainly to Colorado where I've always had good service.
 
Tmobile for the 70 a month for unlimited everything rocks. Go for it. 
 
Leaving Verizon just because of the NSA thing is sticking one's head in the sand. You may think you're doing the right thing but you're being willfully blind to reality.
 
The Verizon situation was leaked. Don't believe for a moment that the other carriers aren't in the same situation. The government is the problem. This is merely a symptom.
 
T mobile is currently no contract, so that's a plus. Also I love my nexus 4 with them! But I have been a big fan of the Google devices. I have had T mobile for several years and have worked for them several times over the years. (Temp positions for a second job) even after working for them I like them. We did have US Cellular for a while but their customer service sucks. Good luck on your quest. ( side note if you buy the nexus 4 through Google you save $200, but don't get T mobile back up. It's worth saving the money)
 
They all suck at treating customers right when things go wrong. I don't live in the US, but have worked at callcenters for 2 of the big 3. It was really hard to do the right thing for the customer 90% of the time the problem was bigger than "I want to make a payment". (BTW, each of the top 5 carriers in the US spend billions per quarter on retention.)

My recommendation would be to go with a "discount" version of a large carrier, or an independant carrier if customer service is your reason for switching. They need your business more.
 
I've never had problems with T-Mo service or the employees.  It's all been generally good for the last decade. 
 
T-Mo: Amazing pricing and customer service, lousy coverage. Great for the major cities, not so great out in the sticks.
 
I switched to TMo from Verizon over a year ago and have zero complaints. Best decision I've made thus far. Having the ability to bring in a google branded phone with them doesn't hurt either (though I believe you can do the same with AT&T).
 
I have had no issues with AT&T and have been with them for 8 years. I use T-mobile for a hotspot because they are cheaper and have service where I need it. No problems so far.
 
Recently switched from AT&T to T-Mobile after having been with them for a VERY long time. Had issues with bad coverage, especially when out and about in CO and calls dropping. Plus, unhappy with plans offered. So far, I like T-Mobile and none of the same issues.
 
Plus you can't beat 70 a month for truely unlimited everything 
 
don't know what you chose ( I love my T-Mobile), but the Slate.com Political Gabfest pointed out today that because of the gag order this type of search puts on the companies, all of them are probably being surveilled.
 
what's happening with verizon?
 
There are a lot of problems with providers out there, there is no arguing that.  I have one of those grandfathered family plans with unlimited data thru AT&T.  I have to say that as long as I have had this phone which has to be at least 10 years, The only problem that I have had has been either related to options that I wanted that they did not offer, or hardware problems.  Both are understandable.  I HIGHLY recommend AT&T if for no reason other than it is not Verizon or T Mobile.  Hope this helps, +Wil Wheaton 
 
I had smartphone service with T-mobile for about 4 years. They're generally a solid service at a decent price point. Their 4g service is fantastic - reliable and great speeds. The problems I had with them come down to lack of a robust network. Being from the northeast originally there are a lot of areas that don't qualify as "metropolitan" - my phone would be useless sometimes as little as ten minutes away from my house (which was in a centrally located city) and their roaming agreements seemed to be non-existent.

If you'll be confident that you're staying inside their service area they're a great choice though.

I've been with AT&T for a couple of months now and haven't had any complaints although I feel like my days speeds are a little slower than on T-mobile. Good luck with your shopping
 
Being in a rural area, AT&T has been solid for me, and I've have few issues with being in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro either. I think it's pretty much 6 of one/half dozen of the other with cell phone providers and mainly up to personal preference anyway. :/ Good luck Wil!
 
You can try CREDO Mobile. They're supposed to be ethical or something.  Runs the Sprint network... so I guess it's really Sprint... or something..
 
I have used AT&T in Denver since the launch day of the original iPhone. Have never had any issues. Occasionally when I travel to bumfuck places, service is spotty, but still usable. 
 
May I remind you that at&t has closets with splitters for the government to do realtime tapping of every domestic call and IP packet over their links? Most carriers do. This was in the news... 5 or so years ago?
 
Sprint! They've done quite well by me for over 5 years, and actually offer unlimited data.
 
