With Rollover Data, AT&T Just Keeps Walking Face First Into T-Mobile Attempts To Make It Look Stupid
from the faking-it dept
The latest example of T-Mobile disruption is its recent introduction of roll over data, a common sense approach that lets users store their unused monthly data allotments for future use in what T-Mobile calls a "Data Stash." It's certainly not a revolutionary idea, and it's not even original in the last month (a Southern wireless provider named C Spire offered the option a week or two before T-Mobile), but in a wireless industry dominated by just two players, we're at the point where god-damned common sense is the very height of innovative disruption.
Enter AT&T, bloated and groggy from decades of regulatory capture and unfamiliar with real competition (despite what groups like the CTIA claim). AT&T's been quietly admitting it's starting to feel the pinch from T-Mobile's shenanigans, which is of course precisely why AT&T tried to acquire and eliminate T-Mobile several years ago, and why regulators stepped in to block it.
Now forced to at least pretend to compete, AT&T this week introduced its own roll over data program, though in traditional ham-fisted AT&T fashion it has more than a little fine print. Unlike T-Mobile's plan that lets you store unused data bytes and bits for up to a year, AT&T lets you store your roll over data for all of one month. Worse perhaps, before you can even use your rolled-over data you have to first burn through your primary data allotment. Meanwhile, much like it did when AT&T pretended its very limited 1 Gbps offerings in Austin wasn't an obvious response to Google Fiber, AT&T is busy telling some reporters that this me-too effort (a poor one at that) has nothing whatsoever to do with T-Mobile.
It's another example of AT&T trying to fake and head bob its way past competition, in the process walking face first into T-Mobile's attempts to make the company look stupid. Amusingly, in an end of 2014 prediction blog post, T-Mobile CEO John Legere found it pretty easy to predict AT&T's behavior:
"AT&T will find new ways to cause their customers pain - especially those still on grandfathered unlimited plans. Just to squeeze more money out of them. (Meanwhile, we’ll keep embracing unlimited.) I’m also betting AT&T will introduce a weak Data Stash™ knock off – but the fine print will be massive, and they’ll miss the first and most important step in the process – which is to stop punishing their customers with domestic overages and instead get rid of them."Again making AT&T look bad isn't hard, since AT&T is the one doing most of the heavy lifting. Legere quickly took to Twitter to mock AT&T for its efforts, in turn scoring even more PR points among consumers annoyed by AT&T and Verizon:
Only day 7 of 2015 and my predictions are coming true! Want to bet they won't give you 10GB to start or end overages? http://t.co/MyTQvGDU5l— John Legere (@JohnLegere) January 7, 2015