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AT&T Threatening To Raise Rates After Merger Failure

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the passing-the-savings-on-to-you dept.

AT&T 247

An anonymous reader writes "In the quarterly earnings call following the defeat of his attempted acquisition of T-Mobile, AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson was quick to lash out at the FCC, claiming that because his company was unable to acquire more spectrum to handle the explosion of mobile data users, AT&T would be forced to raise prices and take additional action against the highest data users. PCMag looked into the other side of the story, finding that 'The FCC spokesman ... pointed out that the FCC has approved more than 150 commercial mobile transaction applications in the past year and more than 300 in the past two years, "facts [that] were completely ignored in the [AT&T] conference call," he said.'"

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Yeah, that will show... (2)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841265)

...yourselves?

Customers pay for bad management... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841271)

Investors too.

Re:Customers pay for bad management... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841633)

Investors too.

This right after receiving, yet another 'Wow! Save on bundled services!' offer in the mail. I'm happy with my cheapskate Pre-Paid mobile and basic DSL at home. Ugly enough bill when it arrives anyway. All the better reason to route the AT&T offers directly to the shreader.

"You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."

Ah, nothing like corporate greed (4, Informative)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841293)

In the public's defense, At&t's 4g is a joke that's lost all humor, & they drop calls like it's going out of style. Sounds more like they're saying "we can't compete without this merger". My advice = fix your customer service then your revenue margins.

Corporate greed??? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841413)

Why do you hate 'Mer'ka? Why do you love socialism? There is no such thing as corporate greed! There is only corporate glory.

Re:Corporate greed??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841749)

What I enjoy the most is that retards like you think that greed is somehow "corporate" and not just a normal, widespread human trait that expresses itself in every economic system.

Go on stupidly believing that you can somehow eliminate this. You'll have that perfect system as soon as you have perfect people.

Re:Corporate greed??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38842031)

I enjoy the retards that point out the obvious. A corporation is entirely made up of humans so they share the same traits. Thanks for the insite.

Re:Ah, nothing like corporate greed (0)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841707)

In the public's defense, At&t's 4g is a joke that's lost all humor, & they drop calls like it's going out of style. Sounds more like they're saying "we can't compete without this merger". My advice = fix your customer service then your revenue margins.

Better advice: Dump Randall Stephenson and replace him with someone interested in growing the company from inside, through superiour product and service, rather than buying into near-monopoly position.

Re:Ah, nothing like corporate greed (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841743)

Is there an echo in here?

Bye Bye AT&T! (3, Interesting)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841305)

It was nice knowing ya! They are already struggling to keep the customers they currently have, how is raising prices going to help?

Re:Bye Bye AT&T! -- Nope, Verizon raises price (5, Insightful)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841419)

It's easy. Verizon and AT&T collude on prices. AT&T raises, then Verizon quickly follows...

Re:Bye Bye AT&T! -- Nope, Verizon raises price (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841537)

Sprint won't mind.

Re:Bye Bye AT&T! -- Nope, Verizon raises price (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841635)

Oligopolies almost always suck in customer satisfaction, always have, and always will.

Re:Bye Bye AT&T! -- Nope, Verizon raises price (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841761)

Oligopolies almost always suck in customer satisfaction, always have, and always will.

Which is exactly how America keeps getting it wrong - the government should do nothing to make their lives easier - keep a low bar to new companies/investors who want to enter the market and offer something new/better. That's real Capitalism, not this bogus Corporate Welfare system.

Re:Bye Bye AT&T! -- Nope, Verizon raises price (2)

Artraze (600366) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841827)

Then people switch to T-Mobile and the issue corrects itself?

Re:Bye Bye AT&T! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841499)

This article is a laugh. Like AT&T ever needed an excuse to raise rates.

You already mess with regular data users w/ caps (2)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841311)

"In the quarterly earnings call following the defeat of his attempted acquisition of T-Mobile, AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson was quick to lash out at the FCC, claiming that because his company was unable to acquire more spectrum to handle the explosion of mobile data users, AT&T would be forced to raise prices and take additional action against the highest data users. PCMag looked into the other side of the story, finding that 'The FCC spokesman ... pointed out that the FCC has approved more than 150 commercial mobile transaction applications in the past year and more than 300 in the past two years, "facts [that] were completely ignored in the [AT&T] conference call," he said.'"

It's not just heavy users AT&T attacks, it's also regular users. AT&T was just denied the means to get rid of competition that was doing just fine.

Perhaps AT&T should think about improving their own service and removing those caps. It's not like Sprint has suffered much with the iDevices having sane, flat-rate data.

