AT&T wants out of wireline business

Commentary
AT&T (ticker: T) wants out of the wireline phone business. How do I know that? AT&T thinks going a month without a wireline phone and intermittent DSL service is reasonable customer service. One can only infer from this that AT&T wants its customers to move to cable Internet and other phone providers. What other explanation could there be?

As background, about the middle of July the rains came and brought with it static and some type of phone malfunction; the malfunction is in either the AT&T junction box or an underground cable. Superb AT&T customer service (a computer) informed me the problem would be addressed in about 12-14 days. Eventually, AT&T sent a service technician out and he repaired the problem. Unfortunately a day later, another rainstorm came and the phone malfunctioned again. A call to AT&T’s customer support netted the helpful automated response. This time the repair could be expected in about 16-17 days.

Following this disturbing information, I was able to speak to a representative. This person was considerate and placed my problem on a request to expedite repair. This was supposedly sent to the local repair office. I was told I would hear about this request the next day (Saturday) or at least by Monday. Monday came and went. So did Tuesday. And Wednesday. No telephone call. No information from AT&T. If this isn’t saying go to cable Internet, what does?

Corporate management is at fault. AT&T has sharply reduced maintenance staff, and this has hammered staff morale. This is a common problem in American companies. Often staff should be reduced. (All you have to do is examine the featherbedding problem in railroad employment beginning in the late nineteenth century through most of the twentieth century.) However, a company that cuts staff to a point where it cannot handle repair service in a timely fashion is asking to be run out of business.

Or it wants to transfer wireline customers to wireless.

Unfortunately, who would want wireless service from such an inept company?

Not me. Considering I have had wireless service with AT&T since it was Bellsouth Mobility and I was in college, it will be tough to leave. AT&T has all the cool gadgets like the iPhone. But not even Apple’s cool phone is worth this.