AT&T its own worst iPhone enemy


IphoneADOTAS — Verizon must smile every time AT&T gets whacked online. It couldn’t have planned a better marketing strategy.

Between research that says that when ( or if?) the carrier’s iPhone deal with Apple expires, AT&T will face slowing growth and defections and tech bloggers who write blog posts with headlines like, “AT&T is a big steaming heap of failure,” the telecom can’t seem to get in front or change the rising animosity against it.

“As the iPhone exclusivity period rolls off between AT&T Wireless and Apple, a material number of AT&T customers will flock to Verizon’s superior network,” wrote the firm Pali Research in a note, according to AllthingsD. “We estimate that nearly a third of AT&T’s post-paid customers are being retained by AT&T primarily because of the iPhone exclusivity.”

The deal with Apple is supposed to end in 2010, but its failures, whether its the speed or unresponsive customer support, has prompted a groundswell of rejection.  According to Techcrunch’s MG Siegler, Apple doesn’t need AT&T anymore and, “to ensure Apple gets the message. Every time there is one of these ridiculous AT&T failures, tweet about it, blog about it, write Apple about it, or scream about it. Do whatever you can, but don’t just sit there and take it any more.”

Maybe AT&T, which needs to get its product right, should also think about its social media needs. Here’s a clip from the social media mavens Fanscape on how brands can use social to heal themselves. The entire Fanscape interview is here.


  1. Honestly, nothing Fanscape says in this video about company becoming responsive to consumer complainties– is any different from anything that was out there about responding to customers. Social media is the latest industry buzzword, but it isn’t the secret sauce or the magic bullet that turns a product perceived as bad into a product perceived as good.

    AT&T can do all the social media it wants. Unless it fixes its networking problems, it’s not going to win anyone over. That’s not a social media problem. That’s a technical problem. Put lipstick on a pig and it’s still a pig, doncha know!

  2. Sorry for typos above! First line should read: “…nothing Fanscape says in this video about companies becoming responsive to consumer complaints…”

  3. Mario,
    You’re right. ATT’s problem is its product. It needs to fix that, absolutely. But it doesn’t help that it has such sucky customer service. I put the video there more tongue-in-cheek because even Fanscape isn’t a miracle worker.

  4. AT&T shouldn’t bother engaging in Social Media… they should put their time and money into fixing the product. Everyone knows it sucks. Everyone jokes about it. And they run ads about “more bars in more places”… I am not traveling to Venezuela anytime soon, so I don’t care that it works there (probably only in a small downtown area, anyway). I need it where I live and work in the suburbs. And it is completely, 100% unreliable. The service sucks. Fix it. All the social media in the world has told you that. Don’t engage – just fix the problem first. Then promote that.


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