Trying to push metered data in a flat-rate world just doesn't work for superior service.

Re:You already mess with regular data users w/ cap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841379)

I just don't see why they continually force Pay-As-You-Go platforms when the U.S. seems to be best off on an All-You-Can-Eat platform. They seem to think that they are big enough to throat plunge their customers into higher bills and the customers will gracefully allow them to do so. There is a general awakening in the U.S that if you suck long enough without changing then you will be placed behind and left to die. See AOL or Yahoo for example.

Re:You already mess with regular data users w/ cap (-1, Flamebait)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841459)

Have you seen how slow is Sprint's network? Who cares if it's unlimited when your download speed is below 1k/sec!

Re:You already mess with regular data users w/ cap (4, Informative)

Chas (5144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841665)

Have you seen how slow is Sprint's network? Who cares if it's unlimited when your download speed is below 1k/sec!

Where are you at? BFE?

I'm a Sprint user and I have exactly ZERO issues with their service. Downloads aren't a problem (and throughput is MUCH better than 1k/sec). I can even game while tethered to my phone.

Maybe if you come out from inside that faraday cage.

Re:You already mess with regular data users w/ cap (1, Interesting)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841965)

Re-read what I wrote. I am not talking about reliability or problems with downloads. Sprint is consistently rated the slowest 3g cellular network.

http://www.pcmag.com/Fastest-Mobile-Networks-2011 [pcmag.com]

next time, don't be so quick to get your panties in a bunch. I personally don't care what cellular god you pray. They all suck in one way or another.

Re:You already mess with regular data users w/ cap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38842023)

Whatever. Go blow a goat.

Re:You already mess with regular data users w/ cap (1)

akeeneye (1788292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38842115)

I've had Sprint and Virgin Mobile (same network) forever and while I don't have any problems in cities, their coverage elsewhere blows. Five or ten miles outside the city (of Spokane) and I'm SOL, never mind that their coverage map shows coverage all along the major highways here. Sprint, Virgin, phone maker A or phone maker B, didn't matter, same crap coverage. Fortunately I'm in the city 99.9% of the time and furthermore, the VM low-cost, all-you-can-eat (data/SMS) deal is hard to beat.

Re:You already mess with regular data users w/ cap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38842151)

CAPS? WHAT CAPS?

Go for it! (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841323)

AT&T already lost me as a customer permanently based on their high rates and higher opinion of themselves and their quality of service.

Double 'em, Triple 'em, that'll show the consumer!

Aren't you glad... (5, Insightful)

Ronin X (121414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841329)

... you can still switch to T-Mobile?

Re:Aren't you glad... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841561)

As a former customer of at&t that switched to t-mobile, then had to sweat through the fear of at&t eating my escape company, I feel like this is a double win.

Re:Aren't you glad... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841567)

Who apparently have lots of unused spectrum and so, by this reasoning, should have very low data rates!

I'm glad that I'm still with T-Mobile. (4, Interesting)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841661)

Not only do you get to keep a good plan, you get to keep it. For ages.

Re:Aren't you glad... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841849)

No, because T-Mobile's policies suck too. Can't we get a decent cell phone plan in this country?

Re:Aren't you glad... (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841945)

Can't we get a decent cell phone plan in this country?

That is up to voters and consumers. Vote at the ballot box and with your wallet and things will improve. Complain on the internet, and not so much.

Re:Aren't you glad... (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38842057)

Virgin Mobile and T-Mobile's Walmart plan are both decent. VM's plan is unlimited SMS/MMS, 300 voice minutes, 2.5GB of data then throttled, all for $35/month (my wife has the same deal at $25/month but hers is a grandfathered plan). Oh, and no fees or anything except local sales tax. You do have to buy your own phone but there is no contract. The T-Mobile plan is 5GB of data, unlimited SMS/MMS, and 100 voice minutes for $30/month. It's also a month to month plan with no device subsidy. I'm not sure if there are any extra fees since I haven't signed up for it. The one downside to these plans is no roaming so if you live in an area with spotty Sprint or T-Mobile coverage they might not work for you.

Time to call their bluff... (4, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841331)

So, in retaliation to the government blocking their merger with T-Mobile, they're going to drive their own customers away to their competitors by raising rates and penalizing them?

Yeah, good call AT&T. That'll teach....uh....them?

Re:Time to call their bluff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841653)

So, in retaliation to the government blocking their merger with T-Mobile, they're going to drive their own customers away to their competitors by raising rates and penalizing them?

