Newly Large Cingular Spending Cash, But Gets No Love

from the good-luck-with-that dept

Over at TheFeature, the other day I wrote up a look at some of the challenges the suddenly much bigger Cingular now faces, suggesting that it was quite a task. They need to quickly improve their own reputation, integrate two diverse systems and build out a new network. The thing is, those three things don’t go together that well — because improving their reputation will take a lot of cash (promotions, better customer support and lower prices), while the integration and the new network will both take a lot of cash and will likely generate more customer service headaches for the company. So, it’s worth noting the very glaring omissions from the latest In-Stat/MDR report on customer satisfaction in the wireless carrier industry. Cingular and AT&T Wireless are nowhere to be found. Verizon and T-Mobile came in at the top for customer satisfaction (a bit surprising, since T-Mobile hasn’t always had the greatest reputation on that front) while Sprint wins praise for having very loyal customers (they had the longest average tenure). Also, it looks like more subscribers are planning to change carriers, though the writeup seems to ignore the very big impact of local number portability on this discussion, which also raises some questions about the industry’s claim that LNP had no real impact on customer churn. Still, Cingular has obviously been preparing for this, and have immediately started spending millions in a new ad campaign that basically will remind you that, oh yeah, in case you hadn’t known, Cingular bought AT&T Wireless. Hopefully, someone on the new ad team will convince the marketing geniuses at AT&T Wireless that the strategy of hyping up the technical name “UMTS” of their 3G technology in their commercials is a bad idea. Subscribers don’t care what technology the company is using. They want to know the benefits it offers. Instead, for the time being, we’re just going to be hearing about this new company, while the other providers continue to take customers away from Cingular.

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Comments on “Newly Large Cingular Spending Cash, But Gets No Love”

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Doug says:

Cingular or AT&T brand

I wonder how well the rebranding will go over. Where I live, I’ve never heard a kind word about Cingular. The customer service at AT&T may have gone to heck, but their phone service still works, and it generally works better than any of the competition.

Aside from rebranding issues, I wonder how long Cingular will continue to operate AT&T’s old AMPS and TDMA networks.

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