I may have burned my bridges with AT&T.  When I moved to Santa Monica back in 2003, there was no coverage.  I tried a bunch of things, including a picocell, etc. but could never get calls except by leaning out over the railing at Pacific Palisades park (near San Vicente Dr.).  I tried to cancel my service and return my phone, they refused.  I wrote a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission complaining about how they were holding me to a contract they didn't fulfill, got all of my money back.

But I'm pretty sure they hate me now.  Currently also stuck on Verizon.
 
I was with AT&T for more than 10 years.  Coverage was good, I got a strong signal for voice calls in my house and in most buildings, but coverage in rural areas was almost nonexistent.  My biggest problem with them was that every time I would call about adding tethering for a month, or updating my employer and switching discounts through them, upgrade my phones, or anything that required a service rep to update my account, they would consistently change or remove the employer discount or some other service, and then when I called to get them to correct it, they would tell me it would take up to 2 billing cycles for the change to take effect.  This happened every time I called, at least half a dozen times.  I got scared to call AT&T for anything.

I switched to Verizon 2 years ago.  Rural coverage for voice is excellent, but the Verizon signal in my house, in any downtown buildings, and along the heavier roads, was almost nonexistent, the exact opposite of AT&T.  I had to purchase a $250 fem-to-cell network extender for my house (just a small 1-story home, no floors or any metal to go through), just so we could make calls from home.  However, their customer service only made a mistake with my account once out of maybe 3 calls in those two years, so I give them credit for that.

I just switched to TMobile last week.  We are not off to a good start together.  I brought my own HTC One phone, so I needed a SIM card and an iPhone for my partner, so I went to two TMobile stores to purchase them.  Both stores had a few customers in line, and were taking 30-45 minutes per customer to set things up for them.  I was looking at about 1.5 hours before I could even find out more about their service.  Not a good sign!  Instead, I went home and ordered the SIM card and iPhone online, was done in about 15-20 minutes, and most of that was justifying the purchase between the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.  I was waiting for the items to arrive so I could get my Verizon phones turned off, but it turns out TMobile ported my number the same day they shipped my phone & SIM, which shut off my Verizon service, on a Thursday.  I had selected 2 business day shipping with the impression that I would activate the phones when they arrived and would continue using Verizon until then.  I was wrong.  We had no cell service from Friday through Monday.  And now that I have the TMobile SIM, I'm finding that their LTE service in the Minneapolis area is very, very spread out  I haven't held onto a LTE signal for more than a couple of minutes.  My phone frequently switches all the way back to Edge service, and I only see one bar of voice service in most areas.
 
No contract on T-Mobile. You can bring any GSM phone to the party. You can leave when you like.
 
I'm not defending Verizon, (I'm ditching them for more prosaic customer-service and my-phone-calls-keep-dropping reasons) but I suspect any phone company will basically drop its trousers if the federal government looks at it funny.
 
Sprint/Virgin Mobile is number 2 after Verizon in my book. Insurance and Telco companies generally remind me of organized crime.
 
Net10. Cheap and reliable. AT&T I've worked with before too, but I'd rather have Net10's rates.
 
The only thing bad I can say about Sprint is their lack of 4G where I live. Other than that, they are great. 
 
Since Verizon is certainly the the one named in the court order, I'm positive it isn't the only court order.  In any circumstance, I don't think they will let us pee-ons out of contracts early because of the NSA spy network court orders.
 
Moved off Verizon recently went with T-Mobile...First off..you will miss the near universal coverage... You won't miss the horrid customer service or pricing. Data is, in my market, nowhere near as good as Verizon, but good enough. Have the Nexus 4...rock solid phone, if you can live with 16GB of storage...my market won't see LTE with T-Mobile for ages. So HSPA+ it is for me...Verizon wins there hands down....but truly unlimited data...T-Mobile wins there.All in all, I do miss Verizon's undoubted superiority in signal..by for almost $60 less a month for 3 phones, with data( all smart phones) ..I can say I am happy
 
I've been with T-Mobile for a while now, and have been pretty satisfied. The reason I went to them wad that they were the only ones not volunteering customer info to the NSA when this bullshit began (back during the Bush admin).
 
+Wil Wheaton what are your thoughts about the carriers, now that it has been confirmed that all of them are in on the records sharing?
 
use straight talk they have a plan that is unlimited phone internet and messaging ,and affordable because I am cheap and it is on a android platform also I phone for you Apple lovers .Your Welcome.
 
