Monday, May 23, 2011
My husband and I have been customers of yours in one capacity or another for decades (land-line service in the 80's and 90's and now a good decade or more of your dreadful wireless service). And we are damn good customers too, far better than you are a service provider to us - I might add. Our monthly wireless bill for a family plan with 5 lines (3 kids and a mother-in-law) and data plans/unlimited texting attached to 4 of those 5 lines averages about $225 a month - if we are lucky and if the gods are smiling down on us and if our kids don't do something stupid like stream pandora or use turn-by-turn gps on their phones.
Are we happy AT&T customers? Not by a long-shot. Aside from the fact that we get taken advantage of on a monthly basis with a sky-high bill and a lousy return for the money, I can pretty much set my watch to the once-a-month fit my husband throws when he logs into our account and finds the inevitable added charges and fees hidden in page after page of almost-impossible to decipher data that would challenge even the PHDs among us. It has gotten so bad, I cannot begin to describe the dread that inevitably envelops me at this time of month. I know, pretty much for certain, that one of us (and it is usually me) will be on the phone navigating the AT&T Customer Service menus in order to find the right person to help me sort out the problems for that month while keeping my fingers tightly crossed that my call is not dropped (a frequent event) before my issues have been resolved.
To be brutally honest (and I damned well feel we have that right at this point), your service is really crappy and your bills are outrageously high. But you don't care. You don't have to provide a good product. You've got us where you want us. You know we will stay with you regardless of our dissatisfaction with what we get for our money, and in spite of the abusive relationship and the fact that we feel like battered spouses. You know this because you worked years to trap us by ensnaring us in 5 different contracts of various lengths, all with different expiration dates and threats of huge penalties if we dare break free. You know that for most people, us included, the thought of what it would take to finally escape your corporate grip and monthly ransom demand is just too overwhelming and exhausting to even contemplate.
BUT ... you, AT&T, have finally gone too far. You have given us a reason to finally quit you. You have finally done something so vile that you have energized us and given us the strength to break free of your abusive grip.
When I went over to AMERICAblog Gay and read that you have played a crucial role in passing legislation that will "rescind civil rights protections for gay and trans citizens in Nashville, Tennessee and will ban every city in Tennessee from passing any civil rights laws, for anyone, ever again", I nearly blew a gasket. And to make things worse, you knew for at least a month what this horrible legislation would do when you were warned "by members of the Nashville city council, that the legislation you were lobbying for, via your role on the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, would repeal Nashville's gay/trans civil rights ordinance."
How could you have been a part of this? Do you not think that any of the millions of customers who use AT&T as their wireless provider, many of them families like mine, have gay loved ones who might be affected by this hateful, bigoted legislation? Did you honestly think you could get away with this without anyone noticing? How could you be so stupid?
Well I have news for you AT&T, you'd better get off your greedy, vile, bigoted corporate ass and make this right because I'll be damned if my husband and I are going to continue to support an abusive company like yours with our hard-earned money and stand by while you work to strip away the civil rights of huge segments of Tennessee citizens, many of whom are probably customers you've already been abusing for years.
I strongly urge you to do whatever it takes to make this right. And if it means taking some of your ill-gotten corporate profits to buy a veto from the governor, do it. You have awakened a bigger sleeping giant than you realize. For each person you use our money to strip rights from, there is a family and friends who love them and will do anything to protect them. And far too many of us carry cell phones with sh*tty service provided by AT&T.
PS SHAME ON YOU.
Update (and it is not good news): TN Governor signs anti-gay/trans hate bill, repeals civil rights protections, bans further civil rights laws in TN cities. The South can really suck - can't it?
Update #2: AT&T issued statement on Friday that didn't take a position on the bill or the veto. So they weighed in early, but didn't really saying anything. At least by weighing in early they put pressure on other companies to at least issue some statement, so I give them some credit.