Friday, July 13, 2007


Is AT&T Honoring its Merger Commitments? Part 2

[Note: this article was updated on 7/14.]

Following on my previous post, there's now more evidence it is almost super-humanly difficult to get the $10/month DSL that AT&T promised it would "OFFER" in return for FCC approval to merge with BellSouth.

AT&T argeed to offer $10/month DSL to first-time customers, but if you don't already have the three digit code from the bill of your existing voice telephony account, you are SOL. And that's not all folks. You can wait on hold or jump through on-line hoops to get the $10 DSL, or accept one of their fast-track offers to order the $18 DSL . . . it reminds me of my Verizon Bait-n-Switch post. At one point the evidence provider even got transfered to the "Sorry our lines are full, call back another time," department, just like Verizon does with problem customers who want the service the phone company OFFERS.

Do you think the FCC will intervene to make AT&T actually OFFER what they've committed to offer?

UPDATE: John St. Julien, deep in BellSouth territory, prodded by my previous post, digs deeper into the hunt for $10 DSL and confirms that figuring out how to get it is far from obvious. He observes:
I've long since gotten to the cynical spot where I automatically assume that any obligation that BS/AT&T or Cox make that can be evaded will be evaded. They simply don't act in good faith.

"We're the phone company so we don't have to," is deeply embedded in the corporate culture. It is certain to extend to Network Neutrality too.

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"We're the phone company so we don't have to,"

Its time for Ernestine to stage a comback!
SNL Transcript snip of Ernestiine (Lily Tomlin

Ernestine: We handle eighty-four billion calls a year. Serving everyone from presidents and kings to the scum of the earth. We realize that every so often you can't get an operator, for no apparent reason your phone goes out of order, or perhaps you get charged for a call you didn't make.

We don't care.

Watch this.. [ she hits buttons maniacally ] ..just lost Peoria.

You see, this phone system consists of a multibillion-dollar matrix of space age technology that is so sophisticated, even we can't handle it. But that's your problem, isn't it? Next time you complain about your phone service, why don't you try using two Dixie cups with a string?

We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company.

See the video
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