AT&T Whines; Reader Rebuts

Last week, tech site Gizmodo wrote about AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson's comment that he regrets introducing unlimited data plans for iPhone users — because they actually used them. 

Stephenson’s remark offered a look behind the corporate curtain at AT&T, which seems more interested in charging customers more for less than in actually improving its network. 

Reader "BeyondtheTech" left such a smart, detailed comment on the Gizmodo piece that we had to share it with you here (reposted with permission, of course): 

Let's take a closer look at this snake:

1. You were the exclusive domestic wireless carrier of the iPhone for over three years.

2. For those years in exclusivity, you sold just a fraction of iPhone inventory, compared to Apple Stores each year, for the simple fact that you did not want to give commission to your own pressured, hardworking employees, especially when Apple salespeople can sign up contracts to new customers, collect activation fees, and sell accessories, all for free.

3. You increased the price of the unlimited data plan for users going from the iPhone 2G to the iPhone 3G, while no longer including the small text messaging plan.

4. You also forced all users who had iPhones, regardless of off-contract or hand-me-downs, into these data plans. You also refused to unlock the iPhone, regardless of legitimate reasons.

5. You sat back and collected the revenue from iPhone users, laughed at the other non-iPhone wireless carriers losing market share, and neglected your wireless infrastructure while ignoring the complaints of iPhone users who were having trouble making simple phone calls, to the point of public ridicule on late night talk shows.

6. Instead of listening to customers and using the revenue to build out your burdened infrastructure, you instead introduced two pointless PR campaigns, Seth the Blogger Guy and Rethink Possible, as a means to establish some sort of damage control.

7. You went from unlimited data plans to paltry tiered plans, with no limit of repetitive charges, for both iPhone and even new iPad 3G users, a month after its worldwide release.

8. For the loyal, early, and long-standing subscribers who bought into the unlimited data plan, you reward them by threatening them and throttling them at your own discretion.

9. You tweak your network speeds and demand that Apple call it 4G on their devices, just so you can compete with carriers who have moved to LTE or truer 4G bandwidth speeds.

10. You directly blame customers for all your offerings, which you now claim to be your mistake, and for them using your network in the manner it was intended.

11. You attempt to acquire T-Mobile, purposely mislead the FCC, FTC, the U.S. DoJ, consumer advocate groups, the mass media, and the general public about practically everything to said acquisition, then after your surprise at its failure, you gloat at T-Mobile for laying off employees.

12. Even with your overpriced text messaging plans, you're surprised and complaining that Apple's iMessage service is disrupting your revenue stream. Note that RIM's BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has been around for years using a similar internet-based infrastructure.

You pretty much represent everything wrong with Corporate America.

Am I missing anything? Are you still expecting violins yet? I certainly don't hope so.

Edited by BeyondtheTech at 05/04/12 8:31 PM

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good