Those customers will have to wait for their very one sided contracts (in ATT's favor) to come to an end. ANd more than likely, by the time that happens, they would have grown used to the extra charges or because of laziness or forgetfulness or whatever; they will end up staying with ATT.

And of course, this being the cell phone industry, leaving one for the other is just changing the way you get it up the ass - especailly when it comes to data plans.

The cell phone industry gets away with all this because the public allows the cell companies to abuse them.

Not if AT&T changes their terms (5, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38842149)

You signed a contract with AT&T. They can either abide by that contract for the full two years and allow you to keep the same rates, or they can allow you to leave with no penalty.

Re:Time to call their bluff... (4, Informative)

John Bresnahan (638668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38842163)

Those customers will have to wait for their very one sided contracts (in ATT's favor) to come to an end.

To the best of my knowledge, AT&T can't raise the rates on their existing contracts. If they change the contract, the customer can walk away.

Re:Time to call their bluff... (4, Interesting)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841663)

AT&T wants its high data users to go to a competitor and clog up their networks instead.

It is a simple business decision. Spend billions of dollars upgrading you network to accommodate everyone, or develop a pricing structure to drive its heavy users away. You could lose 5-10% of your revenue, but get to support 50% less bandwidth over the network.

Re:Time to call their bluff... (3, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38842137)

Data use keeps growing, though. Today's "high data users" are tomorrow's normal users. You can't survive without infrastructure. Too bad we have too many libertard types to actually properly regulate these businesses and require them to put some of their profits back in.

Re:Time to call their bluff... (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841843)

Their 'competitors'? Who would that be? There is no competition in this market. All their price increases will soon be matched by the other brands in a sort of 'no poaching' agreement amongst them all.

Prima Donna (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841339)

If higher prices were more profitable (i.e. could be used to increase revenue and offset losses), then they would've raised the prices either way. Claims that they need to raise prices now are just posturing.

Childish Reaction (5, Insightful)

Deathnerd (1734374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841345)

Did anyone else picture this guy throwing a tantrum and raging like a toddler when they read the summary? I think that's a fair description of what's going on here.

Re:Childish Reaction (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841437)

You sir are giving a bad name to toddlers. Please refrain from besmirching their reputation.

Re:Childish Reaction (1)

Deathnerd (1734374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841507)

You sir are giving a bad name to toddlers. Please refrain from besmirching their reputation.

HAH! Oh if only I had the mod points. +1 Funny

Re:Childish Reaction (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841509)

Yes, but in all fairness I picture all corporate employees who lash out like this.
Since when did Corporations become the schoolyard I was on when I was 12?

Re:Childish Reaction (1)

zildgulf (1116981) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841557)

Well, considering that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is all about 5 years and 1 month old this tantrum could not have been unexpected. Why his parents are not on the Board of Directors of AT&T, your guess is as good as mine!

Sorry, I miss read that. He is 51 years old. Nevermind.

Re:Childish Reaction (-1, Flamebait)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841563)

"white people problems"

actually, more of the super rich, the-world-owes-me-shit problems.

go DIAF, asshole.

Re:Childish Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38842011)

"white people problems"

actually, more of the super rich, the-world-owes-me-shit problems.

go DIAF, asshole.

YAY obligatory troll post.

Re:Childish Reaction (2)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841883)

Yes, but this is typical.

1) In response to new government rules that airlines must advertise the bottom-line ticket prices, Spirit airlines whined [consumertr...liance.org] : "Thanks to the U.S. Department of Transportation's latest fare rules, Spirit must now HIDE the government's taxes and fees in your fares." (Which is a lie - they can still show a price breakdown, but must now show the bottom-line total).

2) Bank of America was eager to rationalize [wsj.com] their $5/mo ATM card fee as "unintended consequence" of new regulations on on card swipe fees. (Yet somehow they found a way around this unintended consequence when passing the buck backfired and customers got mad at them instead of the government.)

3) Health insurance companies all rushed to blame Obamacare [nytimes.com] for steep price increases in 2010, even though none of the provisions of the law were to kick in for several years, and healthcare prices have been rising sharply for decades.

Of course, I'm not saying there's no truth in the claims. Regulations can be costly to certain parties. But the truth is almost independent of the rhetoric. Blaming the government for price hikes (whether as retribution against regulations, or simply as a fig leaf for hiking prices) is something companies will rarely miss an opportunity to do.

Re:Childish Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841985)

Funny, I picture the smug looks of the undersized friend of the schoolyard bully when I read comments like yours on sites like this.

Which I guess is ironic since most of you have probably received wedgies that still cause you to crunch up your buttcheeks involuntarily in the middle of the night.

