Did AT&T Really Threaten A Customer With Legal Action For Emailing Feedback To CEO? [Updated]
from the customer-service-hall-of-fame dept
You may have heard the stories recently that Steve Jobs seems to regularly respond directly to emails from customers — often making certain points that he knows will be spread throughout the press. However, if you have a complaint about your iPhone, you can send it to Jobs, but apparently you shouldn’t send it to AT&T’s CEO, Randall Stephenson. Someone sent over the story of a guy named Giorgio, who was upset enough about the new data plans that he sent an email expressing his displeasure directly to Stephenson (whose address he apparently got from the Consumerist blog).
Now, to be clear, the email was a bit gripey, complaining about the new plans, and announcing his plans to switch to a different phone and different provider. In response, however, it appears he got a phone call from someone at AT&T telling him that if he emailed the CEO again, AT&T would issue a cease & desist against him. From the recording:
“I want to first thank you for the feedback. Going forward, I need to warn you that if you continue to send emails to Randall Stephenson, a cease & desist letter may be sent to you…”
For what? That’s not explained. I can’t think of any legal basis for such a cease & desist letter. Honestly, the whole thing seems so outrageous that you have to wonder if it’s a hoax. If it turns out to be true (and please, please, someone tell us that this is a hoax) then it reflects incredibly poorly on AT&T.
Update: Well, now it’s been confirmed by AT&T that they actually did make this threat. A PR person working for AT&T (but not an AT&T employee) contacted us with your typical bland PR statement, issuing an apology, and saying “this is not the way we want to treat customers.” But it is how you treated your customer… and, notably, nowhere in the statement does the PR person explain why AT&T responded this way to a customer.
The full statement is:
We are apologizing to our customer. We’re working with him today to address his questions and concerns. This is not the way we want to treat customers. From Facebook to significant customer service channels, AT&T strives to provide our customers with easy ways to have their questions addressed.