I travel a fair bit. And while sometimes I get to sit in first class when my frequent flyer number hits the jackpot, most of the time I end up waiting on the long line as a the few lucky first and business class passengers get to board first. I don’t mind, I don’t care to pay the exorbitant prices to sit first and up front all the time. The nice thing is that the plane that takes me and the first class customers takes off and lands at exactly the same time- a physical constraint not enjoyed by wireless customers– your “call” might just be put on standby very soon.
This extra and priority access is something that I am afraid will soon happen to wireless customers across america with ATT buying out T-mobile. If you take a network as poorly supplanted and overcrowded as ATT and combine it with a working one like T-mobile, you either destroy the new one, or make the new one your “first class” network. Sounds crazy, I know, but its true. ATT has even accepted that all Tmobile customers are going to have to upgrade their cell phones to work in the new ATT system down line.
So, for all the T-mobile customers out there. Enjoy your network while it lasts. The days where you can’t get a call through because ATT is selling priority service to those who can and want to pay an extra $15-30 bucks a month for “priority” wireless service, is not too far off. When there is no competition, this type of customer abuse is the only natural consequence. Oh wait, you can’t get calls through now…. wow. Your luck-0-meter just got alot lower.
Is there a solution? I think so. Its a bit crazy, but it might just be crazy enough to work- a mutually owned wireless company. Basically, just like Prudential and so many of the insurance giants out there, a mutually owned T-mobile would re-invest ALL of its profits into expanding its network and maintaining customer service as exceptional as they are today. Mutually owned organizations require very large numbers of members, and monthly and on-going payments- two key things that a 20+ million community like T-mobile already is.
Maybe, just maybe by the time this deal hits the justice department some T-mobile customers, like me, will take the lead and organize something as crazy, nutty, but realistic as a mutually owned wireless company. I think it can be done.
Solution 2: Google buys Sprint and brings the game back to content and not delivery… kills ATT ability to overcharge and makes them focus on making money by getting people to content… not just charging people for just hoping to get content.
Full disclosure: I am a loyal T-mobile customer. Have been for close to a decade when I left Sprint when I had my cell-phone bill subsidiezed by my parents. No service is no good, even if its free. Since then I have always loved T-mobile, good (not great) coverage, exceptional customer service, and no roaming charges- ever! Also, their world coverage is spectacular, have never been out of coverage no matter where on earth I am.