In large owner surveys, T-Mobile often finishes neck-and-neck with Verizon Wireless (*Est. $40 per month and up). Subscribers say Verizon Wireless has slightly better call quality (except in the West, where T-Mobile ties Verizon in J.D. Power and Associates’ survey) and faster 3G data speeds, but T-Mobile earns better scores for service plan options, billing and cost of service. Also, it’s possible to get a T-Mobile world phone that works in the U.S. and abroad, whereas most Verizon phones will only work in the U.S. T-Mobile’s least expensive plan costs $30 per month, which gets you 500 anytime minutes and unlimited night and weekend minutes, while the $40 plan gives you 1,000 anytime minutes, plus free nights and weekends — a better value than Verizon’s cell phone plans.
We consulted large owner surveys to gauge customer satisfaction with cell phone service. One such survey was conducted by ConsumerReports.org, based on responses from nearly 55,000 subscribers in 26 major cities. Additionally, J.D. Power and Associates polls more than 25,000 users, and PCMag.com collects ratings from about 2,400 readers. Gizmodo.com and Wired both test T-Mobile’s 3G speed against its rivals’. TopTenReviews.com compares various cell phone carriers according to their plan features, and PhoneDog.com collects anecdotal user reviews.