Can't help it though, I actually find your holier-than-thou bullshit to be more annoying than pretty much everything else in the world.

"cellular" means frequence reuse (2)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841387)

One of the core concepts of "cellular" phones is that "cells" enable frequence reuse. Now this has to be carefully done to prevent interference, but in general, decreasing the size of cells will increase capacity. Of course this adds infrastructure cost.

Re:"cellular" means frequence reuse (1)

Icepick_ (25751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841659)

Not so with CDMA/UMTS/LTE. All cells operate on the same frequency.

Under these coding schemes, more cells allow more capacity, but they all use the same spectrum.

Re:"cellular" means frequence reuse (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841821)

Not so with CDMA/UMTS/LTE. All cells operate on the same frequency.

Under these coding schemes, more cells allow more capacity, but they all use the same spectrum.

My cordless phone uses the same frequencies of, oh, probably a hundred million other devices in the US.

Thankfully I don't run it with a 50 megawatt transmitter, so we're all okay.

Re:"cellular" means frequence reuse (1)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38842059)

I don't recall the specifics. I thought the IS-95 CDMA had several channels with each using ~ 1MHz of shared spectrum. Even so, CDMA does use very fine-grained power control. Make the cells smaller and the transmitters reduce their power such that interference with adjacent cells is reduced (and battery life improved, etc.).

Re:"cellular" means frequence reuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841703)

Don't get me wrong, I hate AT&T, but the core issue here is Apple. The bulk of AT&T customers are only there for iPhones, and the Apple-AT&T deal for exclusive iPhone use from the start of the release essentially bought them a massive number of customers, while using a HIGHLY controlled technology out of the hands of AT&T - it's the price of working with Apple. For a desktop/laptop user is a bit inconvenient, often unproductive or in the case of servers oftentimes impossible, to work with - but when your job is to build the hardware and sell time on it, and your only real asset is in the wires and airwaves you own, it is god damn foolish to work with a supplier for hardware that sits on YOUR network who considers every design flaw a "feature" - iPhones fail horribly with data compression and otherwise efficient use of the air-waves - locking not only hardware, but customers with Apple following their exclusive deal made for a very bad decision on AT&T's part. Even aside from their own history of customer abuse, fraud and general poor service - combined with Apple it's just too stupid to succeed.

Re:"cellular" means frequence reuse (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841795)

One of the core concepts of "cellular" phones is that "cells" enable frequence reuse. Now this has to be carefully done to prevent interference, but in general, decreasing the size of cells will increase capacity. Of course this adds infrastructure cost.

But then you have to cut the power of each cell, and you start to have more problems with coverage in buildings.

There's a limit to what ATT can do without more spectrum. Expanding wifi coverage in denser urban areas would be a nice start, but at some level they are stuck unless entirely new technology making better use of the spectrum becomes available.

Re:"cellular" means frequence reuse (2)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 2 years ago | (#38842099)

ATT had opportunities to purchase additional spectrum in auctions. They did not, or did not get enough.

Trying to create their own "Occupy Protest"? (1)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841421)

They are hoping their rapidly dwindling customer base will create an "Anti-Sopa" like backlash and force the government to back off and approve the merger.

Hypocrisy (4, Interesting)

ScooterComputer (10306) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841433)

AT&T is just a big bundle of fail. Now, after a merger attempt that they should have KNOWN would fail given the history of a monopoly Telecom Industry in the US (the history, in fact, of AT&T!), AT&T is complaining again that the FCC is prohibiting them from getting too big (Too Big to Fail?).

But worse, they keep throwing out claims like "take additional action against the highest data users." Yet, just Monday, they raised the rates on their data users AND increased data caps...even though their own statements from prior in the year gave the picture that 90% of users didn't USE more than 2GB! Do they understand how pricing works in an economic model??? If you want users to use LESS data, LOWER THE PRICING ON YOUR LOWER DATA TIER AND INCREASE THE PRICE ON THE HIGHER TIERS! Furthermore, set tiers levels to actual DATA USAGE PATTERNS! There is no reason there is a 300MB tier (was a 200MB tier) and a 3GB (2GB) tier when all the study data is showing most users are consuming 500-1300MB, with an average of 850.

