People who use smaller cell phone carriers are happier with their service, study shows

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UNITED STATES -- Most people still get their cell phone service from one of the four big wireless providers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

But should we?

We love being on our cell phones, but for many of us, that does not extend to our phone service.

"I have cell phone bills, it's crazy," one woman said.

"I don't like paying a lot of money for my cell phone bill," another woman said.

"The bills are too high, they too high," a man said.

Consumer Reports asked 90,000 subscribers to rate their cell service.

"Data, texting, voice, customer service...And then we ask them if they got a good value for the money," Karen Jaffe, with Consumer Reports, said.

Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint got the lowest rating possible for value. T-Mobile is a better deal, but is still ranked lower than some of the smaller providers.

"People who use Consumer Cellular and Ting gave top marks for value and customer service, but they were also quite pleased with the data and voice," Jaffe said.

Ting customers, like Scott Yules, and billed for the service they use, rather than paying a flat rate.

"What made me switch was the bill. My bill literally cut in half," Yules said.

Ting uses both Sprint and T-Mobile networks, it offers a variety of phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Apple iPhone 6s. Ting makes it easy to check and see whether you can use your old phone.

Consumer Cellular is also highly rated. It runs on the AT&T network, offers combos of text, talk, and data plans, and can be as little as $25 per month.

Editor's Note: The Consumer Reports' survery was taken before Sprint's recent announcement that they were cutting prices. But, Sprint also got relatively low scores for voice and data.

Consumer Reports also did a survey for pre-paid plans. Republic Wireless, Cricket, and Page Plus Cellular ranked highest.

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