Well, AT&T has gone to the extreme, introducing “Seth” the blogger. I’m assuming he’s supposed to be the face of AT&T’s new campaign to plead with their subscriber space about their shortcomings regarding network capacity.
Seth goes on to say that they are working really hard, around the clock, and spending BILLIONS (with a raised pinky finger) to improve their network. So first question, didn’t they expect the increased traffic when introducing the world’s first fully smart, smartphone? Or essentially a computer that also makes voice calls? A device that is solely dependent on network connectivity based on the applications it has? If they can start this campaign then they can also rebate their customers on a monthly basis for the reduced level of service they provide, until they catch up. Sorry, but I’m not feeling too much compassion for them right now.
Next, I find it ironic that they on one hand, would reach out to their customer base and say they are doing all they can while on the other hand, do everything they can to restrict user functionality and features such as GoogleVoice, and the many other applications that they feel would erode their revenue stream. I don’t hear an apology for their anti-competitive practices, complex billing, or never-ending voice response units used in customer service that leads to nowhere.
No AT&T, sorry, not feeling the sorrow for you. You knew exactly what you were getting into, which is why you’ve signed an exclusivity deal to have the iPhone, and even paid Apple a monthly fee per phone. You knew what the market segment was going to do and you chose not to invest in the most critical part, but chose to address it after it became an issue, knowing customers would put up with it because they simply had no other choice if they wanted an iPhone. Well, hopefully, choice is coming, if the FCC acts accordingly. iPhone should soon be available on other carriers such as T-Mobile, Verizon and maybe even Sprint in a couple of years. Then you will be measured on features, cost and customer experience, not on the fact that you’re the only provider and we’re stuck with you. Better days and better choices are coming. You have an opportunity to correct things and make amends with your customer base by then, but I doubt it. For you, it’s about how many Â customers you can retain while providing the least amount of service. You’ll work the numbers and tweak it till it’s just right.