I'm tired of hearing this crap from AT&T, greed shrouded in pleas of victimhood. What I don't understand is how it doesn't constitute fraud, or cause securities issues. Public companies making patently false statements face consequences. Furthermore, I'm even less impressed with the media and the tech media, in specific, for not doing a better job calling AT&T out and making them look like the greedy pricks they are.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841627)

I would have thought the opposite given that the former AT&T has already T-2000'd itself back into 3 pieces from the original 8, with the new at&t being 5 of those pieces.

blame the FCC? (1)

twohands (2443766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841441)

I thought the real issue with the merger was the loss of competition in the mobile market, going from 4 major players to only 3 (and only one on a GSM network), rather than the consolidation of the wireless spectrum. Sure, it sucks that now AT&T has to give spectrum to T-Mobile, but I suppose that was just part of the risk of going for the merger. They shouldn't blame the FCC for this.

Re:blame the FCC? (2)

zildgulf (1116981) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841585)

I would rather blame Canada.

Don't worry (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841461)

AT&T already lost me as a customer. My base bill with them was $80. Mysterious charges and taxes always made my bill be about $110 a month... and this is for a regular single line smart phone plan with 2G of data and a rather small amount of minutes(though I never use them all). So now I have T-Mobile and I pay $50/month and get 200M of data. I could upgrade my plan to 2G of data for $70. There are a few taxes placed on top of T-Mobile's base bills as well, so my actual bill is $55/month.

Much better deal. And so glad I never have to deal with AT&T's retarded support staff anymore. Also, T-Mobile has service everywhere AT&T had service for me.. though they do have noticeably less 3G areas. I'm so glad this acquisition didn't go through

Time to head out. (2)

echo_kmem (982727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841473)

Verizon's line up and availability of their '4G' have already had me considering the switch from AT&T, I'd rather pay premium and get premium than pay premium and get AT&T. =/

Wow! (3, Informative)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841477)

/*
Is this a case of a government agency actually turning down big business when it is supposed to, or was there an even bigger backroom deal with another company?
*/

In all reality, I had a cheap AT&T prepay phone, and it was terrible. I know little about how GSM networks handle voice calls, but it seemed obvious that I was getting extra compression on my calls. The sound quality was so bad as to be almost unusable. I have since switched to a secondary reseller that operates on Sprint, and the quality is good, I have yet to have a dropped call, and there are no surprises. Of course, I use a different phone as well, so the phone could have had something to do with the sound quality, but it sure sounded like excessive digital compression to me, which screams network function, not phone function.

Comment style (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841899)

You know, for single line comments, // seems a bit more efficient than /* */. . . just sayin.

Drop AT&T? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841489)

I might just have to drop AT&T if they up their rates. All of my family is on it, and I've had it for at least a decade, but having an iPhone w/ data plan, unlimited text and 450 minutes a month just isn't worth the cost. I mean, I use all of these functions, but not to the extent that I think I'm being charged. Yes, I feel I'm over-paying.

If they'd just go to metered billing, I think a lot of these supposed problems, would sort itself out. What I'm using is right their on my billing statement. Just a matter of setting a rate for each function, and doing the accounting math, isn't it? Or would metered billing somehow change 'carrier status', and put them in some sort of legal limbo with the FCC, etc... ?

You won't let us stifle competition! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841517)

So we are going to act like we succeeded and raise rates anyway!

LMFAO.

Go ahead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841521)

Go ahead and raise prices! Verizon-wireless will stand by.

Yup, yup, yup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841553)

Awww...didn't get your way? So what do you do? Punish the customer! yeah!

I guess that Siri... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841581)

... will have to go get a job now.

Okay? (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841595)

So if you raise rates, more people will switch to Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile.

AT&T Mobile sure is whiny.

att and the baby bells (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841597)

just how did we let this happen AGAIN?

in the 80's we fought hard to break up ATT.

now, they're back again as a single entity.

how did that happen?? and why did we care back then but don't really care, now?

what changed over the last 30 or so years?

Re:att and the baby bells (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841797)

What do you mean, "how did that happen?" Have you had your head up your ass for the last 20 years? They've been reaquiring and reconsolidating since the early 90s.

To answer "what changed?": we now have several monolithic, corporate juggernauts where before was just Ma, and somehow that's better.

Re:att and the baby bells (1, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841813)

Reagan happened. Him and all the corporatist looters to follow in his footsteps. These days, corporations aren't just people, they're better than people.

Re:att and the baby bells (4, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38842033)

Reagan happened. Him and all the corporatist looters to follow in his footsteps. These days, corporations aren't just people, they're better than people.

You remind me of working on my Economics studies with Financial News Network rattling away on the telly. Myron Kandel covering the buy-out and merger mania which ultimately looted treasuries of companies, which were then spun off with a whole new debt. And Wall Street loved it. Big news of the day was KKR and RJ Reynolds bidding insane amounts for Nabisco. Mr. Kandel was effective in detailing KKR's strategy, should they win - they'd split up the various bits of Nabisco and spin them off, while keeping all the money in the company bank accounts. Sounds evil, doesn't it? It happened time and again during the Reagan and Bush Sr. eras. Did nothing for the people of the country, company customers, but made a bunch of weasels rich, while sacking a lot of people and robbing ledgers.

