Report: AT&T Customer E-mails CEO, AT&T Threatens Cease & Desist

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 AT&T CEO Randolph Stephenson

AT&T CEO
Randall Stephenson

AT&T customer Giorgio Galante wrote two e-mails to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, according to Engadget, and AT&T responded with a threat to send Mr. Galante a Cease & Desist should he have the audacity to do it again. The response came from AT&T’s Executive Response Team, which also thanked Mr. Stephenson for his feedback.

According to Mr. Galante, his sent his first e-mail to Ma Bell’s CEO two weeks ago, a request for his iPhone upgrade eligibility to be moved up. He followed that up with a second on Thursday complaining about the new data plans AT&T announced Wednesday, and informing the company that he planned to leave AT&T and get an EVO 4G with Sprint.

Mr. Galante also told Engadget that he e-mailed both Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Mr. Stephenson a year ago to ask about tethering options for his iPhone. According to him, Mr. Jobs replied while Mr. Stephenson did not.

Comments

geoduck

Selling starts when the customer says no.

Clearly whomever sent this note skipped that day in Business School.

(That is assuming that all this happened the way Engadget is reporting it.)

Lee Dronick

That is assuming that all this happened the way Engadget is reporting it.

Yeah, the blind men and the elephant story.

gruntersdad

What a chicken shit.

geoduck

The guy or the company?

Dennis Stanley

If the story is correct and for the moment assuming that it is, my own experiences with AT&T would add credence to it.  AT&T is not ‘Known’ to go out of their corporate way to enhance the customer experience… sadly they have the old “we’ve got all the marbles, it’s our game” attitude which if the customers have their way, will come back to bite them in the hiney.  I personally hope it does and that it serves as notice to the other Big names in the industry that the collective number of small guys can make one BIG difference…

“Serve those who support us” should be their motto… sadly it ain’t so.

gruntersdad

The company. Cease and desist for email.  Nice company service.  I wish these phone companies that were so cock sure of themselves would drop their contracts and see who the real winner would be.

chicochaz

I’ve been an AT&T customer for several years with mostly a good experience, until this past year. Without telling to whole sordid story my issues have been across the board, poor dsl quality, billing screw ups on their part and constant dropped wireless calls at my office. Long story short, my numerous actions with various customer service people have mostly been a disaster. Maybe 1 in 5 had a clue on what to do, the rest could only “put me on hold briefly and go find someone to help.” And the help often turned into No Help. This incident with their CEO is just not a surprise.

easley55

I never hated AT&T wireless, although after the past couple of days I’m learning.  I have had terrible service from the wired AT&T division.  Ed Whitacre, the guy who put the modern AT&T together, has a terrible reputation for treating his employees and thinks customers are nuisance.  He now runs GM.  I feel sorry for anyone who buys a GM product.

xmattingly

On the one hand, I have to skeptically ask “are we getting the whole story”?

I have to wonder if this guy’s complaints were possibly tainted with either veiled threats, harassment dialog or was very obnoxious. People, ask yourselves… does a cease & desist threat not sound like a highly unusual overreaction?

On the other hand, it would have been much simpler for the CEO to forward this guy’s emails to customer service - he could have even asked his people to give it priority - and be done with it.

Steve Jobs may be known for answering emails directly, but he is also very much the exception to the norm as far as CEO’s go, so I don’t think it’s fair to use him as a point of comparison.

easley55

Good point.  However, if the guy was making threats, call the police.  If he was a pest, block his account.

dhp

sent his first e-mail to Ma Bell?s CEO two weeks ago

Does anyone under 40 know what “Ma Bell” means?

dmuzzy

Does anyone under 40 know what ?Ma Bell? means?

Darn, 7 months ago I could have said “Yes”  :(

geoduck

Serve those who support us

I’m in IT
I wonder if I could convince my Users of this.

