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AT&T Customers Continuing to Experience Excessive Dropped Calls


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

A new survey from ChangeWave Research reveals that the firm's business-focused survey base is seeing the highest percentage of dropped calls (4.5%) on AT&T, easily exceeding performance leader Verizon (1.5%), as well as Sprint (2.4%) and T-Mobile (2.8%).

Not only is AT&T trailing the other major U.S. carriers, but the poor performance is part of a trend of increasing drop calls against the background of improving performance from rival Verizon, as well as major investments made by AT&T to address performance in some of its most troubled markets.

The survey notes that the percentage of dropped calls for each carrier closely mirrors customer satisfaction, with 49% of survey respondents on Verizon indicating that they are "very satisfied" with their carrier, while only 23% of AT&T customers in the survey pool indicated the same.

ChangeWave's study focused on voice services, where AT&T apparently continues to struggle. A study released earlier this year indicated that AT&T's data service has improved markedly in most markets, pushing the carrier to the top of the heap by many metrics.

Article Link: AT&T Customers Continuing to Experience Excessive Dropped Calls


macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2005
Eagle Mountain, UT
How is it possible that AT&T still can't get this stuff together. It's ridiculous. I'm surprised Apple hasn't stepped in the fix this stuff. It's giving the iPhone a bad name.

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
Washington DC
AT&T's plan worked brilliantly.

They put me through a year where about 40% of my calls got dropped and then fixed it so only about 5% get dropped now.

So even though that's worse than the other carriers I am personally thrilled with that number.

So...good plan, AT&T!


macrumors 68020
Jun 4, 2007
New York City & South Florida
I'm wondering what the specifics about dropped calls in New York City would look like.

On average I get about 3-4 dropped calls every day. Every. Single. Day.
My roommate on Verizon has had one dropped call in the year that we have lived together.


macrumors member
Aug 15, 2004
I have Verizon and I think I've had two dropped calls in years.

AT&T really needs to get more towers up, that's the only solution in my mind.



macrumors P6
Jun 19, 2009
Where bunnies are welcome.
AT&T's plan worked brilliantly.

They put me through a year where about 40% of my calls got dropped and then fixed it so only about 5% get dropped now.

So even though that's worse than the other carriers I am personally thrilled with that number.

So...good plan, AT&T!

I'm in your area, but out in the boonies. I've never had a dropped call.


macrumors 65816
Jun 7, 2008
Every time it happens (I seem to get a string of dropped calls about once a month) I call ATT customer support. They talk as if this is unheard of and "we'll get this fixed right away". So far they have replaced my SIM card for free; they said the next step is a new phone.

I was hoping for a reduction in monthly price. We'll see.


macrumors 6502
Jul 30, 2008
I still believe its just where you are at in the country. This graph is the exact opposite of what I experience. Verizon work phone - *****. Dropped calls so bad I forwarded the number to my iPhone. AT&T personal phone - no dropped calls.


macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
Ventura County
I'm in SoCal, when I was on Verizon I had 1-3 drop calls a week. I've been on AT&T for a little over 18 months, and have had 1 drop call. The conversation was over 2.5 hours as well, so something that long is bound to drop eventually.


macrumors member
Jun 8, 2009
Boulder Colorado
In my opinion AT&T is the worst service in the universe; Here in Boulder Colorado You have to carry 2 phones! my iphone through at&t and the one I actually can make calls on.:mad:


macrumors 603
Oct 28, 2007
I get about 0-1 dropped calls per day. That said, only about half of my incoming calls get through. The rest go straight to voicemail (so I am told).


macrumors newbie
May 5, 2010
definitely getting worse

I am based in Los Angeles and I had very few dropped calls until about a month ago. I now get about 2 dropped calls a day

Typical really, it was just after I told a colleague I was never having a real problem with my iPhone!


macrumors regular
Sep 30, 2007
this is an AT&T AND iPhone issue

My husband has been an AT&T user for over a decade. He never experienced dropped calls until we started dating and he was talking to me (I'm on an iPhone, he is not). We often get disconnected 2-4 times per hour as we talk during our commutes home. We have different shifts, but take the same routes home and we get dropped no matter whether I'm stationary and he's moving, vice versa, or if we're both moving. This also happens when we're on business trips - both stationary - him at home, me in a hotel - and we will get disconnected. The recurring motif has been the iPhone. When I talk with others who have AT&T but no iPhone, they only get disconnected when they are talking w/ someone who has an iPhone. The worst issue is when I am communicating w/ someone iPhone to iPhone.

