There are few brands that I have more loyalty to than T-Mobile. My loyalty is based upon two factors: price and customer service. My monthly rate has steadily decreased because they actively let me know when promotions ae in effect. My monthly payment of less than $100 includes unlimited internet, SMS, MMS, email, and phone insurance, which is phenomenal. When my phone broke last year and I was having trouble with the 3rd party insurance provider, Asurion, the T-Mobile customer care representative three-way called Asurion, and I had my phone the next business day. Phenomenal.
Late yesterday, AT&T acquired T-Mobile. My brand perception of AT&T has decreased signficantly. While I appreciate that they were the first to carry the iPhone, their network exclusivity irked me. That they would lock phones upon jailbreak seemed like they were monopolizing the industry at the consumer’s expense. Friends say that the coverage sucks.
I doubt that AT&T, then, will be apt to see the acquisition from the T-Mobile consumer perspective. I imagine that instead it was largely an infrastructure decision so that AT&T will make their bad infrastructure less bad. As AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson said (credit to Techcrunch):
“This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future. It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people. Mobile broadband networks drive economic opportunity everywhere, and they enable the expanding high-tech ecosystem that includes device makers, cloud and content providers, app developers, customers, and more. During the past few years, America’s high-tech industry has delivered innovation at unprecedented speed, and this combination will accelerate its continued growth.”
I also am doubtful that customer service will be as phenomenal as T-Mobile. T-Mobile would make a point to go out of their way to recognize that I was a long-standing customer, saying things like “Thank you for your business for the past 7 years.” I don’t think I will receive the same alumni/legacy treatment at AT&T.
The price point is also a concern. I wonder if AT&T will adhere to the contract I have with T-Mobile for such a low fee for an unlimited plan.
Even if all of these conditions are upheld (the price remains the same, customer service is exceptional, AT&T recognizes the longevity of my relationship with T-Mobile), I still may jump ship to Verizon. However, they have a great opportunity to do good work to carry on the end of a legacy.
To read more about AT&T and T-Mobile, here are some resources I referenced: