AT&T and Time Warner cable have a lot in common; they love putting the screws to their customer base.
AT&T has been very popular with the iPhone, but the problem with popularity is that people become accustomed to a level of service and when the provider starts nickel and dime in the individual on services that they believe should be standard, feathers are going to get ruffled.
It’s no secret that the customers of AT&T’s iPhone have been slowly coming to a boil, but I think AT&T has found itself on the edge of a precipice. They’re going to have to start thinking about changes. Changes to the service plan and how they treat their customer base.
The iPhone is a miraculous device; to simply say that it’s a phone is a huge understatement. it’s like calling the modern PC and Abacus.
I’m a person that severely enjoys technology but I have not surrendered myself to purchasing an iPhone. The reason for this is exactly why AT&T’s customers hate their provider. It’s because they have some of the stupidest rules and any opportunity that they get to over charge a customer- they will.
There’s been multiple reports of customers leaving the country with their AT&T iPhone and then returning to the United States with these massive data usage fees; this type of stuff is extremely uncalled for and it shows no regard for the AT&T customer. Surely AT&T doesn’t really expect their customer to pay a $11,000 phone bill for the use of a portable device, when historically their bill would reflect normal data usage. With such a large amount you’d think that AT&T would initiate a call to the customer or text message or even an e-mail to advise them that they are accruing a large balance.
A perfect example of this problem would be Adam Savage from the Mythbusters TV show. He left the country for a few days with his AT&T iPhone and then came back with roughly a phone bill from which he could have purchased a brand-new car.
Where AT&T is getting their customer base with nickel and dime charges, Time Warner is jabbing their customers with him bandwidth caps.
AT&T is also taking a lot of customer complaints publicly through the social networks like Twitter. And apparently no one is immune from AT&T’s ‘more bars in more places’ displeasure; even the mayor of New York has contacted AT&T to complain about the bad service.
I wonder if Obama calls about problems with his Blackberry?
The only carrier that I know of that’s got half a brain and is approaching the usage of the portable information device properly is Sprint. Sprint has already recognized that putting restrictions on the capabilities of the data phone is just the wrong place to go. All you’re going to do is succeed in upsetting your customer with nickel and dime charges and then they’re going to drop you because you’re not listening to their concerns.
One of the ironic things that I know about the iPhone is that it’s not able to receive text messaging by default. It’s an ancillary plan that iPhone users have to pay for; there’s different tiers of service, but it’s still an extra charge. I think it’s like 200 text messages for five dollars. I don’t know of another cell phone that does something like that.
A lot of the carriers right now have plans that offer unlimited texting. For such a powerful device, you would think that such a simple function would be included with the base functions of the phone.
AT&T is a shining example of what not to do with your customer base. They are showing that they don’t care about their customers and that their service is their service [it is what it is] and there’s no changing that. And if you want out of your contract because their service is crappy; there’s early termination fee. Not only that, but you can’t use the iPhone with another carrier [this is another one of my pet peeves].
For the iPhone to be so powerful, I just can’t believe that someone in a locked room somewhere decided that the iPhone can only work with one carrier. There’s obvious evidence that the iPhone can be used on other carriers like T-Mobile, but not until the device has been unlocked; which voids the warranty from the iPhone and from Apple.
So, while I don’t have an iPhone, I’m sad, but at the same time I’m happy that I don’t have AT&T’s phone service.
I can honestly state that I’m going to be staying with my current provider and my current phone until the providers like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint can all come to the agreement that their data plans and the use of their phones can be placed under a single umbrella cost per usage.
The reason I know this is going to come to fruition is because during the 80s and 90s, back when everyone was jockeying for long-distance carriers and the best long distance rates, the telephone companies kept knocking down the prices, penny by penny, and then offering these smart plans to automatically adjust to the customer to save them money [choosing the best plan for them automatically]…
They haven’t done this yet with cell phones, but they will- and ultimately the carriers will have to come up with a single cost [that’s acceptable to the average user] so that they can use their portable device and not have to be worried about having to pawn their vehicle to pay for their phone bill.
The one thing that I would like to honestly state is that the role of your standard ISP and to the carriers to provide data plans service to these portable devices; the days of providing a complementary service, for select few, is coming to an end. More and more people are coming online and connecting to the Internet- just about everything the individual wants to do or where they keep their information, is done over the Internet. Limiting or restricting access to that information, or price gouging the customer for access to that information is going to be a high friction point [and I think that’s what we got here with AT&T].
The Internet and data providers need to take a step back and start looking at their customer base and re-examining their business plans. The position that they’re taking right now is almost medieval and is quickly approaching the edge of revolt.
Thanks for reading!