Om Malik notes a Lazard Capital Market analyst report suggesting that AT&T is having trouble signing up the 1 million “triple-play” U-verse subscribers that it promised by the end of this year.
However, we are increasingly concerned by the possibility of AT&T missing its annual projection of 1M subs, and believe that unit expectations will need to be reduced further in light of the macroeconomic environment. We believe it is more likely that AT&T will reach 30K subs per week by year-end, rather than 40K.
I realize it’s just anecdotal, but I was recently attending a street fair type event where AT&T had set up a booth trying to sell U-Verse. The poor sales reps staffing the booth were being bombarded by irate U-Verse customers complaining about all manner of problems, mostly with the TV service and the DVR features. These booth reps were probably outside consultants, not even AT&T employees. They most likely were getting paid on commission. I felt sorry for them, since they obviously were having second thoughts about hitching their wagon to the U-verse horse.
It looks like AT&T may be out of their league, or at least that they underestimated the challenge of providing TV service, and how long it takes to develop a mature TV and DVR experience, and how far they are behind their competition in this area.