I saw this article in the LA Times called AT&T Changes Cell Ad Mantra and I had to laugh while kicking myself at the same time. The article writes this in case you don't want to signup for the free subscription:
AT&T's boast was about "fewest dropped calls" -- until recently. Now, it's about "more bars in more places."Why did AT&T ditch its long-running advertising campaign? A spokesman for the wireless unit of AT&T Inc. said it was due to a decision to focus on coverage, "because this is what our customers tell us over and over again is important to them." Ira Spiro, a West Los Angeles lawyer representing an AT&T customer in a federal lawsuit against the company, called that explanation "folderol."The hostilities over fewest dropped calls -- which sent AT&T and Sprint to court last year -- continue.
OK, so why did I kick myself? Well when they first started to promote "fewest dropped calls" I tried looking for the survey that they were backing the claim up with, but couldn't get access to it. After hours of searching, I finally came close to an AT&T press release and gave up when I couldn't find the actual study. I also trashed my post which was basically going to say "see how the new, new AT&T plays around with data" because I couldn't back that claim up. Now obviously the LA Times has better resources and was able to put out the post I couldn't.
OK, so why did I laugh? Of course I never believed that claim. I personally (on the marketing side) led the marketing of AT&T's first direct mail (and OTM) campaign promoting their wireless service during the project code named Cheetah and as you can see from my Why AT&T/iPhone Won't Live Up to The Hype post, I thought AT&T's biggest problem was their shaky network. All you new iPhone/AT&T users see what I mean by shaky network; that's why I didn't buy the iPhone and won't until Verizon comes out with a clone or the iPhone somehow ends up on that network.
Since I was on that AT&T wireless bundling team from 1995 - 2000 or so, I had an AT&T Wireless phone, but dropped it when I was traveling back and forth to Jersey City while with Harrisdirect. AT&T's less than stellar network kept dropping my calls on Route 78 in Newark. I've been using Verizon ever since and will not switch until their network has trouble...Wireless service is about the network, phones come and go.
So what else is funny? How some lawyer at AT&T probably got suckered by the marketing team into allowing these ads. I of course know nothing on how the new, new, AT&T works, but back in the Long Distance wars of the 90s the lawyers took claims very seriously and you couldn't run an ad like this without supporting documentation that would stand up in court. Plus, as I recall the old and better AT&T had an arbitration agreement with MCI and Sprint to defend claims without going to court.
Surprised that the claim isn't running anymore? You shouldn't be especially if you bought an iPhone and are not stuck with AT&T's network and sub-par customer service.