Nah. It’ll never happen.
wink

b9bot

You can’t give a cease and desist to someone who is telling the truth and is only complaining about a service. 1st amendment rights are still part of U.S. law or did AT&T forget this? A complaint can’t be combated with such an order. That’s really the WRONG way to handle a customers complaint. AT&T blew it BIG time!

computerbandgeek

Does anyone under 40 know what ?Ma Bell? means?

Yes, but I’m also a nerd who reads TMO. So I’m not sure I’m representative of the population wink

Lee Dronick

You can?t give a cease and desist to someone who is telling the truth and is only complaining about a service.

Of course they can. Does that mean that it is enforceable? Not necessarily. As Geoduck said in the first comment “That is assuming that all this happened the way Engadget is reporting it.”

1st amendment rights are still part of U.S. law or did AT&T forget this?

The 1st Amendment right to free speech only applies to you when you are speaching to your Government, not between you and another citizen.

We don’t know exactly what happened between Galante and Stephenson. We have a story from Engadget. As xmattingly said in a comment above “I have to wonder if this guy?s complaints were possibly tainted with either veiled threats, harassment dialog or was very obnoxious. People, ask yourselves? does a cease & desist threat not sound like a highly unusual overreaction?”

steelegem

Simply put… who the hell emails a company’s CEO with questions and comments like this in the first place?  It doesnt take a rocket scientist to grok the concept of a customer service department, something that sits far from the management level of a CEO for cryin’ out loud.

xmattingly

Simply put? who the hell emails a company?s CEO with questions and comments like this in the first place?

A blogger who seeks to draw attention to himself, and stir up controversy where there really isn’t any.

daemon

There’s this thing called “Executive Customer Service.” You only get “Executive Customer Service” if you contact the office of the Chief Executive Officer.

Think of it like going to Best Buy to complain about how long it’s taking to repair your computer and insisting on talking to the store’s general manager who then authorizes an exchange for a new computer right there and then.

The executive customer service team members are authorized to make descions that a normal customer service member just can’t do, they also happen to be able to actually talk to people in other divsions of the company (which is a major problem when dealing with customer service who can’t even send an email to someone not in their division).

Chris Keller

You can?t give a cease and desist to someone who is telling the truth and is only complaining about a service. 1st amendment rights are still part of U.S. law or did AT&T forget this? A complaint can?t be combated with such an order. That?s really the WRONG way to handle a customers complaint. AT&T blew it BIG time!

Huh? When will everyone learn the extent of the 1st Amendment? On the other hand, CPC 653m does say “Nothing in this
subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts made in good faith.” I also do believe in the some states, it is against the law to make statements that AT+T did that they can not back up.

The next time I get a sales call from AT+T, I will use the “Cease and Desist letter” line same though.

xmattingly

Think of it like going to Best Buy to complain about how long it?s taking to repair your computer and insisting on talking to the store?s general manager who then authorizes an exchange for a new computer right there and then.

There is a difference between walking into a store and asking for the manager and demanding the CEO of the Best Buy handle all your complaints. Obviously Giorgio can’t make that distinction.

daemon

xmattingly, that went completely over your head, didn’t it?

http://consumerist.com/how-to/executive-customer-service/

xmattingly

What goes “over my head” correlates directly to the vagueness of your comment. The URL reference would have helped.

alaskaBoy

If I were the CEO of a major corporation, I’d have some staffer filtering my email and sending out responsible responses.  If the email were something that they thought I should see, then they’d forward it on to me.  I certainly wouldn’t waste my time reading all the emails that were sent in.  Kinda like the responses I get from my Senators.  Most of them are filtered and answered by staffers, sometimes, idiot staffers.  Maybe this was the case here… or maybe the this CEO Idiot really answered as he did… which I doubt.

Lee Dronick

If I were the CEO of a major corporation, I?d have some staffer filtering my email and sending out responsible responses

Hmmm, maybe that is what happened. Of course if it is sent from the CEO’s email address then it is considered to be composed by and from him.

AlaskaBoy

“then it is considered to be composed by and from him”...
Exactly, just like I hold the politicians responsible for responses from their office.

Lee Dronick

From what I just read on Engadget, it was a staffer who sent the email.

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