by Mike Masnick
Fri, Aug 3rd 2007 6:47am
Remember the story back in June about how AT&T had extremely quietly started offering $10 DSL as was required in its deal to buy BellSouth? The company was promoting many other, more expensive, DSL options, but the only way you could get the required $10 version was if you specifically knew to ask about it. Broadband Reports points to an interview from an Atlanta newspaper with AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson where he's asked about the $10 DSL. The interviewer points out that no story about AT&T resulted in a more irate response from AT&T customers as its story about the hidden offer for $10 DSL, suggesting that this was a huge issue for AT&T customers. Stephenson's response? First he denies that the company made it hard to find, and then he says that they're not promoting it because customers don't want it. This, despite the clear response from customers to the very newspaper who was conducting the interview. Then, he basically admits that the $10 DSL doesn't work very well, saying that they don't promote it because they don't want to give customers a product that sucks. Of course, he says that as if it's not his company that has quite a bit of control over whether or not the product sucks. Yes, that's right. AT&T actually thinks you'll believe that they're hiding their cheap broadband offering because, seriously, who wants cheap broadband when more expensive broadband is available? Of course, this isn't a new strategy from AT&T. Back when it was SBC and refused to offer naked DSL, the claim was that customers didn't want naked DSL either, despite the success many other companies were having with it, and numerous articles with people clamoring for it. It appears that AT&T has figured out that when there's really no competition, you get to decide what it is your customers really do or do not want.
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