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T-Mobile and its prepaid brand MetroPCS topped the U.S. wireless sector in a recent ranking of carriers' customer service.

J.D. Power's 2018 U.S. Wireless Customer Care reports gave those operators a score of 828 on a 1,000-point scale, which company officials touted as the highest scores ever in their respective segments.

Verizon finished second in the analysis of full-service carriers with a score of 822, followed by AT&T at 811 and Sprint at 755. AT&T's prepaid brand Cricket finished behind MetroPCS among non-contract full-service carriers at 814, while Sprint's Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile ranked third and fourth, respectively, at 804 and 763.

Consumer Cellular, in the non-contract value carrier category, received the highest score in the J.D. Power analysis at 880, well ahead of its rivals in the segment: Straight Talk Wireless at 770 and Net10 at 760.

The group surveyed 15,668 customers who contacted their wireless carrier's customer service department in the past three months. J.D. Power officials said that the methodology for the latest report was altered to address customer interaction across 12 different channels, from in-store and call center representatives to online searches and chat services.

Analysts noted that social media prompted the highest customer satisfaction scores in the survey, with social channels receiving a score of 838 and mobile apps at 835. Both were higher than the scores for interactions with in-store representatives (824) and with phone representatives (797).

“Personalized feedback, rapid-fire response time and interaction with live humans are some of the primary factors driving the highest levels of customer satisfaction with wireless carrier customer service," Peter Cunningham, who leads the group's tech, media and telecom practice, said in a statement. "And, increasingly, customers appear to be finding that formula through alternative channels such as social media."

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