AT&T CallVantage red ink not a surprise

AT&T disclosed in SEC filings that it had 53,000 customers for its Internet phone service, AT&T CallVantage, as of the end of 2004. It doesn’t surprise me in the least. I don’t think it would be possible for anyone to botch the promotion of a product any worse than AT&T did in the case of CallVantage. Of course the century long lawyer-dominated nature of AT&T clearly played a role and I’m not sure the shadow of the once all conquering Ma Bell has the capacity to do things any other way.

VoIP advocates looked for explanations in a lot of places, but one has to wonder if there really is a market for simple substitution-play Phone-over-IP services. Could it be they are all trying to sell something nobody really wants? Is POTS really broken in the mind of the average consumer, as all of us VOIP zealots assume?

1 comment for “AT&T CallVantage red ink not a surprise

  1. I am having more problems that I could have possibly imagined, after purchasing
    a new cell phone at my new neighborhood "Cingular" store, which they swore to be a direct affiliate of ATT, (our current carrier), but they were actually "jobbers", not even affiliates, I learned much later, after initially going to the store with my husband two days before Christmas, and purchasing two new phones,and accepting new two yr. contracts.

    The phone I wanted to try out was a "Motorola" v220, which they did not have in stock at the time, but said that they’d order my phone, and I’d have it w/in 2-3 days, max.

    I was given their cheap freebie in the meantime.

    I specifically asked the salesman if the 30 money back warrenty offered began the day of purchase, or when I reiceved my actual phone.
    He reassured me that it would not began until my "real" phone came in, 2-3 days later.

    I was fine with that, but after several weeks with no phone, five visits and numerous phone calls to the store, and still no phone, I was getting pretty steamed.

    Finally someone at the store told my husband that my phone hadn’t even been ordered yet!
    (of course no one had bothered to check our order status, even after all our trip to the store).
    My new phone came in a few days later.
    Much to my dismay, the phone wwas worse that the cheap freebie I’d had on loan.
    I couldnt read the icons,even pushing the buttons or scrolling is next to impossible, I had to push and scroll forever to find anything, and couldnt even automatically set up a bypass for my voicemail, having to call the voicemail # every time, and enter my password.
    The phone also decided that the password I’d been using was no longer a "valid" password, and I was refused access to my phone.
    Another trip to the store, and it was fixed, "sort of".
    I’ll cut to the chase here, nothing on that phone works, it changes ring tones at and volmnue will, refuses service, claims I don’t have any SIMS applications, refuses to let me into my voicemail, and too many other numerous and dangerous, when driving and even answering that phone at the same time, along wiht too many other issues to list.

    I go into the store on Jan. 3, and was told by another salesman that the person who sold me my phone wasnt employed there anymore, and I told him what was going on, and told him that I wanted to exchange the phone for another type and model phone.

    He shook his head, and said "too bad you didnt come in two days ago", you’re over your 30 days now.

    I told him that I’d only recieved my phone within the last 10 days, and had been told that I had 30 days from reciept of my phone for an exchange or return.

    He stated that the salesman who’d sold me the phone was wrong, and basically, "too bad for you".
    He then (so generously)offered to exchange my brand new, expensive phone for a "Nokia" "he had around in back", so I asked him if the phone was new, in the og. box, and under warrenty, and he kept evading my questions.

    Finally the friend with me figured out his scam, and called him on it.

    She said, "Your trying to give her your two year old Nokia phone, arent you?" (she had the same model he was offering and knew it was at least two yrs. old)

    He actually replied, "yes, I am, but I’ll put a new cover on it,since it’s really beat up, at no charge".

    I told him that wasnt going to cut it, and left, so shocked and PO’d that I almost needed to be carried out.

    I did try to learn how the phone worked, read the entire manual, etc., but it is just a piece of crap, a total lemon, and it’s broken.

    I got the flu (twice) within two days after my altercation at the phone store, and finally am well enough to begin calling Cingular, and want to call someone who isnt on the pion/pee-on? ladder, since yesterday,(for the third time) my phone locked me out,refusing to accept the password that I had programmed into the phone myself, saying "NO SIMS app’s (again), so my husband took it to another "Cingular" store, and was informed that "I’d blow it up", ruined the SIMS card, and needed to buy a new one!

    I want to call someone who can really handle this, exchange my phone for an easy access, non camera or computer access "Nokia" phone, so I don’t think calling "Motorola" is my best bet.

    There are many more nasty problems, lies, and issues I’ve had to deal with since I began this phone nightmare, so I’ll leave it at this.

    Any suggestions as to who I can call and possibly get some satisfaction are very welcome.

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