Chutzpah And AT&T

Oh Mr. de la Vega, don’t you understand how business is supposed to work?

apple-iphone-3g.jpgI’m an AT&T subscriber and an iPhone user. Like many iPhone users I’ve experienced weird call drops (mainly while in Las Vegas or New York City–seldom in Connecticut). The prevailing wisdom seems to be there’s not enough capacity to support the voracious appetite of iPhone users.

Hey, AT&T–what exactly did you expect? You’re the ones bragging about the inexhaustible supply of iPhone apps. You’ve empowered us and now your surprised we’re taking advantage? Spare me.

Recently AT&T Mobility’s CEO addressed some of these data/phone concerns and then tossed in a curveball. Here’s part of the Wall Street Journal‘s read on it.

“With about 3% of smart-phone customers driving 40% of data traffic, AT&T is considering incentives to keep those subscribers from hampering the experience for everyone else, he said. “You can rest assured that we’re very sure we can address it in a way that’s consistent with net-neutrality and FCC regulations.”

Many customers don’t know how much bandwidth they’re consuming, Mr. de la Vega added. When AT&T conducted a broadband test, customers often reduced their data use. Longer-term, he said, a pricing scheme based on usage is likely, though it will be determined by industry competition and regulatory guidelines.”

AT&T admits its services “are performing at levels below our standards.” Unfortunately, this is one of those no-fault admissions, because AT&T’s not crediting my account to compensate for this poor service.

Instead they’re saying these issues, while using the service as sold, are largely the fault of their customers! Where I come from we categorize this as “chutzpah.”

Chutzpah? Look it up. There’s an app for that.

Oh Mr. de la Vega, don’t you understand how business is supposed to work?

I plan on using the crap out of my iPhone–using every bit and byte I’m entitled to use. I want to be one of your heaviest customers (the one’s you seem to dislike) until I’m passed by someone who finds even more ways to use it.

Don’t worry, even then I’ll find a way to catch up!

Get used to it Mr. dlV. Like you, we’re interested in seeing the other party in this deal completely fulfill its obligation. We’re going to want more, not less. One day we’ll look back at the data streaming to our phones today the way we look at a 300 baud modem!

It often seems servicing customers is an impediment business doesn’t want. Too bad.

Addendum: If you’ve gotten this far you also need to read FakeSteveJobs take on this. It is masterful. The language is “R” rated, but it’s well worth it.