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AT&T Announces Network Upgrades, Gets An Ear Full

AT&T sent out a letter to its wireless users explaining that they plan to spend between 18 and 19 billion dollars to upgrade their network. I'm not sure if they were expecting a pat on the back, but I am pretty sure they were not expecting to get blasted by their customers on their Facebook fan page.
AT&T sent out a letter to its wireless users explaining that they plan to spend between 18 and 19 billion dollars to upgrade their network. I'm not sure if they were expecting a pat on the back, but I am pretty sure they were not expecting to get blasted by their customers on their Facebook fan page.TechCrunch has a copy of the letter that was sent out today. Rather than take a humble approach thanking their users for sticking with them during some tough times as far as network performance goes, followed by a "we've heard you loud and clear and will be making the necessary changes to make your wireless experience better," AT&T took a brief moment to toot their own horn.

They start by saying they are going to make your wireless experience "even better." Note how that implies it is good now. Pardon my French, but you cannot say something that sucks now will be "even better" tomorrow. That makes no sense. Then they bring up the old "AT&T covers 97% of all Americans" line which is at best, misleading. I suspect it only covers them at their billing address, and even then I am not so sure. Furthermore, this is all wireless coverage, not 3G coverage, so some piece of that group are burning up the airwaves with EDGE.

I am not doing this to beat up AT&T. The point is, when your customer base isn't your biggest fan, you don't sent a letter patting yourself on the back to them, because when you do, watch out!

AT&T made the mistake of telling their users to head to their Facebook page to tell them what they think of AT&T. That is exactly what their customers did, in spades. They unleashed a torrent of criticism, from the obvious like dropped calls to the Navy sailor who couldn't get AT&T to send him bills to the ship he was stationed on even though the US Post Office confirmed that the ship was a valid mailing address.

Of course, there are some people quite pleased with the service and they are posting too, though in smaller numbers. That's good - AT&T is getting both kinds of feedback. To fuel the fire though, AT&T is responding to quite a bit of the good feedback compared to a paucity of the negative feedback. To make matters worse, you have to "like" the page before you can post comments. That isn't AT&T's fault, that is how Facebook works for these types of pages. It just has to burn some people up that they have to click the Like button before they can share their thoughts.

Check it out when you have the time, lots of time. There are pages and pages and it grows by the minute. I am sure there are public relations firms just chomping at the bit to help AT&T do a better job of navigating the social networking waters.