Re:att and the baby bells (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841853)

what changed over the last 30 or so years?

30 years ago, people didn't want their phone service to work around the world.

You can't have 100 different wireless providers in the US and actually end up with the service that end user's actually want.

ATnT is bigger, more powerful today. (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841979)

We let ATnT bribe it's way into being a bigger monster than they were previously and this despite having 1 majorly huge competitor in the cell market. The two of them together screw us probably worse than 1 entity because it wouldn't take long (well maybe a decade) to split them up again. That is being optimistic; but they can do quite well with an excuse of competition; plus this time they can make sure the system doesn't work like it did in the past.

The public has Internet AND TV to distract them with "reality" programming so they do not have to deal with their actual reality anymore.

Contract violation? (1)

Sans_A_Cause (446229) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841657)

Anyone know if this would violate contracts with AT&T? I mean, if you agreed to a 2-year contract, and after a month they double their rates, I would think you would then be allowed to move to a different carrier.

Re:Contract violation? (1)

grahamsaa (1287732) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841737)

AT&T cannot raise prices mid contract without offering you a way out of it that doesn't involve an early termination fee.

Re:Contract violation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841773)

You are allowed out without fees if they make "materially adverse" changes to your contract. They will notify you of this change. You need to cancel within 14 days of this notice. If they never notify you, ask them to prove that they notified you. You may have to fight them on this.

Re:Contract violation? (1)

pinkocommie (696223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841787)

I've seen numerous threads on mobile forums with people saying good time to get out of your contract due to changes made in their terms. I presume the same would apply here as well

Re:Contract violation? (2)

TClevenger (252206) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841967)

We may change any terms, conditions, rates, fees, expenses, or charges regarding your Services at any time. We will provide you with notice of material changes (other than changes to governmental fees, proportional charges for governmental mandates, roaming rates or administrative charges) either in your monthly bill or separately. You understand and agree that State and Federal Universal Service Fees and other governmentally imposed fees, whether or not assessed directly upon you, may be increased based upon the government's or our calculations.

IF WE INCREASE THE PRICE OF ANY OF THE SERVICES TO WHICH YOU SUBSCRIBE, BEYOND THE LIMITS SET FORTH IN YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE SUMMARY, OR IF WE MATERIALLY DECREASE THE GEOGRAPHICAL AREA IN WHICH YOUR AIRTIME RATE APPLIES (OTHER THAN A TEMPORARY DECREASE FOR REPAIRS OR MAINTENANCE), WE'LL DISCLOSE THE CHANGE AT LEAST ONE BILLING CYCLE IN ADVANCE (EITHER THROUGH A NOTICE WITH YOUR BILL, A TEXT MESSAGE TO YOUR DEVICE, OR OTHERWISE), AND YOU MAY TERMINATE THIS AGREEMENT WITHOUT PAYING AN EARLY TERMINATION FEE OR RETURNING OR PAYING FOR ANY PROMOTIONAL ITEMS, PROVIDED YOUR NOTICE OF TERMINATION IS DELIVERED TO US WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS AFTER THE FIRST BILL REFLECTING THE CHANGE.

From the AT&T Wireless Terms and Conditions [att.com] , Section 1.3.

Yawn (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841667)

Another dummy spit by some smug, business class wanker with a massive sense of entitlement.

In his overblown imaginations, he's a Galtian superman. In reality, he's just another huckster, who happened to make the big time.

AT&T service sucks (1)

csumpi (2258986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841727)

Their price change won't affect me, as I've long ago switched to another provider, where my calls are not dropped, call quality is better and download speeds are faster. I actually had to pay early termination fee because there were still a couple months on my contract, but that was worth every penny.

Maybe they could get more customers or avoid customers switching to other providers if they fixed the issues with their crappy service. Common sense would tell me that increasing their pricing will make matters worse.

I don't have any experience with their 4G service, so can't comment on that. But I doubt I'll ever go back to check it out.

Good service, terrible service (1)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841805)

The funny from my perspective is that in a decade as an AT&T customer, first just long distance, then wireless, I always got great customer service from them. The problem was when I bought my house the reception was terrible and I couldn't get cell calls in my own living room or even in my driveway. Oh yeah, and dropped calls were fairly common.

