Denver PR Blog


Why Don’t You Take Another Crack At It, AT&T?
October 2, 2009, 8:45 am
Filed under: GBSM, Public Relations

Remember Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (a.k.a Baghdad Bob)? He achieved new heights in propoganda during and after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, proclaiming on TV that no American troops were in Baghdad and that American soldiers instead were “committing suicide by the hundreds at the city’s gates.” For about a week, he had more face time on CNN than Wolf Blitzer.

Anyway, AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel apparently went to the same school as Baghdad Bob. Here’s is Mark’s statement to C/NET on the vast and increasing number of complaints about AT&T’s pathetic service quality:

“We have a strong, high-quality mobile broadband network. It is the nation’s fastest 3G network, now in 350 major metropolitan areas.”

Here’s a free PR tip to all of you starting out in the business: Don’t – repeat, DO NOT – grab the nearest brochure and start reading from it when an unexpected question from a reporter causes you to panic. Instead, do what GBSM’s Steve Silvers does: pretend your building’s fire alarm is going off and tell the reporter you’ll have to call them back in a few minutes.

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6 Comments so far
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Couldn’t agree more. Sadly, it’s the way they’re treating customers as well. It seems that management isn’t giving the right information to the employees to allow them to be even moderately informative and helpful. I blogged about it here: http://www.metzgerblog.com/2009/09/26/an-open-letter-to-randall-stephenson-chairman-ceo-and-president-of-att/

Comment by Doyle Albee

Couldn’t agree more. We need AT&T customers reporting AT&T’s abuses to the FCC, here: http://bit.ly/11na83

As consumers, despite AT&T’s attitude on the subject, we *do* have rights. AT&T is forcing its customers to pay for a service that it no longer delivers.

Comment by Justin

Yeah, AT&T has dropped the ball as far as taking control of the messaging regarding any network service issues. But come on, let’s at least have a nod to the abysmal media treatment of this topic.

If you compare the numbers of verifiable, unique complaints reported via the media with the total population of iPhone users, it’s clear this is largely an apparent non-issue for people who don’t work/reside in hard-to-cover canyons of San Francisco and New York.

The widespread media reports about iPhone-related complaints have been extremely skewed toward a relative handful of vocal complainers, whether it’s coverage by the national business news media to the tech blogs and local coverage such as the lazy, copycat crap published in the Denver Post. I’ve yet to have a problem with my iPhone living and working in Denver, other than the sporadic coverage issues that EVERY wireless carrier has; tell me how many media reports have quoted people with a similar experience?

Put it this way: AT&T added 2.4 million iPhone subs in the second quarter alone, and I’d bet dinner at Rioja that the cumulative number of actual, identifiable customer complaints detailed in every piece of news and blog coverage since then has amounted to less than one-thousandth of that total.

Common sense tells you that, especially with a cutting-edge tech product, negative referrals would swamp the sales results as they have for past products (Newton, anybody?) if things were as bad as portrayed. During a quarter when reports about iPhone-related issues were rampant AT&T still sold 2.4 million iPhones; SOMEbody must like the effing thing.

Comment by Vill Robinson

Enjoy: http://mygoodhost.com/imgs/misinformation.mpg :)

And yes, I am one of the ‘ATT victims’ as well as I had years of good service and the last 4 months have been nothing but torture. Can’t wait for mty contract to expire next year.

Comment by Ace

I haven’t used the fire alarm thing in weeks.

Comment by Steven Silvers

AT&T’s slogan should be: “More bars in more places that mean less.”

“Go ahead. Drink in more bars in more places. You can’t return a business call anyway.”

This is not a NY/San Fransisco problem.

Thank goodness the Post has written at least two articles about AT&T dropping calls. Now, when my connection ends three times in the same conversation I can say, “Did you see the article in the Post?” If, that is, I can say that before the “call failed” message.

Comment by Crystal Clinkenbeard




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