AT&T: The Evil Empire

Since earlier this year, the telecommunications company AT&T has been expanding at an alarming rate. First, they absorbed Bell South. Next, they assimilated Cingular. Now, they hold the exclusive rights to the iPhone’s network. And yet, even though I listen to enough liberal radio to kill a horse, I haven’t heard a single outcry about this. Somebody has to say something. I guess that’s me, now.

Now, I don’t know just how far AT&T is planning to take this, and perhaps I’m just being paranoid, but it certainly seems that “The Evil Empire” — as I call it — is heading very quickly for monopoly territory. This makes me quite nervous.

First of all, in a monopoly, there is no competition, so there is no reason to set prices at a competitive rate. After all. in a monopoly situation, there is no competition. And since the only viable telecom network is the one that covers a majority of the service area, even if AT&T doesn’t take over every other provider, they’ll still have an effective monopoly, being the only ones that can provide broad-ranging coverage.

Secondly, if AT&T goes monopolistic, then there will be no reason for them to maintain any standard of quality. After all, with no real competition, they have no reason to spare the expense. Who else could their customers go to?

But perhaps the most frightening — and admittedly most paranoid — of the possibilities, should AT&T consume the whole market, is the potential for the abuse of democracy. The Internet is one of the most democratic media of exchange on Earth, and has been since its inception. However, who’s to say how this might change if one company has control over all the Internet access routes? I myself access the Web through a DSL modem now run by AT&T (it wasn’t my idea; when I signed up it was still Bell South). Suppose they didn’t like what I was writing about them. “Oops, Mr. Asymptote, it looks like your phone line has suffered some sort of inexplicable catastrophic failure.”

Think about it.


2 Responses to “AT&T: The Evil Empire”

  1. Guest Says:

    At&t may have rejoined the sum of it’s parts and then some. I fear any corporation that large with that much Lobby bucks to throw around. However, wouldn’t you call Verizon and Sprint competition on the wireless front? In fact, the latter mentioned even use different technology that would make for costly infrastructure switch, and as a result a not so tempting acquisition for quite some time.
    In the wire-line side of things, there are many areas where at&t cannot provide service, due to it being “monopolized” in that area by other telecom providers. As a result, if they cannot provide landline service, they cannot provide high-speed DSL.

    I like the cut of your jib Mathman, and I like that you are keeping an eye on the giants. I just can’t agree with your stream of logic here. Let me know if you’ve come up with further support for your claims.

    !Viva Senor Mejor Math!

  2. serjoe Says:

    AT&T is evil!

    I have a long commute from home to work, about 45min ( in a luck day can take me 30min). I have to enjoying this time in the car, listen music or my favorite program at through my iphone, that I love by the way (love the show – love the program).

    This morning (Aug 4th) I have to change a bit of my regular schedule on the car to talk with an AT&T representative about a billing issue. This is just the begin you have to read this.

    Well the phone call toke all my commute to work (Yes! that long).

    At the end of the month I was checking the bill setting up payments and and got to the AT&T point, when I notice i didn’t receive the bill (for the second time). Fortunately (or not) withAT&T I was able to check the bill with the phone app that states “zero balance”. I though something was wrong and went to the AT&T website. We know the electronic communication at this point goes faster the regular postoffice mail. Well I checked and it the AT&T website states “zero balance”.

    Ok, I though “great! I did the payment already.” i was a bit reelected on this ask my wife to double check for me, and than she confirm that the information was correct. Also she mention the fact of previous time we got charge in advance for a service (everybody does on this country). After sometime putting thoughts on this we move along to other bills.

    Know is getting good. Yesterday August 3rd we got a letter from AT&T saying we own than money, and threading if we don’t pay the service will be turn it off.

    Oh my! I thought “We did a mistake!” So I called today (Aug4th) AT&T. Got in the phone with a rep name Juan (I got his cod number) and for my surprise he informed me I have no balance.

    I went ballistic on the issue. I have a document saying I own money and I don’t. I explain to the rep the our bill got mess up since we cancelled the UVERSE service ( another bad bad chapter of our AT&T “marriage”). I ask Juan for any kind of notice (texting, email or post office mail) stating the amount we own but Aug 4th, today, when the phone “accidentally ” dropped. I call back, new rep, explain everything over again, and the second rep name Kim state the same balance “0”. I ask for the paper notice of this balance and she refuse to give to me, but she transfer to some kind of supervisor. Ms Carter got in the phone with me, and after waiting a long time for the transfer call, I have to explain everything again to her. Yes Kim just transfer the call.

    I don’t have to mention that at this point I was very upset, do I?

    Ms Carter ask my wife on the phone to discuss the situation and refused to talk with me about the issue, she states the account is on my wife’s name and she won’t able to discussed with me. I mention my wife’s social security number and the fact she want to terminate the AT&T account. She refused I kindly said good bye and good luck to her!

    There are a couple bad points I noticed on AT&T recently, these are:

    number1: U-verse

    That probably was the worst one. I notice a lot of people close to me that have issues or complain about it. Not regular stuff, I am talking a bout bad service, billing and so on!

    Number2: Billing

    I am going to the point. The bundle service billing is awful. The bill is too confuse and mess-up. It seems that charge you before the =y suppose too. Don’t you dare to be late!!! The will turn your service off at the next day!

    Should I filled I lawsuit against AAT&T?

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