IF this wasn't the iPhone and otherwise so awesome, I would have switched a long time ago... and frankly, I'm still contemplating going to another phone when my contract is up - because the dropped calls are so aggravating.

Coworkers of mine that have switched from Blackberry on AT&T to iPhone have reported an inordinant number of disconnected calls since switching to the iPhone, even though it's the same carrier, same phone number and same physical location of use.

My "assumption" is that the iPhone software is making some errant call to the tower intermittently (whether too high/low power request or other issue) at which point, the tower drops the call.

While my experience with disconnects are sometimes random, there are some places that either I or my husband will be travelling by, when we will experience a disconnect - a place where he never gets disconnected while speaking to others w/o iPhones... places I never got disconnected before having an iPhone, either.

This may not be just an AT&T issue. It could be when you are a certain distance from a tower (lower power or significantly higher power?) and/or the phone is experiencing a push of data, that the interrupt happens.

This has largely been the elephant in the living room that AT&T and Apple has been ignoring. I have not only not seen an improvement, I've seen the situation get worse over time - whether this has to do w/ an increase of iPhone use faster than the towers can keep up, OR problems w/ iPhone OS updates or a combination of both - who knows. They need to fix this already.


macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2005
As much as I want to say that it s a grass is always greener type situation, in Phoenix AT&T is considered the worst. Especially indoors. They really must stretch the towers out here in the desert. I can;t even use my iphone in my home.


macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2000
Monrovia, CA
Works fine for me here in L.A.

Although I so rarely use voice anymore... I wish there was a 200 minute plan for like $19


macrumors 65816
Apr 15, 2009
14 here's the deal...

I've been on AT&T for over a year now, using an iPhone 3g. No dropped calls at all, 5 bars everywhere in my area, and full 3G coverage.

Verizon has 0 bars in my area, and their phones are crap...

Way to go AT&T!

WTF? Why do people buy phones without knowing if they work in their areas first? If I went by what people say on these boards, I'd have bought a Verizon phone that wouldn't work in my area, and on a phone that's crap....



macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
long island NY
I blame the iphone. Its a hog and kills atts network. If it was a diff phone this wount be happening. Apple needs to make it work with the network better.


macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
FWIW, I got many more dropped calls with Verizon than I do with ATT in the Queens-Long Island NY areas.

Interesting how iPad 3G owners are claiming that signal strength and speed are much better than on their iPhones. Couldn't possibly be Apple's doing. :rolleyes:


macrumors 6502a
Feb 26, 2009
I've been with AT&T for many years and I can not remember the last time I had a dropped call. If I started having dropped calls I would change carriers.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2008
I haven't had any dropped calls yet. I think the problem is more the iPhone, than AT&T's network . If I drive out of 3G service my iPhone drops service and says no service on it, doesn't revert to the Edge network most times. I have to turn 3G off or turn airplane mode of then on to get service on Edge. IMHO apple needs to fix the software in order to make the switch to and from Edge and 3G like other phone, no drop in service it just switches over. Sitting at home if I turn 3G on I get 3G signal and speed with 4 bars, but after about 5 minutes it switches to Edge. Any other phone besides the iPhone stays on 3G.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2004
Bellevue, WA
Two weeks ago my service was flaking out. Couldn't make calls or get to 3G all day. Wasn't too happy. Wentthe AT&T store to go vent and the hottest clerk, I have ever seen, was working. She was so hot, she should have been over at VS in VS modellling something for me. wink, wink. nudge, nudge. ;) She said they were working on a go-live of 12 new towers. The engineers had screwed up the configs. So the new towers and some of the old towers weren't playing nice with network. I live in mostly Verizon country. AT&T has been making improvements out the whaz. They finalized the deal for Centennial Wireless. Alot of those towers flipped to ATT recently. So for me, my piece of the network got bigger & better. Now mind you this girl was so good looking she could have told me to set my iPhone on fire and I would have given it serious consideration. It seems like AT&T is trying to act like it cares. So back to mis hottie. I asked for her phone number. ANd she told me, 1-800-331-0500. I think she likes me.
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