Trouble in Store for the iPhone


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I just finished laughing out loud at the pathetic story, told by Guy Kawasaki (he of The 10/20/30 Rule of Powerpoint fame) over at his How to Change The World blog.

Guy is lamenting that he doesn’t have a new angle on the about to be released iPhone offered in conjunction with an AT&T contract in the USA. Except for his experience trying to cancel an AT&T DSL service at one of his startups that is. A DSL service that he didn’t even order in the first place!

The story is a litany of complete service incompetence in the telecoms industry. And let’s face it, the telecoms industry doesn’t exactly have a stellar reputation for customer service. I think we all have our own teeth grinding stories about dealing with uncaring staff, dumb processes and useless outcomes at our favourite telcos.

It took Guy numerous phone calls, almost as many hand-offs and over an hour to cancel the unwanted service. And to cap it all, they said they might even send him a customer service survey to check if he was satisfied with the customer service he had just received! Read the transcript of the call. And then try not to laugh out loud.

If AT&T provides similar service to new iPhone buyers when they hit a problem with the iPhone, we can probably look forward to lots more blog posts just like Guy’s.

What do you think? Is the iPhone going to be a hit? Or is AT&T’s customer service going to be a dog’s dinner?

Post a comment and get the conversation going.

Graham Hill

Graham Hill (Dr G)
Business Troubleshooter | Questioning | Thoughtful | Industrious | Opinions my own | Connect with me on LinkedIn


  1. Is customer support a thing of the past?

    I transitioned to FIOS two months ago. The deal with Verizon was that if you opted for TV, phone and Internet (all for $132.50/mo) then there would be no long distance fees. Guess what? Two out of two bills have been wrong. They are charging for all kinds of things that were never part of the agreement including long distance fees. So my first bill was $250 and the second bill was $400!

    You can’t get a real person to answer in Verizon Customer Support.. You can call anyone of 10 different numbers and you always start with the same recording and the same sequence of directions to press one number and then the next. When you finally get to the end, where you will be connected with a customer service representative, no one comes to answer the phone. You can stay online for 30 minutes or more and still no one answers.

    Next, try and find a mailing address on your e-bill. There is none. Try and find a mailing address from a link on the web. That option results in a JAVA Script error. Try and get a service person over the chat option and you’ll find that they can’t help with FIOS issues/questions.

    I feel like canceling everything, but then there is no way to do that either.

    If someone has an answer, I’d like to know what it is.

    Elsie, Project Mangager Customers Relations Management (not at Verizon!)

  2. Don’t you mean “non support?” You brought back bad memories of my own customer service challenges with Verizon. If you stop paying your bill, they will contact you and threaten to sue you. Then you’ll have their attention. I know. It worked for me. But this was not related to FIOS.

  3. I’ve been with GTE/Verizon for almost 20 years. I recently had a problem with the new Fios Menuing system. I was on the phone for a total of 17 minutes to get resolution. Not bad considering they have 54 million customers, 170000 miles of fiber, corporate headquarters in another state & customer service in still another!


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