Sunday, July 19, 2009

Twittersays:: AT&T Fail!

In California, I had AT&T for land-line service, which was a whole lot of OK. Way back in 1997 I had PacBellWireless as my carrier, which was one of the guppies that was swallowed up by what was to become the current incarnation AT&T. I seem to recall a 10 minute plan for $20 between 1997 & 2000 using a clunky Motorola {StarTAC?}. Now, a friend of mine, who is a heavy mobile user, in fact, he's a "media mover," thinks they suit him just fine in the LA area. No dropped calls and OK data access, albeit at a relatively high price. My T-Mobile service with spotty reception in some areas of California {LA & San Francisco} would have been unacceptable to him, but I'm not a heavy mobile user, I'm a "digital collaborator." Here in Toronto, a 10 minute plan would work just fine for me, as my tendency is to use the cellphone in the car and I rarely drive now.

So, AT&T can't seem to buy a break this year. At the beginning of they year, the ACSI's customer satisfaction index numbers saw them drop and now they're under the industry average {See below}.

AT&T was second in market share, while slipping to 67 on a 100 point customer satisfaction index. While the graph to the left depicts a cubic function relationship between market share and customer satisfaction, there are not enough data points to establish this and the smaller carriers are lumped into the "other" category, which aggregates that data and reduces information. BTW, don't get me started on the problems with market share as a metric.

Then, a few days ago, a financial analyst noted that AT&T's future looked dim if Verizon landed the Apple iPhone agreement. It gets worse. So, on Saturday night/Sunday morning, one of Twitter's trending topics was "AT&T is a big." The basis of this was the viral retweeting of a MG Siegler TechCrunch blog post titled "AT&T Is a Big, Steaming Heap of Failure." The blog details a customers frustrations::
"When Om Malik of GigaOM said he was breaking up with his iPhone 5 months ago because of the failures of AT&T, I must admit, I thought he was overreacting. I was wrong.
Since I switched to AT&T from Verizon just over 2 years ago to get the iPhone (which, of course, AT&T has exclusively in the U.S.), there have been no shortage of shortcomings by AT&T. But as of late, I’ve been noticing things getting much, much worse. And I’m hardly the only one. And so it’s time to call out AT&T on those failures. And plead with Apple not to renew its exclusive contract with AT&T when it expires next year."
The blog had 310 comments and counting, while on Twitter, "AT&T is a big" was a trending topic much of late Saturday night, competing with "#IndonesiaUnite," "Michael Jackson," "James Brond," and "#KeepPaula."

Like Amazon fail and United breaking guitars, here's another example of consumers using social media to critique or bash a company.

I did a Twitter search for AT&T accounts and found several, along with an anti-AT&T account, ATandTHatesYou. The profile image is the AT&T logo as the the Empire's "Death Star" {left} made me chuckle. An official AT&T news Twitter account was silent, with no Tweets since Friday, so Lisa and Lindsey had the weekend off. I wonder if they say anything on Monday. Last year, when the AT&T network went down in Hawai'i, users Tweeted @ATTNews and finally did get a response and Twitter users were the first to know about a one day service credit available upon request. I quickly scanned the AT&T social media links and saw nothing on this PR nightmare, in terms of posts or responses. This shouldn't be surprising to AT&T, since Twitter has been a hotbed of complaining. It will be interesting to see how AT&T handles this, if at all, or if the mainstream media pick up on this.

Twitterversion:: Just not AT&T's year w/bad news. Now, TwitteRage swells as "AT&T Is a Big" blogpost goes viral. #ATTFail #Rhizomicomm @Prof_K

Song {Probably one of the best Pavement songs}:: AT&T - Pavement

1 comment:

Kenneth M. Kambara said...

So, while no longer a trending topic, ATTnews and shareATT were mute on the weekend brandhatin'. Searches for "ATT is a big" and "ATTfail" still show disgruntled consumers. ATT seems to respond to Tweets directed at them, e.g., via @ATTnews or @shareATT, but I don't think they want to take on the rage.

I did notice the CSMonitor's horizons blog covered the Twitter/AT&T story. Also, PCWorld goes into detail about AT&T's service failures and reluctance to deal with it.