[Update: More quotes below]
AT&T just launched a PR blitz using every flack’s weapon of choice: Facebook. The site was announced via emails “sent” by AT&T execs to consumers, promising an investment of $18-$19 billion in wireless and wireline networks in 2010.
The company’s resident social media guru may have slightly underestimated the absolute blitz of negative comments (TechCrunch calls it a “tower of hate”) this tactic would inspire. See, when you create an online, public platform for comments, you can’t control those comments.
Here’s a glimpse of what consumers are writing:
“I love the iphone, but AT&T has found a way to ruin my iphone experience. The phone is nearly useless now and either drops every call or the person on the other end can’t hear me.”
“So glad I’m not the only one with ATT problems. Recently, I’ve noticed extensive drops on the route from my home to work. This literally just started in the last 6 weeks. I would expect my service to get *better* over time.”
“I am forced to give up my iPhone with AT&T after two years this month. Last week I was in LAX and desperately needed to call a friend to let her know that my flight was cancelled after a five hour mechanical and that I’d be arriving at a much later time and at a different airport in D.C. Many times her phone never rang but the minutes kept running.”
“… just two weeks ago I spoke to customer service about constant dropped calls or calls that don’t even go through to begin with (still happening), 1-2 bars most of the time and i’m thinking my phone (yes iphone) is having issues. I call customer service and the representative tells me that there is nothing wrong with my phone.”
To be fair, there’s a sprinkling of goodwill mixed in. But for the most part, folks are just being honest: AT&T’s service sucks.
Here’s some more from later in the day — these are all from within the last 15 minutes.
“Kinda sucks that you have to ‘like’ AT&T before you can talk about what you don’t like. Let me be clear — AT&T still exists because of the iPhone!”
“While everything you have said in you latest email is encouraging…. the coverage that AT&T provides for phone service is AWFUL!!!!”
“I too find if comical that AT&T has asked for the public’s opinion. Look—when it works it works and then the only issue really is that AT&T has been gouging us for this and for that.”
“Hi, I own the iPhone 3Gs. Every since the Iphone 4 was released, my husband and I keep getting dropped calls and hardly ever get a good cellular signal anymore. We live in the Chicago area and normally service was good…”
“Coverage is crap in san Francisco! I get better service in the middle of the ocean in Hawaii than in one of the biggest cities!”
“Response to letter from ‘Chris Penrose’ – After moving to Magnolia TX, my service has been more than terrible. Numerous calls to customer service, dropped calls, no service at times.”