What Happens To Customers Whose Providers Disappear?
from the no-more-service-for-you dept
Last week, VoIP provider SunRocket pulled the plug, and it looks like it will be joined on Tuesday by mobile virtual operator Amp'd. But in addition to out of work employees and unpaid creditors, there's another group of affected people here that seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle: these companies' customers. As the comments to one of our posts about SunRocket attests, the company's customers were left hanging in the wind, with no real information about what would happen to their service, or their phone numbers. Amp'd users got a helpful text message ("AMPD MSG: Your svc may be disconnected on 7.24 @ 12:01am. Go to http://www.ampd.com or contact the location where you activated your service for further info.") and a hastily written FAQ. It's not like these companies will really care about their ex-customers, and acting in the name of morality, or even just being decent, won't pay their bills. But the bigger issue here is what this means for other upstart companies, particularly in entrenched industries like telecom. For all their faults and downsides compared to VoIP providers, it's unlikely that companies like AT&T or Verizon will go out of business and leave their customers in the lurch -- and that could make it harder for newer, smaller companies to pull in users.