The one thing I really like about T-Mobile is their WiFi Calling feature. T-Mobile cell service only works in 2 rooms in my house, but with WiFi Calling my wife can use the phone throughout the house.

I wish Sprint (my Carrier) had a similar service.
Seth H.
 
I love t mobile, but depends on how much traveling you do I suppose. Went to west virginia and had like 2 hours without coverage, although part of that was a radio silence zone.
 
I've had very good experiences with Sprint but they are expensive. Customer service is great & I get a signal even in the middle of nowhere.
 
We have our service through CredoMobile - progressive political action and great cellphone service!
Kay N
 
My experience with AT&T is actually amazing. I started my "cellular life" with Sprint back when it was "Sprint PCS" and I was employed by them first in sales then customer service.
Their "nationwide network" was anything but. Got to deal with seriously P-O'd customers who were being slammed with roaming charges resulting in a $50/month plan costing $700-$800 per month. Their coverage STUNK! 
Granted, it's much better now as there's virtually no roaming with any carrier. I've been with AT&T for about 15 years now & seem to be the only one--other than other AT&T users--that has service when no one else does. Basically, if I don't have a signal, no one else does either.
Props to AT&T for allowing the grandfathering of unlimited data too. I signed up for it on the LAST DAY it was available 3-4 years ago. I have NEVER had an issue with the network slowing me down & I use an average of 2.5 - 3 GB per month, so for $30/month I save a TON of money.
Just my thoughts & opinion....
 
AT&T S U C K S. I am dropping them in the fall when my contract is up. Slow
Data. Too many dropped and failed calls. Their infrastructure is demonstrably inadequate. 
 
Do you really care that someone is potentially looking at the phone numbers you have dialed, days/weeks after you have dialed them?  It's not like they are listening to your conversations.  And don't kid yourself, I'm sure the other carriers are complying with this as well (if not now, then they will be).  I don't like it either but, unfortunately, it's the world we live in (thanks, Al Qaida).
 
ATT. I dropped them for Verizon to many dropped calls. Billed for text messages never sent. Bad service in NY. I have more. I do have to say, I hear T-Mobile is OK, but I'm happy with Verizon 
 
It just depends on wether you are happy with knowing or not that your being data mined. This effects every carrier and isp. If it didn't then would all the supposed terrorist move to another carrier as well? Now if your just looking for a deal that works for you (free data mining included) then its an "open" market my friend.
 
Wil... use republic wireless... $19.00 unlimited everything... cost is offset by wifi usage when available... when on cell mode it uses Sprint network... 

It's pretty snazzy stuff ;p

republicwireless.com
 
Who cares if they data mind. If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry yourself with. I for one do not like the fact that this is taking place only because it violates our constatutional rights, these are the people you voted into office. So live with. So does anybody have anything related to the post. 
 
Kay N. I was one of those folks that sprint tried to screw over. Dropped them the second month 
 
Loved T-Mobile (prepaid) when I lived Silicon Valley a few year ago.
 
I've been quite happy with CREDO.
 
Horrible time with AT&T, reasonably satisfied with T-Mobile.
Susan L
 
AT&T is made of fail, and their customer support is atrocious. Sprint doesn't have reliable service. None of them have the coverage that vzw has, but it's my opinion that vzw is one of the most expensive. I've been satisfied w/vzw over the other carriers. US Cellular sometimes can hit the spots vzw doesn't reach but their dropped calls make it so not worth the frustration. 
Why are you switching?
 
AT&T was one of the first companies in the PRISM network. Way back around 07
 
I want to hear about your decision and why.
 
AT&T is the only alternative to Verizon, BUT I can assure you they have the same order with the government. If you want to know how they treat people who allow anonymous communication over ANY medium, look no further than Nadim Kobeissi inventor of Cryptocat.
 
i have had t-mobile since 2003 and never had a problem yet but that's only my 2cents
 
Not only are all cell providers doing this, but the data is available to and used by debt collectors!!!
My sister has a judgement against her that she cannot pay. We almost never speak on the phone, but she called me for the first time in several years about a family matter. Within one hour, I received calls from HER DEBT COLLECTORS! I received daily subsequent calls from them even though I'm on the do not call list, and had to send a certified letter to their offices to make them stop. I contacted the ACLU who seemed as unconcerned as an anyone else about it.
 