I hated leaving the good customer service but I ended up switching to Verizon because their coverage in central CA is much better than AT&T. I almost never drop calls now and customer service is at least not bad. However I'm also paying about $10 more per month for the same plan I had with AT&T.

So, if AT&T raises their prices to be even closer to Verizon's in this area they will definitely lose lots of customers.

Maybe their plan is to raise prices, lose business, go bankrupt (resulting in one less choice for consumers), and then say "See! We told you denying the merger would be bad for competition!"

WTF!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38842051)

What was your trick? We tried for 3 years to get any customer service and finally said fuck them,

Take the phone? (0)

yodleboy (982200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841807)

does anyone know if i switched from AT&T to T-Mobile, could I keep my phone (Samsung Galaxy S, AKA Captivate/Fascinate). love this phone and hate to get another one.

About sick of AT&T after 10 years.

Re:Take the phone? (2)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38842101)

Yes and no. You can take the phone if you get it unlocked (call AT&T and tell them you need it unlocked because you're going overseas and want to buy a prepaid SIM while you're abroad--they should do it if your account is in good standing). Then, you can use it with T-Mobile, but only EDGE data will work. Since AT&T uses 850 and 1900 for 3G, and T-Mobile uses 1700 for 3G, 3G data will not work on T-Mobile with this phone.

If you want a similar phone that supports 3G on T-Mobile, you can pick up a Samsung Vibrant, which is almost identical. However, I'd highly recommend looking at something new. Both the Captivate and Vibrant are pretty old devices now, and you aren't going to get any more major updates to them from Samsung. Plus, compared to other phones, GPS on the Captivate is truly awful. Don't get me wrong, it's not a terrible phone. I know because I had one when I was with AT&T, but there are many better handsets available now.

Re:Take the phone? (1)

Great Gravy (2541128) | more than 2 years ago | (#38842169)

They operate on the same band, so yes...just need to make sure your phone is unlocked and then put the T-Mobile SIM card in. I had to root my Galaxy S to unlock it so I could switch from T-Mobile to AT&T, though now I am kicking myself for making the switch.

They still made money this year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841815)

http://www.att.com/Investor/Financial/Earning_Info/docs/4Q_11_IB_FINAL.pdf
Look at the FULL-YEAR RESULTS section in the pdf.

According to their 4th quarter report, they made 4 billion dollars this year and increased dividend payouts. They also had to roll out the LTE network so they won't incur that cost next year. They only lost money in the 4th quarter not the entire year. Its complete bs.

WHY ARE THEY BITCHING??? They just made 4 billion dollars while rolling out the LTE network and a failed merger. And yet they say because of government they need to raise rates to make more money than they are already making.

Re:They still made money this year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38841877)

Oh, well, we can't have American corporations making money. Don't they know this is the era of Hope and Change?

If you can't compete... (1)

Younggeezer (2547956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841855)

then try to get back to a duopoly. If you can't get back to a duopoly, whine and throw a fit. Great strategy. AT&T still appears to be "competing" by soaking their customers (junk fees, anyone?) and killing competition. The happiest day of my recent techo-life was when I dropped the last bit of AT&T - T-Mo and Ooma for me. And, frankly, T-Mo ain't that great either, but they still look pretty good as compared to AT&T, which lowers expectations...

While this is going to be terribly unpopular (1)

SteelKidney (1964470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841873)

AT&T has a point, even if I think they're reacting to it badly. Despite the knee-jerk "Corporate Greed" reaction, the FCC determines what, if any, spectrum is made available and whether or not a merger or acquisition can happen. Since the government has decided that no more spectrum is to be made available, despite the obvious need, and that none of the big 4 are allowed to merge, government regulation has caused more than a few problems that AT&T simply isn't allowed to fix.

AT&T may be acting like a spoiled teenager, but the FCC is very much acting like the stereotypical low-level bureaucrat that gets off on making other peoples' life difficult just to exercise a little power.

Go ahead, AT&T (5, Interesting)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841875)

And yes, I'm a customer, so this would impact me.

We're not suckers. You're a business. If you can make more by raising rates, you will. That's an absolute given. The only reason any business led by someone with a brain doesn't raise rates is because it will cost them money because people will leave. The FCC told you no because your proposed merger would significantly reduce consumers' options to do just that. Leave.

The irony is I, and a lot of others, are only your customer because you had an iphone exclusive. In other words, you had a deal to suppress competition. I am ditching you soon and going to Verizon now that that's over and it's about new phone time.

I may sound anti ATT, but I'm not. Just give me good service and as good a deal or better than your competition and I'll be delighted to stay your customer. Unfortunately, that's not what you've done, and not what you're trying to do. You're trying to limit my options so I have to be your customer. That alone is reason to leave.

