AT&T's Terrible New TV Branding Confuses Even AT&T

from the DERP dept

AT&T’s efforts to dominate the online streaming (and advertising segment) has had a bit of a rocky start. After spending more than $150 billion to acquire both DirecTV and Time Warner in recent years, AT&T’s been losing subscribers hand over fist anyway. Part of the problem is that the company acquired so much debt in the course of the deal (AT&T is among the most indebted companies in the world), AT&T’s been forced to raise rates on subscribers. Given the rise in streaming competitors, those users are wisely just heading for the exits.

But AT&T’s been making some notable missteps on the branding front as well. The company keeps launching, scrapping, and then re-launching so many different TV options it’s confusing the hell out of customers. As the company stumbles its way into building one cohesive brand, it has gotten kind of, well, silly:

Apparently AT&T’s new TV branding isn’t just confusing consumers. It’s also confusing AT&T. The company’s marketing and support departments appear to have been bungling the names of several new AT&T TV products in marketing and support materials, only compounding consumer confusion. AT&T recently eliminated its DirecTV Now streaming TV brand, and renamed it (quite creatively) “AT&T TV Now.” The company also rolled out another completely new service and called it “AT&T TV.” The former service is just another streaming app, while the latter service requires a new AT&T set top box and is currently in a glorified beta.

This being the telecom sector, customer support is already kind of an afterthought. But AT&T’s confusing branding has taken things to an entirely new level, leaving many AT&T customers in a bizarre, customer service purgatory:

“To make matters even worse, most tech support for AT&T TV Now is labeled AT&T TV on AT&T’s website. When you try to contact AT&T TV Now you need to use the contact information for AT&T TV. This has resulted in many of our readers confused about how they contact… AT&T TV Now to ask a question.

AT&T’s website does not help. AT&T TV Now is only found if you click on streaming. For a while after the name change, clicking on DirecTV Now in some menus on AT&T’s website brought you to AT&T TV [instead of] AT&T TV Now.

Even just this week when AT&T announced a deal with Starz they didn’t list AT&T TV Now but listed AT&T TV. When asked about this AT&T said AT&T TV Now was lumped together with AT&T TV.

As we’ve long noted, telecom companies aren’t particularly innovative because they’ve spent the last few generations as government-protected and pampered monopolies. Fused to the nation’s intelligence and law enforcement community, they’re the personification of “too big to fail.” Their deep lobbying tendrils also mean they enjoy regulatory capture on the state and federal level, making any real accountability for bad behavior a rarity, at best.

Given real competition is alien to them, Verizon and AT&T keep doing face plants as they attempt to erode Google and Facebook online video ad revenues. That’s why instead of directly competing or innovating, the telecom sector’s first inclination is usually to try and tilt the regulatory playing field or cheat in some fashion. And while these kind of shenanigans have caused plenty of problems in the broader internet and streaming TV ecosystem, those problems would likely be immeasurably worse were the telecom sector actually competent outside of its core competencies (building networks, lobbying to erode competition).

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Companies: at&t

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Comments on “AT&T's Terrible New TV Branding Confuses Even AT&T”

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Enhanced Imagining says:

Re: Re: "Stephen": don't ask for whom the hell tolls, it tolls for thee!

I feared this would happen. You kids have crossed the threshold into self-sustaining astro-turfing of your imaginary enemies. — Even you don’t know who’s "real" here anymore!

By the way, notice how no one asks who this "Blue" is? Again, proves are NO new readers here. — AND even if were, when see clear insanity, won’t stay long!

Oh, and to the new "Blue Balls"? Do you grasp that you’re the apparent target of all this hate? Besides astro-turfing it up?

@ Masnick: it’s YOUR fault, not mine. You could have quashed this idiocy YEARS ago with a little disapproving, but now it’s whatcha call metastatized. YOU are volunntarily associating with them. At least I always take you seriously, give me that. But how can anyone take you or site seriously with your fanboys going nuts?

YOU, "Stephen", are helping this along, trying to get a target for ad hominem here so looks like an active discussion. But it looks insane.

Anonymous Coward says:

At and t is very close to the government,protected by a cosy group of lobbyists, and politicians .
Its mainly a telecom company which is used to wiping out potential competition in broadband and telecom markets .
Expecting it to compete properly in real diverse markets against disney ,google,
youtube, netflix and over the air free tv is asking a 50 year old taxi driver to compete
in F1 racing, no matter how much money or training he has ,
He will at best provide an average or mediocre performance .
Once you go above 3 or 4 tv streaming service,s you risk
simply confusing the consumer and it makes it very hard to
market a product .
A t and t is like a giant super tanker.
it takes a long turn to turn around,
In a tv market thats changing every month with new streaming service,s launching ,in the streaming video market,
It needs a smart company thats quick to innovate and compete on price and quality of service to survive .

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