AT&T has been working with the NSA for years. So they are no safer. 
 
I have yet to find any service that doesn't suck.  Some just suck worse than others.
 
Tmobile is way better. AT&T coverage is worse. Had to get an mcell tower for my house. Tmobile let's you use VoIP if you even need it.
 
I'm Kind of tardy to the party here but I have used Tmo and ATT in the past 5 years and am with Tmo now. ATT has better coverage here in the southern burbs of Chicago, but Tmo has the pricing to be interesting. Personally, I'm glad I went Tmo when I left Verizon late last year and would encourage others to go there as well with one key point... do NOT ever call their customer service lines. Seriously... think of your worst customer service experience ever. Then add in zombies gnawing on your feet while someone pokes you with red hot branders. That's better than calling their customer service. Online service is much better though.
 
If you go with Android on T-mobile, WiFi Calling is the shit. Having any wifi connection to boost your reception is worth me never leaving T-mobile
 
I don't even live in the states, but I have heard good things about https://ting.com/ . I think I would check them out if I was over in the new world and looking for a cellphone carrier. (Yes, I listen to the JRE podcast ;))
 
I've been with T-Mo for 8 solid years. In all that time, I've only had one round of connectivity issues. It took a few calls and one heated email to management, with a handful of attached network data monitor logs showing evidence supporting my complaint claims, before my complaints were given real consideration.

It was very disappointing that I had to go to that extent to receive service but, it lead to receipt of a regional executive account managers business card with assurances that if I ever again found myself feeling my complaint was not being given due attention, I could call or email directly for immediate action. Other than that, it's been 8 great years with great coverage, service and value.

Also, I travel internationally for work quite often and T-Mo has never given me a hard time about unlocking my devices for use overseas. This last time, T-Mo gave me the unlock code for my S2 just 3 months after I got it (subsidized), so I could swap the SIM out while I was down range. I've never heard of another carrier who would do that. And, as another commenter pointed out, the wifi calling feature is great when traveling abroad or in an area where reception isn't great but, you have access to wifi.
Kin Han
 
have you looked at Credo?
 
I am on AT&T and it has its good points and its bad points. However, i am on the prepaid Unlimited Plan which is 50.00. 65.00 if you have a smartphone. The bad point, i have an iphone4 and don't get unlimited data, but it is ok because I get wifi and the house i live at. T-Mobile is good, from what I have heard. Hope that helps you, Wil! 
 
T-Mobile is area specific - in many places, coverage sucks. But they are good for light users because you can get cheaper plans. I support the foreign norm of buying your phone outright and picking a non-contract carrier. So I bought an AT&T Nokia and went with Straight Talk (but also recommend Net 10 Wireless). But if you want the latest and greatest 4G LTE, then going with AT&T is probably a solid bet. If T-Mobile coverage is great in the places you frequent, then I'd consider it.
 
Credomobile.com. You won't get an iPhone, but you'll feel good going with them. Stellar customer service with Sprint towers.
 
Boyfriend just switched to T-Mobile after escaping from AT&T jackassery. AT&T basically held him hostage for a month after he cancelled the service because they won't officially kill the account until the end of the next pay period. Poor boy went for a few weeks without data. T-Mobile has been nice since the switch but they definitely don't have as much coverage.
 
Give Sprint a Try, They have been up front and honest so far, (8 years)
 
I have to say that my family and I (4 of us) have all been on T-Mobile for over 10 years.  They were Voice Stream wireless when we started with them.  I have very few complaints and no complaints with their coverage or service.  Good luck in your search for the best carrier in your area. 
 
Ironically enough, T-Mobile has a prepaid Android phone called, wait for it, Prism!
 
I like the service I get from t-mo both customer and reception. 
 
I've had ATT for 11 years and absolutely no complaints. Great coverage all around the country and LTE speeds are damn good.
 
Tmob has been great for me... Pre-pay no contract for my nexus 4!
 
T-Mobile all the way been with all three and even Cingular before they merged and it's TMobile hands down.
 
