Thursday, August 11, 2011

AT&T Falls Flat in Four Corners

Of all the areas where the transition from Alltel to AT&T has gone badly, it looks like the Four Corners, that area around the intersection of AZ, CO, NM, & UT, has suffered the worst. We have read anecdotal stories about poor coverage and a difficult transition in a handful of other ex-Alltel areas, but here AT&T may have failed the wrong group of users. The reports of poor service have been experienced right in the hands of the local government of San Juan County of New Mexico, probably AT&T's largest customer in the area. The complaints are serious, from poor 911 service, unusable coverage, and the inability to get phones fixed.

AT&T's assistant vice president for consumer sales and service, Leighton Carroll, was called before the county commission and was caught saying, "We are adding capacity, adding cell phone towers, increasing our footprint." He said that to the wrong person. San Juan County General Services and Community Development Administrator Larry Hathaway noted, "I am in charge of issuing the building permits for San Juan County. They are issued out of my office. We have not seen any activity from AT&T at all, but we have seen activity from your competition. You tell us that activity is going to happen by the end of the year, but we aren't seeing those permits coming through our office." AT&T says otherwise, but their actions, or lack of them, speak louder than words.

If AT&T becomes the largest wireless operator in the country with the addition of T-Mobile, should we expect them to be even less responsive? Bigger is not always better. If I was living in Farmington I would be dumping my AT&T phone. Yo, Sprint!

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