Who Would Do This, AT&T?

If I were crazy pissed at AT&T, I might take 20 minutes to tell them about it. But even then, I’d probably just think “Screw it, you don’t deserve this knowledge”.

Recently, I switched my cellular service away from AT&T (née Cingular née Cellular One). I was a bit nervous about this process, as I’d heard horror stories from folks who had rough times transferring their cell numbers years back. Fortunately, the process was fast and easy. In just a few minutes, I was all set with my new carrier. If you’re thinking of switching, it’s quite painless and likely worth your while.

Apparently, AT&T wasn’t quite so ready to move on from me, however. Today, I received an email with the subject line “AT&T would like your opinion!”. I’m sure they would. It would surely be valuable for AT&T to know why a customer of nearly two decades has decided to move on. Given that, this email is rather confounding.

It begins with this:

An email opening that says “Dear Former AT&T Customer”

When I read a greeting like “Dear Former AT&T Customer”, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I can tell I’m truly appreciated by the way they didn’t even address me by name. It makes me excited to see just what this email is all about.

Text stating “AT&T needs input from former customers like you regarding the cancellation of your AT&T Wireless service.”

AT&T doesn’t just want my input, it needs it, perhaps for its very survival as a business. Why on earth I should care about what the massive corporation I no longer use for cellular service “needs” is beyond me. Still, I appreciate the fact that they’ve told me how important this is to them, because it’s always nice to have leverage.

Further text stating “As a former customer, your opinion is very important to us. We’d like to ask you to participate in a survey of approximately 20 minutes.”

20 minutes! That’s one hell of a request. AT&T, do you think we’re friends? We are not friends. 2 minutes would be asking a lot, and 20 is beyond excessive.

I should’ve stopped reading right there, but I thought maybe there’d be a reason to continue. Given how important the information they’re asking for is to them, and the fact that it’s going to take quite awhile to provide it, surely they’ll make it worth my while. For, say, a $100 Visa gift card, I could take 20 minutes to tell AT&T how they lost me as a customer.

Further text reading “This survey is being conducted by Burke, Inc., an independent research firm, on behalf of AT&T. Your participation is completely voluntary and no one will try to sell you anything as a result. We appreciate your participation and encourage an early response, as the survey is only open for a limited time. Thank you in advance for your feedback and participation!”

Oh. Wow. They took the time to rather ludicrously assure me that this is voluntary. They made sure to note that I won’t get upsold. They even urged me to act fast on this not-exciting-in-the-least offer, so I can get my answers in before the survey closes. Finally, they thanked me in advance, with a few hollow words. What they didn’t do was offer any compensation, nor even a reason for why I would spend 20 minutes completing this survey for them.

As you can no doubt guess, I didn’t. Instead, I took that time to write this post mocking AT&T. It helpfully provides feedback about their survey request, and they’re welcome to read it for free. What can I say? I’m a giver.

As far as the information on why I switched providers though? For that, they’ll have to pony up. AT&T, I encourage a prompt response, as the cost of my time is only going up.