Wil I respect You enough as an Actor for You not to go to T-Mobile First there customer service is out sourced to India Second the unlimited plan they have is true but the high speed data is limited and they slow You down so badly that a 3 minute You tube clip can't even play and 4 they really screw up on Your account more often then loyal T-Mobile customers will it admit have You ever tried to debate with an Indian Person?its like asking Our Government to Stay out of our personal lives and when Change anything with Your account they automatically renew Your contract for another two years I had them for years because they kept renewing My contract and on my last day before I went to Verizon I called T-Mobile to tell them I was leaving them and they were all abought give us the money You owe us first then "We will then be wishing You did not go" So out of frustration I yelled tsunami! They hung up on Me called me back and said "Sir there is not being a tsunami and We charged Your account on file for the early disconnection lol but anyhow Verizon is fast as hell never lost dropped or unable to make a call and its nice to talk to people in Your own Country when You have a problem at least they try to help. 
 
Depends on coverage in your areas visited. ATT isnt bad in my area. I don't like their plans and some options are missing

 
ATT bundled me, which would have worked except that no bill I received after bundling was consistent with any other bill. After two years, phone calls to ATT make up most of my used call time. Solutions are always offered as the fault of another part of ATT. Do not buy from them.
 
AT&T has numerous dropped calls and the customer service is lacking. Tried to bundle all I had with AT&T and then couldn't get any help with issues with my wireless phone in the store after it. I have had wonderful experience with Verizon. Never a dropped call like with AT&T. No issues with connection, no matter where my family is. I have friends with AT&T, TMobile, and Sprint... they all complain about the same thing... dropped calls or connectivity issues. It is worth paying more for the sound piece of mind that I can connect with my sons or husband and no connectivity issues.

Other carriers are going to have to follow suit and give information to the US government eventually, if they haven't been made to do so yet. It's a bogus reason. I think you are misplacing your anger on Verizon. It's the government you should be upset with. It's not like Verizon is voluntarily doing this, it's court ordered. Think about what you really are upset with. 
 
Tmobile has been great for me...but from a data speed standpoint it really depends on where you live.
 
Verizon and AT&T are not great, as far as my experience with internet goes.  For phone, Verizon is ok but I may be the only person on the planet that still just uses a phone as a phone.  
 
I have been with AT&T for 9 years now. I get the best coverage nationally and internationally with them. But I hear that they a pretty bad in the LA area. They are getting better but there are still a bunch of weekly outages. Never experienced them myself though.
 
http://ting.com -- Pay for what you use, no contract, great customer service, excellent overall service.
 
Stone knives and bearskins...  :)
 
AT&T is a doodle-bug sand trap, dont go there!!
 
+Wil Wheaton I'm not trying to talk you out of it, but since I know you are upset with them for giving data to the government, let me add this to your search. It has been confirmed that all of the other carriers and other companies who may have your data such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and many others are sharing information with the NSA. So even if you go with something like Google voice, you will still be in the same boat. If you encrypt your data from end to end, it was brought to the public's attention that the NSA not only grabs it, but they keep it in perpetuity because its encrypted. So no matter your choice of communication, your security is going to be up to you because any company that may have data about you, save for AMAZON, has been and will continue to share information with the government. Encryption doesn't stop them from collecting, but at this point, it's the only way to be sure they can't immediately examine it.
 
IMHO the problem is the law that enables the feds to gather this type of data LEGALLY.  Not the companies that provide information they're obliged to provide.  Let's attack this fromt eh right direction and vote in a Congress that will do something for once. 
 
+Thane Hecox I agree with you. Sadly, I fear that little will be accomplished except to drive this sort of thing underground. The laws enacted to allow this kind of thing survived many elections and two different administrations under both major parties. Each had a chance to let it expire but chose to renew the governments nearly unending power to snoop. Look at how they are now pursuing the guy who blew the whistle, Snowden, as if he is a war criminal. They don't want to stop. They want us not to find out. Full frontal assault may only drive this thing into further secrecy. Again, I agree with you. I just don't know what to do. I know that there is nowhere in this country I can take my business and be safe from spying though.
 
I've had Tmobile since '05. Only had one problem with it when I first moved to LA I was on the wrong side of a hill. Called about it and it ws cleared up pretty fast. I have service basically everywhere, and for 2 samsung galaxy 3's & little additional smartphone on a family plan w/unlimited txt, mobile hot spot (necessary for working on the train) and 3 data plans for ~130... really hard to beat. 
 
att overpriced and cant talk while using browser....
T Mobile blows em out of the watter on plan and usage
 
I have went boost mobile and i like it.
 