One could hardly ask for greater vindication... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841897)

Honestly, AT&T's threat to raise rates is exactly the sort of thing that confirms that denying them was a good idea. If a company can raise their prices and expect to make more money, rather than lose customers to less petulant firms, they already have dangerously high market power(particularly for something as relatively homogenous as wireless telco services. Certain goods simply don't have much in the way of substitutes).

One could go so far as to say that, as a heuristic, anybody who could make, and make good on, such a threat if they don't get what they want, Should Not be allowed to get what they want...

Consequences to Actions (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841911)

T-Mobile wanted out and AT&T needed their bandwidth. The FCC nixed the deal over jobs or something like that. So fine...

But it seems the "tantrum" goes both ways. If you support the FCC's decision, you don't have to pretend there won't be any negative consequences. There can be negative consequences. Assuming there are absolutely none seems naive to me.

Why make a distinction? (1)

coinquack (972841) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841913)

You can have manufacturing in the US. High industry automation is the key. There's a cost to having everything we use made on the other side of the planet. If you can build a plant in the US with far fewer employees than an heavily "manual" plant in China you could be competitive. Who wants Foxconn plants in the US? We don't need to bump up our suicide rate or increase the number of poor workers in this country: the future of manufacturing in the US is not the Ford plant from the early 1900s, it's a modern plant employing few but skilled and well paid operators of complex machinery who can support a family and their community. Beyond employment, it's important for the industrial fabric of this country to keep manufacturing technology at home and not create a huge dependency on the rest of the world (especially on a single country). Whether in manufacturing or in agriculture, there's a quest for cheap labor rather than for mechanization. In the first case, jobs are moved abroad and in the latter case, cheaper labor is brought in, often illegally. For sure, we need design: whether S/W, H/W, robotics... H1-Bs help: H1-B are very well paid. I work in a high-tech company with many foreigners, most from Asia. I'm myself an immigrant, had once an H-1B and the bottom line is that H1-B are used to fill very well paid (well advertised) positions. I interview candidates for open positions and I can say that I rarely see resumes from US citizens. If it's hard to find employees in a location, salaries rocket up and sooner than later, companies just move somewhere else: more H1-B would keep high-tech salaries more in line with the world reality (and keep local cost of living more reasonable) and would actually help keep jobs in this country. Plus H1-Bs are a source of skilled immigrant and therefore of job creation... In terms of federal policy: better education (specially elementary->high school), support for fundamental research, possibly subsidies for industrial equipment would help.

Hey ATT... (4, Funny)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841927)

fuck you, too.

Who needs that much bandwidth? (5, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38842037)

This is only tangentially related to the topic, but carriers keep promoting how fast their network is and how I can get 12mbit+ of bandwidth to my phone. But I wonder.... why should I care? Especially since I could hit my monthly download cap in less than an hour at that speed.

I can see why faster networks benefit the carrier since faster speeds means more people can share the bandwidth, but why should I care as an end user? Even if I regularly watched movies on my phone, I don't think I can really tell the difference between a 800kbs stream and a 4mbit stream on my 3" screen. And a 90 minute movie at 4mbit will use around 2GB of my download bandwidth. (compared to around 400MB for the 800kbs stream)

I don't have the latest phone, but with my 1Ghz single core processor, when I'm browsing the web, the browser rendering speed seems to be my limiting factor since browsing speed doesn't seem to be noticeably different whether I'm on my carrier's 3G network or my Wifi at home (with 15mbit of bandwidth to the internet).

So, why should I really care what the peak download speed of a carrier's 4G network is? It seems like I should be more interested in the average real-world speed they can provide on a loaded network than in whether or not I can download a short burst at some high peak speed.

Is there any reason to care about published 4G speeds? Or is it more like Megapixels in cameras - manufacturers promote megapixels because it's an easy term to explain and many people think that megapixels are most important when it's really just one of many factors (sensor size, lens, etc) that all need to be considered. A quality 5MP camera can give better images than a cheap 12MP camera.

AT&T can kiss my (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38842047)

Ass, they will never get another red cent from me. Several years back they pissed me off enough to kill their brand (in a dead-to-me sort of way)
Consumers really have the last word in the pricing argument, and I'm thinking that the 99% are finally figuring this out too.

Corporation is a nothing more than an image / brand / philosophy to a consumer.
AT&T has shown through the actions of its corporate leadership that it does not have the facilities to recover,or become a responsible business.
I hope this post inspires others to toss them can of judgemental bias...

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