Tuesday, December 07, 2010

What would you do if you were AT&T

As an employee of AT&T, I woke up this morning and was deeply disappointed with this report from Consumer Reports.  I felt a little sad and very frustrated.  It puzzles me.  When I see people post comments about how we should spend more on the network instead of advertising, I feel hurt because I know that as a company we invested over $18 Billion this year AND $18 billion last year to improve the network.  I see our internal data and the unbiased, scientific data shows our network performance on par with the best in the industry, both voice and in the case of data, there is nothing faster or more reliable.   With the exception of San Francisco (and to a degree LA and NYC) I am told that our performance has improved a lot.  These areas (San Fran, LA and NYC) should see improvement within the next few months as the equipment needed to complete those areas upgrades have finally come in.  So it is difficult to fully understand the CR results.

It is clear that at&t has not fully met the expectations of our customers but with independent, scientific studies showing parity of performance, I am led to conclude that our customers expect more from the user experience.  As an iPhone user personally, I can say that the way I use my phone now is very different than when I had a Blackberry.  I am on it all day long using it in ways that I NEVER used my Blackberry.  So I am wondering if using the iPhone shifts the demands and expectations of the user.  (BTW, I have been having an excellent experience, very few dropped calls and excellent download performance, with my iPhone both here in San Diego and my home area near Washington DC.)

So readers, I have a challenge for you.  Assume you were me (or at&t) and you accepted as true that the independent studies are accurate, that our network actually performs at least as well as our rivals, what could you tell us that would help to explain the CR results.

PS, insulting us and just repeating "fix the network" is not very helpful.  Again, I ask you to assume that independent studies tell us that our dropped call rate is on par with the best and our data performance is actually faster and more reliable is true.  Then help us to understand why the CR results are what they are.

Thank you in advance.

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