AT&T's String Of Useless Telephony Products Continues

from the pay-us-to-annoy-your-friends dept

AT&T is now selling people ringback tones for their landlines -- a service that (contrary to what the original article states) replaces the ringing noise callers hear when they call a number with a song or another recording. Some mobile operators have been offering the service for some time, with mixed success outside Asia. Ringback tones have some problems: first, they're just a fashion statement, and many users don't have any interest in paying for something they themselves will never hear. But perhaps bigger is that they require a lot of education. They don't make a whole lot of sense to many people at first, as evidenced by the confusion in the original article, where the writer thinks they're ringtones for landline phones, and they don't make a lot of sense to callers expecting to hear the normal "ring" when they call someone. Also, operators tend to do a pretty poor job of explaining why people would want to pay for the service, since it really doesn't add any value to them -- not to mention plenty of people get annoyed by ringbacks. Of course, there is one more possibility for what AT&T is doing: it wants to follow the idea other companies have had and use ringbacks for advertising. Given that the company apparently thinks it would be a good idea to put ads in ringtones, it would hardly be surprising to see them do it with ringbacks as well.

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  1. identicon
    txjump, 17 Nov 2006 @ 12:21pm

    #8

    I'm with ya!

    hopefully it will never come to this...omg! cause then companies will start charging extra for a "non-commercial" ringback.

    companies trying to make money off of me having friends or me having customers ... when ive done all the work!?! hell no...and on top of that...what if they play a comercial for something i dont like or am opposed to!

    what if someone associates me with that product?

    hahaha...my mom calls and hears an ad for Trojan. or my new boyfriend hears an ad for preparationH... or my dad hears the one for "have a happy period"

    ugh i dont even wanna think about it...

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