Left Verizon for T-Mobile too.  Left the day I heard they were freely giving our data to the government.  What Chumps!
 
All carriers comply with government regulations, they are all part of big brother. These lil tools we carry with us everywhere are utilized & put in place to spy on us, don't even think otherwise.
 
Nevermind about what i said about boostmobile. It sucks. I was only an hour and a half away from home and i didn't get any service at all.
 
I work for T-Mobile so I am a little biast... however I also worked for At&t and Verizon. You have to find the coverage for you, but my inside knowledge says T-Mobile is the safest bet... And no obligation if it doesn't work out. 
 
I love t-mobile. I have been with them for ten years now. Great customer service.
 
AT&T is good,sometimes but when you're in the middle of nowhere, it's not that great
 
+Phil Hagen et. all. The other carriers are probably doing the same, but the public has 100% definitive proof that Verizon is doing this. So if the public flees Verizon because of it, it will become a real threat to all carriers.

How that pans out is anyone's guess.

If we don't flee Verizon, it tells all the carriers that the public is apathetic, that there isn't any threat, and nothing ever has the potential to change.
 
+Michael Niles but where will you flee when it's understood that every single carrier is being subjected to this?  As much as I hate to defend telcos, they're not calling the shots here.  The problem (IMO) is that the orders are being declared as legal without public awareness or review.
Leaving carriers that are undergoing forced "cooperation" will have zero effect on the root problem.
 
I agree with your point that leaving the provider is not attacking the problem at the source, and one shouldn't think that was action enough. But I disagree that it would have zero effect, however I can't claim to know what effect it would have.

It might push more lobbying dollars against being forced into dragnet behavior from the companies feeling threatened. 

Or perhaps it will drive more gag orders and hidden collusion. 

But my guess is that Wheaton doesn't want the telcos to think he's complacent in the matter. As neither would I.
 
What would Wesley Crusher do?  I think he would pick Virgin Mobile.  I have done a little research- Virgin mobile is all over the world, doesn't make you sign a shitty contract, and in most countries they allow sim cards in old phones which is being subtly outlawed by the major three here, but is a common practice in every other english speaking country.  Even though you can't use your old phone at Virgin (In the US Oligarchy), you can buy a phone- usually they offer deals, and then it's about 55$ a month for unlimited everything.
 
T-Mobile is absolutely terrible.. well, it's not so bad if you don't want to use the internet or send text messages. I live downtown in a major city. There is no reason for it to be this terrible. I had Verizon for years before I switched to T-Mobile and I can not wait to switch back. The ridiculous prices as Verizon are worth the price because T-Mobile is just a scam, completely useless.
 
We have had Verizon for about 7 years and it's a real love hate relationship. Great coverage for my area and for traveling. I am on the road a lot. But the cost is nothing short of highway robbery. I signed up for lifetime unlimited data and messaging. I was assured when we signed up for it it was "never" going to change. They changed it. I produced my contract for them and informed them they were in breach of contract. The bottom line is that sooner or later every telephone company, satellite company, telecom giant, internet provider or anybody else on the airwaves is going to be forced by the federal government to bow down and give over our info to them.  but we shouldn't worry because the government only has our best interest at heart and would never ever do anything to harm us. Oh! Sorry! I was reading the subliminal message on my TV from the new government program that will teach us all how to behave. Go with the best coverage. You'll pay out the butt but at least you'll be able to have a conversation and then you can be one of those rare Hollywood people that actually speaks out against corrupt government.
 
For me, actually, AT&T Wireless has been good to me for many years. No dropped calls, I seem to be able to get a signal anywhere I go, which can vary considerably. I honestly have no complaints - believe it or not. :~) 
 
Will, even though you playb a self important evil self on big bang, I will offer you this advice. ATT has paid my cell phone bill for four months and lowered my standard rate for service time and again for issues. Customer service is the true quality ATT has. Save for the fact that they make mistakes. Big ones. Make sure you have a phone that supports visual voicemail on their network and it will all be okay. Your fan, Dan. 
 
I've had T-mobile for years and love them. AT&T were over-priced and Verizon was crappy service all around. I would recommend T-mobile ANY day!!
 
I have a state new York New Jersey Vermont New Mexico and a country Europe

 
T-Mobile if you live in a metropolitan area. 
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